Disorderly end to Parish Council Meeting

The extraordinary meeting called by Longstanton Parish Council last Friday afternoon had to be closed prematurely when a member of the public who had been conducting a forensic audit on behalf of the council refused to comply with requests from council chair Gill Ashby to stop addressing the meeting.

After the meeting, the Parish Council issued a statement that can be viewed here. Today, the Cambridge News, whose reporter was present at the meeting, published its account of the proceedings. The Cambridge News report is available here.
District Councillor Alex Riley commented in his newsletter:

It is entirely fair to describe the meeting as having been a farce. Mr Wells paid absolutely no attention to the Chair of the meeting, talking for a solid half hour, and then proceeding to barrack if any of the councillors said anything he disagreed with. Some residents arrived suitably wound-up by our village mischief-maker who has been in a frenzy of whipping up feeling against our Parish Council. He must be suitably disappointed by the CN’s report.

Mr Wells’ figure of £45-50,000 is completely ludicrous, because the level of staff salaries was always unsustainable, particularly in early 2012 once the kitchen was up-and-running. Losing money because of mismanagement is not the same as corruption.

Residents who wish to comment on this issue are invited to do so here by clicking on the ‘Leave a reply’ link or the ‘bubble’ at the top of this post.

Comments

Disorderly end to Parish Council Meeting — 3 Comments

  1. It looks like Mr Wells is putting the blame exclusively with the Parish Clerk of the previous Parish Council but absolving Councillors who were running the Parish Council (including the Chair) at the time of the losses. Presumably the losses/mismanagement and alleged fraud would have continued if this sad situation had not been stopped by the current Council.

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  2. It was actually the previous council that suspected this theft was occurring back in dec 2011. The Clerk understood suspicions were circulating and set about a campaign supported by senior figures in our community to get the council changed (she knew that if this happened she maybe get away with it). Her plan worked and a new council were elected bar two member, I was one that survived the cull). By now the clerk has formed close relationship with some new council members who when I pressed for the finances to be investigated they took me to be a trouble maker in turn if believe ing the clerk. I spoke to SCDC at the time and subsequently te police as the Clerk was in sittue and the more I pressed for us to get access to evidence the more she destroyed. If the ‘new’ council had been impartial rather than egotistic and intent of ‘blaming the old councillors’ a system that the Clerk worked for over 5 year, then we would have been able to obtain evidence and we would not have also paid the best part if a years worth if salary whilst she was in sick leave being looked into. The current council have failed us as previous councils ( that are constantly changing in members) may have suspected wrong doing but we were prevented getting evidence. They had experience people telling them if concerns and they chose to ignore in support of a thief and to continue petty (personal in most cases) grievances. I am happy to stand in a court of law to state this and have evidence to show we had concerns but we did not get a chance to develop the investigations due to the crusade of the new councillors under the clerks control sweeping in to try to save the day.

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  3. Well said Mrs Moran. I would find it difficult to put it better myself.
    That said, I will shortly post my entire statement, with all attachments, to this site in order that the Parishioners of Longstanton may judge for themselves and obtain some satisfaction from the ongoing proceedings.
    The round of applause from members of the public was satisfaction enough for me and shows that we are on the right track. Trying to shoot the messenger after the message has been delivered was simply puerile and once again exposes the desperation of this ruling Triumvirate-in-Council.

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