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Wednesday, 12 May 2010

Town Council Meeting tonight 12th May 2010. Public attendance welcome


It appears that George Swiffin is being wheeled into the Town Council meeting tonight. I meticulously looked at previous minutes and noted down absences of both Mrs Fillingham and George Swiffin. Today I was told that there was a meeting of the Town Council on 16th December 2009. These minutes were not there when I went in to consult the minutes. They now are!

I hope Councillors are aware that tampering and fraudulently altering Council documents is severely punishable, as is aiding and abetting the crime?

Is anyone able to let me know if Mr Swiffin was in hospital on 16th December 2009?

I have sent the following email to Mr Pook today and visited him with evidence that the attendance register was not signed either by Mrs fillingham or Mr Swiffin on 16th December 2010. Yet the now 'found' minutes show both were present. Quelle suprise?

The following is a copy of my email to Mr Pook:

Flag this messageSwiffin seatWednesday, 12 May, 2010 13:21
From: "Helen Pender" View contact detailsTo: GPook@xxxxxxxxx: "Martin XXXXXXXX" Dear Mr Pook

I visited the Town Council offices and asked to see the minutes of meetings to check the attendance record of Councillors Fillingham and Swiffin. I copied these down meticulously and was told - when I asked about a December meeting missing from the file - that the December meeting was cancelled. I was also told there was not register of attendance and I would have to look through the files of minutes.

I have just visited the offices and been shown a copy of minutes dated 16th December 2010. These were not there when I last attended and I specifically asked about the meeting and was told it had been cancelled.

I copied the following down:

Attendance record of Cllrs Swiffin and Fillingham:


7 Oct 2009 Fillingham – present

Swiffin - absent

4 Nov 2009 Fillingham - absent

Swiffin - present

2 Dec 2009 Fillingham – present

Swiffin - absent

13 Jan 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

3 Feb 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

3 March 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin – absent

7 April 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

5 May 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent


21 October 2009 Fillingham – present

Swiffin - absent

18 November 2009 Fillingham – present

Swiffin - absent

I questioned why no December minutes and both Joyce and Alison said December meeting was cancelled.

27 January 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

17 February 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

17 March 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

April 2010 Fillingham – absent

Swiffin - absent

Helen Pender


It would be lovely if members of the public attended the meetings tonight at both 6 and 7 pm in Victoria Hall.

About 25% of the total £200,000 spend is disbursed in salaries (£47,000) and an ex gratia payment (£2,500) made to the Mayor - who hasn't been present at public meetings at all during 2010. Are we getting value for money? I doubt it. The Town Clerk has failed to interpret standing orders correctly and seems to ride rough shod over procedures. He now claims he is being bullied and is trying to take the Council to the cleaners, presumably because one Councillor has been asking entirely pertinent questions.

It would be far cheaper and effective to abolish the Council altogether. The Council appears to be a little comfy clique of old stagers who are outraged at having their cosy little coterie upset by those wanting to have things done properly. If anyone wants to propose a motion to abolish the Council altogether I will support them.


This Council has indeed sat too long. £200,000 is spent in your name as local tax payers; 25% of which is largely spent on an inefficient and incompetent Town Clerk whose absence has ensured that the Office has been run more smoothly by his underpaid and under appreciated Assistant Clerk. She is beset by the interference of pfaffing aged Councillors, who refused me a copy of the Standing Orders, promising to post them instead. How the poor Assistant Clerk manages to get anything done as these increasingly stupid Councillors insist on 'helping' and merely add to the stresses of the day by hindering is beyond me. Frankly the underpaid and under appreciated Assistant Clerk has the patience of Job, the wisdom of Solomon and the psyche of a Saint. She has had to tread a very fine line and has done so with aplomb.

Luckily Mrs Stokes of Democratic Services will be there to advise her today.

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