06 December 2010

Exclusive - Guilty Ones Named In Dysfunctional Council Scandal

The recent official 'Dysfunctional Council' report highlighted a disturbing fact: many separate complaints have been made connected with New Mills town council, whereas none of the 18 other town and parish councils in the area have been the subject of a single complaint.

Gang of Four

Further to pleas in the Buxton Advertiser and elsewhere, asking that the guilty ones be named, here is the league table:

Lancelot Edgar Dowson made 4 or 5 of the complaints.  The motivation was mainly malicious or mischievous and all were against political opponents .  All of his complaints were against LibDem councillors.  Nominally 'independent' Cllr Dowson has in fact been a long-term Labour Party member.

Stephen Lewis made around 3 of the complaints.  At least 2 complaints were against a tragically deceased councillor - a retired member of her Majesty's armed forces.  Mr Lewis is employed by the New Mills town council.

Jacqui Gadd made 1 or 2 of the complaints.  All were aimed at political  opponents in the LibDem party.  Cllr J Gadd is a Conservative, and personal friend of Lancelot Edgar Dowson.

Mark Gadd has been involved with at least 1 of the complaints, which was aimed at political  opponents in the LibDem party.  Cllr M Gadd is a Conservative, and personal friend of Lancelot Edgar Dowson and Stephen Lewis.

So far as can be established at the time of writing, the current councillors in New Mills who have not contributed to the dysfunction by occupying expensive Borough officer time and resources in the making of spurious and/or malicious complaints are (in alphabetical order):  ASHTON, Tony (Conservative); ATKINS, Elizabeth (LibDem); ATKINS, Ray (LibDem); BODY, Hazel (Green); CARTER, Janet (LibDem); HANNELL, Chantal (Independent LibDem); HAWLEY, Kevin 'Huggy' (LibDem).

This report is a public interest document.  A copy of it has been sent to every person who is named in it.  This is in order to give them the full opportunity to point out any material omissions or errors, should any exist.

Here comes the science

The Pareto Principle is often also known as the 80:20 rule.  In this case, it refers to the fact that about 80% of the problems tend to be caused by about 20% of the people.

02 December 2010

Attempt To Gag Elected Representatives

The new official Standing Orders of the town council in New Mills, High Peak, Derbyshire have just appeared on the council's website.

Electors and council taxpayers in the area will be shocked to read new Standing Order 26.  It is completely undemocratic and anti-free speech.

Ignoring grammatical errors for a moment, the relevant extract reads:
"In accordance with the Council's policy in respect to dealing with the press and/or other media, councillors shall not, in their official capacity, provide oral or written statements or written articles to the press or other media."
For a councillor to give personal opinions to media outlets, provided that they make it clear they are 'councillor so-and-so' and do not purport to speak for the whole council, is part of the democratic process.

If a councillor has sensible and/or honest opinions, then it is important that we should know.

If their opinions reveal them as deceitful, or dishonest, or hypocritical, or plain old barking mad - or madder than Mad Jack McMad, winner of last year's Mr Mad competition - then it is even more important that we should know.


Note: click on this link to dowload a copy of the document referred to in this report. In the event of any difficulty, email this site requesting a copy and it will be emailed.

The Fantasy World Of Council Officer Stephen Lewis


A document has recently been prepared by New Mills town council employee Stephen Lewis.

His newly produced paper, called 'Draft Parks Strategy Targets', makes the following proposal for eliminating the conservation area status that currently protects the character of the town:

"Consider whether the town's conservation area is truly of benefit or whether it in fact denies both the town council and local business the opportunity to best promote the town.

"Seek to lessen the detrimental effects of conservation status on the activities of the town council..."

The above proposal is on page 5.  On page 4 of the same document, Stephen Lewis proposes giving the public far more information about the activities of the town council.  Hear hear to that.  However, the reason that Stephen Lewis gives for doing this is to "counter act the negative blogging and criticism of certain members of the public."

The easiest and best way to counteract any 'negative' coverage of a public body is obvious.  Simply stop making mad and bad decisions, and stop making mad and bad statements.  Also, save money rather than wasting it on grandiose schemes and council employees' continued empire-building at public expense.

It really is that simple.
Note: click on this link to dowload a copy of the document referred to in this report.  In the event of any difficulty, email this site requesting a copy and it will be emailed.