The minutes of council meetings must be published. There have been several complaints sent in to this website that the New Mills town council official website - where its minutes are published - is not up to date.
We have deferred publication of the above complaints to give the council the opportunity to bring its website up to date. There have been legitimate reasons for these unfortunate delays, during the recent full-blown town hall crisis.
At the time of this article, there are now only two town council meetings whose minutes are not yet on the NMTC official website. When these two sets of minutes are posted there, the council’s website will be back up to date.
The two meetings with missing minutes are 9 September and 12 August 2013.
This has been the most sensational year in the long history of the New Mills local council. The year started with a dishonest town clerk firmly running matters inside the council offices. Her main weapons to control town councillors and keep the town clerk job had been as follows:
Firstly, to ensure she made friends with whoever was chair of the council. Secondly, to play councillor factions off against each other (‘divide and rule’). Thirdly, to rely on councillors not being willing to check up on or challenge her statements. Fourthly, to rely on there being enough weak, inadequate, or dishonest councillors sitting on the council.
The name of the dishonest town clerk was Susan Stevens, now dismissed. Her main protector on the town council was Cllr Alistair Stevens, her husband. Susan Stevens also had a long-term hold over dishonest Labour Party councillor Ian Huddlestone, who had asked her to deliberately lie to his fellow councillors for him.
It was only when this conspiracy - between Susan Stevens and Ian Huddlestone - was broken, and bad councillors then ran away from their responsibilities by resigning, that the moves were set in motion by good, decent town councillors to thoroughly repair and rehabilitate this council.
First the repair and rehabilitation of the council’s processes and activities. This is the stage we are at now.
Then, in an entirely natural consequence of the above, the restoration of the town council’s previous good reputation will happen over time.
This good reputation had been in place all the way from 1894 up to the summer of 2002. This is well over a century.
However, by the summer of 2002, the town council had become controlled by the local Labour Party. With their corruption and dishonest antics, some of the local Labour Party councillors have brought shame on the name of the town of New Mills
So long as the council reforms now continue as they have started, a new period of good reputation for the town council and the town may be dated from 2014 into the future.
In the last few months, many important decisions have been taken by good councillors, and the majority of decisions have been got absolutely right.
The next critical decisions are the permanent appointments (after probationary periods) of the new Responsible Financial Officer and Proper Officer/Town Clerk.
Unlike in the summer of 2002, the posts will be publicly advertised for candidates, rather than well-paid public sector jobs just being given out 'on the nod' by a dishonest Labour councillor.