Monday, 31 May 2010
Oakham Town Council Town Clerk Richard White
Richard White’s letter, with my comments in red
To Assist the staffing committee before they meet on Thursday. Interestingly the notice appeared in the notice board Saturday. It is still not 3 clear working days notice of a meeting, as required by the Act, but nether mind, those sorts of rules don’t apply to Oakham Town Council.
I wish to publish the following response to Mr White’s Letter. I apologise if it seems a little too long, but I have included the text from Mr Whites letter.
Addressed to Cllr Mrs Sharon Spencer Chairman of Oakham Town Council.
I believe it is in the public interest to make this letter and my comments public. Particularly since I believe that this complaint is yet another tactic devised to make it impossible to be a truly representative Councillor. The use of The Town Clerk’s allegation of bullying against me is, I believe, being used to bully, harass and intimidate me and ensure that I am unable to be a representative Councillor.
It is disgraceful that this man, who earns around £30,000 of tax payers’ money is behaving in this manner and now holds members responsible for his toilets of £15,000 over the contract for the new public loos, by suggesting it is The Town Council’s fault for not asking him to arrange a contract between Oakham Town Council and Rutland County Council District Council.
I have nothing to lose from this sorry episode and would rather be serving the public and not fighting silly battles dreamt up by Town Council members past and present, just because they choose not to like me and support the Town Clerk’s incompetence. Whether it’s when he forgets to ask for an extension from RCC planning, so we can consider a planning application for the one he forgot to show us at a previous planning meeting, or speaking to the BBC with out the Council’s consent, not to forgetting when he decided not to show us a consultation document from Rutland County Council. In that case he had to ask for a time extension and at the end of it I saw the biggest load of rubbish included in the RCC cabinet agenda, which raised serious questions about the competence of both the Town Council and the Town Clerk.
If my actions show the farce this council is then perhaps I am doing a great public service, since we have tolerated incompetence for far too long. After the Tesco meeting on 26th May ‘farce’ has been used by the public to describe the proceedings of the Town Council’s meeting.
Below is a copy of a letter from the Town Clerk dated 18th May 2010. Yet oddly the Council had discussed his bullying allegation against me on 5th May.
18th May 2010
Private and confidential and without prejudice
Following my initial letter to the then chairman of the Council, Cllr Mrs Jan Fillingham, stating my grievance against Cllr Brookes, I would like to add the details. These are to be distributed to members of the Grievance Panel only if necessary as you are aware I stated that I would be prepared to enter into a conciliation process to try and resolve the issue. I would also like a copy forwarded to Cllr Brookes so he is aware of the issues.
This explains why I have not received a copy of the original letter or does it? Despite repeated requests I have yet to receive the original letter from the Town Clerk to Mrs Fillingham. I wonder if Cllr Fillingham might be keeping it under her vodka bottle at home.
I also agreed to conciliation by ACAS or Mr White’s Union, if needed, but I have since been told by Cllr Sharon Spencer hat the Council can not afford the fees and does not want this issue to go as far as Mr Whites union. What do they want? I don’t think Mr White would have a leg to stand on if he tried to sue the Town Council. The Town Council, many of whom have launched very personal attacks on me appear to want the Council’s staffing committee to deal with a matter they are clearly not qualified to deal with by reason of their continued personal harassment against me.
He then goes on to say: I apologise for the fact that this has taken some time to get to you but it is only now that I have felt capable of visiting the various online posts that caused me to be signed off work
Oh dear, at least I did not refer to him as a Fuckwit as ‘Lardboy,’ aka Cllr Haworth, referred to me in his Chat Forum. I have also been subjected to other tasteless abuse and constant ridicule and bullying over the past year by Tim Humphrey’s forum members. He is the son of an ex-Councillor and then there was Doris Cook, Community Street Warden, employed by Melton Borough Council, who said they would investigate but have not done so. It seems it is acceptable for a person in that role to wish people were dead and the only reason they are ‘still alive is because it is illegal to kill them.’ Ex-Cllr’s Kelly and Beech have both been bullies and thugs and not forgetting ex-Cllr Mr Harrison involvement and his very recent Blog he is a very nasty man who has the press on his side as a freelance photographer for the local paper! (see www.helepender.blogspot.com) I complained about him when he was a Councillor last year and RCC Standards did nothing, he provided edited photographs of me so the forum could bully and ridicule me. I was a member of the public at the time and just because I made a complaint against the then drunk of a mayor, drinking in Cutts Close after she had bragged that she had been instrumental in making Cutts Close a ‘Designated Area’ and banned drinking in the Park! He said sorry when he was caught and it was finally proven without any doubt that it was him. His blog now proves what an empty apology that was
Mr White then goes on to The grievance relates to the following posts made online by Cllr Brookes since his election as a Town Councillor.
Saturday March 20th 2010
The blog is titled “Oakham Town Council resignations”
Cllr Brookes states that “the Town Clerk is fully aware of those involved, these people have bullied him to the extent he accuses me of bringing misery to Oakham families last week….etc”.
I have no idea who is involved in an online chat forum that contained a number of offensive messages directed at Mr Brookes as he was when these messages appeared. Cllr Brookes has been repeatedly told this but continues to believe that I was somehow involved. I would also like to state that, up until now, I have never felt that I have been bullied by any member of the Town Council, past or present or by any other person.
I have never accused Cllr Brookes of bringing misery to families. However, I did point out to him that a post he made containing completely wrong information relating to the wife of a well respected member of the community had caused them both considerable distress the blog was subsequently removed.
I often visited Mr White regarding the Rutland Chat Forum posts as a member of the public and then as a Councillor to discuss the Planet Neptune Blog. This was set up by Tim Humphreys after I exposed his members on my blog in the hope of shutting the sick vile nasty people up. Mr White would state: “Leave it with me,” many times. Posts I objected to were very quickly removed after my visits, so it is not surprising I suggest Mr White is involved. Also the failure of Oakham Town Council to respond to my freedom of information request is very clear he knows more than he admits. If the Council had done their statutory duty and provided me with copies of correspondence and emails referring to me then I might have been able to ascertain what the real state of affairs is. That they have not done so is a breach of the law. As for the Town Clerk’s denial of bullying that is his view. But it is my view he is, or was, being bullied or at the very least manipulated by ex-Councillors. My publishing this view does not mean I am bullying Mr White. I have been subjected to bullying from ex Cllr’s Beech, Kelly and Harrison and when I am told by Mr White, before the first meeting I attended, Mr Beech had popped in and asked him what he is going to do get rid of Cllr Brookes, it is hardly surprising. I believe Mr White is being bullied or manipulated by this man. He also warned me to watch out for Mr Beech at the meeting because Mr Beech had complained about five members of the Council for talking to during a presentation he made to obtain £12,000 from the council for a new boys’ club. I am pleased the council turned this application down because they did decide without a vote not to pay any grants to any organisation except Oakham in Bloom and The Carnival in which they hold a considerable interest. Also Mr White falsely accused me after my election of writing a false letter written by Nick and published in the Rutland times with no checks by the paper had brought misery to a lot of families in Oakham. He obviously denies this as he does not want to become an outcast like some of the ex Councillors feel now. I refer to bully Harrison’s email when he says just that. The history of Oakham town council shows this to be true the families or ‘firm?’ has always consisted of a very few rotten Conservative families who have always bullied people. I can only suggest it due to the bullying they were subjected to as part of their military careers. As W H Auden said: ‘those to whom evil is done do evil in return.’ I am surprised our MP puts up with them no wonder he flew out the country last week to take up his new job
As for my post containing the wrong info that was removed, this after I found the information received from a member of the public was wrong, I now wonder if I was deliberately misled? I met the people mentioned and also said sorry for my post. I understand when this man was the Town Clerk he was the last qualified person to do the job well, maybe he can come back and help us out?
He further states “I am locked out of the office”. This is absolute nonsense as Cllr Brookes is a frequent visitor and is given considerable amounts of my time to discuss various issues.
Now did I imagine the lock that is newly fitted to the office door from the Council Chamber? Each time I visit the chamber it is locked! and if I visit the reception the internal office door is shut in my face. No, I don’t think so and If I remember correctly at the planning meeting Cllr Joyce Lucas said the public did not need to know about my restricted access to the offices, even though this affects me carrying out my duties. So I don’t think I have imagined it.
Just like I imagine Mr White frequently told me I should keep my head down because some people would like to shoot it off!
He then goes onto
Friday 26th March 2010
The Blog is tilted “Oakham Town Council”
In this blog Cllr Brookes states that I told him to do as he was told and that British law does not govern what happens in the Council chamber. I completely deny making that statement.
As Mandy Rice Davis said: ‘Well he would say that wouldn’t he.’ Of course he does, he needs reminding I was objecting to the new notices asking the public not to pass notes to Councillors during meetings and the threat of exclusion of any councillor who accepted a note from a person they serve during a meeting. This had not been decided at full council and was yet another example of the Oakham Town Club he runs.
then he goes onto
Monday 29th March 2010
The blog titled “Oakham Bandstand”
This blog relates to the contract for the renovations of Oakham bandstand Cllr Brookes states that “members will remember the Town Clerk reporting this tile was no longer manufactured”
This is completely incorrect.
I said that the pitch of the roof was to shallow for the existing tiles. Members had been informed that the Conservation Officer had stated that he would not allow the pitch of the roof to be increased.
The statement about the conservation officer is completely true. This is why we were given no choice and had to go with the high priced cedar tiles. I can clearly remember asking why we could not use the same tiles in a cheaper option and being told they could not be purchased, this is why I waited to obtain a sample and went to the trouble of finding a quote?
And he goes on
Wednesday 7th April
The blog is titled “Oakham Town Council”
Cllr Brookes has asked a number of questions relating to the Council’s accounts. As e-mails show, I made an effort to explain some points to Cllr Brookes prior to the meeting. The questions were subsequently answered fully at the meeting anyway. The posting made by Cllr Brookes in which he states that he had shown my responses to “an experienced London accountant “ who described the responses as “shocking” is almost beyond belief. The fact that a genuine attempt to provide further information to a councillor was then passed on to a third party (the “ experienced London accountant” who is, unsurprisingly, not named) and that their response was then made public caused considerable distress prior to a full meeting of the Council.
I believe that in this case Cllr Brookes abused his position as a Councillor by passing my responses on which he would not have got if he was not a Councillor in the first place.
This is very shocking because in this statement Mr White suggests? he would not answer questions relating to public accounts. If a member of the public exercised their right to ask questions relating to the accounts.
The role of a Councillor is to scrutinise accounts on behalf of the public he represents. If I need informal expert opinion to do so that is surely acceptable? The accountant mentioned that he has letters after his name, unlike Mr White. I left those letters for Mr White to see so that he could see the accountant was fully qualified to make his assumption. Approaching a third party as a person who is eminently qualified does not abuse my position as a councillor, in fact it enhances it! I did not give his name because I had not been able to seek his consent as he was rather busy working at Scotland Yard at the time. Mr White appears to spend a great deal of his day looking at my blog and calling people and moaning. I question the need to have my blog and facebook forum page listed favourites on his office PC. If the Council require I can provide the following information how many times a user of that PC has visited my Blog and forum and how long is spent viewing the stats tools are wonderful we could provide them to a tribunal if needed the constant uses of the Tax payer’s money for this purpose is surely gross misconduct and would be in any other company.
Now I guess the council will purchase software to bock the IP address and provider info. Something ex Cllr Beech should have done!)
And he keeps going on
Monday 12th April 2010
This blog is headed “Oakham Town Council Clerk decides all Council matters are now private and confidential.”
This stems from a long conversation in the Town Council offices during which I expressed concern that anything that was discussed with Cllr Brookes would subsequently appear on his blog.
This does not justify everything should be marked in such a way. Also this shows clearly the disrespectful way in which Mr White speaks to me. Of course I have lodged complaints and absolutely no action has been taken. This blog is the only way to resolve issues, all other avenues having proved fruitless.
He than goes on to say
As members are aware the universal marking of all communications as “Private and Confidential” has not happened.
I am pleased he chose the sensible option although they thought to do it in the first place clearly shows they preferred secretive nature of Oakham Town Council. He did start this scheme with the draft letter to the Rutland Times. When he completely messed up the Cottesmore issue. By speaking to the BBC and they blamed us for the cancellation of the Cottesmore closure protest march. That has caused the council more damage than any of my blogging.
He then says The blog continues “As we all know when the press and public were kicked out of the meeting to discuss the bandstand, the Clerk then informed us, but not the press and public, that they could apply for the information under the Freedom or Information Act”
It is down to members as to whether the press and public are excluded and to say they were “kicked out” is a complete misrepresentation of the process involved
So how is this bullying the Clerk this my view of events. The exclusion the public who wanted to stay was unnecessary.
He continues: ‘The issue relating to disclosure of such material was detailed in a report earlier in the meeting.
This part of the meeting was public and that report is also in the minutes of the meeting.’
(this report was circulated to the public and minutes are only made public some weeks later)
It followed a seminar at the Practitioner’s Conference I attended in which it was stated that information relating to contracts could be considered privately but might also have to be disclosed under FOI. I relayed this to the meeting and also that information Commissioner’s Office would be asked for guidance as to whether the material could be released if any such request was received.
(So what is the problem? I let the public know the Council may be forced to be open! In my experience FOI requests are ignored by OTC.)
This is next section is most annoying the Town Clerk should know, he has a legal responsibility to ensure contracts are in place for any building project and to suggest the Councillors are to blame is pure incompetence. It is commonly known it is the Town Clerk’s role to implement contracts and not councillors. I suggest Mr White consults the National Association of Local Councils. His failure to implement a contract is gross misconduct and I suggest this is grounds to ask for Mr White’s resignation, It is also interesting to read the person employed by RCC is absent from work. Is Mr White not breaching this man’s confidential status by letting us know he is off? Or do we only have to take into account Mr White’s sensitivity on this sort of matter?
He says The blog continues, “private and confidential should not be used as in the case to cover up a loss of £15,000 of public money, because the Town Clerk did not check contracts correctly”
This relates to a communication sent out, which was marked Private and Confidential, regarding an invoice received from Rutland County Council for £55,00 as the Town Council’s contribution to the construction of the new toilet facility.
I think the Tax payer may not be aware although the Town paid half the cost and now lease the whole toilet block from RCC, pay full business rates and the full cleaning bills.
He then states Longer standing members were aware that this was not the sum agreed with RCC and that at no point subsequently had Oakham Town Council received any notification that its contribution would be increased.
(I think common sense should tell Mr White a builder’s quote would not be valid for 3 years)
Members were informed that the invoice had been queried . Due to the fact that both I and the relevant officer at Rutland County Council have been absent from work the issue is still under investigation.
(A lot of them are often absent)
(Here comes the most shocking part)
I have not been able to check contracts for the simple reason that the Council never requested one.
(for this reason alone the clerk should resign and Oakham Town Council should not pay this invoice. It shows the total lack of concern to protect Council Tax Payers’ money. If there is no contract between OTC and RCC then we cannot pay the money let alone the extra £15,000. I would also like to know how the council members approved the work with no contract in place. They should also resign or is it case of: ‘Oh it only £55,000 of Tax payers money it does not matter where it is spent.’
And there is more
Monday 26th April
The Blog titled “Oakham Town Councillor’s question for the next meeting”
In this Cllr Brookes states that my pay rise is “disgustingly high” This phrase has subsequently been repeated with the additional statement that I have been awarded a 10% pay rise. This is completely untrue. Members agreed to a one point incremental increase as per my contract following a recommendation by the Staffing Committee.
(A staffing committee made up his friends at the time mainly ex Cllr’s and now of course Cllr Dewis as Chairman. Mr White has never explained his contract nor has any other member of the council explained it to me just like the assistant clerks, I am excluded from any of its content. As an elected Councillor I am entitled to this information this right is ignored, so I blog it. As for the 10% pay rise that was a rough guess after looking at the schedule of payments in the accounts that can be inspected by the public at anytime. Up to the 15th March the Clerk was paid each month £2,040.47 after this he is paid considerably more. If the amount of increase was 10% it would be around £2,244.51 the actual payment is considerably higher. If one is excluded from information, which one should have access to, then the only way to make that deficit of information good is to blog and try to get the information by other means. The new take home pay is greater than 10% so perhaps to say it is disgusting is not OTT. Particularly when we have people losing their jobs and homes at a time when the increasingly poorer tax payer is expected to foot this wage bill. This is Oakham, with a population of 10,000, not a city. My calculator suggests the take home pay has increased to 25% +). However without being given access to the information I cannot find out what the local tax payer is paying.
(A member of the public thought we were paying Mr White to have an extended holiday over the last month they told me he had tree surgeons kill all the trees in his garden and he has worked hard renovating the whole garden. The Saturday I called around to see Mr White he was happy to speak to me about the bandstand site break in after Cllr Dewis told me he was not interested in the breaking and entering of the bandstand site. I, reluctantly, thought the matter was serious enough to speak to Mr White, he told me it was O.K. to speak to him outside work. I find this strange. If he is stressed because of me why would this be OK outside work but not at work. Unless of course the Town Clerk’s allegation against me is something he is being reluctantly encouraged to make to meet a political agenda. I feel Mr White is supporting Cllr Dewis and his thugs with his campaign of bullying against me. Mr White needs to get on with the job he is paid to do and not involve himself with the Conservatives who largely make up the Town Council. As Ms May observed, this does tend to be the ‘nasty Party.’ I have no political allegiances and am truly independent.
When this was approved Cllr Brookes was not yet a member of the Council. My contract of employment was explained to Cllr Brookes at some length when he called into the Town Council offices. This information was given freely because Cllr Brookes is a member of the Council and such is my employer.
(this line is important because Mr White has always denied that I was his employer)
The information would not have been given to a member of the public. So why does he then feel that it is appropriate for such a private document to be discussed in such a public manner?
(I have never seen Mr Whites Contract of Employment and to be fair, until last week I have never requested to see it, although I would like to know precisely what he is being paid. Although it does not surprise me he does not want the public to see his contract. After he told me about his pension arrangements, The Local Government Act only permits Councils to contribute into the local government pension schemes, Mr White chose not to join this scheme, it is illegal for the Town Council to pay into a private scheme so they give Mr White a payment to cover this ‘loss,’ in his own words, the figure is around £5,000 a year. Mr Pook at RCC Legal Department says this may not be wrong. If that is the case I suggest anyone who is lucky enough to have a company pension scheme these days asks their employer to stop paying into to it and pay them the money instead, I don’t think you will get much joy there. Maybe RCC staff should give it a try.)
Once again, this is an example of Cllr Brookes abusing his position as a councillor and also disclosing confidential information.
(how is that so I have not been shown any confidential documents so I have not abused my position as a Councillor. I share the pension matter as I believe it is in the tax payers’ interest to expose this illegal use of tax payer’s money. This anomalous state of affairs regarding Richard White’s pension is specifically precluded by legislation, notwithstanding Mr Pook’s rather hazy direction. Perhaps we should also take a closer look at his expenses. I notice from the schedule of payments these can be as much as I have to live on as a job seeker.)
(How Can Mr White complain about me publishing a question - the very same questions the Council publishes along with answers in its minutes, which are a public document?)
Tuesday 27th April
Cllr Brookes says “The Town Clerk is taking sick leave it is looking highly likely this could be long term” My personal health is a matter between myself and my employers, namely Oakham Town Council and I feel it is completely inappropriate for it to be revealed to the wider public.
Why? Mr White is employed by the public. This complaint against me is not justified, in fact it has elements which are politically inspired by members of the Council who are predominantly Tory. I did not disclose his Medical condition if I had stated he was brain damaged that may have given him reason to complain.
Thursday 29th April
This blog is titled “Oakham Town Council extra meeting”
“it is looking more likely the Town Clerk has taken long term sick route or he has resigned who knows? Not me I am Only a Councillor”
Once more I consider this to be highly inappropriate I contacted the head of legal services at RCC regarding this post. He agreed that the post was not appropriate and contact Cllr Brookes asking for this to be removed.
To my knowledge this was ignored.
(I was not asked to remove the post it was suggest I did not published the clerk’s medical condition as I had not done this I decided the post was O.K. After all I had only posted my speculation based on the agenda content. All other Councillors knew the reason for Mr White’s absence before this meeting, I was only told as I turned up. I have an independent witness who is willing to testify that Cllrs Haworth and Dewis appeared to try to use this complaint in order to ensure I could no longer be a representative Councillor. The Clerk’s complaint had not been investigated, action was being taken against me without disclosing what the Clerk’s complaint was and when I asked at the meeting what the state of the Clerk’s health was I was told that question was not suitable for discussion. So to have an ‘in camera’ meeting, supposedly to protect the Clerk’s privacy was unnecessary, since at no point did the meeting allow discussion of the Clerk’s reason for his absence. At this meeting the six-month rule was broken regarding proposals, by discussing and voting twice on my exclusion from the Council offices, when the first proposal was rejected - (Standing Order 35.) After the second proposal was put by Cllr Dewis and (illegally) passed, Mr Dewis succeeded in obstructing me by restricting my access to the Council office. Cllr Joyce Lucas gave me the most revolting and disgusting kiss after members forced me to sit and listen to them accusing me of being a bully. This kiss came at the end of a meeting in which she had said at the beginning: ‘It’s Councillor Lucas to you, not Joyce.’ Cllr Charles Haworth suggested I could go on and bully the Assistant Clerk Allison Greaves, whom I have a very cordial and friendly relationship with. When I objected by calling him nasty Cllr Dewis tried to call for a vote to exclude me in the same way he shamefully threatened me with a vote of ‘co confidence’ in front of the large group of public who attended the planning meeting last week(26 May).
He then goes onto
The blog is titled “Oakham Town Council Audit”
In this Cllr Brookes states that “I had concerns regarding the award of a £30,000 contract. The contract had only two tenders invited by the Town Clerk both almost the same and one not itemised.”
Oh yes, I remember this my first meeting It was suggested by a member at this meeting I did not raise my concerns so I used my blog and reported that member to standards.
As members were, four companies were invited to tender and these companies were approved by Council at a previous meeting. Adverts were also placed in the local press.
(One small advert placed in the Rutland Times, more people read my blog than they do that paper, it’s so bad even I can correct its mistakes)
he goes on the Town Council notice boards and on its website. The council only received two tenders
(The law requires three but then the law does not apply to this council. Surely the parish council ought to have sought another tender?)
The Clerk checked with two other companies invited and they both confirmed that they had received the invitation to tender. That they chose not to tender was a matter for them and not the council.
(I am no expert but does the clerk normally write in the third person? This bears out my conjecture that this letter was written in order to pursue a vendetta against me, rather than address any real concerns of the town clerk. I suggest the Clerk did not write this letter and it is the work of another person with a hidden agenda. Surely the writer would use ‘I’ not ‘the Clerk’)
Anyway he then goes onto a visit I made to his office regarding information I received and he reacted in a very threatening if not disturbing manner.
Cllr Brookes continues, “After this I received an e-mail from a member of the public. I have shared this with the Town clerk. He is very angry and on three times he has demanded I give him details of the sender (once in his words, I am asking nicely). It is clear the author of the e-mail knows the Town Clerk, the Town Clerk’s over reaction suggests to me he has something to hide”
(the next section I will leave out because it contains details of Mr White’s personal family background and this is not about Mr White’s family. I will stress I refused to give the details of the sender because it could have been a made up name, could have been deliberately sent to me as false information, which I needed to check or an innocent person could have been subjected to the anger of Mr White. As was the case of the respectable family he mentioned earlier in his letter. The person surely does know his family to be able to provide so much detail and history. I did not know anything about them before I had received the e-mail. I often receive emails from the public I can’t act on because they wont give their name and address. Recently I received an email to tell me they can’t understand why Cllr Alf Dewis is homophobic after all his daughter is divorced and apparently bats first on the LGBT wicket, perhaps he objects? I am not saying it’s true. But it could explain his bitterness towards me. If the author of that e-mail is correct)
in summary Mr White goes on to say:
As members are aware I was signed off by my GP for two weeks because of stress at work and returned to work on Monday 17th 2010. This entirely stems from the activities of Cllr Brookes. No other member is implicated. Cllr Brookes is evidently of the view that the role of the Town Clerk is an easy target for his malicious and wilfully incorrect statements. Since his election he has constantly sought to undermine me through his blog and has twisted the truth on many occasions to further this aim.
Cllr Brookes has repeatedly stated that his blog is private yet he continued to post information that was only obtained because of his privileged position as a member of the Oakham Town Council
(I am sorry privileged! This is a joke they won’t even tell me how much the assistant clerk is paid in a private meeting and I am still waiting to receive the requested appendices from the last staffing meeting). Furthermore the Clerk was insistent when very personal attacks were made against me by members of the then Council that their comments on the Chat Forum were conducted in their private capacity.
he goes on This was either through conversations with myself in the office or via e-mails sent to me by members. This is compounded by the fact that his version this information is frequently, as identified above, both misleading and inaccurate and in some case a gross intrusion into my private life.
(that reminds me of the time old mum and dad sorry Cllr’s Dewis and Lucas reprimanded me for holding my birthday party in a gay bar. Although both now deny this Cllr Lucas confirmed to a friend that she had discussed this with me and said: ‘Well - it had to be said.’ I did not realise how bigoted people could be in 2010 now that is a gross intrusion into my private life by Councillors)
Cllr Brookes has also been given a copy of Standards for England’s Guidance on the use of the internet by Councillors. Perhaps he should read it.
(Well to be exact he removed it from a report prepared by Mr Pook attached to a Standard Meeting Agenda and I did read the guidance and I don’t breach anything because the blog is my private blog. I was frequently told, when facing an onslaught of attack by local Councillors and their chums on the Rutland Chat Forum by the Town Clerk that what Councillors published in their private capacity was ‘private.’ There is so much one can do in their private life you can get blind drunk and cause a disturbance outside a night club. Of course my blog could not be considered anything like that sort of behaviour. Mr White always told me the Cllr’s who were members of the forum were acting in their private capacity. These Chat Forum comments were very nasty. Although the Clerk agreed that the content was nasty he told me not to look. So I stopped. The filth and offensive material was then posted on my flickr site and on my new forum. Since I was able to identify at least one Council member they started to behave, except for the hate mail, delivered through my door and porn sent via the mail and on my Flickr site. Cllr Fillingham’s friend then physically assaulted me, Ex Cllr Jim Harrison set up his own blog to attack me. I looked once but don’t bother now so maybe if Mr White does not like my blog then he too should not look at it)
My accusations of bullying stem only from Cllr Brookes online activities and I must state that I have never felt intimidated by Cllr Brookes whilst he is in the office.
(if this is the case why is Cllr Dewis so hell bent on excluding me from the office and obstructing my work as a councillor? He and other councillors often have the freedom of the office. I must say I often feel intimidated after a visit to the office.)
He then goes on to however, it is my view that these very frequent and, occasionally, lengthy visits to the office have obviously been with the ultimate purpose of obtaining information that can be used against me.
(I will use one word to describe that last sentence: ‘paranoia.’ If the Town Clerk were not so busy engaging in games against me with current and ex-councillors he would perhaps have been able to carry out his duties more effectively too.)
I believe that there is a clear and sustained pattern of harassment and bullying online and that it is in clear contravention of the provisions of the Health and Safety at Work Act 1984 and the various Employment Acts.
(I suggest Mr White contacts his union and stops taking advice from Cllr Alf Dewis. And as his employer I suggest we don’t wish to contravene Mr Whites Health and Safety at Work Act 1984 and we block all access to social networking and blogs on from the Council’s computers. Job Links and the employment service use a very simple piece of software to block access.)
Mr White refers to my aims. Well at least I have some, unlike the council who said they don’t, in answer to one of my recent questions
My aim is stop the council looking like the farce it showed itself to be before the general public on 26th May. Members of the public were so shocked at proceedings which they witnessed in the Council Chamber last week that it was described as a ‘farce’ - their words not mine.
If the Council can’t change then it should go, I have made no secret of that.
The assistant Clerk observed quite kindly the other day that I appear to want to carry out my role as a councillor, but because I get stopped in my tracks I get angry and seem intent on destroying the council. I think that clearly shows my aim. If I can’t carry out my duties to serve my ward then I will seek the abolition of this parish council.
What I find shocking is the hold embedded Councillors seem to have over the community. One resident and trader told me after last week’s meeting (26 May) what a farce it was, ‘I am going to write to the paper, but I have to be careful because, you only have to walk into my shop and I will lose 20 customers.’
I hope the residents of Penn Street and Brook Road do write to the paper with their views and the paper prints them before Cllr Lucas asks Gary not to publish.
Of course they can always send them to me and I can publish them on my blog, they will get more exposure.
Just to finish many thanks to Councillor Lucas for blocking my recent job application. I heard that an email I’d sent applying for a shop manager’s job, on the site of the old public toilets, had never been received by the person in charge of engaging new staff. I was then told that an email had been sent inviting me for interview – that email was never received.
Yes I am getting used to the fact, Cllr Lucas meant what she said to me last year: “You will never work in Rutland”
Just for the public record I don’t get paid a penny for being a Councillor and my sole aim is to protect the council tax payers’ money. Here in Rutland the Council Tax bill is the highest in the England. The people of Oakham entrust this Town Council with its money, not by choice, they pay the highest parish contribution in Rutland. 65% is spent on administration.
This year a budget has been set for Salaries and National Insurance of £48,000. Even if this figure includes the employer’s contributions and The Assistant Clerks Salary the budget is pure fantasy.
Martin Brookes Oakham E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
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