All posts by Graham Williams

Spring is sprung

A beautiful time of year with daffodils and the like. Yesterday heard a chiff-chaff, first of the spring migrants, somewhere near the house, sorry no photograph yet. For next year, perhaps the PC could allocate some of our money for the purchase of daffodil bulbs for the verges in the outlying parts of the parish.

Mondays Open Meeting

Although I do not propose to attend the proposed Open Meeting on 20th March I am curious about what will form the basis of the discussion.

 The meeting is to be held prior to the normal Parish Council Meeting so at that point the minutes for the January PC meeting will not have been formally agreed.

 I have already written to the PC expressing my concern at what I see as a general lack of clarity in its minutes, in particular the agreed minutes for November 2016 and have already expressed similar concerns about the draft minutes of the January meeting.  These concerns have been underscored by the vice chairman’s comment on the blog on 4th March

“Parish Council is always short on funds and realises that reserves have to be built if any meaningful project is to be carried out in the village, that is why the precept was increased.

That is the situation as it stands today however as you say much criticism seems to have been aired regarding this project, probably fuelled by the thought of a cost of £7,800 +Vat and a 10% rise in the precept to solely fund this project.

I don’t know where the £7,800+ VAT figure comes from (certainly not Parish Council) and it is incorrect to assume a precept increase is for the sole use of a SPID.”

Curiously neither the need to build reserves or the costs of Spids is mentioned in the draft minutes for January but it is always open for the PC to amend the draft minutes before they are agreed.

Incidentally, in July 2006 the minutes show the projected cost of two spids at £7,100 but is not clear whether this figure included VAT.

No doubt all will become clear after the PC meeting on Monday 20th but since this will take place after the proposed open meeting I find it difficult to see what can be discussed or achieved at the open meeting, hence my decision not to attend.

Of course it is always open for the PC to admit that its agreed minutes dating back to July 2006 fail to demonstrate that proper consideration has been given to both the issue of traffic speeds through the village and the actions open to the PC to deal with the problem, if indeed the facts show that there is a problem with traffic regularly exceeding the existing limit.

Graham Williams

Parish Council & Wagtail

This is a text of an email I have sent this morning to the PC. I will be sure to post their reply.

“Parish Council and Wagtail

Pending clarification of Minute 1286, you may not be aware that the Village Blog shows that at least one resident believes that they are kept fully informed of Parish Council activities by reading ‘Wagtail’.

Can you confirm:

1. The funding made available by the PC to ‘Wagtail’, say over the last three financial years.

2. That the PC sees ‘Wagtail’ as a valuable and comprehensive source of information for residents.


Graham Williams
7 March, 2017

PC Communication

As readers may have noticed I am somewhat concerned about the quality of communication from the Parish Council.

In view of the up-coming PC Meeting, 20th March, I have written to the PC requesting clarification.


Parish Council Communication

I have recently noticed that the quality of The Parish Council’s attempts at communicating with the residents has deteriorated.

This is illustrated by the obscurity of Minute 1286 and what seems to be the PC’s flawed decision making process in relation to the use of Speed indicating devices in the Parish.

I have put together the attached notes for consideration at the next Parish Council Meeting.

Because of the lack of clarity in Minute 1286 it seems possible that the PC is not aware of the comments made on the Village Blog and in the absence of the proposed electronic communication for the Parish I will post these comments together with your response on the Village Blog.


Graham Williams

end of covering letter


November 2016 Meeting Extract from Minute1286.

Response to parishioner’s comments

discussion took place regarding electronic communication, the village blog/website originally registered to Whittington Parish Council though current Cllrs, nor the Clerk, have any details of the registration and publicly disclaim any details that are published on the site, be it that it is not updated or added to, directly, by any current councillor or the clerk.

At the January 2017 Parish Council Meeting the minutes of the November were agreed.

x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x – x

Although The Parish Council has agreed the Minutes, sadly I find it lacking in clarity at best and unintelligible at worst.


1. I understand that the PC are not allowed to identify individual parishioners but what were his/her comments?

2. The minute can be interpreted as meaning that the website run by John Keegan was a Council approved website run by him on behalf of the Parish Council.

2.1 If this was the case, it would have been a very far reaching decision taken by the Parish Council and as such would have been properly minuted.

2.2 It would appear that the Parish Council does not now accept any responsibility for the site. If the original decision had been properly minuted, this would have been even more far reaching than their original decision to register and therefore there should be a minute recording this decision and the reasons for it, with possibly a letter to Mr Keegan explaining why this decision had been reached.

3. What exactly does the decision taken by the Parish Council mean in relation to the website.

3.1 Do Parish Councillors treat the website as a means of communication from Parishioners? If they don’t, this should have been made clear with details given on the website of how Parishioners should contact the Parish Council and how and when they might expect a properly considered response.

Presumably the contact details for all councillors are readily available, but where?

3.2 Does the Parish Council even monitor what is being said on the website and Blog. If it does not then it should reflect on the fact that its decision to acquire Speed indication devices has attracted a lot of comment. To date, none of it in favour of this proposal. Despite the fact that it will result in a 10% increase in the Parish Council levy the minutes of the PC do not show that it has given the concept the proper and informed consideration it merits.

I hope that the Parish Council will find time to consider and respond properly to these points.

Graham Williams, 4 March, 2017

end of Attachment