LETTER: What is going on at Bardney Parish Council?

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I submit my report of findings of Bardney Parish Council which may be of interest to your readers.

On May 17 2012, I wrote to the chairman of the Parish Council advising him that - by the lack of transparency, duplicity and fabrication - professional ethics prevented me from being a councillor. It was great regret therefore I had to resign.

Since that time, I have met, contacted, written letters and received correspondence from a number of sources enabling me to draw up a picture of what has occurred.

This has involved auditors, West Lindsey District Council, Parish Councillors past and present, the Commissioner of Information and the Council Minutes.

What have I found? In two words - no change. Indeed, some councillors claim the situation is worse.

So, what about the lack of transparency? The council still does not pass all correspondence to all councillors. Letters received and dispatched are not recorded in the Minutes. Needless to say, a ‘select’ number are allowed to see the letters. This is not transparency, rather a secret society. Indeed, I have been ‘encouraged’ not to reveal my findings.

Duplicity? Observed by myself in council meetings. It means questions asked by councillors not recorded in the minutes some two years ago have still to be replied/answered...if they haven’t been forgotten.

The procedure which helps matters to be overlooked is not an infrequent ploy. I was, myself, when a councillor, denied a response - the Minutes prove this - but an answer was too delicate and the chairman did not answer.

Procedures have not been followed and in some cases, hundreds - councillors state thousands - of pounds have been wasted by poor administration. Evidence of some of this can be found in the Minutes. Councillors obviously know about this and my question is - how has this been allowed to happen?

Also, why does Bardney Group Parish Council require nearly twice as much for administration as local town councils?

I know this question has been asked and of course, no answer has been supplied. Councillors are required to get best value in everything they do. When was this exercise ever undertaken?

We all recognise Bardney Group Parishioners pay the piper - but who is calling the tune?

So, why has this situation prevailed over the years? Councillors have allowed it. Questions have been asked but so often answers have not been given. Some answers have not been researched properly, allowing responses not in accord with law. Evidence can be found in the Minutes, as mentioned above but worthy of repeating. If the answer is too revealing, it is not given.

This was seen most recently when it fell to me to ask the Commissioner of Information to get the answer to what have been printed about myself. One statement, verbatim, is from a Parish Council report of 2013 - ‘It is no secret that Mr Rogers has a personal issue with the clerk members of the BDT (Bardney Development Trust).’

I have written to the council but no response. Where is the evidence of an issue with the clerk but , more importantly, what has this got to do with the BDT?

How come the council has need or authority to implicate another organisation? So, I have to ask, who commissioned the report in the first place? It is another question I have not been able to answer. It seems odd the council does not seem to know. I will do my best to find out by asking for an explanation.

I think this is sufficient for now.

All statements made can be confirmed as, if any were otherwise, I realise would be a contradiction of the purpose of the letter.

Would you be surprised if I ended by stating, as I write, further problems have been revealed. Further problems are coming to light from councillors.

I will keep you posted.

Michael Rogers

Bardney