Brass on the Grass and Harthill Carnival

First of all, an apology to those that emailed in asking about the “Brass on the Grass.” As you will no doubt now know it was held last Saturday 6th July. There wasn’t a great deal of warning (about 10 days we think)  but the signs went up in the Village Green and Oxcroft Way.  A good time was had by all, as far as we can tell.

Hopefully the Parish Council (who ever they are) will announce a date early next year so we can all plan to be there.

Harthill Carnival Society have emailed in asking if we can help out with the following:

HARTHILL CARNIVAL AND SHOW – Saturday 13th of July 2013

For a fun filled day out for all the family come along to this year’s Carnival, on Saturday 13th July. Carnival starts with the Shire Horse judging at 12 noon and the parade through the village at 12.15pm. The theme for the parade is ‘Anything Goes’ and with cash prizes for the top three floats donated by JH Skepper & Son Ltd we look forward to seeing an amazing parade with colourful floats and lots of happy faces.

New for this year is football freestyler – Dan Magness, children’s entertainer – Madam Zucchini, Phoenix Falconry, mini farm with lots of animals, Barlborough Bears Cheer and Dance and a flypast by the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight.

There will be the usual stalls, refreshments and fairground rides of all sizes with something for all ages and a fun dog show organised by Thornberry Animal Sanctuary.

All this plus the usual favourites of vintage tractors and shire horses which make this a great day out for all the family.

Entry prices are £2.50 for Adults and £1 for Children and Senior Citizens with free parking while it lasts.

Why not join us for the Carnival Concert with doors opening at 7.30pm featuring top live band The Other 3, tickets are £5 for Adults and £2.50 for Children and Senior Citizens and will be available shortly from Tanimara, Harthill Butchers and Carnival Members.

If you need any further information on this event please call Craig Brown on 01909 771291 or visit our facebook site.

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Council creates new chief exec’s role

Just what is going on at Derbyshire County Council, it would appear it’s being run as a fiefdom, with Aunty Anne doing what see want’s without any explanation .. why!

The latest from County Hall is that in addition to not saying how much relieving Nick Hodgson (the former Chief Executive)  of his duties cost the taxpayers, an assistant chief executive has been employed. You might ask how much this is costing you the tax payer, well once again they are not telling us or anyone else it would appear.

If you see Anne just ask her and email in would you, as we would all love to know who’s getting our money!!

You can read the story here 

Posted in Anne Western, Derbyshire County Council, Labour Party | Comments Off on Council creates new chief exec’s role

Nick Hodgson payout ?

You will recall that Nick Hodgson the chief executive was “asked” to leave Derbyshire County Council by the incoming Labour Group?

He’s left with a payout, guess how much??

Well your guess is as good as anyone’s if you ask Anne Western (our representative and leader at Derbyshire County Council) she would tell you that your right to know is “guidance, it’s not the law,” and that “local authorities are independent bodies and they run themselves.” It would also appear we the tax payer do NOT have a right to know what Anne is spending our money on. According to one DCC councillor in the Burton Mail, this could be a significant sum , as much as £300,000

The story is here from the BBC

Derby Telegraph

Is there a patten emerging? 

We will be keeping an eye on it Anne, that’s for sure!

Posted in 'Worth Every Penny', Anne Western, Bad Example, Bullying, Hidden Talents, Sleeves too long, They don't work for you, Wasting Public Money | Comments Off on Nick Hodgson payout ?

Barlborough In Gloom


The most important day of the year, when Grandparents, Aunty and Uncles visit Barlborough to join the celebration of the Barlborough Village Fair and what do the Parish Council do to help with the fun, yes they leave rubbish littered around the village. It’s quite unbelievable that our Parish Councillors can be so stupid, why don’t they have pride in Barlborough?

Does anyone remember when Barlborough entered the Barlborough in Bloom competition and won awards, what would we win this year worst dressed village in Derbyshire. Well we all know what our Council Tax is currently been spent on.

Posted in Anne Western, Bad Example, Beautiful Barlborough, Bins, Council Tax, County Council, Eion Watts, Elected Members, Flowers, Gardening Club, Labour Party, Labour Party lack of imagination, Parish Council, Sleeves too long, Thick as two short planks, Wasting Public Money | Comments Off on Barlborough In Gloom

Come and sit with the public, Andrew

Derbyshire Times 7th June 2013

Members of the public will be allowed to ask questions at Derbyshire County Council’s cabinet meetings for the first time in a bid to get local people more involved in decision-making.

Previously, residents had to wait until full council meetings − held five times a year − to put questions to cabinet members.

But now they will be allowed to ask questions in cabinet meetings, which are held every three weeks, before decisions are made.

Council leader Cllr Anne Western said: “We want residents to feel they have a voice within the council and this move allows them to take part in meetings and have a two-way conversation with us.

“We’re very keen that local people have the opportunity to be actively involved in the decision-making process and this change is just one of the ways we’ll achieve that,” she added.

In addition, the council is considering holding its meetings at various locations across Derbyshire and not just at its Matlock headquarters so more people can attend.

Members of the public will be able to speak for about 20 minutes.

They will not have to give advance notice.

Now don’t be fooled by this good people, we have this this type of “openness”  in Barlborough Parish Council, be prepared to be shouted down by their supporters. That said if those in opposition want to ask questions (you will recall Aunty Ann has stopped them), don’t write in , go and sit with the public and ask away without giving notice. 

Posted in Andrew Lewer, Anne Western, Aunty Anne, Parish Council Meetings | Comments Off on Come and sit with the public, Andrew

Big Rise In Allowances Approved By Council

Published in The Star 28 May 2013

Big Rise in allowances approved by council

Labour county councillors in Derbyshire have approved allowance increases for those in top posts – but cut expenditure on civic ceremonies. Councillors’ basic allowances have been frozen at just under £10,000, as had the leader’s additional payment of £32,868. However, the deputy leader’s payment has risen from £24,651 to £26, 294 and cabinet members’ allowances are £19,721 from £16,434 – although the number of posts has been cut from seven to four. Nine deputy cabinet members, formerly known as cabinet support members, have received the biggest increase from £4,108 to £9,860.

The council, won by Labour from the Conservatives last month, said the higher allowances were needed to reflect ‘increased responsibilities.’

The main opposition leader’s allowance, increased last year to £14,790, is falling to its old level of £8,217 – but the higher figure was not claimed by Labour when in opposition.

Coun Anne Western, Labour council leader and member for Barlborough, said:’Cabinet members have more responsibility and deputy cabinet members have a much bigger role than when they were advisors.’

‘At the same time, we have made big cuts to civic office costs, so the chairman and deputy chairman will concentrate more on meetings.’

‘We have cancelled a job advertisement for a new chaffeur and they won’t be going on a circuit of civic dinners – we felt it was wrong when people are queuing outside foodbanks.’
Meanwhile, the council’s chief executive of 16 years Nick Hodgson, who has worked for the authority for 38 years, is leaving. Counc Western said she could not disclose reasons for Mr Hodgson’s departure.’

Public sector workers in the NHS etc etc have been on a pay freeze for years now and they are responsible for life and death decisions everyday. It hardly compares with the ‘much bigger role of cabinet advisors’ and the £4k hike in their allowance. As for the queuing outside foodbanks, the Leader could use a big chunk of her £30k+ allowance to help the cause.

When she was deputy leader she claimed everything going – including the tax free mileage allowance from Barlborough to Matlock (and back) some of the cabinet continue claiming even now..!

Posted in Barlborough Donkey, Blank Cheque, Bonmarche Girls, Career Politicians, Feeding the Starving, Leader pays Lipservice | Comments Off on Big Rise In Allowances Approved By Council

Labour Cabinet Meeting Agenda 4th June – No Questions Unless Anne Agrees!

Item 3 on the agenda:

Questions by Minority Group Leaders

The approach to involving Minority Group Leaders at Cabinet meetings
has varied over time since the introduction of the Cabinet under the Local
Government Act 2000. Most recently, the Minority Group Leaders have
been invited to ask questions arising from the agenda at the
commencement of the open and closed sessions of Cabinet meetings.
This has proved somewhat unsatisfactory since questions have often
been left unanswered until after the meeting to ensure that full and
accurate answers have been provided. It is, therefore, proposed that
Minority Group Leaders should set out their questions in writing and
provide them to the Director of Legal Services by 12:00noon on the day
before the Cabinet meeting. This would bring the arrangements more
into line with the procedure relating Members’ questions for full Council
meetings and would allow considered responses to the questions to be
provided at the Cabinet meeting.

Have a read of the full agenda 

Posted in Anne Western, Career Politicians, Chip on his shoulder, County Council, Derbyshire County Council, Labour Party, Sleeves too long | Comments Off on Labour Cabinet Meeting Agenda 4th June – No Questions Unless Anne Agrees!

Labour Party In Derbyshire Can’t Be Trusted As Far As We Could Throw Them With A Bun In Their Hand…

Labours First Act: A Pay Rise and a Fundamental Change to the Constitution to Silence the Opposition

Friday, 17 May, 2013
At Wednesday’s first Full Council following the elections the new Labour administration pushed through two important agenda items; one that paid Cabinet members more money for less work and used money from the Local Government Pension Scheme to pay the chairman and vice-chairman of that committee. They then followed this with the biggest change to the constitution seen in decades, taking away the right of backbench councillors to ask questions of Cabinet members on decisions the council makes.

Labour has changed the levels of responsibility for Cabinet Members by having fewer of them, just five but spreading the workload to two new deputy roles per portfolio. Previously there was a cabinet support role but the level of responsibility was restricted to specific tasks. The new roles make it clear that there will be a shared workload reducing the overall responsibility on the lead Cabinet member role for which they will pay themselves an additional 10% per annum. Overall, they have raised the cost to the taxpayer of the members allowance scheme by 5% or £17,550 to a total of £345,000.

In parallel they then took away the right for elected members to ask questions of Cabinet members on decisions taken – an important right long enshrined in the constitution. These massive changes were only printed and circulated to councillors two hours before the start of the meeting, giving little to no time for councillors to absorb them.

Cllr Andrew Lewer, Leader of the opposition Conservative group stated:

“It is remarkable, they have in their first meeting since being elected just over a week ago managed to dismantle the constitution to give their cabinet members an easier ride and pay them more money. A fundamental aspect of the questions to Cabinet members was that it kept them on top of their game and ensured they knew and understood their portfolios and responsibilities. It is even more remarkable that within hours they broke their first pledge in which they stated ‘we will make the County Council more open and transparent.”

Anne Western and her gang make a mockery of democracy by removing the right of elected members to speak at council meetings. Margaret Thatcher believed in free speech regardless of how unpopular she made herself. Paranoia in  a political leader is a very dangerous character trait. 

Posted in Bonmarche Girls, Leader pays Lipservice | Comments Off on Labour Party In Derbyshire Can’t Be Trusted As Far As We Could Throw Them With A Bun In Their Hand…

Derbyshire Councillors Get £4k Rise

Good to see that Aunty Anne is getting her priorities right. After sacking the Chief Executive Councillors are to be given a £4k pay rise.

Oh! and the ‘slimmed down’ cabinet has also resulted in lots of deputy posts being created…

Posted in Aunty Anne, Bad Example, Champagne Socialist, Derbyshire County Council, Leader pays Lipservice, Wasting Public Money | Comments Off on Derbyshire Councillors Get £4k Rise

No, Markham Vale Isn’t Right, But It Should Be

Markham Vale is ‘eggsactly’ right Published in The Star 21 May 2013
A leading Northern Irish food firm is to open a plant in the Sheffield City Region Enterprise Zone close to Chesterfield.

Ready Egg Products is planning to create 50 jobs by opening a 34,700 sq. ft factory on Derbyshire County Council flagship employment site at Markham Vale.

The firm is a leading egg processor that supplies UK and Irish food manufacturers. It now sees opportunities to sell to continental Europe, but says transport costs from its current location put it at a commercial disadvantage.

Coun Joan Dixon, Derbyshire County Council Cabinet Member for Jobs, Economy and Transport, said: “More and more companies are making Markham Vale their home because of its location in the centre of England and excellent transport links afforded by its purpose-built junction.

Ready Egg’s plans bring the number of new jobs created at Markham Vale to 260 in the last eight months.

Markham vale is being jointly developed by Derbyshire County Council and Sheffield construction group Henry Boot.

First impressions really count, Derbyshire County Council need to get their head around the following:

1. Broken missing road signs as you enter the Markham Vale site. 

2. The general signage of the area – the businesses that are there have fly posted directions to their business on every lamp post.

3. Graffiti should be cleaned off the signs and street furniture.

4. Weeds and grass growing through the pavement and in the gutters particularly around the recycling facility.

All of the above coupled with the private property keep off signs and swath of security company monitoring signs create a very negative impression of the area. With a little bit of thought it could be more welcoming and an attractive proposition for more companies. At the moment it shouts ‘trouble’.

Posted in Markham Vale | Comments Off on No, Markham Vale Isn’t Right, But It Should Be