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Three of our shelties playing - the little one is now just 3rd in line!

Me just trying to look intelligent

Arrived recently to join the other 3 - much to their disgust!

What more do you want?

The above says it all so if you want you know for anything else, simply e-mail me at:


Hey readers, I’m going to be rejected once again when the local council considers my application to be co-opted onto it due to lack of interest by residents. It’s about 6 months since I tried previously, so why not come at 7pm to Birstall Village Hall on Dec 18th 2017 and see what excuse they find this time.

During my preparations for this occasion, I’ve been stupid enough to read through the standing orders and assorted agendas and they do do things differently up here.

Management and Policy Committee meets at 9am on Mondays, most committees seem to meet at 6:30pm or 7pm on Mondays. Both times have been chosen to fit in with the Council rather than the public, because Standing Orders say meetings start at 6pm unless the Chairman agrees otherwise.

Other good one is Agenda item ‘Chairmans Announcements’ is after the exclusion of the public at the end of meetings - different you must admit.

Standing Orders mention something about supporting papers for agenda items - not on the Internet or provided at the meetings.

The meeting on Monday will agree the next years Budget, but standing orders suggest Management and Policy has to agree funding requests from other committees at the November meeting and one presupposes agrees a draft budget but without any supporting papers, all a mystery to me at least!

See you there!

Wasn’t it fun? Naturally I am still too political to join their little club. Strangely, two councillors said it was apolitical and one even confessed he had never voted! During questioning it seems my letter in the Birstall Post was my undoing by saying the Councillor who had resigned, hadn’t been elected anyway. The Town Clerk said I was incorrect, as he had been elected but forgot to sign his papers, so they co-opted him anyway!  The last contested election was in 2013, and 2015 was uncontested, so all candidates were simply elected without a vote being cast. I could find no reference to an election where Roy Rollings had actually stood for election since 2010, so not sure what went on!

My investigations also showed that the Chairman of Birstall Conservatives is still a Birstall Parish Councillor so one really does have to wonder what is going on. No wonder residents don’t what to put themselves forward or even attend public committee meetings as if Monday is anything to go by, no relevant papers are available for the public to help with following the proceedings. Even the sound system didn’t work so it was hard to hear and no councillor stood up when speaking as required under standing orders.

What a cosy little club Birstall Parish Council is!

So, with an election required in may 2019, if you want to join this club (no fee, but you can influence statuary spending - aka local taxation), you will simply need to request the Borough Council for information. This will involve getting a few residents to get involved, convince 10 residents to say they don’t object to you standing for election (so simple, even I did it for the Borough election in May 2017) and democracy starts to happen!

I’d better warn you that if you actually get elected, then be prepared to make a difference. Of course, it’s unpaid, and you can get as involved as much as little as you want, but as a guide, being on both Borough and Parish Councils took about 24 hours a week but I really got involved as an Independent (don’t believe everything officers tell you!!) but expect 5 to 10 hours if working on your own - supported by a political party, will make things easier - just do what you are told!

Anyway, there are 20 Councillors supposed to be on BPC (they keep loosing them), so there are frequent opportunities for you to apply to be co-opted (unless they don’t think you would be a suitable club member like me!). Go on, get involved as there are currently (Jan 2018) two vacancies. For information from the Town Clerk or e-mail me on norm@normancutting.uk