13 November 2016

Shining a light on the co-option meeting: transcript of David Lamb's public co-option interview answers

In the 22 June 2015 co-option meeting of New Mills town council, there were seven candidates for six vacancies on the council.

The outstanding candidate - but the one who did not get co-opted - was David Lamb.  To independent council-taxpayers and electors of New Mills, this is strange for the following reasons.

Factually, Mr Lamb was the former chairman of the town council who was the key player in ensuring that the dishonest and incompetent ex-town clerk lost her 'compensation culture' spurious financial claim against New Mills town council.

Mr Lamb was also the key player in starting the eventual public exposure of local poppies charity thief Jeff Lawton, the dishonest friend of certain current councillors who are also supporters of the dishonest and incompetent former town clerk.  (Mr Lawton was the Chairman of our local High Peak Conservative Association until he was charged with theft from the British Legion charity.)

Mr Lamb's bold, honest actions as a town councillor therefore ensured both that justice was done in two cases and also saved the council taxpayers of New Mills and local contributors to the Poppy Appeal a substantial sum of money,

However, this has meant that some local councillors, and others in local public life who are supporters and/or personal friends of the dishonest and incompetent sacked former town clerk of New Mills and/or poppy charity thief Jeff Lawton, became personally vindictive against David Lamb.

To shed more factual light on these events, HPT now publishes the transcript of David Lamb's council co-option interview, held in public in the New Mills council chamber on 22 June 2015.

The question were asked of every candidate by the Town Clerk Lesley Bramwell. These are the answers given by David Ian Lamb.

Question 1

Can you briefly say why I would like to become a member of New Mills Town Council.


I think everybody in here is aware of the role I used to have here on the Council.  I was a Councillor for four years, I was also the chair of the Council for a year, and you may be aware I was also Chair of Welfare and Admin (Committee), and on the Personnel Committee as well

I think my main reason for coming back on the council is, is that we have moved forward with this council now, it's open honest and transparent, and that's the way I want to keep this council, and if I can be on this council, I will make sure that I steer it in the right direction, along with other council members.

Question 2

Do you have any specific skills you think you could bring to the role of Town Council


Well I have said a fair bit of it. Many will not be aware of the Localism Act in the public, the Localism Act was brought in on 2011.

I have done my training for the general power of competence. I think I am about one or maybe two of the Councillors on here, sorry as the Council 'was',  I was about one or two Councillors who went through the training.

My training is in there, obviously we need to get up to strength with that. And what that would empower this council to do is things that we do not necessarily have a statutory obligation to do . As long as it is legal and lawful,  yes not a problem we could then get on and do it.

What other specific skills have I got, well Council and people who are interested in Council will be aware along with other Councillors previously have gone through the financial regulations, I have been on the financial regulations training, I have been on the human resources training as well for councils so it's fair I would say that I have a good working knowledge of how council works and local council administration.

Question 3

What is your current and past involvement with the local community.


Well I've lived in New Mills for 25 years, if it's been there I've done it. I was involved with the carnival at one time. Lantern parade, hopefully you've all read my little CV I sent in, I mean I was on the first in on the lantern parade making lanterns for the kids and when my youngsters were small we went on a little trot with not so many people that's another thing I have done  I supported that and the carnival which is a big event over the years dressing floats up et cetera you will all have read this in the CV I sent in. Recently I have been very involved with New Mills they had their 100 sorry I forgotten how many years is was 100 year anniversary what ever it is 150 years ? I was very involved with them.

I am keen that all the community groups in New Mills are well represented, I am quite happy to represent those groups and be on those committees as well,  I want to see New Mills move forward.

Question 4

What experience have you had in Committee work and what skills should a good committee member have.


Again I have to go back a little bit - Committee work I have been on Council again if you have read my CV.  At work I am on a committee it’s a diagonal slice Committee. It's putting across the workers view to the management and getting feedback from the management I have been on various committees in the Council,  outside groups as well.

The main thing is listening, whatever you do you have to listen to these people.  Now as a  committee member representative on an outside body obviously I can't make decisions I have to bring it back to Council, report in to Council exactly what is going on it is then Councils decision. The Council is a corporate body.

Question 5

There are situations as a Councillor when you may be put under intense personal pressure either through being publicly criticised or through being persuaded to change your mind over something that has been previously agreed. Can you think of an occasion when you are felt under such pressure by a person or a group of people and tell us what you did and how you coped.


Yes there have been plenty, it's been quite open here in the council chamber. Again as an individual Councillor I cannot do anything, I can't do anything as an individual. If somebody comes into council and they have got a gripe you know that's fine. You have to listen to what has been said, even if they are way off base you still have to listen to what is been said.  Then it's down to Council whether they decide to do something about it. As an individual I cannot do anything about it.

Question 6

What suggestions can you supply to deal professionally with an angry resident or member of the public who may attend a parish council meeting


Same again.  Listen to the person.  There is no perfect conflict resolution model, there isn't one. What you need to do is listen to people. If the council are aware of it, and the council decides they are going to do something about it,  it is a collective decision of the Council

Question 7

If appointed to this council are you able to commit to attend all the town council meetings


At the annual parish meeting, I did report in because Sean (Cllr Sean Whewell - HPT Ed) was chairing his first meeting, I sat in there, and that my record has been one hundred percent

Question 8

Would you be interested in attending any Parish councillor training that may be offered


I have attended more or less anything that has been going, and in fact I have suggested that Councillors go on training.

Also I have found out about training courses, that may not have been communicated to Council, and through the Clerk the proper officer I have spread around to all the Councillors.  There is training available and we should be going on training.

Question 9

There are some occasions where it may be necessary to meet with outside agencies or have site meetings with other members of the Town Council. Such meetings will usually fall outside of normal town council meetings. Would you consider attending some of these types of meetings


Again if people check back through the records it quite clearly shows I have attended these meetings - I have been spotted by members of the public when out and about - I always make time.

Question 10

Finally do you have any questions for the current council members



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