28 January 2015

4AllOfUs: A Statement

Some unsolicited, anonymous comments have been received over the last few days about a limited company and a businessman who lives locally.

Some of the comments were attacking the company and some were in favour of the company.

The vast majority of the comments did not name anybody, or name any company, as the subject of their comment.

Some comments were of an anonymous 'poison pen' variety.

Indeed, HPT readers complained that this whole affair was anonymised in the comments and  that it was impossible to tell who was being criticised or praised or either.

Yesterday Scott Buckler, a director of 4 All Of Us, got in touch with HPT and self-identified that he thought it was his company which was being attacked, and that if that was the case then it was unfair and wholly unsubstantiated criticism, and that on that basis it should be removed.

As soon as the real situation has been made clear to us, we have happily and immediately removed all of the complained-of correspondence etc on this subject from HPT.

We are delighted to make it totally clear that there is no question or implication of any impropriety whatsoever on the part of anyone connected with 4allofus.org.uk, the limited company of that name, or Scott Buckler.

We don't accept that any of this matter would give rise to a justifiable cause of legal action.  However, if any distress has been caused as a result of this matter then we apologise sincerely and unreservedly.

We are grateful that this briefly-arising situation has been brought to our attention so that it could be promptly dealt with.

27 January 2015

Oil On Troubled Water. Hopefully.

The following email, which has been verified as genuine, has today been received by High Peak Transparency from Scott Buckler of 4AllOfUs.Org.UK

It addresses and settles some of the recent unsolicited comments* in the public comments area of this site:

"I was contacted today by Lynn Bannister regarding a post on your blog site- http://highpeaktransparency.blogspot.co.uk/

"Please be assured I never wrote that post at 21.34 on 24th January. I am absolutely furious and upset that someone has done this but be assured it is not me.

"I am working closely with Lynn, who is behind the festival, on a number of community events and we have no issues between each other. I think what Lynn and the committee does is excellent and fully support this and all other events in New Mills.

"I run a Ltd Company operating as a social enterprise. We aim to support young people in the High Peak via platforms and events such as CAN Inspire and The Teenage Markets. We re-invest a percentage of our profits taken from our core events and consultant business and re-invest into projects supporting young people, health and environment.

"I admire your blog after reading it and it is something that supports transparency so keep up the good work."

* subsequently deleted.  See the following article, dated 28 January 2015

14 January 2015

Today, a rare picture inside HPT offices for our loyal readers... 

“Whoever would overthrow the liberty of a nation must begin by subduing the freeness of speech.”  - Benjamin Franklin

Back soon with more news of local politics goings-on

11 January 2015

Document of Record: Tapegate Audio Recording In Full

So that all interested parties can see for themselves that the Tapegate transcripts published on High Peak Transparency are as accurate as the technology allows, we now publish below the link to the original unedited recording.

The recording took place between 9:00 and 10:00 in the morning of 16 April 2013.  The recording location was the offices of the town hall in New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire.

Upon listening to the recording, if any person is able to improve or fill in any of the gaps in HPT's published written transcript then please email us direct on highpeaktransparency@btconnect.com

If proposing any changes to the written transcript, please be sure to state at what time during the recording the suggested improvement takes place.  (hour : minute : seconds)

Warning:  The link below is to a recording that contains explicit language which some may find offensive.

If you are offended by swearing and explicit language then do NOT listen to this recording.

Link to Tapegate recording:


31 December 2014

Tapegate, Part Nine. In Which A Conscious Decision Is Made To Keep The Truth From Their Employer

Dramatis personae for Part Nine:

Mrs Susan Stevens (Town Clerk of New Mills and Responsible Financial Officer to New Mills Town Council  2002-2013)

Mrs Marie Dudley (Office worker at New Mills town hall - a subordinate of Mrs Stevens)


Continued from Tapegate Part Eight (previous article)

(Phone ringing)

SS  I was dreaming…I was dreaming…

MD  Where were you?  Caribbean.

SS  That we’d won… that we’d won the lottery…

MD  (Answering phone)  Morning New Mills Town Council.  (Pause)  Well I'm the administrator for the centre, yeah.  (Pause)  Erm probably, but I'm just about to go into a meeting with the clerk at the moment.  Could you ring me back at another time.  Ver’ busy at the moment.  Erm, we don’t really have any personnel it’s all volunteers.  Er poss…  Yeah… you’ll just have to just keep trying me really.  Alright.  Sometimes I'm here and sometimes I'm at the Centre, so…  Er Marie Dudley.  Yeah that’s fine.  All right thank you, bye.

SS  What was that?  (laughing)

MD  I don’t know, some crap about the Heritage Centre personnel resources… quiz (laughs)  Some survey they’re doing.


MD  I can’t believe that she thinks we’re gonna… about this

SS  I know

MD  So did they say you've to tell me or not?

(Sound of drink being stirred)

SS  Yeah

MD  Right.  So I am legally… knowing

(Sound of drink being stirred)

SS  I mean… I just.. Oh… I just despise them.  (Adopts pompous, mocking tone of voice) ‘Do you not see how this looks?’  And then Lance

MD  It didn't until you brought it up, to the public

SS  Exactly.  And Lance is going it’s in Part Two anyway.  But it’s still gonna be on the… on the minutes, isn't it…

MD  yeah

SS  And Lance is going  (Adopts pompous, mocking tone of voice) ‘What relation is... is it cousin?’  And I thought you know fucking damn well what relation it is.

MD  Oh

SS  So I said “He’s her father-in-law”


SS  And they’re all like ‘Oh’


SS  I thought I'm not giving you the satisfaction of thinking it’s Mark.  You can fuck off you bastards.

MD  I need to tell Mark and Martin that ‘I went through Martin.  He was the boss of the firm as far as this lot’s concerned’

SS  (Laughs)  Yeah, yeah


SS  Bastards aren't they

MD  I just think it’s fucking laughable that she thinks we’re going to fall out over it

(SS cackles)

MD  Does she not realise we’re not going to go like this:  (shrieking) “Ooh they’re going to get us!”  Does she not realise that…

SS  Shut us down for two years and we’re not… and that’s it.  We've just got to ride these bastards out.  Alistair’s coming off all the committees.  I'm coming off the bonfire (inaudible) …treasurer for the bonfire.  I'm doing nothing now.  I'm not doing food at the annual meeting...

MD  No.  ‘Cos they don’t appreciate it.  They just query it, why are we spending all this…

SS  No… (inaudible)

MD  So when they query it and say ‘why haven’t they…’

SS  Where’s the wine?

MD  Where’s the wine and food?

(Note:  These "where's the wine? etc " comments are the two employees giving their imitation of councillors after the town council annual meetings, not the two employees literally intending to start on the bottle at coming up to ten in the morning on a supposedly working day)

(Both talking at once.  Incomprehensible)

SS  Oh I didn't realise you wanted it

MD  They haven’t had a meeting to discuss it and ask us to order it so…

SS  And every fucking thing now, that they need to buy, that… That’s what I said.  I'm not going over spend.  Like this, like this bench.  No, no, Stephen, don’t buy it.  And we’ll have to check with them that they’re all right (inaudible) what did they say, over thirty quid?

MD  Over thirty quid

SS  I think it was another thirty quid

MD  Let’s see how long it takes them before they’re bored of us keep emailing them, and ringing, then they’re here till eleven o'clock at night discussing what they can and can not spend

SS  Spend.  Mmm

(Sound of teaspoon going down)

MD  We need some new paper in the office.  Oh right, how much are you ordering, five boxes.  Right, er what do you need it for.  Well we’ll need it for your next agenda

SS  Agenda, yeah

MD  Otherwise, we can’t print it off.  Can we come and have a look how many you've got.  Yeah by all means come and have a look but you need to be making a decision otherwise there’ll be no letters and no agendas going out (laughs)

(Sound of keyboard tapping)

MD  I can’t believe what (inaudible) they are.  I really can’t.  But they’re not ringing up are they?

SS  No

MD  Have you noticed the phones have gone very quiet and none of them ring up do they?

SS  Yeah

(Sound of keyboard tapping)

MD  Was Gwyn there?

SS  Yeah

MD  Did she speak?

SS  Erm, she was saying, she was saying, she was talking to Alistair and at the end Alistair said, he said ‘I don’t know how she does this, I don’t know how she copes with these situations to, you know, to the degree that she does.  (Whispering)  They’re not interested, they’re truly not interested.

MD  They’re not.  The only thing they’re interested in is (inaudible)  But the thing is, they just need to realise that at some point they are the ones (inaudible)


MD  Hello Kevin, you all right?

(Sound of male voice)

MD  Erm, they should be here by ten.

(Sound of telephone being dialled)

SS  I’ll just send this and then I’ll…

MD  … in the waiting room, all right

SS  I’ll hang on for this guy now, and then I might go home.  I am going to go to the doctors, and just see what they say.

MD  Take a photocopy of your prescription so you can say ‘this is what you tossers have done to me’

SS  (on phone)  What, what, how much more was this picnic table, thirty quid?

(Sound of cups and drinks etc)

SS  (talking on phone)  Well you've got four hundred and fifty.  Oh, four forty five.  Right, okay.  Right okay, no problem.  Another forty quid.  Yeah, yeah.  All right, brill.  Yeah.  See you in a bit.  Bye, bye.

SS (to MD)  Where’s he gone now?  Thought he were in the building.

MD  Who?  No, he drove off

(Sound of cups and drinks etc)

MD  So are these union reps any good or are they just bag of shit?

SS  I don’t know

(Sound of cups and drinks etc)

MD  They just want naming and shaming these tossers

SS  I know


(Phone rings)

MD  Good morning New Mills town council.  Hiya, all right?  Well.  In… in soul.  (laughs) She’s here in body she’s not here officially.  We’re just talking.  She’s all right.  But she’s not here to work, so…  (pause)  She’s not here if anybody rings for her.  All right.  Yeah, yeah, she’s going ‘ome when she’s spoke to this bloke now… she’s chillin’, she’s all right.  (laughs)  All right then.  See you later.  Right, bye.

SS  Who was that?

MD  Ian

SS  What did he say?

MD  Has she gone home?


(Sound of town hall clock hour chimes:  10:00 a.m.)

(Mrs Susan Stevens switches off the recorder)

(End of Tapegate Transcripts)

29 December 2014

Tapegate, Part Eight. It's Official: Hell Freezes Over

Dramatis personae for Part Eight:

Mrs Susan Stevens (Town Clerk of New Mills and Responsible Financial Officer to New Mills Town Council  2002-2013)

Mrs Marie Dudley (Office worker at New Mills town hall and subordinate of Mrs Stevens)


Continued from Tapegate Part Seven  (previous article)

MD  What really, really, really pisses me off is that this would never have been brought back to light had all those problems not arisen with the cottage and all the…

SS  I know, I know.

MD  It just wouldn't… it’d have gone through, as a figure, like it normally does and they've only questioned it because they've already discussed it… (inaudible)

SS  Exactly, exactly.  It’s so annoying.  It’s so annoying.

MD  The only reason it’s been picked up on is because…

SS  Have we got all the weddings on…(inaudible)… any missing

MD  They’re all there, what’s in that diary (inaudible) …they haven’t given us

SS  Lance.  He says ‘I know nothing… I know nothing about these… these conversations.  And, er.... er… ‘Cos I said ‘I know about all these emails flying backwards and forwards behind my back.  So don’t think I don’t.  And he’s going ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about’.  And he sent me an email saying ‘I don’t know what… I re-iterate I do not know what…’  I said I have a copy of an email that says… that would indicate otherwise… So I've got that email, that she’s sent to him.  And he hasn't let me know that it’s come in.

MD  No.  And he’s supposed to

SS  Mmm

(Both talking at once)

SS   …I've got my union representative coming tomorrow morning and until after… and I will not be speaking on this matter again until I've spoken to my union representative.

MD  But this Personnel Sub-committee, who is going to that?

SS  Don’t know…no idea, because…

MD   Are they wanting this breakdown by then?

SS  Yeah

MD  Maybe… I think that’s why I should email the councillors now and say I will get you the information that you've requested

SS  Well have a word with Alistair and we’ll… we’ll get it right.


SS  I'm… I'm… I'm quite happy to say I think you’re all a bunch of fuckers at the moment

MD  Say it to their face, don’t (inaudible)

(SS and MD inaudible)

SS  I said I'm gonna get… I gonna get Ja… our James to post something to that fucking woman, and I'm gonna fuck… you are an evil evil evil cow.  With fat ankles  (MD cackles)  And I said…and I didn't download Ding Dong The Witch Is Dead when Margaret Thatcher died.  But when you die, I will (incomprehensible) 

(MD laughs)

SS  All in bits off the Manchester Evening News.  Alistair’s like that…

(SS does impression of Alistair Stevens.  SS and MD laughing and cackling)

(MD and SS talking at once, incomprehensible)

MD  I've thought about sending stuff from here before now… and I thought just my luck they’d have it investigated…

SS  Investigated

(SS and MD talking at once)

MD  …same paper… and that typeface off this computer and a phone on it somewhere…

SS  I know, I know.  Oh God

MD  I just want them to ring up to speak to me now, because…

SS  I said I will never, ever, ever, speak to that Lance Dowson again.  Ever.  And Alistair’s going… (incomprehensible words but impression of Alistair Stevens)  I’ll do it.  I'm not speaking to him again.  I will not…

MD  You give him short shrift when he walks in anyway (inaudible) …blunt and walk past him

SS  Because he knows exactly what’s been going on.  They’re like a double act, him and Andy BowersAlistair... (whispering)

MD  I need to find them invoices tonight.  And I need to have a look how much… how much erm… how much er… (inaudible) …find the invoices.

SS  Just put in for… every... fucking screw that he used, every…

MD  Yeah

SS  Yeah

(Sound of bells chiming three quarters to the hour:  9:45 a.m.)

MD  You know… if I can (inaudible) …I’ll print the invoices off… (inaudible)  let (inaudible) know they’re having this meeting

SS  …fuck off… (inaudible) get ourselves organised and then… I mean, luckily we've got Ian and Ray on that Personnel Sub-committee.

MD  Why is it Personnel Sub-committee?  What’s that got to do with a fucking bridge?

SS  God fucking knows.  ‘Cos, it’s… ‘cos they think they’re going to discipline me.  I went, I went…

MD  Oh right.  It’s aimed at… is this aimed at you, this Personnel Sub-committee

SS  Oh yeah, yeah.  So, that’s when Alistair said, well is Susan… do you want the clerk to mention this to Marie?  And they’re like… Er… And they didn't know what to say.  And then… (inaudible)

MD  Are you not supposed to mention it to me?

SS  …and this is when… Well that’s exactly right isn't it… and then I realise that she’s trying to split… trying to cause a division.  ‘Cos she said erm well… er… you can’t have… are you both in Unison?  So I looked at her I said… she said…  Because you can’t have erm… you can’t have… er… a disagreement between two people and be represented by the same union.  And I thought why is this a disagreement?  What are you saying here?

MD  Disagreement between who?

SS  (quickly) I don’t know

MD  Me and you?

SS  Yeah

MD  They’re having a fucking laugh aren't they?

SS  (incomprehensible)

MD  Fucking hell would freeze over before I’d (inaudible) with that lot

SS  I just thought ‘Oh my God’

MD  I’d rather lose my job

(The telephone rings)

28 December 2014

Tapegate, Part Seven. In which Councillor Stevens Phones Town Clerk Mrs Stevens. And Vice Versa

Dramatis personae for Part Seven:

Mrs Susan Stevens (Town Clerk of New Mills and Responsible Financial Officer to New Mills Town Council  2002-2013)

Stephen Lewis (Parks Manager employed by New Mills town council)

Mrs Marie Dudley (Office worker at New Mills town hall)

Councillor Alistair Stevens (A very lengthy part, but by telephone only)

A Delivery Man


Continued from Tapegate Part Six (previous article)

(The phone rings)

MD  Good morning, New Mills Town Council.  (Laughs.  Laughs again)  I’ll put you through

SL (inaudible)

SS  Who is it?  Who is it?

MD  It’s a c**nting bastard councillor on the phone (laughs)

SS  (laughs)  Hello  (laughs)

(MD can be heard laughing in the background)

SS  I'm going ‘ome.  I'm going ‘ome.  Ian’s… Ian’s told me to go ‘ome.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  He just said ‘Oh are you still here then.’  I said ‘just about’ and then I just burst into tears.  I said they were absolutely appalling last night.  I said I've got a union rep coming to see me today and I said I just can’t do this any more Ian.  I said I don’t know what… I just don’t know what… So he’s going to phone you.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Ian

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  So I think… I think more emails got bandied about yesterday.  There must have been.  I said…

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

MD  Ask him does he think it’s a good idea or a bad idea for me to email the councillors

SS  Marie wants to email the councillors saying she thinks it’s appalling that they’re…  do you think that’s a good idea?

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  She wants to email and say… (to MD)  What do you want to do?

MD  They’re accusing me of bringing my family in to do work at over-priced rates and stuff

SS  (To AS) That’s what she… yeah.  Hang on a minute.  Oh, oh right, yeah, sorry.

(Puts the phone down)

SS  Cheapskate bastard’s only got a pay…

(MD laughs)

SS  …pay-as-you-go phone

(MD and SS both laugh)

(Sound of office telephone being dialled)

SS  (makes a whooping and laughing sound)  No, I know.  Right.  Ooh my God.  Brilliant.  How’ve you found that out?

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah.  Yeah.  She wants to… she wants to email all the councillors saying she thinks it’s appalling that sh... erm… she’s being accused of bringing her family in to do work for the council at over-inflated prices.  You know: 'This wasn't the case at all'.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Effect… eff... I’ll put you through to him.  I’ll put you through to her…

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah.  yeah.  Right.

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Right.  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.  I know.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah, yeah.  All right.  Yeah.  Yeah, I will, I will.

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Well I've just… we've just been a talking, and Stephen and Marie have said they’ll come in and explain how Peter was.  And that Peter wouldn't tell you when there was a problem, until it suited him.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Stephen is going to do that.  I said ‘cos if…

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

(MD talks to someone who’s just come into the town hall entrance corridor)

MD  Hello.  They won’t be here yet… probably.  They don’t start ‘till ten.  (inaudible)  There’s nobody here yet… (inaudible)  Alright…

SS  (talking to Alistair Stevens)  …at my busiest time.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  (talking to Alistair Stevens)  Okay, oh very good… (laughs)  Okay… yeah… (laughs)  okay… Alan Carr… right, all right, see you in a bit…

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Right, okay, yeah

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Right. all right…  I know.  Yeah, I know.  Yeah, I know.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  No, I know.  I know.  Yeah

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  No.  I know

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah…

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Oh, I know what they’ll try and do

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Ability.  They were already trying to do that last night.

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah.  Yeah.  Mmm  Yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  They didn't say that, did they?  Last night?  Did they say that last night?

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah, yeah.  Yeah.  Yeah, yeah

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  I know.  I know.

(Long pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  No, I don’t think so.  No, no, this is to do with the fact that Mark Willerton hadn't got that job.  And… erm… and… Lance… Lance is just… Lance will just support anything that he can… he can… make a song and dance about.  And Andy Bowers is just a c**t.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Oh yeah, definitely.  Like Marie said… this… it’s personal… that’s… it’s personal down to that and it’s also the f… it’s little things, like Marie said… we wouldn't let him put that glass in that door. And he’s pissed off about that because it… you know…

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah, yeah.  Yeah.  yeah.

(Pause while Alistair Stevens is talking at the other end of the line)

SS  Yeah.  All right chum.  See you in a bit. See you chum.  Love you.  Bye.

(Sound of phone going down)

SS (to Marie)  He’ll talk to you about it… He said probably wait till we've had the meeting with the Personnel sub-committee.  If that ever fucking happens.


SS  I'm sorry Marie.  I'm so upset.  I'm so tired of it all.

MD and SS (inaudible)

SS  I feel like.. I felt like… This morning even when I walked in I felt like getting the tray and just scattering it all

MD  I know, it’s not fair is it?  ‘Cos it’s a nice job isn't it

SS  Yeah, yeah

MD  If they weren't in it

SS  I know

MD it’d be brill.

(Both talking at once)

SS  He said, once they realise that, you know, that I haven’t been in… as much involved in... in it as they… they... they were like oh… but now they’re like… I think they’re trying to divide and conquer this office.  Definitely trying to…

(Sound of the town hall front door opening and closing.  A delivery man arrives)

MD  What is it?

Delivery Man:  It’s for… Anthony Lawton

MD  Anthony Lawton?

SS  Who?

MD  Anthony Lawton.  We haven't got anybody by that name.

SS  That’s Jeff’s dad.  What’s this.  What's he having delivered here now?

MD  Are we just New Mills mailing office…


SS It's like another sorting office


SS  Susan Stevens

Delivery Man:  Thank you

MD  It’s a good job you’re here, I’d have sent it back

SS  New Mills central sorting office, this (Delivery Man laughs)

Delivery Man:  Cheers

SS  Thanks, bye

27 December 2014

Tapegate. Part Six: In Which Staff Waste More Council Time And Come To Some More False Conclusions

Dramatis personae for Part Six

Mrs Susan Stevens (Town Clerk of New Mills and Responsible Financial Officer to New Mills Town Council  2002-2013)

Stephen Lewis (Parks Manager employed by New Mills town council)

Mrs Marie Dudley (Office worker at New Mills town hall)


Continued from Tapegate Part Five (previous article):

SL  Sometimes I think Tony Ashton knows what he’s doing, and then he comes out with the most fucking ridiculous things

SS  Ooh.  He was… he was shocking last night

MD  Did he not stand up for you?

SS  No, did he fuck.  He was the one that's saying ‘right, I think this has got to be fully investigated’

SL  No well that’s his get-out clause…

MD  Fucking disabled bridge

SL  That was his get-out clause.  He doesn't like fucking people wittering on about anything does he? He just throws it on to the back burner whenever it… (inaudible)

MD  You know I wouldn't mind so much if it was something that they were going to sell on…

SS  I know

MD  … at some point, for somebody, you know like (inaudible)

SS  (inaudible)

MD  I wouldn't mind if… now we decided we didn't want it and now we've got to sell it…(inaudible)

SS  And we got an internal decorator in here and we got like, (inaudible) wallpaper on the walls and there was plush carpets and… and... oh did I need to get three quotes for that.  It’s a fucking disabled entrance, which is… it’s paramount to your full use of your building.

SL  Full use

SS  And they have not read that report.  They were not interested.  They couldn't wait to get to that part.  In fact they even, they even started discussing it in Part One

MD  Did they?

SL  Yeah they did didn't they

SS  They couldn't wait to get to that…

MD  The thing they've got to realise is that even if Peter had shut the bridge they couldn't have used the building to the capacity it’s supposed to be used because that disabled access…

SS  Is your fire exit

MD  Is your fire exit.  So it’s got to be accessible

SL  If Peter had of… just not opened the door there would have been load of emails bandied about, about what a disgrace it was.

MD  And that would have been our fault

SL  That’d have been your fault again....

SS  Yeah

SL  … for not opening the door

SS  I know.  I know

(Pause.  Town hall bells can be heard chiming half past the hour - 9:30 a.m.)

SS  Alistair said ‘I told you they were after you.  I told you there were gonna do this’  And I just, you know, you think people are better than that but they’re not.  They’re like a pack of dogs.

SL  Petty.  They’re grinding an axe about Willerton not getting the caretaker’s job aren't they, the Gadds.  (inaudible)

SS  Yeah.  Yeah.

SL (inaudible)

MD  He didn't want it though Stephen.  He didn't even apply.

SS  He didn't apply

MD  He didn't want the job.  He came in and said to Susan this job isn't for me at this time, I won’t be applying for the job.  He didn't even put an application in

SS  So...

SL  Yeah but he’d already decided, because it wasn't Peter’s wage he didn't really want it

SS  Well that's you know...

MD  Well that’s what I'm saying but that was his choice

SL  But a job’s a job still, isn't it

MD and SS  Yeah

MD  But he said… he came in and said ‘I'm just coming to let you know...’

SS  And then he said ‘my mum says it’s illegal what you’re doing’

SL  Yeah


SS  And then he said exactly the same thing

SL  (Incomprehensible)  So if Joe Bloggs who owns a farm decides he’s going to take a new labourer on, somebody leaves and he decides to take a new one on, and decides not to pay him same wage as the one before, he’s fucking acting illegally? (derisory, scornful tone of voice)  Because he's not spending more money than what he did last time

SS and MD (snort and laugh)  Yeah.

23 December 2014

Tapegate. Part Five: 'Doughty would have crushed all this'

Dramatis personae for Part Five:

Mrs Susan Stevens (Town Clerk of New Mills and Responsible Financial Officer to New Mills Town Council  2002-2013)

Stephen Lewis (Parks Manager employed by New Mills town council)

Mrs Marie Dudley (Office worker at New Mills town hall)

Continued from Tapegate Part Four:

MD:  What do they normally give her?

SS:  £350, and a £350 loan. (laughing tone of voice)

MD:  Have they not given her the loan?

SL:  What’s all this… budget meeting, you've got three grand and you can’t fucking… you’re going back and forward trying to get rid of it.

SS:  I know.

SL:  Leave some int’ bank.  You don’t have to spend it ‘cos you've got it.  As you keep telling me.

SS:  Yeah.

(MD and SL laugh)

SS:  I've had enough of them.

SL:  ‘Give ‘em five hundred…’ (incomprehensible)  I were whatsit… (incomprehensible) ‘…plays for the band so I think we should give them five hundred.’  You can see it can’t you, it’s all over the place.

SS:  I know, I know.

SL:  Patting one another ont’ back.

SS:  …back.

SL  Give Bob... give Robert... (incomprehensible)

SS:  Oh, in the public meeting, in the public speaking… ‘I think we should have a vote of thanks for Councillor Lance Dowson for all the work that he’s done on the ambulance thing…’

SL …on the ambulance thing, yeah.

SS:  And they’re like ‘I propose that… I second it… all in favour…’  I said you don’t vote in public participation.

(MD laughs)

MD:  They’re all too busy looking for ways to pick instead of doing what they’re supposed to be doing aren't they.

SS:  Exactly, exactly.  That’s what I'm going to say to this union guy.  He thinks it’s going to have to be mediation.

SL:  What… nobody come to that meeting with a suggestion of how to spend that four grand.

(Sound of drinks being stirred and cups etc)

SS:  No.  And that’s what Alistair said.  You've been asked twice.  And I keep telling … and he come back, and they keep saying ‘we want lights’ and I keep telling you ‘You can’t have lights down there.  She won’t allow it.’  And you ke… and then it’s like ‘Why not?  Why not?’

SL:  You can have lights…

SS:  Ask her!  Don’t ask me!  I don’t make the fucking rules.

(Sound of hot drink stirring)

SL:  You can have lights…but you can’t access grant money.

SS: I know.  I know.

SL:  But...

SS:  I'm going to email her and see if I can pay for the hanging baskets

SL:  Strikes me she’s set one law up for us and one for everybody else, myself.

SS:  Well that’s not my argument Stephen, that’s up to… why don’t they

SL  Yeah.

SS:  Instead of…

SL:  It’s as plain as the nose on your face what’s going on, she wants us to spend that money on something that they should be spending it on to save them money.

SS  Well that’s what I'm trying to say, you know ooh we’ll put benches on and er planters on the promenade.  So I said so you’re paying for… you’re paying to decorate High Peak Borough Council’s part… and they still don’t fucking get it do they?.

SL  I said that to Andy Bowers across the table. I said you’re doing their job for them.  They’re giving you the money to spend on their job…

(Phone starts ringing)

SS  On their job.

SL  To save them doing their job.  We just take the administration (incomprehensible) they should be doing anyway.

SS  They won’t hear it from me though will they.

SS (answering phone) Good afternoon… Good morning, New Mills Town Council.  Just about.  (adopts a wailing and sobbing tone)  Oh Ian I can’t speak at the moment, I'm so sorry.  I can’t do this any more.  They were aw…www…ful last night.

(Pause while Ian Huddlestone speaks at the other end of the line)

I'm going to speak to… the union man’s coming today at eleven o'clock and… I don’t know what to do any more.  They were absolutely shocking.  He’s talking about mediation so I've got to speak to him today.  I said ‘cos I don’t…


He’s trying to get back.  But he’s trying to open, he’s trying to get all the work done in Oldham for his… for his business and stuff and…  It was… it was… so clear that they weren't interested in what Alistair had to say or anything.  He’s just said I might as well have not been there last night Susan, he said... they don’t want me there, there not giving me… he doesn't think they’re giving him a chance to be a councillor and erm… I’d have to agree really.


And it’s awful.  I mean, you know... they’re virtually… they’re questioning their own resolutions now.  But blaming me for it.  They’re going back six months to have a look at a disabled entrance, they had two opportunities to question what they've spent on that disabled entrance.  I've given them that report, they hadn't read it.

Or they had read it but they didn't want to… they weren't interested in anything that I… that was… I had to say in that report.


I don’t… I've… I shouted at Lance yesterday and I … and I probably shouldn't have done but I…  I'm at the end of me tether now.

I know there’re emails flying behind… you know round


Yeah… Well, I've got… I'm seeing the union man but I'm going to the doctors this afternoon.

(Noise of someone coming in the office, SS gives noticeable sobs)

MD (whispers) Come on.

SS:  Right okay.  I know.  I know.  Yeah.

(Sound of cup being put down)

SS  Okay.  Okay.  Yeah.  Okay.  Right, okay.  Right, yeah.  He’s trying to come back to speak to the union man.

(Pause while Ian Huddlestone speaks at the other end of the line)

All right.  Okay.  Thanks Ian.  Yeah.  I’ll speak to you soon.  Yeah… yeah… yeah.  (To Marie)  He wants a word with you.

MD:  Hello?  No.  Okeydoke.  No probs.  All right.  Err… I will have, yeah.  Yeah, yeah.  No problem.  All right.  See you later.  All right.  Bye.

(Phone is put down)

SS  I've just drunk your coffee (laughing and coughing)  Oh God… (coughing)  Oh dear, sorry.

(Marie laughs)

MD:  So what was such a big thing that he couldn't come last night?  (Note: referring to Ian Huddlestone)

SS  Labour meeting.

MD  Oh right.  Do you want to go home for a bit?

SS.  Yeah.  Fuckers.

MD  Is the union man coming here or to your house?

SS  Yeah.  So I’ll just… I’ll just… he’s gonna phone.  So, if he phones… 'cos… I think he’s gonna phone when he’s arriving, if you tell him… I think Janet’s supposed to be meeting him as well… coming and meeting him as well so…  he can come to our house… I'm not bothered.  Get the kitchen straight.

(MD laughs)

SS  I've been thinking and I can’t… I can’t keep doing this… last night in the meeting I just felt like… picking everything up and just throwing it at them you know what I mean.  I really did want to just… I wanted to kick them and everything… hurt them.  They were so horrible.  They were so horrible Marie.  I'm sorry.

MD  It’s not your fault it’s them bunch of bastards.  Don’t worry about ‘em.   I know it’s hard… it’s easy for people to stand and say, but they are just a bunch of tossers but…

SS  They do…they’re almost trying to get… They want me to lose me job.

MD  But who’s going to do it?  Somebody else is still going to come in and tell ‘em to do what they've got to do...

SS  I know

MD  ...and not let them do whatever…

SS  You know, it’s just like it’s almost like… especially… oh I don’t know, this disabled entrance.  They were…

MD  But you had a thing anyway didn't you, for emergencies.

SS Yeah.

MD  What’s your budget…

SS  Oh no, apparently it wasn't an emergency because there was a cone on the back of that car park in September.  So why is it… why was it suddenly so urgent?  I'm like, I don’t know anything about a cone.

MD  They didn't have Peter Bailey fucking jumping up and down in here.

SS  Well I said that, and they said, and he said…

MD  Day after day.

SS  What’s this?  Peter demanded?  How can a caretaker demand that something’s done?  And I said you… I said you have no idea what Peter was like those last few months.

MD  And also, he sees things that we don’t see.

SS  He was unbearable.  I said he’s your caretaker as well…  If he’s telling you that something’s…

MS  Dangerous.

SS  You know I said that… I said that… To a degree I delegated it, I said because I had all the… the erm… applications coming in, you wanted me, I was trying to sort out what we were going to do with Peter when he went.  And it all came at the same time and I said and... you know, okay so… ‘Well who were these people that she contacted?’  I said I don’t have that information to hand.

And then that Andy Bowers said ‘And I told you I wanted to see a copy of the invoice.’  I said ‘No you didn't.’  ‘Yes I did.’  Well I’ll show you the emails and you show me anywhere on that email where he says he wants to see a copy of that invoice.  So he got all the accounts out.  From that fucking big box…

(MD laughs)

SS  ‘Well there’s no breakdowns.  We want a breakdown.’  And I'm thinking you cheeky fuckers you… you’re all… you’re virtually saying… that you’re questioning your own resolution.  Because that went through a meeting.  On a schedule for payment.  And it’s there.

MD  Yeah.  So what were they doing that week then?

SS  I don’t know.  And then… And then it also came back.  With it all listed, who got paid… didn't it?  In November… for ‘em to…

MD  yeah, yeah.

SS  You could have questioned… they didn't do it then.  But no, they hit me with a question.  Ni… eight months later and I'm supposed to be able to give ‘em answers like that.

MD  I do vaguely re…  I'm sure, I'm sure they questioned it.  I'm sure Mark Gadd questioned it.

SS  I'm sure he did.  I'm sure he did.

MD  I know he questioned it when they were doing it.

SS  But then that Mark Willerton, slimy little c**t, he’s been telling… he must have mentioned that there was a … there was a… he said there was a… there was a… what do you call em?  A bollard there.  A cone.  Stopping people from wal…  I said it didn't stop em from walking on it.  There might have been a puddle.  It might have been there for a puddle.

MD  Mmm.

SS  But that wasn't the ur… that wasn't… that wasn't… ‘Well it can’t have been that urgent if you've had a cone up there in September and you did nothing about it.’  I said I didn't know anything… I didn't know there was a problem.  I don’t fucking go…

SL  Mmm.

SS  I don’t go up there.

MD  Peter kept telling us for months that there was a… that the bridge was getting worse.

SS Worse.

MD  Worse and worse and worse, and then he came in and said…

(Male voices, incomprehensible)

SS  …that somebody had tripped.

MD  … said that somebody had tripped.

SS  Yeah.  And he was going to shut it.

(Male voices, incomprehensible)

SS  How can a caretaker threaten to close this building?  ‘Cos he’s your caretaker !?

SL  Yeah but they don’t realise what he were like.

SS  No, I know they don’t.

SL  He, that problem could have been there for two years but he wouldn't tell you until it suited him.

SS  Exactly.

SL  He’d just store it up as a…

SS  Exactly.

SL  (incomprehensible)

MD I mean with hindsight yeah, we should have said no Peter, fuck off.  You shouldn't even be here.

SL  Then he’d have said ‘I'm not unlocking that door tonight if that’s not done…'

MD  He would have done.  And if I remember rightly Stephen, we had a bloody big do on that weekend and that was one of the things that you know…

SS  (Incomprehensible)

MD:  You’re gonna have to write to them, and all the clubs, and tell them they can’t get in.

SL  Yeah.  And that’s what he would do.

SS  And I need you… I need you to say this to them if they… I need you both to come in and say this to ‘em ‘cos they don’t listen to me.

SL  Mmm.

SS  They really do not listen to me…

MD  They don’t ask me though, they don’t talk to me
SS  No, I know they don’t

SL  Nah

SS  They really don’t.  They’re not… They have no interest in what I've got to say at the moment.

SL They've made their own mind up haven’t they.

SS  And that Welsh fucking twat.  He’s like a fucking virus he is…

MD  I might just email ‘em all and say I'm absolutely disgusted and appalled that you’re questioning my… you know, that I've brought my family in to do a job and that they've basically overcharged you.

SS  Mmm.

MD  I might just email ‘em and just do it.  So long as I don’t put anything nasty, like I want to kill you or anything, they can’t do me can they (laughs)

SS  (laughs)

SL  (incomprehensible)

MD  Watch your back.

SS  No.  I have dreams that I’d like… batter ‘em.  I'm... I'm...

MD  You just need a cattle prod and then you can electrocute Lance.  He’ll die ‘cos his heart’s not very good (laughs)

SS (laughs)  What a sli… They’re just horrible.  They were horrible last night and I knew they would be.  I knew they would be when that spineless Barrow twat wasn't here (nasty tone of voice).  I mean why have they had… why have they called a Labour meeting on…

SL  Yeah…

SS  On a night… I haven’t sprung this meeting on ‘em… They've had that fucking calendar… High Peak

MD  Was it their own little personal Labour meeting?

(All talking at once)

SL  It’s the Labour Party.

SS  High Peak Labour Party meeting wasn't it… why don’t they tell them… why don’t they say ‘We can’t make it that night, we've got a council… town council meeting.

MD  Surely this should be more important than that?

SL  Yeah, it should.

MD  Especially when something’s kicking off like this and they’re supposed to be your support.

SL  Even more so with Alan Barrow when he wants electing to do a job on County Council when he can’t even turn up at fucking meetings for what he’s already elected for.

MD  Yeah.

SS  For, yeah.

MD  Mind you, Ian’s no better than that fucker is he… and he got back on.

SL  He never shows, does he.

SS  No.

SL  Sits there like he’s watching the clock… (scornful tone of voice)

MD  He disappeared for half of the year, just before elections and then they put him back on, the stupid tossers. (laughs).  He’s all mouth and no trousers.

SS  He is.  He is.

MD  He shits himself at any sign of…

SS  Andy Bowers.  They need to… I mean… The council owe me an apology really, because they’re the ones that sit there and let it happen, they’re as much to blame.

MD  They are.  They are.

SS  You know, all the ones that sit and let Lance.

MD  You see Andy Bowers has had…

SS  Andy Bowers is a swine.

MD  He’s had a thing in his claw, bloody claw in his foot, since we shouted him down and said we weren't having his fucking windows int’ doors (laughs)

SS  Yeah.

MD  He’s never forgiven us for that, not letting him win,  ‘Cos he was adamant he was doing it.

SS  Yeah, I know. I know.  But what right have they got to do… with… you know, are they going to tell me which way I've got to have me desk facing next?

MD  Probably.  Your Chi’s all wrong (laughs)

SL  There’s nobody there to call order is there?

MD  No.

SL  You know, like Doughty at one time would have crushed all this…

SS  Exactly.

SL  (all this) embarrassing us in public.

SS  Yeah.

MD  There’s nobody that’s ashamed that this is all going out into the public thing, is there.

SS  No, no