13 May 2015

New Mills Annual Parish Meeting - All Welcome - Venue Correction Announced

Following a minor fuss about the idea of shifting the location of the public's Annual Parish Meeting, it has now been announced on the town council website that the meeting venue has reverted to the traditional and correct one of the Public Hall of New Mills.

The Public Hall is upstairs at the town hall, accessible from either Aldersgate behind the town hall (where it is at ground level) or from the front of the town hall where it is to be found up the stairs from the double doors at the base of the clock tower.

The Annual Parish Meeting of New Mills will be held on Friday 29 May 2015 at 7.30pm

11 May 2015

Upcoming Statutory Annual Meetings Concerning Public Business In New Mills

Taken from New Mills Town Council website is the following statement:

"The next Full Council meeting will be held on Monday 18th May at 7.30pm in the Council Chamber, Town Hall, New Mills."

Here is some further information:

Every town/parish council in England must hold an Annual Meeting in May every year. The first business of that meeting must be to elect the chair and vice-chair for the upcoming year.

In an election year this annual meeting must take place on the day when the councillors take office, or within fourteen days thereafter.  18 May 2015 meets this legal requirement.

Because only six councillors were elected at the election on 7 May 2015, there are now six vacancies to be filled.  It is to be hoped this important piece of business will be treated as a matter of urgency, priority and seriousness.

The quorum for New Mills town council is four (i.e. three or one-third of the total membership of twelve, whichever number is the greater).

The outgoing chair and vice-chair are entitled to attend an annual council meeting; indeed one of them is needed to chair the annual council meeting until the new chair and vice chair are appointed from among the council members.

The practice whereby proceedings at first annual meetings after an election are opened with the paid clerk in the chair is unlawful.  (Viz. Miss/Mrs/Ms Susan Stevens illegally usurping elected councillor and Chair of the council Chantal Hannell during the NMTC annual meeting of May 2011)

Taken from New Mills Town Council website is the following statement:

"The Annual Parish meeting will be held on Friday 29th May at 7.30pm in the Library Lecture Room, Town Hall, New Mills." *

Public money was used to construct the Public Hall of New Mills.  It was built specifically for this kind of purpose - the public's meetings etc.  Public money is used to maintain the Public Hall of New Mills.

Why then is the public being shut away and confined to this other dingy, pokey little space?

This is a serious sign of disrespect for the public;  the public that pays the bills and that councillors are supposed to serve.

* Since this article was originally published the location has been changed back to the Public Hall of New Mills.

09 May 2015

New Mills Town Council Election Results

In Whitle ward the votes for each candidate were as follows:

DOWSON, Lance   1,136

ATKINS, Ray   968

WHEWELL, Sean   885

BATE,  Barry  756

GASKELL, Josh   756

The above five candidates are elected to the five seats provided by Whitle ward to New Mills town council.

The other candidates' votes were as follows:

LAWTON, Jeff   750

GARSIDE, Kath   727

FERNS, John   636

LAMB, David   511

For the two town council seats from Thormsett ward ASHTON, Tony was elected unopposed.  He was the only candidate.

Ollersett ward provides another five seats on the council.  There were no candidates for this ward.

Notices will be published by the Returning Officer in due course explaining the mechanism (co-option or a further election) by which these six vacant seats will be filled.

When these vacancies are filled, the town council will have twelve members.

08 May 2015

Borough Council Results for New Mills

The Returning Officer has just published the following election results for the New Mills seats on High Peak Borough Council:

Elected for New Mills West ward:

ATKINS, Raymond


Elected for New Mills East ward:


HUDDLESTONE, Dishonest Ian

Elected for New Mills Sett ward:


As at the time of writing (early evening 8 May 2015), no New Mills Town Council results have been publicly declared by the Returning Officer.

Here is the link to the live election declarations page authorised by the Returning Officer:



Meanwhile, a photograph from one of the election counts elsewhere in the country:

07 May 2015

New Mills Arts Theatre - An Appeal

HPT has been sent the link to a current important appeal from New Mills Arts Theatre, with a request to add support and publicity, which we are delighted to do.

The Arts Theatre is  not asking for your money (although donations etc are always helpful, obviously) they are merely asking for your name on an e-petition.

The link to their e-petition is a at the bottom of this article.

Here is the text of their appeal:


"We want them to support Arts In New Mills, we have been unsuccessful in applications to both the Heritage Lottery fund and the Arts Council, One of the big problems is that we are not in a conservation area which make our theatre less attractive for funding

"The conservation areas runs down the front of the theatre (Jodrell Street) and the side of the theatre ( Wood Street) but the theatre misses out. We want the council to increase the conservation area to protect the theatre and the heritage of performing arts in the town as a whole.

"We would also like assistance with current grants and funding streams where applicable to our organisation.

"The theatre is run as a registered charity and is manned solely by volunteers providing a fantastic resource for the whole community

"Why is this important?

"The Theatre has been in New Mills since it was opened in June 1911 and has served the local community since then. The theatre provides live entertainment on a regular basis and provide home to the local operatic society, who have performed in the building since 1922 and our newly formed youth theatre Take Part in the Art which provide theatrical training and performance skills for 5 - 18 years.

"It also showcases every year for the last 30 Yrs New Mills Dance and Theatre Centre who have just won the AKA Seniors Ballet Competition for the seveth year in a row. Without external funding to support the buildings upkeep and urgent repair bills sadly the theatre future looks uncertain.

"How it will be delivered

"This petition will be sent via the usual channels to all the local mp and councils following the completion of the election"

Here is the link to the Petition and Campaign Site:


A Right of Reply

The following has been received from local figure Sean Whewell.  It is in response to (mostly anonymous) comments sent in to HPT on the subject of the intersection between Mr Whewell's candidature in today's election and the Visit New Mills campaign group.

Incidentally, regarding any comments sent in to HPT, it is obvious that an anonymous comment or criticism will usually carry only a fraction of the impact and weight of any comment with a real name attached.

Here is Mr Whewell's email, received earlier today:

"Dear Editor and anonymous contributors,

"Some interesting comments in the past 24 hours, please allow me the time to educate the small minority.

"The 'Love New Mills' logo (that is what it is known as to those that use it) is used extensively throughout New Mills to promote New Mills, both via Visit New Mills and via the many people who give up so much time to improve our town and via the merchandise sold to raise funds for New Mills groups and events - it was reproduced with kind permission of its creator Karl Sinfield.

"The factual leaflet produced is paid for out of my pocket and is documented in the return all candidates have to send in outlining any election expenses.

"Any donations to Visit New Mills or from Visit New Mills to other groups are fully documented and minuted and are via ‘bank account’ transactions i.e. no cash transactions.

"The recent kind donation from NMTC is to be used towards purchasing additional Christmas lights on Union Road and towards replacing the flags that fly during the festival periods (Carnival, One World Festival, New Mills festival etc) – the previous set and the poles are missing.

"Visit New Mills is not a political party, it doesn’t need to be. Visit New Mills works extensively with all groups in New Mills helping promote and fund raise for events, the group also meet regularly with council groups to raise awareness of our town's needs, and we would always welcome new members, even anonymous ones.

"A role of town councillor is a voluntary position, one of trust, integrity and hard work - those that have been councillors will tell you the number of hours needed to serve your town properly, the same goes for any volunteer position in the groups that make New Mills such a great place (Art Theatre, New Mills Festival, New Mills Carnival, New Mills Heritage Centre) - the only reason I wish to continue as a town councillor is for the benefit of New Mills, that should be the case for all candidates.

"The anonymous keyboard warrior would be better to use their energy volunteering for one of these groups or events and give something back to New Mills or alternatively come and speak to me so I can cover off any other concerns they may have.

"Finally, many thanks to the many ‘unanonymous’ texts, emails and phone calls over the past few weeks and I look forward to seeing some of you at tonight’s ‘Quizit New Mills’ at The Pride of the Peaks.

Sean Whewell"