Council at war

PUBLISHED: 11:33 14 May 2009 | UPDATED: 14:07 06 May 2010

SIR, — I read Mary Brosnan s article in the Herts Advertiser (Mentor can t put stop to council infighting, April 30) as well as your very apposite editorial comment, with a feeling of déjà vu. Apparently Wheathampstead Parish Council members have not lear

SIR, - I read Mary Brosnan's article in the Herts Advertiser (Mentor can't put stop to council infighting, April 30) as well as your very apposite editorial comment, with a feeling of déjà vu. Apparently Wheathampstead Parish Council members have not learned their lesson from a Standards Tribunal some two years ago, on February 27, 2007, when the majority of the members attempted to castigate the late Cllr Barrie Levinson and myself, an ex-councillor, via the tribunal. It is a matter of record that they failed miserably at that time as not one of the accusations levelled at the two of us was substantiated.

The comment by Cllr Stammers on how the 'younger councillors' are failing to follow procedures is particularly amusing as lack of obeying the rules by the majority of the, dare I say, 'older councillors' in 2007 resulted in all of the accusers having to live with the proverbial egg on their collective chins when the result of the tribunal was promulgated in the local press.

The problem with Wheathampstead Parish Council is their mistaken concept that rules are elastic, are there to be stretched to suit the situation as they see it or ignored to suit the clique, and the longer they, the 'old' incumbents, are on the council then the more elastic the procedural rules become.

When we view the historical efforts of the WPC, they have achieved not much 'bang for their buck' as the Americans would say. There is the sad case of the idiotic provision of a teenagers' playground which is seldom utilised yet cost £24,000; in the order of £20,000 has been put aside annually for refurbishment of the Memorial Hall roof et. al., since my time on the council. So why an increased precept to suit the re-roofing this year, we may ask ourselves?

Then there is the more than doubling of the costs for a new tennis club from an insurance claim award of +/- £27,000 to +/- £60,000. We have cause to tremble when we realise these 'older' representatives of the people, who surmise age is experience, have our local financial and welfare affairs in their hands when they know not what they do.

My comfort is that I can envisage Barrie Levinson, looking down from a well-deserved place on high, smiling and thinking to himself, "I told you so".

REG RUSSELL (ex-councillor),

East Lane,

Wheathampstead.

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