Posts Tagged ‘Rotten Borough of Rushmoor’

Too pissed to run his own pub

April 2, 2015
Councillor Bruce Thomas runs La Fontaine

Councillor Bruce Thomas runs La Fontaine

La Fontaine has been raided eleven times by council officials, at times also accomanied by police and councillors.

They have found illegal after-hours drinking, illegal on-premises smoking, illegal out-of-hours music.

They would have liked to have questioned the pub landlord Councillor Bruce Thomas, only found he was too intoxicated to answer questions.

Not the behaviour to be expected from a pub landlord, not the behaviour to be expected from a local councillor.

This therefore begs the questions: Why has the pub not been closed, why has the licence to run a pub not been revoked? Why is he still a local councillor?

To run a pub, it is necessary to show fit and proper person.

According to the local comic:

In documents handed to the council, PC Iain Barnes said the La Fontaine was in breach of two of the council’s four licensing objectives – prevention of crime and disorder and prevention of public nuisance.

PC Barnes first visited the pub during the early hours of August 20, 2011, with RBC licensing officer Sue Berry.

They found the front door locked but could see through the window people at the bar and the pub’s disco lights on.

Entering, PC Barnes and Mrs Berry heard people talking about ‘hiding ash trays’ and they could see and smell smoke. They were led to the kitchen where PC Barnes challenged Cllr Thomas about people smoking on the premises, which Cllr Thomas denied.

Further visits by RBC found other breaches of the pub’s 2005 licence, including recorded music being played after hours, people being re-admitted after midnight and patrons drinking outside in areas not covered by the pub’s licence.

The pub’s licence requires it to ensure customers vacate external drinking areas by 10pm and to stop recorded music at 11pm.

PC Barnes found the level of intoxication witnessed during his two most recent visits suggested alcohol was not being sold in a responsible way and people were being served ‘beyond the point of drunkenness’. And that the conduct of Bruce Thomas  painted an unprofessional image and demonstrated an inability to maintain ‘satisfactory control’ of his establishment and customers.

During the planning meeting to discuss the destruction of The Tumbledown Dick, Councillor Bruce Thomas fell over backwards to put the boot in. No vested interest was declared. When later that evening he dared to show his face at the Tilly Shilling, he was asked to justify his deplorable behaviour. He claimed he did not know what was going on and had to vote how he was told to vote by council officials.

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Rotten Borough of Rushmoor commissions nuisance phone calls

September 16, 2014
Rotten Borough of Rushmoor masonic handshake

Rotten Borough of Rushmoor masonic handshake

One thing guaranteed to piss people off is nuisance phone calls.

The latest wheeze from the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor is to commission a marketing company to make nuisance phone calls to local residents to ask them what they think of efforts by the council to trash Aldershot and Farnborough.

We have commissioned the market research company NEMS to carry out some telephone surveys. They will be asking questions about people’s shopping habits and their views on how local town centres are used. If you have any queries, please contact the planning policy team on 01252 398733.

You could not make it up if you tried.

What your shopping habits are, is no business of the council.

From where are they getting the telephone numbers?

Is the council passing over confidential personal data? If yes, a criminal offence under data protection legislation.

Local resident Richard Young very ably sums up the view of local people:

So you’ve used public money to get people to ring us up and piss us off, nice one!

Why not set up an online survey? You’d get better feed back, more of it and you wouldn’t have to pay anyone. Seriously dudes, come on!

Is this not the role of local councillors, are they not supposed to know?

Having trashed Farnborough, having laid waste to Aldershot with Wastegate, the council is now proposing to pour £4.5 million down the drain in Aldershot, the only ‘consultation‘ being an unmanned display panel.

Local people said they did not wish to see The Tumbledown Dick destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, did not wish to see Firgrove Green destroyed for an unwanted Premier Inn hotel, or the four local businesses at Firgrove Parade destroyed.

Now, having ignored local people, the council is to waste taxpayers money on nuisance phone calls.

Other than election time, when the pigs are fighting to get their snouts stuck firmly in the trough, when was the last time you saw a local councillor, let alone a local councillor listening to and acting on what you say?

Yet another massive fail by the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor.

Local councillors go on an outing

May 3, 2014
local councillors on an  outing

local councillors on an outing

Now you see them, now you don’t. Local councillors accompanied by their local member of parliament go on an outing to see what the locality they allegedly represents looks like.

Yes, folks, it is that time of year, you do not see them all you year round, then come May local elections, it is like an infestation of cockroaches.

People fought hard for the right to vote. A vote should never be handed over lightly. Let us take a look at their track record.

  • Wastegate laying waste to Aldershot
  • a weekend international market selling tat
  • Aldershot town centre dominated by fast food joints and crack gambling dens
  • Farnborough town centre trashed
  • £1 million squandered on repaving Queensmead
  • local tax payer financed free wifi scam for Queensmead to steal and abuse personal data
  • public money invested in a commercial cinema in Farnborough
  • protective covenant for Firgrove Green sold for a pittance
  • trees on Firgrove Green, a little woodland glade, cut down
  • Firgrove Parade to be destroyed, destroying four local businesses
  • secret meeting with the Fat Clown to stitch up the local community and destroy The Tumbledown Dick
  • c 1720s Tumbledown Dick destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s
  • gloating over the destruction of The Tumbledown Dick
  • opposition to dedicating the green space by Farnborough Library as Village Green to protect from greedy developers
  • blocking Fran Beauchamp receiving a local community award
  • collecting over £280,000 in expenses and allowances

Think wisely before you cast your vote. Do you really want more of the same?

I am sure they will love to hear your thoughts on the aroggant contempt they show the local community, their failure to heed the wishes of the local community, their failure to scrutinise what is put before them.

Please us the hashatag

#Rushmoor2014

Yet more hypocrisy from the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

March 24, 2014

To support local businesses and help ensure a thriving local economy … — Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, Arena

The hypocrisy of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor shows no limits.

The latest hypocrisy can be found in the back pages of the Council comic, Arena (Spring 2014), that is if you have not already done what most people do, bin it without a second glance.

On the back pages you will find Rotten Borough of Rushmoor pretending to show concern for the local economy, pretending to support local businesses.

They are going to feature in each issue a local business (more like the kiss of death).

At this rate, with four issues a year, most local businesses will be long gone.

The proof of the pudding is always in the eating, so let us look at some of the polices in support of local businesses.

Half of Farnborough town centre demolished, wiping out many local businesses.

Not content with trashing the town centre, the four remaining independent businesses are to be destroyed at Firgrove Parade. Councillors could not contain themselves to express their glee at these local businesses being destroyed. With it the only green space at the northern end of the town. Council officials blatantly lied to push it through, councillors like a bunch of mindless sheep rubber-stamped what was put before them.

The Tumbledown Dick to be trashed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. What little remains of local heritage to be destroyed. Local people wished to run as local arts and music venue, but were ridiculed by councillors showing their usual contempt for local community. Officials lied to push it through, councillors like a bunch of mindless sheep rubber-stamped what was put before them. One councillor gloated on his bog.

In Aldershot the town centre on the verge of collapse.

The Council has practiced for years a policy of ethnic cleansing of local businesses, leaving two town centres with no character, places to avoid,

Ham & Blackbird at risk

February 17, 2014
Ham & Blackbird local press report

Ham & Blackbird local press report

The Ham & Blackbird is at risk.

The Ham & Blackbird is located in the middle of a busy roundabout, on a busy main road the A325, just outside Farnborough Station.

It was owned by Whitbread, who are doing their best to blight our towns with their tacky Premier Inns and Costa Coffee shops.

A greedy developer has acquired the Ham & Blackbird, and as is the wont of greedy developers, is already destroying the trees.

Ham & Blackbird

Ham & Blackbird

The proposal is 62 flats, mixed one and two bedrooms. It would be difficult to imagine a worse location, highly polluted, traffic noise, difficult and dangerous access, and totally inadequate parking.

As a pub, Ham & Blackbird is soulless, as much appeal as a bar in a Premier Inn or a Costa Coffee shop, but its loss is sill the loss of a pub, the fourth within less than a year in Farnborough.

Railway Hotel c 1903

Railway Hotel c 1903

The age of the pub, it has been there since at least 1873, commensurate with the arrival of the Victorian railway, previously known as New Inn and Railway Hotel, meets the criteria for it to listed as a building of local historical interest, and if it meeets the criteraia, then it has to be listed.

Tumbledown Dick, Imperial Arms, Old Courthouse, Ham & Blackbird, which pub will be next when the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor gets into bed with developers? Not content with trashing Aldershot and Farnborough, carrying out a policy of ethnic cleansing of local businesses, the local council now seems intent on destroying local pubs, and in doing so, also wiping out what little remains of local heritage.

Your local might be next. The Ship Inn is likely to be the next target.

The Swan Inn is at risk, now that it is owned by TAG. What business does the owner of Farnborough Airport have in owning a pub? A lot if you wish to expand the airort and the Public Safety Zone then encompaases the pub.

Just down the road, The Tumbledown Dick is to be destroyed for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

Just down the road, Firgrove Parade to be demolished destroying four local businesses. The trees on Firgrove Green have already been destroyed.

Unbelievable hypocrisy from Gareth Lyon, chair of the local planning committee, who stitched up a deal with McDonald’s to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, whose chairing of the committee was a disgrace, who afterwards bragged that the committee had approved the plans he had agreed beforehand with McDonald’s.

Unbelievable hypocrisy from Gareth Lyon with his comments on trees.

There are a lot of large trees on the site and the council could object to any plans because of them.

Yes, and pigs might fly. The council can be relied upon to find the trees in poor state of health, refuse to serve Tree Preservation Orders, and do whatever it takes to facilitate development taking place, as the council did for Firgrove Green, and has done for many other unwanted developments.

Unbelievable hypocrisy by David Clifford, a local councillor who with Gareth Lyon and a second member of the planning committee, met with McDonald’s in secret, behind closed doors, behind the backs of the local community, and stitched up a deal with McDonald’s to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s, then when the planning committee did as they were told and rubber-stamped the plans, gloated on his blog that he was lovin’ it.

To date, the local community has been reacting to events. They must get ahead of the game:

Unbelievable hypocrisy

November 15, 2013

Having gloated on his blog that he was lovin it, a few days later, to rub salt in the wounds, he suggested Farnborough should have a live music venue, David Clifford has now posted on his blog the local community should hand over the money they have raised to save The Tumbledown Dick and cooperate with the local council, and at the same time inferring the money was raised under false pretences.

No-one can deny the Campaign to “save” the Tumble Down Dick was run with enthusiasm and dedication, and dare I say obsession by some. When you need to get something done, having a few obsessive people about is not unhelpful.

Some serious fundraising was done to raise the £m plus needed to buy and run the Tumble Down Dick. Public appeals were made, gigs were organised, and I am sure lots of money has been raised as a consequence given the public support claimed by the campaign.

Given this money is public money, it only right and proper, that there should be open and transparent accountability of this money. Three questions need to be addressed:

1. How much money in total has been raised?
2. Who is responsible for this money?
3. What are the plans for the use of this money?

I would also like to extend a serious and genuine invitation to the Campaign leadership to work with the local authority to pool resources and find a suitable location in Farnborough for a live music venue.

Let us put the past behind us, and look together to the future.

This is from a council and councillor that has done everything possible to undermine and denigrate the campaign and those involved to save The Tumbledown Dick, c 1720s and until its closure, a popular live music venue.

Willem Hallinan:

The FoTTTD worked hard to secure finance to resurrect the Tumbledown Dick. This was an outstanding achievement, but as you know it was totally undermined by yourself, cllrs Parker, Lyon and our own MP Gerald Howarth. These were the very people that were supposed to be representing Empress and the community, but were working against the community facilitating the McDonalds application. Most of what we had done was in pledges relating to the Tumbledown Dick but in part, due to your shameful activities that now has no value. Let hope it sees you booted out of Rushmoor at the next election!

Less we forget

  • council chief executive Andrew Lloyd could not restrain his delight when he learnt Fat Clown to buy the pub
  • Andrew Lloyd commissioned a shoddy report on the building from a consultancy that brags it delivers planning solutions for business
  • smear campaigns from the council, officials, councillors, trolls and Farnborough Society
  • refusal to comply with Freedom of Information requests
  • refusal to serve enforcement action to counter the wilful neglect
  • councillors and local member of parliament meet with Fat Clown to stitch up a dirty little deal behind the backs of the local community
  • same councillors and member of parliament refused to meet with local community
  • misleading information fed to the local press on deadline for objections
  • extremely biased agenda given to planning committee
  • council seeks legal advice to circumvent planning policies, legal advice no one has seen
  • councillors on planning committee show arrogant contempt to local community
  • planners blatantly lie to committee
  • chairman of planning committee brags that committee has passed plans he and a fellow committee member agreed with Fat Clown
  • local councillor gloats that The Tumbledown Dick is to be destroyed
  • council posts a pack of lies on their facebook page

Contrary to their own policy, council refused inspection of building prior to demolition. We do not know what vital historical information will be lost. The council should have written this into a s106 legal agreement with the Fat Clown. They failed to do so.

To grant planning permission for demolition was in itself contrary to council policy on locally listed buildings.

The local council has never had any interest in funding the arts. At a time when austerity is being used as the excuse for slash and burn of public services, the arts?

The local community is not accountable to the local council, it is the other way around.

Maybe the local council should answer all the Freedom of Information requests it has illegally refused to answer.

Maybe the council should make available in full the legal advice it claims to have received on circumventing planning policies, after all we paid for it.

Maybe the council should tell how much it has invested in the Vue Cinema.

Maybe the council should have a clean out of all the rotten apples.

Those who raised the funds, could not hand them over, as to do so would be contrary to why those funds were raised.

The only use now for those funds is a Judicial Review of how the planning was handled and a Judicial Review of the decision contrary to council policy to refuse a detailed examination of the building before it is demolished.

Maybe David Clifford, instead of poking his nose into matters that are not of his concern, should put his own house in order.

It may come as a surprise, but as a local councillor, it is David Clifford who is accountable to the local community, not the other way around.

Councillor David Clifford is Innocent?

November 7, 2013
BBC1 Garrow’s Law: Tales from the Old Bailey Garrow would have been on his side

BBC1 Garrow’s Law: Tales from the Old Bailey Garrow would have been on his side

On his blog David Clifford published the following letter from an unnamed council jobsworth which he claimed showed his innocence.

It did anything but.

Dear Cllr Clifford,

I understand that you may be already aware that complaints had been made, so I just want to confirm that I received five complaints from members of the public all expressing anger with the content of your blog posts relating to the Tumbledown Dick decision and one also alleged undue influence on the planning process itself.

In my capacity as Monitoring Officer I have looked into these complaints and have come to the conclusion that the content of your personal blog is not a matter covered by the Code of Conduct for Councillors which relates only to actions undertaken in a member’s official capacity as a councillor.

I have looked into the other matters raised and have concluded that there is nothing to suggest that you acted other than in accordance with recommended practice, and of course you are not a member of the Development Control Committee so took no part in the decision made.

I have now informed the complainants that we will not be taking any further action in respect of these complaints.

Kind regards
Solicitor to the Council and Monitoring Officer

Local councillors are in theory there to serve the public. It is not surprising therefore, when David Clifford, a Rotten Borough of Rushmoor councillor, started using his blog to abuse the local community, people got upset. Half a dozen were sufficiently annoyed or upset, they filed formal complaints.

David Clifford claims he has been cleared. But has he? Let us first step back a little.

We have independent police investigations, and for very good reasons. When even a Cabinet Minister is stitched up by lying police officers, one who continually forgot to mention to House of Commons Committee that he had attacked a member of the public when off duty and had ‘lost’ CCTV footage, what hope the rest of us?

We used to have an Independent Standards Board for England, for a very good reason, as we cannot have police investigating police, we cannot have councillors and councils investigating their own. 

Under the old regime, it is highly unlikely David Clifford would have been cleared. You only have to look at a Farnham councillor who was found guilty a few years ago.

Or look at Peter Sandy, a very hard working councillor, who was obstructed at every turn by officials, who was stitched up by same officials. When it came to a hearing, he was cleared of almost all the false charges laid against him, and of those found guilty, these had to be seen in context, he called an official a liar. The official was shown to be a liar, but apparently as a councillor you are not allowed to say so. So much for accountability.

Would Pete Sandy had got a fair hearing locally? We all know the answer would have been no.

We had, and assume still have, on the one hand, the Borough Solicitor giving dodgy advice and how to get away with it, then on the other hand, wearing a different hat as local ethics officer. You cannot be both.

We had three Rushmoor councillors found guilty of a very serious offence. They were the let off, due to poor advice by the borough solicitor, ie they had been advised to do something dodgy by the borough solicitor. It sounded like a conspiracy and if nothing else, was grounds for firing the dodgy borough solicitor. 

To now look how the David Clifford complaints have been handled.

First where is the investigation? A letter from a council anonymous jobsworth is not an investigation. 

Second, the author of the letter, who does not have the courtesy to provide a name or a signature, is wrong in fact. Clifford is writing as a Rushmoor councillor. Not writing as someone who happens to be a councillor, who happens to be writing a blog. He clearly states he is writing as a Rushmoor councillor for the local Empress Ward.

Welcome to David Clifford’s weblog, which enables Empress Ward residents see what David Clifford is up to, get an idea of his views on various topics and give him feed back, other than when he is out walking round the ward. NOTE: Some views expressed by Cllr David Clifford may not be supported by the Conservative Party. Contact David via david@empress-tory.org or follow him on http://twitter.com/davideclifford 

He has a blog, which is attributable to a councillor. 

—> http://cllrclifford.blogspot.co.uk 

Therefore it is very clear, he is writing as the local ward councillor.

When David Clifford met with McDonald’s and stitched up a dirty little deal behind the backs of the local community, he did so as a local councillor, together with two other councillors, both of who sat on the planning committee, one of who was the chairman, plus the local MP, who a few years ago bragged his service was comparable to McDonald’s (at least a little honesty from Gerald Howarth).

Maybe unbeknown to David Clifford, the chairman of the planning committee was caught bragging that the deal approved by the committee was what he had brokered with McDonald’s.

Did David Clifford act to influence the planning committee? A moot point. The truth is we do not know. 

What we do not know from this grubby little meeting, is was what fees were requested from McDonald’s, as from what we see in both the Commons and the Lords, this is standard practice, and Howarth does have a habit of claiming retainers from very unsavoury clients, like arms dealers and pay-day loan companies.

What is interesting, is that our anonymous latter writer ‘concluded that there is nothing to suggest that you acted other than in accordance with recommended practice’.

In other words, to treat the local community with arrogant contempt, ignore their wishes, then gloat, as we saw with the councillors and officials at the planning committee, is ‘recommended practice’. 

Is he cleared?

In the Court of Public Opinion, no. Before a properly constituted and run Tribunal, highly unlikely.

David Clifford responds to criticism by accusing people of posting hate, that he has the right to say what he wants, and accuses people of being ignorant and not knowing the facts.

It is correct, councillors are entitled to free speech, but as councillors, they are also expected to comply with a code of conduct and act for the local community.  They are also required not to bring their public office into disrepute.

He has failed miserably on all counts.

It is reasonable to expect councillors to check the facts, to exercise due diligence and scrutiny, not regurgitate the lies drip fed to them by officials.

Once again, lies and half truths being spouted on The Tumbledown Dick. 

The building was subjected to wilful neglect. The Council refused to serve enforcement action.

If there was such concern at the state of the building, then why no CPO served?

And please do not say no money.

The Council has been happy to make a capital investment in the Vue Cinema in Farnborough, a commercial cinema chain and a bad employer.

The Council was happy to squander £1 million (or maybe more if rumours not within budget are true) on the shoddy re-paving of Queensmead. Then the County Council wasted a further £1500 of public money on a silly festival to celebrate squandering public money re-paving Queensmead.

When Andrew Lloyd learnt of McDonald’s acquiring The Tumbledown Dick, he could not suppress his glee.

Six weeks later, Lloyd blatantly lied to councillors when he claimed he knew nothing of plans of McDonald’s

There was not the problem Clifford claims outside The Tumbledown Dick late at night. On the other hand, go into Aldershot late at night. Or visit Farnborough Gate in the evening. 

Who is providing this false briefing on The Tumbledown Dick? Clifford and the ignorant councillors on the planning committee are all singing from the same song sheet. Is it officials, or is it the Andrew Lloyd – Peter Moyle cabal that runs the council, keeping everyone in the dark, including Clifford? 

Clifford is agreed he has been offensive. Code of Conduct requires courteous behaviour to members of the public. There is also not bringing his office or the council into disrepute. How does he reconcile the two and still claim to be innocent?

What is this Stalinist State he is rabbiting on about?

The Stalinist State is the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor dictating to the community. There is no accountability, no democracy. Indeed, at the planning meeting, the head of planning, as ever in the pocket of developers, instructed the committee to ignore the local community, and told them they were not there to make a democratic decision. Not that they needed any telling what to say, how to vote, as that had already been decided beforehand. 

Most people have checked their facts. It is ignorant councillors who have failed to check their facts.

Demolishing one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough, is not saving it.

Demolishing the building is contrary to the Council policy on local listed buildings.

Refusing to carry out an architectural and historical survey of the building BEFORE it is demolished, is contrary to the Council policy on local listed buildings. 

Why was this not written into the s106 legal agreement? Yet another example of deliberate negligence and maladministration by officials and failure to exercise due diligence by councillors. 

To say the building will be serving food, is to stretch the definition of what we call food, or at least food fit for human consumption.

Do a little research on what goes into industrial burgers. Horsemeat is the least of your worries. Diseased horses, rotten meat several years old, turned green, causing those who had to handle it to vomit as the smell was so bad. 

You can fool some people all of the time, all of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time …

There has been no hate campaign, at least not by the local community. Local people are though very angry and disgusted at the manner in which they have been treated.

Take a look at the Rushmoor facebook page, and also note comments are being deleted, people blocked from making comments.

Yes, we are all entitled to our own views, as ordinary citizen, but councillors, commenting as local councillors, are expected to comply with a code of conduct, are expected not to bring their office into disrepute, and are expected to represent the local community.

Try reading the excellent article by Gavril Postnikov published by Medium.

Also the excellent article by Dicky Carter

The only reason there was a local campaign to save The Tumbledown Dick, was due to the failing by local councillors. And once there was a campaign, far from supporting it, there was a concerted effort at sabotage.

We have seen negative briefings by officials, including chief executive Andrew Lloyd and then borough solicitor Karen Limmer telling the campaign who they should not talk to.

We have seen a very unpleasant smear campaign by John Wall.

Everyone is innocent until proven guilty in that sense, yes, David Clifford is innocent.

But to date, we have not even seen a properly conducted investigation, and the borough solicitor, who defends actions against the council, is neither a proper or impartial person to carry out an investigation. And even worse, in this case seems to have been defence, prosecution, judge and jury. In other words, yet another Rotten Borough of Rushmoor farce showing the same arrogant contempt for the local community, which now appears to be officially sanctioned Council policy.

The letter from an anonymous council jobsworth has not cleared David Clifford, far from it, but what it has done, is officially sanctioned as council policy, abuse and arrogant contempt of the local community.

We are seeing is a complete failure of local democracy.

Arrogant and Condescending

November 6, 2013

Don’t tolerate your local politicians and representatives who have an attitude problem

Arriving at the council offices of the borough in which I live, you can tell they inhabit a world of their own—a sort of enclave insulated from the nitty-gritty of the outside world by landscaped gardens and reserved parking spots. As you enter the lofty, double-height “atrium”, you are greeted by a towering vitrine filled with trophies and trinkets which attest to the authority’s supposed greatness and put you, the mere citizen, in your place. This sense of grandiosity seems to have afflicted the councillors and bureaucrats who live under that roof, manifest in the outward haughtiness, pomposity and gross indifference to people’s concerns they display.

I write this now following a recent planning case which represented something extremely negative in the eyes of many and provoked the formation a major campaign in opposition to it. The application made it to committee and, among the many asinine comments and assertions made by the panel, one line (aimed at the campaigners) stuck in my mind in particular:

“Where were [you] five years ago[…]? And why is it [only] now that [you] are coming to light?”

I see :— so what you’re saying, Mr Councillor, is that because the campaign group happened not to exist in the first instance of this scenario’s drawn-out history, their opinion is now therefore invalid? And, because your minds have (evidently) long-since been made up, no additional commentary is relevant anymore? Wonderful!

At the moment I am in the process of setting-up a local group aimed at promoting the betterment of the area. It is hard work — it takes time to assemble people, scrape together resources and plan the next movements and, unfortunately, there have been times when we should have been there to respond to certain issues but (for one reason or another) were not able to. Owing to that I anticipate that we will likewise be subject to the same sort of petty hole-picking and will likely be asked the same question of “where were you at such-and-such a time when this happened before?”

Were we confronted with this feeble attempt at detraction by a town hall egghead I suppose my response (as campaign director) would be that, at the time, we were bumbling around individually with the naive idea in our heads that the council and its staff were there working for us — on our behalf and using their authoritative powers to tangibly improve our area and ward-off detrimental development. One might add that it was because of the apparent failings of the council that we saw fit to form our own collective in response. Finally, I would sharply remind them that they are, by definition, public servants who are supported by public money; we on the other hand work on a voluntary basis and are not paid to fulfil duties full-time. Indeed, since these people are servants, they would be mistaken to believe that they have any given right to belittle us as members of the public.

So, in brief:

  • Don’t tolerate your local politicians and representatives who have an attitude problem.
  • Don’t let them scrutinise and pick apart your credibility as an organisation—ring them up on their credibility as servants to their community (the very thing which represents their livelihood).
  • If you are bold enough, explain that it is because of their failure to represent the people in the past that you are here representing them today.
  • If you are bold and smart enough, dissect their decision-making process and compare it against their own drafted policy on the matter, using quotations to demonstrate their hypocrisy but all the while making sure that your quotes are relevant to the case.

You might consider reading Arthur Schopenhauer’s The Art of Being Right (1831) in preparation.

— Gavril Postnikov

Excellent and well written analysis by Gavril Postnikov of the workings of the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor and the contempt they have for the local community.

The ignorant jobsworths and councillors tend to forget, they are there to serve the local community, not the other way around.

Goodbye Dick – hello McD

October 14, 2013
planning meeting

planning meeting

Last night the Development Control Committee, chaired by the young, talented and Tory Cllr Gareth Lyons had the task of considering the application to convert the Tumbledown Dick into a McDonalds restaurant and drive-through, which had been recommended by Rushmoor Planning officers for approval.

The meeting was, as expected, well attended by a little over 100 members of the public. Given the hype I was surprised there were no television crews present other than a cameraman from the poorly read Aldershot / Farnborough News Group (part of the Guardian group I believe) – I understand they have put details on their web site which I assume has more readers than their local rag. I have nothing against the local paper – just find it incredibly boring and unimaginative to the point I have stopped buying it. The Council also have details on their web site – http://www.rushmoor.gov.uk

The report prepared by officers was comprehensive and precisely set out the issues. The Chairman, Cllr Lyon, handled the meeting extremely professionally. Fran Beauchamp, Chair of the Friends of the TDD, spoke against the application and a representative from McDonalds spoke in favour. After a discussion the recommendation was approved 7 for and 3 against which means the plans can now go ahead. Which means McD now saves the TD Dick

I for one will be extremely pleased to see the area cleaned up at last, and the site used and enjoyed by local families. I’m lovin it….

— Councillor David Clifford, Rotten Borough of Rushmoor

When most people read what David Clifford had posted on his blog, they assumed it must be a parody, no councillor would treat people with this level of contempt, no one would express glee that that a local heritage building, one of the oldest buildings in Farnborough was to be demolished for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

What David Clifford has posted must rank alongside Gerald Ratner saying what we sell is crap, and John Gummer trying to shove a burger down the throat of his daughter at the height of the foot and mouth epidemic.

We also do cut-glass sherry decanters complete with six glasses on a silver-plated tray that your butler can serve you drinks on, all for £4.95. People say, ‘How can you sell this for such a low price?’ I say, because it’s total crap.”

Gerald Ratner added that his stores’ earrings were “cheaper than an M&S prawn sandwich but probably wouldn’t last as long”.

Ratner in 1991 wiped £500 million from the value of Ratners jewellers with what has become known as ‘doing a Ratner’.

Foot in mouth does not even begin to describe this blog post and the attempts at justification.

When in a hole, it is always advisable to stop digging.

It is difficult to believe a ward councillor could be so crass, so out of touch with those in his ward, or express delight at the demolition of a much loved heritage building.

Though this delight is not new. Last year, in an e-mail exchange (dated 27 April 2012) between Rotten Borough of Rushmoor chief executive Andrew Lloyd, then borough solicitor Karen Limmer, and someone only identified as Richard:

Richard: This may be just what is needed … all in a gift wrapped un-solicited package … The sun is shining at last … Lots of potential for a great weekend with this package.

Andrew Lloyd: Well said!

Six months later, Andrew Lloyd, in an e-mail to councillors (dated 29 October 2012), denied all knowledge of the sale to McDonald’s!

What did David Clifford do to help save The Tumbledown Dick, a c1720s pub, until a its closure in 2008 a popular live music venue, a building that predates Farnborough, when all that existed was a few isolated buildings and tracks over a desolate heath.

Er, nothing.

Did David Clifford force enforcement action by the Council on the owners Bride Hall?

Not as far as we know.

Members of the local public tried. The Council refused to serve enforcement notice.

But what we do know, David Clifford and Gerald Howarth MP, went behind the backs of the local community and stitched up a dirty little back door deal with McDonald’s, to demolish the building and leave the façade, and even that will not remain untouched as the windows are to be changed.

He appears to be completely out of touch with the views of local people on the pub. They want to see the building retained, re-opened as a pub, live music venue, local community, arts and cultural centre.

If anyone thought re-opening the pub would cause problems of antisocial behaviour, then wait until a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opens, traffic congestion, litter, antisocial behaviour. Or visit Farnborough Gate, or read the police reports on Farnborough Gate, or see the objections the Metropolitan Police raised to a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opening near Croydon.

It is difficult to see how, in the light of appalling local health statistics, far worse than the national average, a Drive-Thru McDonalds is good for Farnborough.

A recent Public Health England report showed how bad the health and related statistics were locally, far worse than the national average.

  • 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
  • In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
  • GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
  • Violent crime is significantly above the national average
  • Obese adults are above the national average

Health is a material planning consideration. At least one school is within the zone which national planning policy does not permit fast food outlets.

The Milestone Surgery (opposite the site), local doctors, a retired naval surgeon, two local head teachers had all raised concerns on health grounds.

Primary School Head Teachers objected – Mrs Sue Harris, Pinewood Infants and Mrs S Masters, Fernhill Primary. Both teachers eloquently stated how they are striving to help their school children understand healthy eating and that this undermines that, plus one of them mentioned the soft play centre and how it would encourage poor eating and less interactions within families. They both also mentioned traffic.. in fact EVERYONE mentioned traffic!!

Did David Clifford, as ward councillor, attend this important planning meeting?

From his comments, it would appear not. The chairing of the meeting by Gareth Lyon was appalling, the committee members sat around the table (with the honourable exception of Alan Chainey and Frank Rust) were a public disgrace.

Did David Clifford, as ward councillor, read the Agenda, bother to read the critical analysis of the Agenda, or take the trouble to read the 590 objections? It was necessary to read the objections, as all the Agenda contained was soundbites, and read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s, well argued objections, were not put before the committee.

Again, it would appear not.

Chairing of the meeting by Gareth Lyon was a disgrace. He came across as a clueless idiot. He was a puppet with unelected planning official Keith Holland whispering in his ear, telling him how to think, what to say.

He failed to keep order of the meeting. When councillors strayed of topic, he failed to bring them to order. When councillors lied, he did not correct.

He lacked impartiality. When councillors spoke in favour of McDonald’s, he did not ask officials to comment. When councillors spoke against, he asked officials to comment.

A chairman should have casting vote only. He declared he would be voting in favour of McDonald’s.

Gareth Lyon is a carpetbagger, hoping for a safe Tory seat. I trust any selection committee looks at the video of him chairing the planning committee, they will see how useless he is, and not wish to touch him with a bargepole.

The Farnborough News is an imprint of the Surrey Advertiser. Both are owned by the Trinity Mirror Group. I agree worthless rag, rarely worth buying, but I would expect councillors to buy it out of their tax-free allowance (something that should have been chopped in austerity).

John Wall buys it, so he can crow about a letter from his one and only supporter.

The report by planning officials was seriously flawed and read as a McDonald’s PR exercise.

The meeting was a disgrace, those councillors who spoke in favour of McDonald’s were a disgrace, they had not done their homework, did not know what they were talking about.

The two honourable exceptions were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust, who had bothered to do their homework, knew what they were talking about.

Far from people of Farnborough in favour of McDonald’s, 590 objections, several thousand signed a petition.

Local doctors objected on health grounds as did two head teachers.

The Tumbledown Dick did not cause a problem of antisocial behaviour, litter, traffic congestion. McDonald’s will cause all three.

65 de-skilled, part-time, low-paid, zero-hours jobs, subsidised by the State.

McDonald’s will drain money out of the local economy.

McDonald’s will externalise costs to the local and national economy: litter, traffic congestion, pollution, antisocial behaviour, health.

The site did not need clearing up, it was not a focal point for rubbish, though will be if McDonald’s occupy the site.

The building was in a very poor state of repair due to wilful neglect by Bride Hall and the refusal by the Council to serve enforcement action.

Serve a Freedom of Information request on the Council and you will see they refused to take enforcement action. That is assuming you get a reply as they are currently refusing all FoI requests, even though a criminal offence to do so.

There were more than sufficient planning grounds to reject McDonald’s, but councillors were told to ignore them.

It was perverse that the Council spent taxpayers money on legal advice to ignore planning policies, in order to push through an application on behalf of an American fast food chain.

No one asked why this was done. No one asked to see the legal advice or that it be placed in the public domain.

Planning has a quasi-judicial function. Can only determine based on the evidence. Asked to reach a decision on the basis of legal advice no one saw.

Since when was a heritage building saved by demolishing it?

I have yet to meet anyone in favour of demolition of The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. I have though met many who are against.

Anyone passing through Farnborough, the only image they will now have is McDonald’s. Mind you, the few who visit, rather than pass through, will find it is such a dump, they will agree McDonald’s is an appropriate image.

In the summer, the clowns we have as councillors, fell over backwards to destroy four local businesses at Firgrove Parade, including an excellent Indian restaurant which one of these clowns referred to as a café. On Wednesday night (9 October 2013), the same clowns, fell over backwards to promote a Drive-Thru McDonald’s.

The one thing we did not see Wednesday night was a well informed debate, we saw half-truths, lies, and personal prejudices come to the fore. No attempt was made by the useless chairman to bring any of these clowns to order. The two honourable exception were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust, two councillors who at least take their roles seriously and exercise informed scrutiny.

When we look around and see the state of Aldershot and Farnborough, then look at the clowns we have on the committee, it is easy to see why.

The comments that have appeared on David Clifford’s blog, indicate how out of touch he is. Probably the only time a blog post by a councillor has been read by more people than can be counted on one hand.

David Clifford has now blocked further comments on the grounds that they have become repetitive, ie they show how out of touch he has become.

But not to worry, you can write those comments here.

To add insult to injury David Clifford has today added a new post, calling for a live music venue in Farnborough!

You could not make it up if you tried.

Councillors vote to destroy The Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s

October 14, 2013

Better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt. — Mark Twain

Justice will not be served until those who are unaffected are as outraged as those who are. — Benjamin Franklin

When you watch this video of a planning committee meeting that took place at the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor Wednesday night of last week (Wednesday 9 October 2013), you can see why the smug arrogant head of planning Keith Holland refused to live stream the meeting over the net, and why he also refused to record how councillors voted.

We saw Wednesday night, councillors prostituting themselves for McDonald’s, with planning officials acting as their pimps.

Before watching the video, you may wish to read a critique of the planning Agenda, which was so baissed and pro-McDonald’s, that it read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s.

You may also wish to reflect on the fact that someone within the Council, has claimed £20,000 from McDonald’s, that is, someone within the Council had a vested interest in this being pushed through.

Note how the councillors batting for McDonald’s, are all singing from the same song sheet.

First speaker is Rod Cooper. He complains The Tumbledown Dick is in very poor state of repair. This is correct, there are holes in the roof, water is pouring into the building every time it rains. The building is in poor state of repair due to wilful neglect by offshore tax dodger Bride Hall. No one mentions the fact that the Council has refused to enforce repairs.

Where were they five years ago when the pub was initially closed? Could it be they were outside protesting at its closure?

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

Tumbledown Dick demo 2008

Ignorance of Rod Cooper. Health, obesity and fast food restaurants are material planning consideration. Islington has this built into their Local Plan, unlike the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor, a backward local council with clowns as councillors, which does not, which possibly explains the very high number of fast food outlets and the appalling local health statistics, especially on obesity.

The A325, into which the Drive-Thru feeds, is already over capacity, at peak times stationary or at walking pace.

Rod Cooper insults those who fought hard to save The Tumbledown Dick, who are far better informed than he, and yet he takes great exception when later that evening they refer to him and fellow councillors as scum, along the lines of ‘look what the cat has brought in, they have got a bloody nerve’ And no, contrary to the malicious lies now being spread, these councillors were not subjected to a torrent of verbal abuse. Indeed, considering how the public were treated by their elected representatives and how uspset folk were, it is amazing people managed to remain calm and polite.

Far from ward councillors and local Member of Parliament working hard on behalf of the local community as Rod Cooper falsely claims, they went behind the backs of the local community and behind closed doors, stitched up a dirty little deal with McDonald’s to demolish the Tumbledown Dick for a Drive-Thru McDonald’s. It is this grubby little deal, the councillors are doing their best to push through.

The day before the meeting, Gerald Howarth MP posted on his website what most have referred to as a load of bollocks, but then no one expected anything better from Howarth. What has surprised people is what David Clifford posted on his blog the following day, gloating at the result, it was so bad, many thought it to be a parody.

The post by Gerald Howarth exposed him as a hypocrite, as it contradicted with what he had said last year.

Demolishing the building is not bringing it back into use. George Orwell would be proud of this use of newspeak.

To the left of Rod Cooper (to the right as viewed) sits committee vice chairman Brian Thomas. He has declared in his Register of Member’s Interest, he is a pub landlord. He should have declared an interest and left the room. Not only did he fail to do so, not only did he remain, but he voted. This one act alone is more sufficient to have the vote declared null and void.

Publican and Landlord of La Fontaine Public House, 92 Windmill Road, Aldershot, Hants, GU12 4NJ

Sainsbury’s are referred to as a landowner who will not let access through (to the McDonald’s).

Er, why should they? Why should McDonald’s let their car park be a site of antisocial behaviour, litter, for the customers of McDonald’s?

John Marsh, congratulates Rod Cooper on going in to bat first (on behalf of McDonald’s). After all we are all for one, one for all, standing standing shoulder-to-shoulder with Roland McDonald against the great unwashed occupying the public gallery.

John Marsh goes on to show his appalling lack of comprehension of local heritage. He thinks the Fast Museum, Wind Tunnel, Farnborough Abbey are older than The The Tumbledown Dick. No attempt is made to correct him, or his later statement there is no evidence as to the age of The Tumbledown Dick.

Public try to correct the garbage from Marsh, and are told to keep quiet by the chairman.

Begs the question the source of garbage spouted by Marsh, possibly The Farnborough Society, or made up on the spot, either is equally likely.

How generous, the chairman is allowing the public to attend the meeting.

The public have a right to attend.

Marsh demonstrates that he has not even bothered to read the 590 objections. Objection were made on many grounds, that it was a McDonald’s was one of these objections, on multiple counts. Clearly McDonald’s were going to be the focus of objection in that they were the planning applicant.

Marsh peddles the same nonsense as Rod Cooper, health is not a planning matter.

Health is a planning matter, local councils have been directed by government that health is a planning matter, Islington has health and fast food built into their Local Plan, but the Rotten Borough of Rushmoor have ignorant cretins like Marsh who sit on a planning committee and know nothing about planning.

No attempt is made to correct Marsh.

Locally, poor health statistics, but who cares when when we can rail against Nanny State and blame Bad Parents.

A recent Public Health England report which showed how bad the health and related statistics were locally, far worse than the national average.

– 2,600 children in the Borough live in Poverty
– In Year 6 children, 18.5% are classified as obese which is significantly above the – national average
– GCSE attainment is significantly below the national average
– Violent crime is significantly above the national average
– Obese adults are above the national average

Marsh falsely claims there is no alternative for the site. The local community wish to buy the pub, it is listed as an Asset of Community Value but Bride Hall are refusing to sell, they would rather sell the site for redevelopment.

Demolishing the building for an unwanted Drive-Thru McDonald’s does not bring it back into use.

Alan Chainey: Inadequate parking, does not meet local planning policy, highlights local traffic congestion, highlights existing traffic problems at Farnborough Gate. Calls on Bride Hall to carry out the necessary repairs on the building and bring it back into use, or if not willing to do that, then sell to the local community as an Asset of Community Value. Turning The Tumbledown Dick into a fast food restaurant is totally inappropriate. Will not be supporting this application.

Chairman refers Alan Chainey to officials to comment. Unlike previous speakers who came out with total garbage, where no referral to officials to comment, no attempt to correct lies, half truths and what amounted to little more than personal prejudice (and that is even when they remained on topic).

Car parking policy is dismissed out of hand. No requirement for McDonald’s to comply. In the Agenda, it is suggested users of the Drive-Thru should park elsewhere in the town and walk to the McDonald’s, entirely missing the point that it is a Drive-Thru. Rely on McDonald’s for advice to ignore council policy on car parking.

We should not forget, that when the same committee in the summer rubber-stamped the destruction of Firgrove Parade and cutting down of healthy trees for an ugly 80-bed Premier Inn hotel with a Beefeater Grill on the ground floor, 7 car parking spaces were deemed adequate, with everyone expected to park in the town centre.

Nor should we forget that the reason there is spare car parking capacity on the town, is because this committee with its past crass planning decisions, has systematically destroyed the town centre.

The official who is talking nonsense on car parks, is the idiot who a couple of years ago installed parking charging in North Camp (until then free parking) which had a detrimental impact on the small businesses in North Camp.

Official claims traffic generated not a problem. To talk of almost 90 vehicles an hour, as one and half vehicles per minute at peak time, is extremely misleading, as assumes the vehicles are evenly spread out. The probability of which approaches zero.

Local taxi drivers are of the view the road cannot cope.

Roundabouts are at or near capacity. The A325 is stationary or at walking pace during peak times late afternoon.

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald's will feed into this

a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will feed into this

What is important is not that the number of extra vehicles is low compared with peak flow, but whether those few extra vehicles are sufficient to reach a tipping point, and the local network gridlocks.

Brian Parker comes across as a blithering idiot. He starts off by asking what ages were those in the audience five years ago? This has no relevance, and the chairman should should have immediately brought him to order. No intervention by the clueless chairman. Parket is ridiculed by the public gallery, but no intervention by the chairman other than to demand the public be quiet.

Parker falsely claims The Tumbledown Dick was shut down due to lack of use. Shouts from the public, no attempt at correction by chairman or officials.

Parker claims the food was atrocious. Did he ever eat there? Of no relevance to planning application. Still no intervention by the chairman. He claims the food was bad, but welcomes McDonald’s.

For some reason what his grandson had to say, is of relevance.

He is against The Tumbledown Dcik re-opening, because of what two old ladies he met in Victorian Road told him.

If they fear, as he claims, the pub re-opening, then they are going to get a shock when a Drive-Thru McDonald’s opens with its anti-social behaviour and litter.

Parker a laughing stock.

Excellent presentation by Frank Rust on health and obesity. He emphasises that obesity is a big problem, cites local polices and has been instrumental in drawing them up. He is not against fast food per se, as there is good fast food, he is against junk food. He is appalled that the Agenda says little weight should be given to health, he says great weight should be given. He is a school governor of a school in Aldershot whose intake is a deprived area, major problems with obesity. He cites the government statistics on obesity, type 2 diabetes, self esteem, employment practice. More than half the population overweight or obese. The cost to the National Health runs into billions of pounds. On health aspects alone, cannot support the application.

Note: For Rushmoor the health statistics are worse than the national average.

Diane Bedford waffles, says she does not like McDonald’s, wants to save The Tumbledown Dick, and yet when the vote is taken, she votes for McDonald’s.

As with Alan Chainey, chairman refers Frank Rust to officials for comments.

Unbelievable, Keith Holland admits, that because they had so many objections on health, the Council took legal advice to see if possible to ignore health as a planning matter!

No one, not a single councillor, questions why taxpayers money is being spent to see how to circumvent health as a planning matter to aid a planning applicant McDonald’s known for the contribution it makes to obesity and poor health.

Keith Holland notes the site is classed as within the town centre where there are already a large number of fast food outlets. Reasons for not granting planning consent for one more, but perversely this is seen as grounds for granting permission for yet another, not only another, but one whose capacity will exceed that of all the others combined.

He misleads by saying no planning required for change of use to a restaurant, but omits, planning is required for Drive-Thru. He also fails to mention, if Article Four Direction was issued, all planning permission for the site could be quashed, and an application would have to be made for a restaurant.

He lies when he says not in close proximity to a school. It is in close proximity to St Peter’s.

Committee are told to ignore health as a planning matter, based on legal advice no one has seen, that has not been placed in the public domain, that is not presented to the committee by a legal officer, eg borough or acting borough solicitor.

The planning committee has a quasi-legal function, it can only reach a decision based on evidence put before it, which can also be seen and challenged by others. They are asked to act on legal advice that no one has seen, that is not published in the Agenda, that has not been placed in the public domain.

Roland Dibbs blatantly lies to the committee, claiming every time he went by, there was a police van outside. If, as Dibbs infers, there was such much trouble at The Tumbledown Dick, it would have lost its licence.

Dibbs, as well as talking garbage, comes across as a cultural Philistine. He objects that there is the West End Centre in Aldershot, which is heavily subsidised, therefore we do not need The Tumbledown Dick in Farnborough.

We have a commercial cinema in Aldershot. Why therefore do we need a commercial cinema in Farnborough, a commercial cinema to which the Council is subsidising with taxpayers money?

No one has asked for a pubic subsidy to run The Tumbledown Dick.

Lies from Dibbs, but no intervention by chairman.

Dibbs dismisses the traffic concerns.

Dibbs claims McDonald’s has a reputation for clearing up rubbish. Obviously he has never walked outside a McDonald’s. At the McLibel Trial, evidence showed the problems McDonald’s causes with litter. And their burger boxes are not recyclable.

Marsh has a second bat on behalf of McDonald’s. He asks why was the building refused a listing by English Heritage. Keith Holland answers in his summing up.

Chairman thanks officers for a very thorough report. Must be his idea of a sick joke, it was as thorough as his chairing of the meeting and read as a PR exercise for McDonald’s. He claims there has been a worthwhile democratic debate. Er, no, we heard garbage from councillors who did not know what they were talking about who clearly had not read the representations made by the public, who showed contempt for the public. Councillors who were a disgrace. The honourable exceptions were Alan Chainey and Frank Rust.

Unbelievable the claim from chairman Gareth Lyon that the officers and their report had not shown bias. He clearly had not bothered to read the detailed analysis by the local community.

Scrupulously fair and honest report from officers. Ha, ha ha.

A building at risk being retained. Er no, it is being demolished.

Summing up by unelected planning Keith Holland. He claims demolishing the building is saving it. No mention that the Council policy on building of local importance is that cannot be demolished.

Legal advice was sought to ignore that the building is an Asset of Community Value. This has not been tested in Court. Legal advice not presented by a legal officer, ie borough or acting borough solicitor

Legal advice that no one has seen, that has not been put in the public domain.

Issues raised by objectors, were not put before the committee.

Laughable that a Drive-Thru McDonald’s will contribute to the regeneration of the town centre.

The Tumbledown Dick would have contributed to the regeneration, a Drive-Thru McDonalds will not, it will drain money out of the local economy.

The only reason the town centre is in a dire state, is past crass decisions forced through by Keith Holland on behalf of developers.

The councillors voted seven to three to trash The Tumbledown Dick.

John Marsh, Roland Dibbs, Diane Bedford, Rod Cooper, Brian Parker spoke against The Tumbledown Dick.

Alan Chainey and Frank Rust spoke very eloquently and were the only ones who knew what they were talking about, were in support of The Tumbledown Dick.

Unlike their colleagues who were a disgrace, Alan Chainey and Frank Rust did their homework and exercised due diligence and scrutiny.

Later that evening, two of these clowns Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, had the nerve to appear in the Tilly Shilling. They were asked to explain their disgraceful behaviour. Their pathetic excuse, was that they were lay people and did not know what was going on (as apparent when Rod Cooper opens his mouth), and could only vote how they are told to vote by officials. In which case, why are they on the committee?

Tumbledown Dick group ran a very good campaign. They will equally run a very good campaign to rid the council of councillors who show arrogant contempt for the local community, and who forget whose interests they are elected to serve, and it is not the Fat Clown.