A letter from a Beckingham resident to the parish councillor has come into my hands.
Unfortunately, it’s the writer’s letters of resignation from the parish council - that’s a shame, as she sounds a good councillor.
What is more alarming are the reasons for the resignation. Parish councils are responsible for their parishioners for their financial and other affairs - every penny a parish council has should be accounted for. Every decision a parish council makes should be made in the council chamber and not by some faction of the council plotting together beforehand.
It sounds as if Beckingham parishioners ought to be asking the parish council some questions. It sounds as if there is a very cosy arrangement between the chairman, clerk and some councillors and that anyone asking questions and asking for information, to be able to see what the parish council are doing, is bad mouthed.
It sounds as if the meetings are badly chaired with members not speaking through the chair and minutes written that don’t reflect what actually happened in meetings. It sounds too as if members are given little financial and other information. Each month, members should have monthly budget monitoring and bank reconciliation details. The annual budget should be prepared by a finance committee, not consisting of the chairman and vice chairman (with the clerk) but with all members. The budget working papers should give line-by-line information on the previous year’s budget, year-to-date and estimate of income and expenditure for the coming year.
Have councillors had this? No! Have councillors asked for more detailed financial information? Yes! Two have and have been heckled, harassed and sworn at. Two councillors have bravely stood up against this - one has now thrown in the towel!
The ones who should be considering their position are the chairman and those councillors that have been party to this disgraceful behaviour.
Residents of Beckingham! You pay your precepts - find out how the money is spent. Have a say on what’s going on in your village. Rise up and take your parish council to task!
A concerned Bassetlaw