Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Town Council sends Police after electors!

In a letter to the Hunts Post, John Bowskill says the following:
"On the evening of April 14, I received a visit from Pc Aaron Murphy, who had been sent by his Inspector, Mark Greenhalgh, following a complaint lodged by Cllr Harrison with the police against me, John Bowskill, for allegedly being aggressive at the meeting on March 29."

John goes on to describe this visit:
"Pc Murphy did not know what the aggressive incident had been until I explained it to him, and he did not see it as being very aggressive."

Of course not.

"Cllr Harrison has told the police that if I am aggressive again at any future meeting, I would be asked to leave."

Cllr Harrison, as Chairman of the Committee, has the power, as indeed any Chairman has, of excluding an person or persons from a meeting they are chairing.

Sending the police round to scare a few electors will have the opposite effect. As it has done.

John write further:
"At the end of the meeting, one of our action group, Sandy Tuke, approached Cllr Harrison and a group of councillors and politely said: “We are not unreasonable people.” His immediate reply was that: “You have been aggressive throughout all the meetings and you are anti-childnow just get out so that we can carry on with our meeting.”

Whether they have been aggressive is a point of view. Informing them to get out of the meeting is wrong. These are meetings which are open to the public, which is something Mrs Thatcher fought for. I thought local councils were supposed to be close to the people rather than excluding them!

At this point I thought I would look up the minutes of this meeting. I read through the draft minutes and there is no indication that these events took place. If the public are being aggressive and the Chairman gave warnings these should have been minuted. They weren't!

I also found something interesting! The draft minutes state the following:

"Residents living in the area around Balmoral Way were in attendance. The Chairman said that the Committee had agreed to hear from one resident supporting the play area and one resident against the proposal.
Mrs Tuke of Balmoral Way spoke against the proposal and Mrs L Ruck of Barnard Close spoke for the scheme."

I find it strange that Mrs Ruck spoke for the scheme. If Mrs L Ruck is a Town Councillor or related to either or both Town Councillors listed at Barnard Close this should have been declared and minuted.
Otherwise this gives the impression that Mrs L Ruck is an ordinary citizen with no connection to this scheme or the Conservatives!

But there seems to be a misunderstanding by John and his fellow protesters:

"I sent an e-mail to Mr Reilly, asking for Cllr Harrison to be dismissed from the town council for his behaviour."

Cllr Harrison has been elected by the people of the ward of Eaton Socon as one of their representatives on the Town Council. The only people who can sack him are the electors of Eaton Socon at the next Town Council elections in 3 years time. Ed Reilly is the Acting Town Clerk and is an employee of the Town Council. It is the Town Councillors that are in charge and it is, we the people, who elect these Town Councillors.

John Bowskill and Owen Murrell carried out an opinion poll to find out what the people facing on to the proposed play area thought. This was heavily against this proposal. There is a conflict with the Conservative pledge to put a play area in Eynesbury in the original spot.

The Conservatives have an election pledge to carry through. This is what the people voted for. The problem is the people living next to the proposed play area don't want it there. This has been the problem with putting in a play area. Virtually everyone wants one but so long as it is not near them.

In the end the Town Council is there for us, the people. Those we put in charge have to make difficult decisions which some may not like and will be against whatever the final decision. That is Government. We elect these people as representatives to the various Councils. 

If the Town Council decided to put a play area on a plot of land near my house I could be against this. I could be very against this and I understand the feelings of residents who oppose these proposals. Obviously Cllr Harrison doesn't seem to understand these points of views. Going as far as labelling residents as: "Anti-child". That is wrong. These residents aren't "Anti-child" they are anti a play area being put where none has been before!

What is also wrong is sending the Police round to have a word. If no law has been broken nor anyone hasn't been excluded from the meeting then this is simply Over The Top and is intimidation of residents who quite rightly aren't intimidated.

Is this is what is going to happen to opponents of this Conservative run Town Council? They are going to have the Police sent round to see them! I hope not.

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