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Talkback is for the residents and businesses in Liphook to voice their views and opinions about local issues and events.

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Is by-election really necessary?
- Trevor (25th Sep 2018  10:36:36)

Is spending £9,000+ on a by-election now when, in 6 month's time, we have to spend another £9,000+ on next May's elections sensible? This seems to me to be an utter waste of tax payers' money!

The Parish Council didn't ask for a by-election. It was only called by EHDC following a requested by 20 voters. To the best of my knowledge no political party requested it.

These vacancies could have easily been filled by co-option.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Editor (25th Sep 2018  12:53:46)

Bramshott and Liphook Parish
By-Election called for two seats

A by-election has been called to fill two vacant seats on Bramshott and Liphook Parish Council.

Candidates hoping to stand must submit nomination forms to East Hampshire District Council between Thursday 27 September and 4pm on Friday 5 October.

Nomination forms are available from EHDC’s offices at Penns Place, Petersfield.

To vote in the by-election residents must be on the electoral register by Tuesday 16 October 2018.

Applications to vote by post must be received by EHDC by 5pm on Wednesday 17 October and applications to vote by proxy must be received by 5pm on Wednesday 24 October.

For more information go to EHDC’s website: easthants.gov.uk /bramshott-and-liphook-parish-election or contact Lianne Richards, EHDC Elections Manager, on 01730 234370, or by email: lianne.richards@easthants.gov.uk

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Richard (25th Sep 2018  13:34:37)

The advantage of a by-election is it may encourage someone new to get involved. Co-option is less likely to do that.

The cost is unfortunate, but could be viewed as part of the price of democracy.

Clearly a number of people felt so, as a By-Election is scheduled.

I would like to understand what costs amount to £9k for an election, as I would like to know more on this subject.

Can anyone provide a link, for a spot of light reading?

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Judy (25th Sep 2018  15:39:10)

Richard it is the District Council who run the election they decide how much they
Charge and it does seem silly that we will have to have one now and also in May.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Richard (25th Sep 2018  18:08:42)

Is this the right fee scales?

easthants.gov.uk/sites/default/files/documents/Local%20elections%20fees%20scale%20for%202018-19.pdf

If so, how many electors do we have?

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- A. Ryan (25th Sep 2018  21:19:55)

Good grief, is it any wonder that people don't bother with these local elections. Looking at the costs on the link for an election makes the eyes water. I have said before it all needs yanking into the present.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- judy (25th Sep 2018  21:36:20)

Yes think that is correct I think we have at least 7k elegible to vote as there are nearly 10k in population. Problem is although we are charged a lot very few turn out to vote!

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Trevor (8th Oct 2018  15:17:40)

The madness continues. There is to be another by-election on 13 December for the one remaining parish council seat. Nothing can stop it, not even commonsense!

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- KT (8th Oct 2018  21:24:54)

Are you sure about that? One person was elected on Friday so there is one remaining place which can now be co-opted. Why would there be another by- election?

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- judy (8th Oct 2018  23:11:06)

I believe the rules on this are set by the district council not at Parish Council level. It does seem crazy.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- KT (9th Oct 2018  00:10:18)

Having looked at this a bit more It looks like the cost is very small where it's uncontested...I think £150.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Richard (9th Oct 2018  09:57:59)

Trevor, as you have highlighted the potential cost of a by-election, perhaps you can stand so that the one in December is the last one?

If no-one else stands then the cost wil be much reduced.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (9th Oct 2018  10:57:46)

In answer to Trevor’s question “Is a By Election really necessary?” the answer is yes. It’s called Democracy and in this case 20 voters have requested a By Election. This puts me in mind of Winston Churchill’s oft quoted saying “ Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” The most salient point is why was it necessary in the first case to have a By Election – nobody sadly passed away which is one reason for a By Election and no one moved out of the District or felt that work commitments prevented them from giving up their free time to work for the Parish – NO - the reason for this by election was because good and efficient parish councillors have recently resigned because they could not stand the unpleasantness and bullying which is present in B&LPC and has been for some time. Many, many of us know the people perpetrating this culture and the only way to stop it is to vote for candidates who have Bramshott & Liphook’s best interests at heart when they stand for election in May 2019 – make sure they are elected and not the others and the electors of Bramshott & Liphook will get the Parish Council it deserves.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Trevor (10th Oct 2018  21:12:14)

Just to place things in perspective. The next by-election on 13 December, if contested, with be very expensive.

The successful candidate, once all the paperwork is complete, will take office about mid January. They will remain a councillor until mid March when, due to the pending 4-yearly, local election they will have to stand down: they cannot hold office during the 6 week election campaign.

Ergo: because we are a very big (6,800 voters) ward we run the risk paying out £9,000 for someone to be a parish councillor for TWO effective months. I believe that the parish council has better things to spend this money on.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Jo (10th Oct 2018  22:45:51)

My husband decided that he would apply to be a parish councillor. I handed in his paper on Friday morning. I specifically asked the receptionist if she could take the form, or did it need to be someone else? She said that she could take it. We found out by email and a call to my husband that a couple of things on the form hadn’t been filled in correctly, one was that he hadn’t put Hampshire in the address. He had put the postcode and his electoral number( which would show the FULL address.) The form was not meant to be taken by the receptionist but by the electoral officer so she could check the form and get you to make any corrections before leaving the building.
By this time I was in Bognor visiting a sick family member and my husband was in London working. Neither of us could get back in time to change the form, which was not therefore accepted as valid.
A ridiculous system, waste of time and money.
Therefore there was another person willing to stand but bureaucracy got in the way!

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Jane Ives (10th Oct 2018  22:50:46)

I think that's quite misleading Trevor. If the by-election is 13th December the candidate will be in place within just a few days and as far as I know meetings are scheduled right through to April.

The reason for another by-election is because more than 10 electors asked for one and so the process will go on until someone is elected. I can't imagine there's going to be a rush of nominations so hopefully one person will come forward and be elected uncontested.

If some of the parish councillors had behaved appropriately we wouldn't be in this mess as I for one certainly wouldn't have resigned.

If you want to worry about money being wasted look no further than money being wasted right now on a very expensive tractor that has cost nearly double from the one the grounds staff felt was sufficient for their work £20k plus as opposed to £11k.

The parish council have plenty of reserves and the cost of an election to put in place a decent community minded resident would be money well spent in my book.
This parish deserves far better than it is currently getting.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Jim (10th Oct 2018  23:20:36)

Well said Penny

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Finchie (11th Oct 2018  06:37:10)

Proud member of the newly formed “Angry Mob” here (see lady taxi driver thread). So back to that common sense thing ...

I’ve checked what a Parish Council should do ...

wikipedia.org/wiki/Parish_councils_in_England#Powers_and_duties

The clocks will keep ticking, the allotments will keep growing (do we have any) and the lights will stay on.

We can all survive 3 council meetings (three months) without a full complement. Surprised the clique want to dilute their “power” anyway.

Trevor, I’m with you, how do we stop this madness ?

@DawnH, where are you we when we need you ?

Cheers, Finchie



Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- judy (11th Oct 2018  11:41:51)

On the one hand the potentially expensive by election has been called, on the other hand Jane (Parish Clerk for Greatham) is implying that Parish Councillors should not vote for something unless it is in line with what all the staff have decided. Rather defeats the object of having the councillors, then if the staff decisions hold sway surely?

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Jane Ives (11th Oct 2018  11:55:16)

No Judy I'm simply saying that councillors should be mindful of what they spend and surely the staff know more about what they need to do their job properly than a bunch of councillors?
Not sure why it's relevant what job I do but let's also not forget I chaired Liphook Parish Council for 2 years and was a councillor for 6 so I have some idea of what I'm taking about.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Dawn Hoskins (15th Oct 2018  11:20:40)

Hi Finchie

My work commitments mean that I have little free time atm.

I have heard lots of bad things about the toxic situation that currently exists at BLPC - which is a real shame. I thought that this was all sorted out and when I was there things had moved on from a bad [and expensive] past and turned into a really collegiate atmosphere.

It makes me very sad that people can't just pull together for the good of the Parish and ALSO (very importantly) bear in mind that the other 11 people around the table may have different ideas about what is good for the parish.

Being the head of a dictatorship is easy - sitting around a table when people don't agree with you and strongly believe that what they are saying is the best option creates a toxic environment which can lead to bullying and intimidation. People getting shouted at because they don't agree etc etc It means that small things get blown up out of all proportion - and in the scheme of it - the Parish Council really only deal with smaller things.

I mean really - why should the job of replacing a broken tractor for the groundsmen be frontpage news? - Why would any person who claims to have the interests of the Parish at heart be feeding stories about trivialities to the gutter press? Ridiculous, childish, petty point-scoring behaviour which brings the whole council into disrepute.

You are never going to get 12 people who agree on every little point, but you do need 12 people who can 'go with the flo' without taking mortal offence everytime rich tea biscuits are brought instead of digestives.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (15th Oct 2018  16:14:21)

Nothing has been sorted out on BLPC in spite of the spending of considerable sums of taxpayers' money in the past and it appears the present as well. If anything the toxic situation has grown worse.

We all know the councillors responsible for this consistent bullying and harassment which drives the good parish councillors to resignation. The situation on BLPC has nothing to do with 12 people agreeing or not disagreeing.

It would not be healthy for everyone to agree all the time, but councillors on well run and democratic parish councils debate and discuss with respect and restraint. Certain councillors on BLPC do not. They threaten, harass, bully and try to destroy.

This situation will never be resolved until these people are removed and the only way to do that is for enough people who truly have the best interests of the parish at heart to stand at the next elections in May 2019 and for the electors of Bramshott and Liphook to vote for them.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- judy (16th Oct 2018  01:25:41)

Penny, it could be a subliminal wish on your part but in your first post you say " nobody sadly passed away" do you wish all the Parish Councillors
to pass away?
It does appear silly to hold a by election so close to May when the chance will come to stand yourself Penny!

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (17th Oct 2018  14:28:43)

Judy I think you don't really understand the electoral process. In your first post you say that a potentially expensive by election has been called on one hand and on the other, Jane who indeed is the Parish Clerk for Greatham (although that statement is completely irrelevant) is implying that parish councillors should not vote for something unless it is in line with what the staff have decided. Wrong on both counts.

The election has been called because 10 or more electors have requested it. That is democracy. The only time that a by election cannot be called is if it is requested within 6 months of the date of an election. This election was called outside that exclusion zone. Perhaps you should campaign for Electoral Reform. With regard to staff suggestions/recommendations all Jane said was that a very expensive tractor had been purchased costing nearly double the one the grounds staff felt was sufficient for their work ie £20k plus as opposed to £11k. Quite sensible for councillors to listen to the people who actually doing the work and then voting. Instead it seems they ignored the groundworkers' advice and opted to spend far more of taxpayers money than was probably necessary.

In the post to myself - no of course it is not my wish, subliminal or otherwise, for any parish councillor to pass away. I am sure most people knew exactly what I was trying to say ie that the passing away of a councillor is very sad and could be a reason for a by election. Badly put by myself I agree but nitpicking by you. With regard to your final paragraph I have answered that in my first paragraph ie the date when this by election was called was outside the 6 months exclusion period.

With regard to myself standing as a parish councillor, my workload is such that I would not be able to give sufficient time to be a committed parish councillor and there is nothing worse that a "part time" or halfhearted parish councillor.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- judy (17th Oct 2018  16:23:08)

I think that the 10 electors who voted for the by election so close May next year may not have realised they could potentially cost the council tax payers a lot of money just so someone can serve on a Parish Council for a few months. It was interesting that in the end one person was elected by default really, surely that shows the level of interest in tractorgate.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- KT (17th Oct 2018  18:43:49)

Actually Judy it was more than 10, over 20 I believe. And maybe they knew that it would cost money but maybe they felt that the cost was justifiable if it stopped the current councillors co-opting their mates!

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (17th Oct 2018  19:13:25)

Judy I don't understand what you mean by tractorgate! Where is the relevance? Perhaps you are trying to inject levity into this Thread. However the situation on B&LPCnot a matter for levity and KT has hit the nail on the head. This is no joking matter - bullying and harassment is abhorrent at any level - look what has been happening in the House of Commons. Good people are desperately needed in all walks of life but in the voluntary sector such as the parish council such people are not going to give up their time for nothing, even though they really want to do something for the community, if they are going to be frightened, bullied and traduced. It really is as bad as that.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Dawn Hoskins (18th Oct 2018  11:26:42)

Penny

I think The reference to the tractor is about the 'horrific levels of mortal offence - and subsequent press coverage by Rita Skeeter.

In a nutshell - John Deere tractor came to a sad end after many good years of service. Groundsmen were recommended to get a tractor of the same capabilities to replace and continue with the work they do.

A councillor thought that a cheaper less capable tractor would 'do'.

Then there was a major news story about wasting money on tractors. All very silly but still manages to paint Liphook in a bad light. Rita Skeeter and her magic quill and all that............

I had to stop buying the Herald many years ago. When I was a Parish Councillor it was such absolute and utter salacious drivel and fantasy that was written that I made me unable to believe anything in the whole paper.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (18th Oct 2018  13:50:10)

I was quoting Janes Ives the ex-chairman of B& LPC, not anything reported in The Herald. I don't read The Herald, let alone buy it.

Jane Ives said in her post “If you want to worry about money being wasted look no further than money being wasted right now on a very expensive tractor that has cost nearly double from the one the grounds staff felt was sufficient for their work £20k plus as opposed to £11k.”

Ergo It was not a councillor who originally suggested a cheaper option but the grounds staff and I think they would be better placed to know what was needed.

However moving on, sadly the parish council is now in a much worse state than it was all those years ago when a large sum of taxpayers’ money was spent purporting to “clean up the parish council”. Unfortunately it didn’t work. I just feel very sorry for the electors and Liphook & Bramshott.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Judy (18th Oct 2018  14:58:25)

Penny you appear to be forming your opinions of people based on what you read on here. Unless you yourself have attended all the Parish Council meetings in person over the last few years how would you know what is going on there if you are not reading the Herald? It is just hearsay.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Penny (18th Oct 2018  15:30:26)

Judy, I have and I know exactly what is going on and it is not hearsay.

Re: Is by-election really necessary?
- Jane Ives (18th Oct 2018  17:45:51)

And Judy how many parish council meetings have you attended? I pretty much knew everyone who attended and we never had a Judy there....

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