Saturday, March 11, 2017

Oakham Town Council Tree Survey 2015 Neglect

Oakham Town Council Tree Survey 2015 Neglect

In 2015 Oakham Town Council paid a considerable sum of money to obtain
a survey report for all the trees in the town it was responsible for at the time.

The report was never presented to full council until last week.

Urgent recommendations have not been acted upon by the office.

Cllr Joyce Lucas our tree warden told the council at a previous meeting the report had been
lost and a new one was required I supported her £13,000 budget request
enough funding to obtain a new report. At the last meeting she said I was
not telling the truth. It is fortunate I record all meetings and can prove
Cllr Joyce Lucas is very forgetful.

Cllr Lucas tried to deflect from the fact she and the office had neglected their
responsibilities to ensure the requirements of this report were carried out.
Cllr Lucas felt it was appropriate to read a very defamatory and offensive statement
blaming me for their failings accusing me continually lying and harassing staff and
Councillors over the last two years, (see video)



(yes Cllr Lucas while we are expected to abide by this financial regulation 10.3. All members and Officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times. An officer issuing an official order shall ensure as far as reasonable and practicable that the best available terms are obtained in respect of each transaction, usually by obtaining three or more quotations or estimates from appropriate suppliers, subject to any de minimis provisions in Regulation 11 below.  I will continue to ask that
we obtain quotes for all major works and contracts)


At the same meeting it was decided the council no longer needs to obtain three quotes
for any work.

Since the meeting there has been some communication between myself and Cllr Adam
Lowe our Chairman.

His last email he takes one part of our financial regulation and suggests I am misunderstanding it
he rather oddly suggests to the clerk I am in breach of standing orders for pointing out that
the staff would be committing an act of gross misconduct if they breached our financial regulations.
By pointing these regulations he says I am guilty of instigating disciplinary proceedings?

1.6. A breach of these Regulations by an employee is gross misconduct. 

10.3. All members and Officers are responsible for obtaining value for money at all times. An officer issuing an official order shall ensure as far as reasonable and practicable that the best available terms are obtained in respect of each transaction, usually by obtaining three or more quotations or estimates from appropriate suppliers, subject to any de minimis provisions in Regulation 11 below. 


I am not misunderstanding anything what I see is a Town Council that once again is not
interested in obtaining value for money at all times.


Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 at 7:47 PM
From: "Adam Lowe"
To: "Malcolm Plumb"
Cc: MJHaley , "Martin Brookes"
Subject: Re: Quotes Complaint


Malcolm

Cllr Martin Brookes has submitted a complaint against the Council to myself.
He has also made a request  that disciplinary action against the Assistant Clerk be taken.

Below are extracts from e-mails from Cllr Brookes. You were copied into the originals I believe.



(i)   'disciplinary action against the assistant clerk for gross misconduct for ignoring the financial regs to obtain at least three quotes'

(ii) 'Please accept my complaint about the council refusing to obtain quotes'

Regarding the Council procedures, g) Councillors concerns regarding procedural matters relating to any Council business should be taken up, in the first instance, with the Clerk. Employees concerns may be taken up through the Clerk and / or the Chair of the Council, initially on an informal basis.

Can you look into (ii) above and advise Cllr Brookes of your finding please. Cllr Brookes pointed me toward Financial Regulations 10, my own interpretation is that it states in 10.3 'usually by obtaining three or more quotations'. As such it is not mandatory under our own Financial Regulations. 

In my opinion the Council has not committed any breach of any regulations.

In regard to (i) above, Cllr Brookes has made a general comment without specific detail, as such though my understanding is that he referring to the same issues around quotes and as such the same rule applies and the Assistant Clerk has not breached any of the Councils Standing Orders, Cllr Brookes appears to have predetermined this as he states he wants a disciplinary against the Assistant Clerk.

Cllr Brookes appears to have breached the Council procedures here as they state (c) Any formal disciplinary action will only be initiated by the Clerk or the Full Council /  appropriate committee with delegated powers. No individual Elected Member has the ability to unilaterally initiate formal disciplinary action.


Once again, as Clerk to the Council can you look into this issue and give direct feedback to Cllr Brooks, please copy in myself and Cllr Michael Haley.

At this stage I believe Cllr Brookes has just misunderstood the Standing Orders and Financial Regulation and once these matters have been addressed I would suggest the matter is considered closed.

All communications in regard to this matter should be copied to Cllr Brookes, Cllr Haley and myself, I want to ensure that we have 100% transparency, no other members need to be involved at this stage in my opinion.


Regards 

Adam Lowe

Councillor North West Ward

Chairman Oakham Town Council




Sent: Friday, March 10, 2017 at 12:30 PM
From: "Adam Lowe"
To: "Martin Brookes" , "Malcolm Plumb" , MJHaley

Subject: Re: Quotes Complaint

Martin

Can you submit an agenda item to the Office if you require three quotes to be obtained, I do not set the agenda the Clerk does as you have already pointed out previously.

Regarding your 'disciplinary action' point.

Can you be specific which financial regulation you are referring to.


Regards 


Adam Lowe





















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