LETTERS: Vote for someone who will work for the town not just themselves

It was good reading of the new Funding for the Stanhope Hall and the appreciation shown to one Member for his hard work in organising and running the Community Cinema held there.

Unfortunately the News was not present at the Meeting, and thus the report given to the H. News by the Chairman (W.Aron), only presented a one sided view of the annual events, and (very) conveniently made no mention of the many negative aspects caused throughout the year by his poor, inefficient and autocratic Chairmanship - though, of course, it did provide yet another “photo opportunity” to boost his flagging public profile !!

No mention, of regret was made over the 5 Trustees driven in frustration to resign, or Cllr. Aron’s his flat refusal to address any of the concerns of the Committee, or to respond in any way to criticism over his poor governance in a ’ special’ Meeting called by a senior Town Councillor to mediate and try to rectify the situation.

Regrettably the main lease between ELDC and the Town Council for the Hall, does not contain any measure of censure or discipline over his bad management - neither does the Town Council hold any powers in their sub lease to the Stanhope Hall Trustees - thus poor (autocratic) governance and a depleted Committee - makes it so much easier for the Chair to virtually get away with anything it wants.

(? With ELDC being the owners of the building,and leasing it out - one wonders what landlord in their right mind, would allow a tenancy lease that fails to give them absolute and ultimate control over the way that the building is managed or occupied ??)

At the AGM, there was no apology for failing to update the Trustees names on the Charity Commission website and The Stanhope Hall website until some SIX months after the resignations, thereby displaying grossly incorrect information to the public.

No explanation for failing to put the Minutes of Meetings on the S.Hall website, even though there is a section devoted to the information that SHOULD be readily available to anyone accessing the site - or even potential ‘funders’ considering a donation. “If” this task has been allocated to someone else, and they have not carried it out - then it MUST BE be the Chairman’s responsibility to deal with these things himself.

It is not acceptable for a sloppy managerial attitude to be prevalent, whilst at the same time seeking photo opportunities coupled to glib, disingenuous statements.

No apology for tampering with the Minutes that the (then) Secretary took, and re writing them to his own version of events. (40 changes to Minutes of one Meeting !!!)

Furthermore, the AGM itself was somewhat farcical, with only two members of the public in attendance - seemingly caused by very few of the population even being aware that the AGM was being held, in spite of a very small mention in the News. Whether this was intentional to maintain a low profile, or whether it was considered by the public that (yet another) “whitewash would be taking place, I do not know.

The lack of attendance did prevent the asking of many pertinent and probing questions about the proper, professional governance of the Hall, and the Accounts generally, via the Treasurer, albeit that professional accountants prepared the Annual Accounts, which do NOT provide the minutiae of income and expenditure that the monthly ‘snapshot’ would reveal, and be open to question.

The purpose of an AGM is to be transparent, and to be open to any questions,( and provided answers to) that the public may wish to pursue - and it should present an honest report of the activities - good and bad - that have taken place - it should NOT be used as a vehicle to aggrandise one persons political ambitions, or to conceal the truth of the serious disruptions to the efficient running of the facility - by the Chairmans mismanagement.

Many would agree the comments by G.Lovely (letters Feb.11th) regarding Cllr. Aron - and, linking this to the speed problems on the Boston Road - did I not read last year that “he” was going to donate “his” unwarranted increase in basic County Councillor allowances to pay for a mobile speed warning device to be used wherever it was needed ???

I don’t recall seeing that item in use - or even if it exists, or perhaps it was just a further example of fine words and another “photo opportunity”.

With elections fast approaching, the people of Horncastle would be well advised to place, their votes for a candidate who work for the town, and not just themselves !!

Ron Fisher

Hemingby Way