Category Archives: PC Messages

Open Meeting

This evening’s open meeting in the village hall went off very well indeed.  Forty or so Parishioners attended and the meeting was very ably Chaired by our District Councillor, Peter Williamson.

At the commencement of the meeting Peter announced that it was the intention to take a vote of those present, at the end of the meeting to see how many were in support of the actions of the Parish Council over the prior twenty four months and how many were not in support.

A lively discussion ensued, with questions being asked about the administration of both the web site and the Blog, and opinions being expressed about the contents of both.  There was a certain amount of confusion about the difference between these two resources.  Comments were also made about the lack of communication around the Parish.

Colin Hall made an impassioned summary of some of the recent events surrounding the PC with a frank admission to some of the shortfalls that they had experienced.  He was however quite sure that no matters of financial impropriety had occurred.

He then said that at the next PC Meeting he would propose a course of action, seeking assistance from outside resources, in order to see what could be done to eradicate anything that may have been the cause of disquiet.  This would include a 15 minute period of public participation at the commencement of each meeting.

The Chairman collected a number of names of people who were prepared to assist, including towards the possibility of generating a PC owned and supported web site.

Colin did say that he was considering tendering his resignation at the next PC Meeting.  This produced an overwhelming level of support for him to continue in his role.

The meeting ended with a vote on the substantive motion.  There were 38 in favour of support for the PC, 2 abstentions and 1 (me) against.

The meeting adjourned amicably.

Those were the Days

Whilst I was conducting a routine clean out of my Outlook Email Folders I came across the item below.  I think I’ll keep it, to bring back fond memories.

From: Gill Hodgson []
Sent: 17 July 2013 12:12
To: John Keegan
Subject: website

The Cllrs agreed with Mrs Carole Storey about the excellent website and thought a “pat on the back” was in order. Well done – keep up the good work.

Whittington Parish Council
Clerk Gillian Hodgson
6, Meadoway, Arkholme, Carnforth, LA6 1AT
Tel. 01524221814
17th July, 2013

Mrs Carole Storey
Meadow View
Moor Row
Dear Mrs Storey,
Many thanks for the postcard of The Church of St Michael The Archangel that you were able to send to the Parish Council. I have forwarded it to the Parochial Church Council, with a copy of your letter.
I have also informed the keeper of the website, Mr John Keegan regarding the “excellent website”. I agree, it is a very informative and interesting website that it kept up-to-date regularly and I am pleased you were impressed and felt compelled to forward the postcard to us.

Yours sincerely

Gillian Hodgson

Clerk to the Parish Council


Keep In Touch

One frequent theme on this blog is the difficulty of contacting Parish Councillors.  I will not repeat the pros & cons because they have been sufficiently aired.  However, for a change I have what might be an acceptable solution all round.

The “Worlds most reliable mobile phone”, the Nokia 3310 can be bought from numerous places on the Internet for less than £25, SIM free.  A SIM card for Pay-as-you-Go would cost a further £10, and as it is only required for incoming calls, it will last for ever.

Nokia 3310

It is a simple, rather than smart, phone ideally suited to the task of receiving calls.  It can be transferred to another person if a particular Councillor looses their seat in an election, or retires from the PC. More particularly it is robust and reliable.  Maureen and I have each  had ones that we have used since 2000.

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