Tuesday, February 02, 2010

One of our candidates is missing!

This week's D&S Times will have made uncomfortable reading for my colleagues over at Darlington Conservative HQ.

The Spectator's Notes column - a wry take on the week's news from an authoritative source at the paper - devotes half the column to the mystery of Darlington's own Disappearing Man - or "where is Edward Legard?"

An old friend of this blog, of course, it seems Captain LeGrand introduced himself to the D&S Times source 6 months ago, but as the columnist observes, "since then we have seen neither hide nor hair."

The column goes on to wonder why he has been so absent? Imagining that the Tories have a cunning plan is indeed a possibility, but it is so fearsomely obscure that even Baldrick would have had a migraine trying to fathom it. Complacency, wonders SN? Perhaps. Possibly a thoroughly useless candidate? Or maybe, there was a clue in the annual returns the local party filed which were unearthed by my blogging colleague and LibDem PPC Mike Barker - Darlington's Tories have a falling, ageing membership, and whilst they may have a few quid in the bank, there just aren't the activists anymore to support sustained activity.

All very perplexing. Just as mystifying as why one anonymous source was determined that I should see this webpage. For the life of me, I can't imagine why.

In truth, the Tories have wasted a year when they might have made hay. They've given Labour the space to select a top-drawer, local candidate who is re-energizing the campaigning effort and determined to lead from the front. Taxi for Captain Laggard!


Ex-Labour said...

To clarify Nick he is away fox hunting, to be honest I nearly just answered who!

Perhaps a long chums "do" back at Sandhurst or a spot of Grouse shooting perhaps.

Whilst it pains me to say so and actually support the present Labour Gov. I must agree with you you do have a top notch PPC in Jenny just a crap leader in Gordon!

It is time for change but from the top down you need to return to the true Labour values of yesteryear and get rid of what the public percieve as the greedy bumbbling tossers at the top to give good local candidates like Jenny a chance.

Speaking of missing in action just where is Pepsico boy these days living it up in Northumberland or perhps on the Grouse shoot with legomand.

There is no difference between a Labour MP (milly) and Conservative one at present and this is what we need to re-establish in this country be for we go to the dogs!

We need a new leader with tougher new rules what the actual people want not just what an elite few in their Ivory towers decide we want.

Don't be suprised if you see a swing to the Baldrick party at present he is looking competent :)

miketually said...

Someone rich who lives out in the countryside in another county, and is rarely seen in the town? Where've I heard that before?

james said...

From his campaign literature, Legrand seems like the caring sort of conservative. With the Tories in Westminster licking their lips over cuts to child trust funds, regional development agencies, and social housing, it's no wonder he's not so keen on becoming MP...

Paul Cain said...

The Tories won't win in Darlington and I think they know it. The latest betting I saw is that Labour are 1/7 to win there.

I've said before that the Tories seem to have picked a right lemon as a candidate. If they'd got their act together in the last couple of years, Darlington would have been there for the taking, such as mess has the Labour Party made of the town, both at a council and an MP level.

On a side issue, I wonder why the D&S has written this column? Being overseas, I don't get to see the paper, so perhaps someone could tell me if the paper, or the Echo, ever actually picked up on Mildew's appalling attendance record and his multiple jobs in the private sector?

You'd imagine that for two independent local papers, the near-disappearance of the local MP would have been meat and drink.

Then again, both papers are pale shadows of their former selves, so perhaps it's not surprising.

Perhaps they could redeem themselves by asking Jenny Chapman why she wasn't playing merry hell with Milburn over his abandonment of Darlington.

Mike Barker said...

Yes, the Echo did, Paul. Indeed, they published a letter from me, with comment, about AM's appalling attendance and multiple jobs record the very day before he announced he would be standing down as an MP.

I suspect, from various comments he has made in his newspaper, that Peter Barron is not A's number one fan. Pointedly, when commenting on the possibility of a Question Time debate with the candidates, chaired by himself, PB said his first question would be, "Should an MP live in his constituency?": a comment directed at AM, I suspect, rather than our absentee Tory candidate.

Ex-Labour said...

He might be invisible and standing down but he is still rattling away buying things on expenses :(

Anonymous said...

Ooops they did it again!

It would appear that pepsico boy and Lord Legrandiose are not the only people missing locally, we can now add a certain Parish Clerk to the list of absentees.

But which troubled village is it?

Just who pushed him over the edge?

Who is so delusional with power this has happened?

Answers on a postcard please.

42% said...

I know which village it is! That is not rocket science!

The answer to question 2 & 3 are the same person...but it is not for me to name and shame on here although no doubt someone will.

But they knows who she is.

They don't listen...42% said...

Guessing by the 40% it is happy Hurworth and the word she means it can only be one of 2 people who has caused this, as there are only the Chairwoman and 1 other female Councillor!

How many Clerks is this now?

Anonymous said...

Fact or just more fatuous rumours?

talking of naming & shaming, IF true just who did this info come from?

The Sherrif said...


Are you saying it is not true?

It is the talk of the village, personally I heard it on the bus yesterday then again at the Grange this morning.

I remember when the last Clerk left two councillors were accused of various things after a document was deliberately leaked to the press, who then printed it.

Perhaps the Echo once again have been "accidentally" copied in again by the 18 times gold medal winning resident email champion.

Just as well they raised their precept, what with more expense to get another Clerk and possibly a payout to avoid a tribunal with this one...they do know how to waste tax payers money out in the sticks.

All together now....

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

Anonymous said...

Geor....sorry... "sheriff"... i have no idea if true or not as there has been no public statement. I would therefore rely on facts rather than tittle tattle.

i did not shoot the deputy...... said...

Sherif said,"I remember when the last Clerk left two councillors were accused of various things after a document was deliberately leaked to the press, who then printed it."
I remember that, the ex clerk accused two councillors of bullying and harrassing her. One of them i think is stil a councillor, the other recently resigned.

Now more rumour-mongering going on, i wonder what motivation lies behind this?

Darlington Councillor said...

Hmmm. Should I be deleting any (or all) of these Hurworth-related comments?

Wyatt Earp said...

Nick; I would suggest leave it, there may have been no official announcement but the village is awash with the story.

I did not shoot the deputy is correct allegations were made and never proven or taken forward in anyway as there was no proof, innocent until proven guilty I think!

As for the present situation that is a different Kettle of Fish, there is proof out there and I am sure after next Tuesdays meeting someone will be left looking stupid whilst someone will simply have left.

I would keep an eye on the Echo and/or the D&S for the real story to break!

In the words of Corporal Pike "they don't like it up em Captain"

It seems fine without proof to accuse some members yet not others.

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

cassidy said...

indeed, lets see what happens and who is left with egg on their faces....i wonder if the rumour mongers will be quite so outspoken then.....

village resident said...

I agree with Cassidy he either has or has not resigned if not it was a rumour and if he does I hope all that have brought this about are named.

I do not see how anyone can be left with egg on their face as the facts are there just ask for them through a Freedom of Information request.

It does seem strange that the story is on everyones lips in the village unless the resignation has been withdrawn, perhaps he has thought about it and decided to stay and be treat like s*** or had an appology either way this still will be a good story for the Echo.

"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"

Sheriff said...

"Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely"

"But, Butt kissing certainly fixes things"

EMERGENCY EMERGENCY copious amounts of industrial strength mouth wash needed Parish members have bad taste in their mouths.

Looks like Kissady-arse was right, but that's not egg on their faeces ;)

Anonymous said...

mmmmm, so no resignation i take it???

maybe just a bit of common sense has been applied. More readily available following a recent cllr resignation!

I wonder you could have started spreading such rumours? and with what motivation?
Maybe the "sheriff" has indeed been shot.....by himself ....in the foot....

Omar Sheriff said...

I would appear not a completed one anyway, but rest assured there is written proof one was offered.

I bet there has been some serious squirming by a certain lady who will now think twice before she emails anyone, or ever pushes that dreaded "send" button again.

Perhaps it is time for compulsory email lessons for Councillor's over 60 or just banning them from owning a computer altogether...No PC's 4 PC's

Just how many if any are under 60 on that PC, time for new young blood and certainly if we are not to get the expected resignation, the resignation of the one who caused it all this upset with her cleverness should be forthcoming!

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

Anonymous said...

2 both the Ian's are in their early 40's and no matter who wins the next election that will make 3 although I don't know either ones age I woulds say late 30's - 40's also.

25% less than a precept rise ;)

Anonymous said...

I understand that the pc meeting at Hurworth went ahead as normal and without incident last night.

I would therefore suggest that many of the comments from self appointed Sheriffs, lawmen and anonymous x-men says a great deal about the sort of behaviour that the responsible members of the pc have had to suffer for so long.

The Sheriff said...

Are there any responsible members?

I heard many were egomaniacs and now we can add arse kissing to their CV's.

Had it not been for a certain Cllr's timely intervention the Clerk would have walked as a result of the Chairmans comments which are availible if requested by anyone from the Parish Office!

So don't come on here and pretend all is sweetness and light as it is not and there still should have been a resignation if not the Clerks one from the Chairwoman who caused the problem to begin with!

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

Anonymous said...

Yes there are responsible members. Members who attempt to make a postive contribution to parish life. For too long these efforts have been undermined if not thwarted by self appointed sherifs etc whose wholly negative attitude is exemplified on this thread.

Fortunatley this negativity has largely gone with one recent departure.
Of course there will always be conflicting opinions but as it may be in this case, the personalities involved should be able to resolve any issues in a sensible and mature manner.
It is the motivation of those who seem to wish to create and exploit such conflicting opinions that is worthy of further examination.

The Sheriff said...

I think we will see a big shake up in Hurworth come the next elections (2011) where hopefully many will not restand and those few that actually do something constructive and not "pie in the sky" will be re-elected and those who think they rule the place will be out!

Sure the 42% has not helped their ageing popularity and many are moaning, this will sink a few next year, as some are keen to constantly point out this is only "a packet of fags" but to those of us less well off it's a hot meal for the kids.

So while the advocates of this massive rise drive around in their new volvo's and Jag's think of the village poor for once, who do not want a precept rise as a result of twisting the Parish Plan results...when you clearly did not listen to the people.

In Hurworth Parish there are 1,265 households with 2,545 registered voters...now lets see 507 returned this questionaire thats 20%! of that 20% in reply to question 47 who would support a substancial rise in the Parish Precept only 3% said yes so 2.545 people suffer because of approx 15 (probably those behind the Plan to begin with) is that democracy?

If you are who I suspect you will be safe, it's the secret clique that needs disbanding. despite the recent addition to their ageing likeminded numbers.

Dinosaurs in a technological revolution :(

law-less said...

Of course the next election will give people the opportunity to decide who they want to represent them. Is it the people who do the work and debate in concil and try and make a positive contribution?

Or is it those who contribute little, and sole intent appears to undermine the efforts of others or dont turn up to meetings when decisions are made,even when there vote would have changed the outcome, and then shout loudest when decisions are made which they do not like.

As 42% typically equates to what 40p per month, suppose it depends on what you consider to be modest....

The Sheriff said...


You do try to confuse the readers who should look at question 47

47. If suggestions are included in the Parish Plan, and money is necessary for implementation, where should that money come from?

The word was substancial rise which 3% ticked for


The modest rise 41.4% voted for would you consider 42% to be substancial or just modest if proposed by your employer as a pay cut?

I think not :)

I now see now todays D&S Times they don't allow residents to make statements. I wonder what happened to democracy and freedom of speech in Hurworth?

Perhaps they only want to here each others self praise and what suits them?

As for the comment by Cllr Allan "he did not think it was important to many villagers" shows how out of touch this old dinosaur is with the poorer people of the village (who do not drive around in new Jag's and Volvo's with private and personal registration plates) just because only a few have complained to either the Clerk or a Cllr does not mean it is all sweetness and light, he continues to say there had only been a few complaints and none to him.

Well of course they will not have been to him and his cronies they brought the rise about!

If it is so little to him, why not offer to pay the rise for anyone who complains see how many complaints he will get then!

Come on Cllr Allan put your money where your mouth is.

I thought not :)

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

law-less and grateful for it said...

Lies, damn lies and statistics....is 40p per month not "modest" in most peoples book? regardless of relative income i think almost all would accept that it is.

The fact that so few residents made an issue of this, (3 in total, and 2 of those are ex cllrs!) does demonstrate the level of concern in the community.
Comments about the relative affluence of others is simply unworthy.

That "old dinosaur" as you so kindly put it, attends many more meetings and makes a far more positive contribution than certain members that spring to mind....past and present.

There is public participation on every agenda. The resident in question chose not to partake. That was his decision.

Are you therefore suggesting that every member of the public who wishes to speak should be given their own slot on the agenda? or that he should have been given prefernetial treatment as an ex cllr? still, that would only affect those cllrs who actually turn up for meetings.....

Just like those who failed to attend meetings when their votes would have changed the outcomes, and then spend hrs denigrating others with an alternate view.

J. Gibson said...

I think there are more concerned than this thread is aware of, I am new here and this site has just been pointed out to me by a friend.

I do not wish to get involved in the to and froing of the above arguments but as a regular bus traveller it is often the topic of conversation on the bus and never in a good light.

Perhaps those refered to above should use the bus a little more regulary instead of their cars and find out just what people do think.

Just because there have been few written or verbal complaints this does not mean people are happy with something and then to try to pass this off as a moderate increase is unacceptable, 42% is substancial to anyone except the richest amongst us who can clearly afford it and this would seem to be the case with those who pushed it through regardless of good intent, it was too much at the wrong time for unnecessary things.

Regardless of who was there or not or who voted or not it was inappropriate to force this rise on us when John Williams had openly asked for all Councils not to increase it. It may not be much to some and more to others, yes I am sure most can afford it but the fact is the Council did not listen to it's own residents or the Borough Council who should revoke it's own contribution to them as a Parish.

The Parish Council is trying from what I gleen from the posts above to say this 42% is a moderate increase, so what would a substancial one have been 80%?

They got it wrong and it is time they (if still possible) reduced it. I have not seen any figures but clearly it seems to be this handyman thing that has most people I speak with up in arms.

I would like a breakdown of which Councillors voted which way as this will indeed influence my vote at the next elections, I live in Hurworth Place and it has been printed in the local press that the Chair Councillor Hepplewhite had the casting vote in this shw=e is a Councillor in my part of the Parish and she certainly will not be getting mine or many others vote down this end come the election as for the rest we will have to wait to see who voted which way.

I think anyone who voted for this needs to question their rational and indeed was what they did indeed in the Parish's best interests or just to fund their own personal agendas?

G Jackson said...

Utter tripe!
You only have to look past the rubbish being trotted out by those that seem to have a hidden agenda to see that this so called huge rise is nothing of the sort. it is a few pence per week and if it goes straight to the benefit of the village then i am all for it.

i would far rather see my hard earned going to the village than on some wonderful dbc scheme elsewhere in the borough

As for who voted for what, who cares? we voted them in,we can vote them out, thats democracy.
Anyway, anyone with any knowledge of local politics knows that the votes are only recorded if specifically requested and not as a matter of course.

From the reported remarks of the chair lady it seems that the clerk has been overloaded with "freedom of information" requests. We as taxpayes are paying for his time and i would much rather see his time spent constructively than being wasted on what appears to be trivia, no doubt driven by those same hidden agendas

Plus if that resignation letter does exist, it must mean that one of the councillors leaked it to outsiders, so there is at least on one councillor there who cannot be trusted.
Politics has a bad enough reputation but i never thought that a parish councillor in hurworth would be so untrustworthy. I wnat to know who he or she is before I decise who to vote for next time around.

i too live in Hurworth Place and much more concerned by those who asked for my vote and apparently rarely turn up for meetings.
Mind you,last time around there was no vote in hurworth place so those standing got in anyway,
Suppose we will have to make sure that does not happen again!

The Sheriff said...

Gillian Jackson wrote

"it must mean that one of the councillors leaked it to outsiders, so there is at least one councillor there who cannot be trusted."

Gillian, I think many depending on which side of the fence you stand!

No such out cry last time the Clerk's resignation letter was leaked to the press! I wonder why? perhaps it did not suit the overall smear tactics of the "master plan" back then, but still that's water under the bridge now.

I also note no mention of the Clerk who resigned before her. You know the one before who resigned as a result of a mis sent e-mail who went on to resign with a large severance deal, but even more water under the bridge with that one.

No public outcry at the wasting of funds then. Perhaps this 42% would not have been needed if they had not had to pay so much money out to the last Clerk but one, or even if they had not capitulated like cowards to give one man a £8K (plus legal fee's) fence. Who would of got more public land had he not been fought of by the footpath protestors... but not by your righteous champions.

You are however correct that it does require a request for a named vote prior to the vote to record who voted which way. But as a resident you can ask each and every Councilor individually which way they did vote and collate the results. This I would encourage every resident to do either as individuals or by writing under the Freedom of Information Act.

You are equally correct there was no election in Hurworth Place and by all means stand if you feel that strongly next time but that is a year away so patience will be required.

You must think that attending a meeting once a month is all your councillor's do...once agian so wrong there is much done outside the meeting room. Secret pre meeting, meetings and secret post meeting, meetings take up much of their time granted so everything runs just smooth at the actual meeting and just the right way for certain people.

How about denying residents agenda items? that has been this weekends main press story, but I suppose that's OK when they are saying something that hurts and you don't really want to hear in public.

As for over loading the Clerk how is that, please expand? he signed up as Clerk with all that it entailed if this covers requests for information so be it, if he cannot do the job he is employed to do perhaps he should not have accepted it or perhaps was he not made fully aware of his duty's by those who interviewed him?

As for not attending meetings perhaps they should be held on the prescribed date, until recently this Parish did not even care that the disabled could not attend as all Parish meeting were held upstairs, they have now progressed and it is now in a broom cupboard.

One minute it is at Linden Court then back to the broom cupboard why did someone cancel a bigger better venue, even if only temporary? Perhaps someone should ask!

So much for the equal rights of every voter! Very Christian.

I wish you the best should you decide to stand at the next election and by the sounds of your letter you are very clued up and presumably will have much support.

The Handy Man, oh the Handy Man can
The Handy Man can 'cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good. The Handy Man. ;)

G Jackson said...

How very dare you! i am not "Gillian" but you seem to think yourself so clever and going with the tenant of your responses i have no desire to give more details.

It is obvious that you are an extremely bitter individual and your record of events bares little comparison with my own understanding.

The only (final) point that i would make relates to your assertion that members of the public have somehow been silenced, Utter tripe, if i want to say something to the council i will say it under "public participation" like everyone else and not expect special treatment just for being a former councillor.

You the "Sheriff" do seem to do eveything you can to attack members of the parish council. I suspect that you yourself are either a current or recent member.
If you are current then it is my opinion that you should be ashamed of your actions. If past, then i suspect most would say good riddance.
I dont think i shall be interested in discussing this any further with the likes of you.

Anonymous said...

Are you sure now, you don't want the last word ;)

Anonymous said...

Can anyone explain what is the difference between a Councillor who cannot make it thus not voting and one who is there and who abstains?

I cannot work out how or why a group of nine (which was present)would need a casting vote the only assumption availible at present is someone abstained, can anyone who was there clarify if anyone or who abstained?

Anonymous said...

So "Sheriff", no apology to Gillian Jackson for wrongly attributing words to her?

As for who voted which way, i would imagine that would have been quite apparent to those where interested enough to attend.

moveon.com said...



Why is who voted which way such a secret are those for it now embarrassed?

Clearly there were/must have been some abstentions. I will find out who they were and expose them.

They are as bad as those who you keep moaning on about who did not turn up, knowing this person I have asked and they were ill, that's no reason to abstain and no reason has been given to it being held on the wrong week of the month for residents to attend?, no doubt another management decision!

Confuse the voters, switch dates on them especially when pushing through a 42% rise....niceone.com