PTC Mayor Acting Beyond Legal Powers

By organising a hustings on Thursday 25 April at the Arts Centre Pocklington Town Council (PTC) Mayor Councillor Dean Hodgson has acted beyond his legal powers.

Please read Hodgson – Strangeway Emails

Independent ERYC Candidate Ruth Strangeway drew my attention to the seriousness of the situation after Councillor Dean Hodgson replied to her simple enquiry.

All 25 candidates are standing for roles that must be undertaken within statute. That is their primary objective.

Town/Parish Councillor Actions Must Be Mandated

Statute does not prevent Dean Hodgson, private citizen, from organising such an event. All Dean had to do was use his own address, phone number and sign it Dean Hodgson.

Sadly the invite is sent out in the name of Cllr D Hodgson, Town Mayor, Mayor of Pocklington with the Town Council address and phone number. This is clearly a PTC event.

Councillor Hodgson, and all PTC Councillors, must be mandated to undertake actions by the PTC and for this event he has not been. This means the hustings are organised in breach of statute.

Evidence – Facebook Promotion

On Thursday 18 April at 12.26 the Mayor of Pocklington invited residents to attend the event on social media via Pocklington Area Local Politics Facebook page.

This confirms the Mayor of Pocklington/PTC is organising the event.

Evidence – Martin Cooper

While discussing on social media possible last-minute changes to the format, PTC Councillor Martin Cooper suggested:

“all you have to do is tell them we have changed the format”

This clearly confirms that we/PTC are organising the event.

Candidates Must Not Condone

No candidate, standing to represent a Government body, can condone a hustings organised in breach of statute. To do so demonstrates, not only a lack of understanding for statute, but also a disrespect for statute.

Recording Public Audience

Councillor Hodgson also falsely states that permission of the full audience must be given before they can be recorded. This is false.

Legislation states the full meeting can be recorded. This includes the audience.

Arts Centre

Pocklington residents subsidise the Arts Centre via their Council Tax yet the Arts Centre are paying for the event to be staged.

How many other events are given free use of the Arts Centre?

Candidates/ERYC Informed

I have informed Councillor Hodgson, Councillor Kay West, ERYC Monitoring Officer Mathew Buckley and ERYC Returning Officer Caroline Lacey of the situation.

I politely suggest that Councillor Hodgson, before proceeding with the event, considers the statements he has made and the actions he is taking. The statements he has made do not reflect legislation and he is acting outside his authority.

I recommend that Councillor Hodgson informs all candidates of the concerns raised.

I can confirm neither myself nor Ruth Strangeway condone the breach of statute and as such will not attend the husting.

Posted in Election

Seventeen ERYC Staff Paid Over £100,000

The Goole Times reports that seventeen ERYC staff are paid over £100,000.

Why was I the only ERYC Councillor to vote against the Council Tax increase that pays for these inflated salaries and other waste?

Residents can express their opinion on these inflated salaries at the Ballot Box on May 2nd.

Posted in Council Tax

ERYC Head Of Legal – Officially Dense

ERYC Head of Legal, Mathew Buckley has confirmed what many already know – he is dense.

In an email received yesterday Mathew even apologised by stating “Sorry to be dense”.

I have accepted his apology and assured him I do not wish to confuse him any further.

Posted in ERYC

ERYC Agree Burton Fields Yellow Box Request

Last April I requested a yellow box for Burton Fields. Since then various work has continued behind the scenes.

I can now confirm, subject to Police agreeing to enforce it, ERYC have approved the request.

Hopefully this will be a major cost-effective improvement for residents and buses entering and leaving Burton Fields onto the A166 when the traffic is busy.

Posted in Roads, Stamford Bridge

The Pavement A-Frames Obstructing Access

The reason for widening the footpath at The Pavement. Pocklington was to improve access especially for those with disabilities.

Sadly The Salon are obstructing the access with their A-Frames and dustbin.

As requests to move them have fallen on deaf ears I have requested ERYC to take the required action.

Posted in Footpath, Pocklington

Team Strangeway – Leaflet Delivery Completed

As ERYC sent out postal votes yesterday I am pleased to confirm that Team Strangeway will complete leaflet distribution today.

Leaflets Delivered To Remote Farms

Pocklington Provinicial is a fantastic Ward to represent.

I would like to thank a great team for their hard work and support.

Posted in Election

Kirkland Street – Lost Parking

Parking on Kirkland Street, Pocklington is scarce at the best of times but it is not helped by ERYC road markings.

In recent years, due to recent development, the dropped kerbs are no longer used yet there has been no review of the double yellows and keep clear.

The double yellow lines have no legal basis as there is no sign and the keep clear markings can be drastically reduced as they are no longer required.

This simple measure will allow the parking of another three vehicles.

I have requested ERYC to review the unnecessary parking restrictions.

Posted in Parking, Pocklington

Barmby Moor Front Street Sign

The Front Street sign is only just hanging onto the wall in Barmby Moor.

I have requested ERYC undertake the required maintenance before the sign drops off.

Posted in Barmby Moor, Signs

Pocklington Neighbourhood Plan – Over Seven Years Delay

The Localism Act 2011 gave Parish/Town Councils the right to produce a Neighbourhood Plan that would sit alongside national planning legislation and ERYC policy to shape planning.

For reasons unknown there has been a delay of over seven-years with Pocklington Town Council introducing a Neighbourhood Plan yet only the PTC can undertake the Neighbourhood Plan for Pocklington. The number one tool to shape planning in Pocklington is a Neighbourhood Plan. Yet still there is no Pocklington Neighbourhood Plan.

But what is this a Neighbourhood Plan – Public Consulation Survey the month before the ERYC election where three PTC Councillors are seeking election to represent Pocklington Provincial at County Hall?

Surely this is just a coincidence.

Has the horse not already bolted?

Posted in Planning, Pocklington

Pocklington Beck Pollution – Environment Agency Statement

The Environment Agency have issued the following statement with regards the recent pollution of Pocklington Beck.

“The reports of intermittent sediment contamination of Pocklington Beck have been investigated on a number of different occasions specifically over the last year.

The developments of ERYC Flood Alleviation Scheme, Persimmon Homes and Linden Homes have all been looked into.

ERYC FAS

We have worked with ERYC representatives providing advice and guidance, for the FAS, undertaken site meetings and have monitored the site and found no significant issues from the works. Sediment control measures have been deployed when required by the developer and pro-active management of works carried out, to reduce pollution risks.

Persimmon Homes

Reports were received in July 2018 of direct dewatering of ground works from the Persimmon Homes development into Pocklington Beck. I attended site, assessed the situation and found that the company were dewatering areas of the site via a discharge direct to the Beck. The discharge was being made via sediment control measures (Silt Buster) and was not significantly high in sediment loading at the time of the visit. However, I deemed that there was an ongoing risk of a greater level of contamination being produced by the operation, if continued in its observed state. A review of the strategy for dewatering was undertaken with the site manager and the direct discharge to the Beck was halted. The dewatering was redirected to an area of scrub land which would act as a soak-away for the pumped water. The distance from the Beck and the vegetation on this land also helped prevent any suspended sediment reaching the watercourse. No further water quality issues have been observed from the Persimmon Homes development. However, following the most recent complaints both myself, a colleague and a representative from ERYC have separately assessed the water quality within Pocklington Beck on several occasions. No ongoing water quality issues have yet been observed.

Linden Homes

Reports have been received recently regarding the Linden Homes development and dewatering into Pocklington Beck. I attended these reported incidents on two separate occasions. No dewatering of the site was being made to Pocklington Beck on either occasion. No issues were noted with the water quality within the Beck on these visits. Dewatering of one area to the east of the site was actively being undertaken during one visit via silt control measures, including silt busters and a settlement lagoon. The runoff from this lagoon was noted to be directed to an unnamed land drain/dyke which runs parallel to the course of Pocklington Beck and joins it south of the A1079. There were no issues noted with the quality of the water being discharged into the drain or the quality within the drain itself was good.

We have undertaken to investigate where able to, the reports of water quality problems within Pocklington Beck. We will continue to investigate where pollution is suspected from a new or existing development, although the scale of our investigation will be proportionate to the reported/observed impact and the environmental risk.  We have previously investigated reports of pollution in Pocklington Beck and have confirmed our findings to any reporter’s, when feedback is requested. We will continue to assess any specific reports of pollution in Pocklington Beck, proportionate to the environmental risk presented and the evidence at our disposal.”

Posted in Pocklington