The Meeting Barlborough Parish Council Do Not Want Residents Attending

Did you know that as a resident of Barlborough you can inspect the Parish Accounts, invoices and expense payments?

How much more than £60,000 did the Parish Council pay in Compensation?

Why didn’t the insurance company pay out?

How much was the Parish Council legal costs?

How much have our Parish Councillors claimed in expenses?

Why are the Parish Council minutes not available to the public?

Residents of Barlborough have until the  13th June 2014 to inspect the Barlborough Parish Accounts

To arrange an appointment to view them call Kim Moran – Clerk 01246 819776 or email asking her for an appointment which is convenient to YOU……………Remember the Parish Councillors work for you!

Posted in Anne Western, Aunty Anne, Bad Example, Barlborough Donkey, Barlboroughgate, Champagne Socialist, Council Tax, Councillors' Allowances, Eion Watts, Elected Members, Ex-employees, Labour Party, Labour Party lack of imagination, Parish Council, Parish Council Meetings, Pink Jacket Watch, Residents Group, Sleeves too long, Snouts in the Trough, They don't work for you | Comments Off on The Meeting Barlborough Parish Council Do Not Want Residents Attending

Watsy Bad For The Environment

Protesters’ human barrier stops council tree cutters Published in the Derbyshire Times 6 March 2014

Protesters formed a human barrier on a wood shredder in an attempt to stop council workmen cutting the tops off a line of trees.

The trees on Slayley View Road, Barlborough, had been earmarked for a reduction by Bolsover District Council but residents were determined to preserve the leylandii trees amidst claims they provide vital privacy between nearby properties.

Campaigner Bridget Ingle, of Slayley View Road, said: “The lie of the land falls away with higher properties on one side of the road looking down through the windows of properties on the other lower side but the height of the trees provides privacy. Without the trees pedestrians can also see into people’s homes from the pavement.

“There has been no consultation about this and as soon as we saw workmen starting to chop the tops off the trees we positioned ourselves on the wood chipper to save the trees.”

Workmen had begun cutting about 5ft off the top of the line of trees from a point that was about eight foot off the ground when the protestors stepped in.

Ms Ingle also told how council leader Eion Watts had visited the site during the protest on Wednesday morning, March 5, in an effort to get the protesters to move so work could continue. But the protesters continued to prevent the tree cutting and a council officer was called out to discuss the situation with the residents.

The officer explained the council has a responsibility to maintain the grass and the hedge and it needs to keep the trees cut to a certain height so workmen can continue to safely maintain them without putting themselves at risk.

A Boslover District Council spokesman said: “The council received a request to prune an overgrown high hedge established within the boundary of council maintained land.

“The hedge is approximately 20 feet high and substantially higher than neighbouring fence boundaries. “Due to the proximity of neighbouring boundaries and property, the council considered this to present a risk. “It was also felt to be reducing amenity value of the local area due to its unkempt appearance.

“The high hedge line is therefore being reduced to a manageable height of 8 feet, to just above neighbouring property boundary fences; further to which, this will be included within the council’s annual hedge maintenance program to establish a more formal hedge and dense maintained feature more in keeping with the local urban amenity value.

“The council, prior to recommencing works, will be writing to neighbouring properties which directly bound the hedge line to explain its position and reason for pruning and planned maintenance.”

Watsy clearly isn’t satisfied with having hundreds of trees removed from the country park…

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Well Done Barlborough First!

Barlborough First campaigned for improved access to Barlborough Country Park and a pathway along Clowne Road.  It’s great news that this work is finally going ahead.

Brian Watson (Barlborough First) championed this back in 2008 as this old YouTube video shows.

Well Done Barlborough First!!

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Clowne Road Stone Planter Being Demolished

The stone planter on Clowne Road is currently being demolished by Derbyshire County Council. Even though the emergency parish council meeting to discuss its removal is not being held until tonight…7.00pm in the Church Institute – should be an interesting show down!!!


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Barlborough Parish Council Waste £65,000 of Residents Money

Eion_WattsAnne Western

Eion Watts Leader Bolsover District Council and Anne Western Leader Derbyshire County Council Both members of Barlborough Parish Council

Derbyshire Times 24th October 2013

A (Labour) parish council has been embroiled in a £65,000 employment tribunal – after a clerk claimed she was victimised and forced to resign.

Patricia Whitehouse, 60, has been awarded £35,330.72 in compensation following a judge declaring she had been constructively dismissed from her role at Barlborough Parish Council.

Mrs Whitehouse, of Glebe View, Barlborough, took on the role in 2008 after the resignation of former clerk Roz Bullimore.

The Derbyshire Times reported that Mrs Bullimore was handed a “substantial” out-of-court settlement after she also claimed she had been unfairly treated by the council.

Mrs Whitehouse told the tribunal that almost as soon as she began working for the authority she faced abuse and felt some councillors “ganged up on her.”

She added: “At the end of the day I was only being treated in this awful way because I was doing my job properly.”

Barlborough Parish Council denied Mrs Whitehouse’s claims and a spokesman said they did not accept there was a “history of clerks being victimised.”

Mrs Whitehouse, who previously worked as a finance administrator and a manager at Barlborough Resource Centre, said at the hearing that council meetings were often “orchestrated” with councillors’ friends and family attending to abuse her.

She added: “It was like a relentless targeted campaign against me by certain councillors supported by their friends and relatives.

“They would knock on my office door, gang up on me and put me under considerable pressure.”

Mrs Whitehead told the tribunal that she finally resigned in 2011 after her mental and physical health began to deteriorate due to stress.

Following a nine-day hearing a judge ruled Mrs Whitehouse had been constructively dismissed.

A council spokesman said: “The council accepted that decision. Significantly the tribunal in its written judgement made no findings in respect of a number of allegations that Mrs Whitehouse had made against individual councillors.”

He added: “The judge also said ‘In the vernacular, to the extent to which the claimant was subjected to abuse and shouted at, she gave as good as she got’.”

The council also spent £30.057.32 in legal fees but claim the cost to Barlborough residents could have been considerably higher, if the authority had not defended the allegations.

A council spokesman said: “The tribunal awarded a sum of £35,330.72 by way of compensation, just under £1,000 represents the basic award reflecting her length of service, the balance was the compensatory award that the tribunal considered to be her loss of earnings.

“That is a significant sum, but it is considerably less than that which was sought by Mrs Whitehouse,”

The council’s full response:

“Following her resignation from her post as Parish Clerk on the 7th 2011, Mrs Patricia Whitehouse brought claims against the Parish Council alleging constructive dismissal, disability discrimination and detriments arising out of public interest disclosure.

The Council contested those claims. The schedules of loss claimed by the Claimant Mrs Whitehouse claimed losses originally in excess of £120,000 and sought compensation for the statutory maximum sum of £68,000.

On legal advice and in the public interest the Parish Council believed it had little alternative other than to defend these claims.

The Parish Council remained committed throughout the process to attempting to negotiate a settlement based upon reasonable grounds. Unfortunately it was not possible to achieve a settlement. The negotiations and offers were made on a

without prejudice basis and the Parish Council will respect that. However the sums sought by the Claimant Mrs Whitehouse were never at a level which the Parish Council on legal advice considered acceptable in terms of what an Employment

Tribunal might order in the worse possible case in a Tribunal.

Eventually after nine days of hearing in the Employment Tribunal in Sheffield the Employment Tribunal found that there was a case for constructive dismissal on one of the claims made by Mrs Whitehouse but no case in respect of either the disability discrimination or the whistleblowing claim. The Council accepted that decision.

Significantly the Tribunal in its written judgement made no findings in respect of a number of allegations that Mrs Whitehouse had made against individual councillors.

After a further hearing of one day in the Employment Tribunal with regard to the amount of compensation, the Tribunal awarded a sum of £35,330.72 by way of compensation, just under £1,000 represents the basic award reflecting her length of service, the balance was the compensatory award that the tribunal considered to be her loss of earnings. That is a significant sum, but it is considerably less than that which was sought by the Claimant, Mrs Whitehouse. The Parish Council believes that if it had settled this matter without the Tribunal hearing, if it had not defended the allegations made and the remedy sought fully then the cost to the Council and the residents of Barlborough would have been considerably higher.

The Employment Tribunal found that there was a case for constructive dismissal because of the composition of the grievance and appeals panels. The Council, after seeking advice, decided to deal with Mrs Whitehouse’s grievance as an internal matter rather than go outside of the local authority. The Tribunal Judge acknowledged that the Council is ‘a small organisation faced with practical problems that the three named people were Councillors and the alternative Councillors were unwilling to participate in the process.’ An independent person was appointed to investigate the grievance and most of the claims, which were of a general nature, were upheld.

The appeal panel was formed after the 2011 elections and was made up of three newly elected parish councillors, including Cllr Western.

None of the three councillors were named in the grievance.

The prior complaint was on an unrelated matter.

The Tribunal considered minutes and transcripts of several meetings at which Mrs Whitehouse claimed she was subjected to verbal abuse, but the Tribunal found no evidence to support her claims. The Tribunal did find however that ‘the Claimant accepted that, on her appointment, she was heavily reliant on advice from outside bodies. Regrettably, on each occasion that the Claimant took advice from outside bodies, she declined to follow it.’

The meeting held to discuss the planning application for the Country Park car park was attended by many members of the public, most of whom were not regular attendees of Council meetings and were not family members or friends of Councillors as Mrs Whitehouse suggests.

Neither had the Council acted illegally.

There was a minor error on the planning application, which could have easily been amended, but Mrs Whitehouse had withdrawn the application without the authority of the Council.

The Tribunal Judge after hearing the evidence and listening to Mrs Whitehouse stated ‘she accepted that some of her interventions were provocative and although she is not always willing to accept this when it was put to her, her

interventions and her behaviour generally throughout this meeting were capable of being viewed as unprofessional.’

The Judge also said ‘In the vernacular, to the extent to which the Claimant was subjected to abuse and shouted at, she gave as good as she got.’

It is not true that a PCSO had to remove people from a meeting. There was one occasion when a PCSO was asked to remove one person, but having been present from the start of the meeting and witnessed the full proceedings, he declined to do so.

The Council does not accept that there is a history of clerks being victimised. Mrs Whitehouse and Mrs Bullimore gave evidence to the Tribunal which acknowledged they are good friends and that Mrs Bullimore recommended the clerk’s post to Mrs Whitehouse as being a good opportunity for her. This hardly fits with her claims that the Council behaves in a bullying manner.

The Council has had a new clerk in post for the past two years and there are no difficulties.”

Barlboroughlife have heard that the final legal bill will be in excess of £100,000 which will be paid for by Barlborough residents

Posted in Above The Law, Anne Western, Barlboroughgate, Bolsover District Council, Career Politicians, Clerks, Council Tax, County Council, Derbyshire County Council, Eion Watts, Elected Members, Labour Party, Parish Council, Parish Council Meetings, Pink Jacket Watch, Political Lying | Comments Off on Barlborough Parish Council Waste £65,000 of Residents Money

Councillors And Their Cars…

District Councillor Cllr Karl Reid (Clowne) cut a very ungainly figure this morning getting out of his  silver Porsche in the District Council car park. When people of a certain age have to nearly resort to getting out of their car on their hands and knees it might be time to move to something higher off the ground!

Last chance lady magnet…


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Tesco Distribution Centre to stay OPEN

The Derbyshire Times report this week………………………

STAFF and residents have learned today, Wednesday, August 28, that Tesco’s distribution centre at Barlborough – which was due to close in September – is now expected to stay open.

The centre on Gander Lane was expected to close with the potential loss of about 400 jobs after Tesco announced the restructuring of its distribution system across the UK with centre closures and a transfer option to take jobs at Reading and Dagenham sites.

Troubled staff have spent the last six months since the original closure announcement in February considering or even taking up redundancy offers and pursuing alternate work.

But Tesco announced at just after 2pm, today, that it is now briefing remaining staff at Barlborough that following a review its non-food business it has found a way to keep the centre open by changing the centre’s use from grocery to general merchandise and non-food products.

A Tesco spokesman said: “We looked at the size of the centre and its location and how it is equipped and realised Chesterfield is the best place for this kind of operation.

“Everyone who is still based at the centre will still have a job with existing terms and conditions if they choose to stay so everyone wanting to stay will be able to stay.”

Tesco confirmed there are 210 employees still working at the Barlborough site, 90 others have chosen to leave early and another 40 have moved within the business already.

The company is holding consultations with all staff so they can fully consider all their options and it is also urging any employees who have left but wish to comeback to get in touch so they too can consider possible choices.

Tesco originally said it was bringing in closures to hold its slower moving grocery products in one depot and claimed this would improve frequencies, reduce road miles and carbon emissions.

Following the announcement that Barlborough will now stay open with a required workforce of about 200, a smaller distribution centre at Daventry is to be closed with options for these staff to move to other sites in Daventry.

Chesterfield MP Toby Perkins said: “In July, alongside three other local MPs, I wrote to Tesco to highlight the huge impact their presence – or absence – has on the lives of real people living in our fragile economy. I am delighted that they seem to have taken this on board and have decided to keep our local distribution centre open. I know the hard workers of Chesterfield will ensure the centre thrives and plays a key part in the continued success of this Great British brand.”

Thank you to the Derbyshire Times for keeping the residents of Barlborough up to date with news that concerns us.

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Derbyshire County Council Meetings Available To Watch!!!!!

Derbyshire County Council meetings are now available to be viewed on line, the July meeting is available: 

Just click here

We wonder when Barlborough Parish Council will start allowing residents access to Parish Council minutes or even filming the meetings but the open and transparency that Anne Western spouts about at Derbyshire County Council doesn’t apply in Barlborough and we all know why!

Posted in Anne Western, Barlboroughgate, Derbyshire County Council, Elected Members, Labour Party, Labour Party lack of imagination, Parish Council, Parish Council Meetings, Pink Jacket Watch, Sleeves too long, They don't work for you | Comments Off on Derbyshire County Council Meetings Available To Watch!!!!!

Double Standards Again Cllr Western?

Derbyshire County Council – News Update

Council Leader Councillor Anne Western said:

“We’re committed to putting communities at the heart of our decision making − listening to what people want and acting on it.

“Broadcasting debates allows us to show the council putting this into practice, by being open and transparent.

Derbyshire is a large county and it isn’t always possible for people to get to council meetings. Our new broadcasts give them the opportunity to see and listen to the debate surrounding decisions being made on their behalf.”

Councillor Western added:

“Members of the public can ask questions at full council meetings, and to increase the level of participation we’ve introduced the opportunity for people to ask questions at cabinet meetings.”

It is surprising that at Derbyshire County Council Anne Western is looking at openness and transparency but at Barlborough Parish Council where she is Deputy Leader of the Parish Council she wont allow the minutes to be sent to residents even though they cannot attend the monthly meetings………………………..perhaps a rethink Anne? 

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Parish Van Stolen

The parish council van (paid for by us) has been stolen. The keys were left in the ignition while the flowers were being watered. Someone got in and drove off with it.

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