Sunday, July 23, 2017

Oakham Town Council Failing To Comply With Nearly All Requirements of The Transparency Act Due To The Clerk Failings

Oakham Town Council Failing To Comply With Nearly All  Requirements of The Transparency Act Due To The Clerk Allison  Greaves Failings

As of the 1st July 2017 all parish and town council should have complied with the act.

Oakham Town Council has not and the clerk ignored all my communications about this

As a Town Council with an income of over £200,000 a year we are required by law to
do more than a smaller parish council.

A few examples of the clerks failings are:

Failure to Publish on the website all spending transactions over £100

Failure to Publish all documents attached to Agendas

Failure to Publish Audit Reports.

Failure to Publish at least an audio recording of all meetings.

One of our Councillors said he was aware that we are not complying with laws
and the issue is no one can enforce them.

I suggested they read the item referring  to the act via the house of commons
website. I found that among the powers the local government minster now has,
they can order the principle council not to hand over the council tax precept to
an offending parish or town council.

I am pleased the day is coming when Parish and Town Council are going to have
to follow laws.

Unfortunately due to Oakham Town Councils unlawful sanctions I can no longer
discuss these and other failing with the clerk.

I am astonished that a councillor who want a council to do things correctly
can be treated in this way when the clerk objects to me pointing out many failings
This all blew up after I attended a LRAC meeting and Ron Simpson the chairman
at the time asked a number of questions like do you receive this from your
Clerk. All three Oakham Town Councillors present answered many questions
with a no. Cllr Joyce Lucas said she had seen a guide for over years.
I wrote to the clerk and expressed my concern and received a letter from
the locum clerk accusing  me of bullying the Clerk Allison Greaves.
We were told at the LRAC meeting the problem of Clerks is widespread
throughout the country.

Difficult Clerks will say Cllrs employ them which is true, as a corporate body
no individual councillor can instruct a Clerk, when you raise questions like
mine they respond with the councillor is bullying and a threat to me.

I think it is a unique situation, I can not see this ever being permitted in the
normal work place.

Sent: Thursday, July 20, 2017 at 7:53 PM
From: MJHaley
To: "Martin Brookes"
Cc: "Peter ind" , "Adam Lowe" , "Anne Skipworth"
Subject: Administrative sanctions
Dear Cllr Brookes

During  Council’s EGM held on 19 July 2017, Council resolved to introduce the following administrative  measures with immediate effect:

1.    All e-mail sent by Cllr Brookes to the Clerk’s office are blocked and Cllr Brookes is advised to send his Council related e-mail to the Chairman. The Chairman and Vice Chairman will act as a filter between the Clerk’s office and Cllr Brookes.
2.    The Clerk is instructed not to respond to incoming phone calls from Cllr Brookes. Cllr Brookes is advised to contact the Chairman or in his absence, the Vice Chairman with any urgent Council related business. The Chairman or Vice Chairman will determine whether it is urgent or could be dealt with by e-mail or letter.
3.    The Clerk is instructed not to respond to any unarranged visits to the office by Councillor Brookes. Councillor Brookes is asked to make arrangements for any necessary visits with the Chairman who will, in consultation with the Clerk, arrange for himself or the Vice Chairman to be present during any such visit.
4.    Before, during and immmediately after Council and Council Committtee meetings, the Clerk is accompanied by at least one other councillor whilst Cllr Brookes is present.
5.    The effectiveness of these measures to be reviewed by the Staffing Committee after a period of 3 months. The Staffing Committee with advise Council if they are coinsidered to be effective or if not, what additional measures may be required to reduce the identified risks.
 Kind regards
Cllr  Michael Haley
Chairman Oakham Town Council