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> NTC and Political Discrimination
Simon Kirby
post Mar 14 2012, 09:29 AM
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NTC are to move a Resolution on Monday allowing them to refuse to let allotments to certain individuals - I have a feeling I know which individual they have in mind.

As I've mentioned the Town Council have served me with a Notice to Quit my allotment 1 April because of the way I have criticised them. The difficulty for them is that while they may possibly be able to terminate my current agreement they still have a duty to let me it again with a new tenancy agreement, and that's no good to them because the whole point was to get rid of me and silence my political agitating.

As a resolution to this disagreement the Council have offered me a new Tenancy Agreement with an additional secret contractual protocol that would prevent me from doing or saying anything critical of the Council or its elected local politicians. For example I would not be able to post without the Council Chief Executive's prior orthorisation anything remotely critical on this forum, not just in relation to the Council's allotment service, but about anything to do with the Council - nothing about Victoria Park, nothing about the Market, and certainly nothing about the Council's service costs for which I have already been declared a Vexatious Complainant.

I rejected the offer because I believe it's important in a free society to respect freedom of expression, particularly freedom to criticise the state. Monday's resolution will pretty much put the tin hat on any chance of me keeping my allotment.


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Adrian Hollister
post Mar 14 2012, 10:19 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 14 2012, 09:29 AM) *
NTC are to move a Resolution on Monday allowing them to refuse to let allotments to certain individuals - I have a feeling I know which individual they have in mind.

As I've mentioned the Town Council have served me with a Notice to Quit my allotment 1 April because of the way I have criticised them. The difficulty for them is that while they may possibly be able to terminate my current agreement they still have a duty to let me it again with a new tenancy agreement, and that's no good to them because the whole point was to get rid of me and silence my political agitating.

As a resolution to this disagreement the Council have offered me a new Tenancy Agreement with an additional secret contractual protocol that would prevent me from doing or saying anything critical of the Council or its elected local politicians. For example I would not be able to post without the Council Chief Executive's prior orthorisation anything remotely critical on this forum, not just in relation to the Council's allotment service, but about anything to do with the Council - nothing about Victoria Park, nothing about the Market, and certainly nothing about the Council's service costs for which I have already been declared a Vexatious Complainant.

I rejected the offer because I believe it's important in a free society to respect freedom of expression, particularly freedom to criticise the state. Monday's resolution will pretty much put the tin hat on any chance of me keeping my allotment.

This is plain and simple corruption of fair and responsible civic duty. They should not be using their position to silence anyone - after all, if they have nothing to hide there is nothing to silence. It's about time they ate their pride, recognised that they are wrong and move on. The Chief Exec and Councillors responsible for this must be investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman and an independent review panel.

Sickening.
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NORTHENDER
post Mar 14 2012, 10:47 AM
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Methinks you should turn your ploughshare into a sword and run them through.
Sounds like a right bunch of w@nkers.
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Bloggo
post Mar 14 2012, 10:56 AM
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You need to write to Richard Benyon because, if it is as you say, then at best it is not fair and at worse it is possibly corrupt. They can't impose a "silencing" clause in your agreement with them.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 11:06 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 14 2012, 09:29 AM) *
As a resolution to this disagreement the Council have offered me a new Tenancy Agreement with an additional secret contractual protocol that would prevent me from doing or saying anything critical of the Council or its elected local politicians.

If this is true, that is simply bent. What a bunch of crooks. I can't wait for their canvassing the next time round, they are going to get some.

Who needs Freemasons, when you have the Tories and the Lib Dems.
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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 11:07 AM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Mar 14 2012, 10:56 AM) *
You need to write to Richard Benyon because, if it is as you say, then at best it is not fair and at worse it is possibly corrupt. They can't impose a "silencing" clause in your agreement with them.

Allegedly he's as slippery as the rest.
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JeffG
post Mar 14 2012, 11:10 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 14 2012, 11:07 AM) *
Allegedly he's as slippery as the rest.

Alleged by whom?
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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 11:18 AM
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QUOTE (JeffG @ Mar 14 2012, 11:10 AM) *
Alleged by whom?

'A man down the pub'.
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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 11:34 AM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Mar 14 2012, 10:19 AM) *
... The Chief Exec and Councillors responsible for this must be investigated by the Local Government Ombudsman and an independent review panel.

Can this be made to happen?
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 14 2012, 11:46 AM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 14 2012, 11:34 AM) *
Can this be made to happen?

I don't believe so, the ombudsman doesn't have jurisdiction over a parish council. I can complaint to the Standards Committee if councillors break the Code of Conduct, but you're back into turkeys voting for Christmas teritory.

It all kind of depends on Councillors not chosing to behave like this, and if they don't break rank you're stuffed.

The Hunt case was postponed today until late April so any possibility of a result there isn't going to save me from eviction. My one last remaining hope is that the second-stage review of Trading Standards' duty to enforce the Unfair Terms and Consumer Protection regulations which completes last week of March will find in my favour and that Trading Standards will step in.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 11:56 AM
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QUOTE (Simon Kirby @ Mar 14 2012, 11:46 AM) *
The Hunt case was postponed today until late April so any possibility of a result there isn't going to save me from eviction.

Why postponed?
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Guest_xjay1337_*
post Mar 14 2012, 11:59 AM
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Thought we hadn't heard Simon Kirby on allotments for a while.

Still it sounds like an episode from an American TV-Cop-Drama. I think it's wrong for them to have done what they have done to you...although your constant bleating about your shed does get annoying at times it's clearly something you hold dear to your heart.

Good for you, for irritating the council so much. biggrin.gif
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 14 2012, 12:20 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 14 2012, 11:56 AM) *
Why postponed?

I'm not entirely sure to be honest, I don't quite understand how the court process works. It seems today was only to hear the plea. I think the CPS has to go away and justify the public interest in bringing the prosecution, though I could be mistaken.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 12:24 PM
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It does smell fishy.
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Adrian Hollister
post Mar 14 2012, 12:46 PM
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QUOTE (Andy Capp @ Mar 14 2012, 11:34 AM) *
Can this be made to happen?

It's a bit of an old boys club and they tend to stick together; hence my suggestion that we need an independent panel as well looking at it. A brief look at the code of conduct Ten General Principles and you can get an idea why I think this stinks:

Annexure - The Ten General Principles
The general principles governing your conduct under the Relevant Authorities (General
Principles) Order 2001 are set out below:

Selflessness
1. Members should serve only the public interest and should never improperly confer an advantage or disadvantage on any person.
Honesty and Integrity
2. Members should not place themselves in situations where their honesty and integrity may be questioned, should not behave improperly and should on all occasions avoid the appearance of such behaviour.
Objectivity
3. Members should make decisions on merit, including when making appointments, awarding contracts, or recommending individuals for rewards or benefits.
Accountability
4. Members should be accountable to the public for their actions and the manner in which they carry out their responsibilities, and should co-operate fully and honestly with any scrutiny appropriate to their particular office.
Openness
5. Members should be as open as possible about their actions and those of their authority, and should be prepared to give reasons for those actions.
Personal Judgement
6. Members may take account of the views of others, including their political groups, but should reach their own conclusions on the issues before them and act in accordance with those conclusions.
Respect for Others
7. Members should promote equality by not discriminating unlawfully against any person, and by treating people with respect, regardless of their race, age, religion, gender, sexual orientation or disability. They should respect the impartiality and integrity of the authority's statutory officers, and its other employees.
Duty to Uphold the Law
8. Members should uphold the law and, on all occasions, act in accordance with the trust that the public is entitled to place in them.
Stewardship
9. Members should do whatever they are able to do to ensure that their authorities use their resources prudently and in accordance with the law.
Leadership
10.Members should promote and support these principles by leadership, and by example, and should act in a way that secures or preserves public confidence.
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Adrian Hollister
post Mar 14 2012, 12:47 PM
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You can find a quick summary of the code here.
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Simon Kirby
post Mar 14 2012, 01:12 PM
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QUOTE (Adrian Hollister @ Mar 14 2012, 12:46 PM) *
It's a bit of an old boys club and they tend to stick together; hence my suggestion that we need an independent panel as well looking at it. A brief look at the code of conduct Ten General Principles and you can get an idea why I think this stinks:

Adrian, any chance you can bring some pressure to bear here? I have no standing and it's quite beyound my means and ability to get justice here. All NTC needed to do to resolve this whole business was to offer me the new tenancy on the same terms as everyone else, it can't possibly be right that they'd ransom my allotment for my silence.


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Squelchy
post Mar 14 2012, 01:33 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Mar 14 2012, 10:56 AM) *
You need to write to Richard Benyon


Oh yeah, that'll do it. That'll have them quaking in their boots.
You seriously think Benyon will do anymore than chuff-all to his acolytes?
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Bloggo
post Mar 14 2012, 01:44 PM
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QUOTE (Squelchy @ Mar 14 2012, 01:33 PM) *
Oh yeah, that'll do it. That'll have them quaking in their boots.
You seriously think Benyon will do anymore than chuff-all to his acolytes?

Why not let him know? Having heard what is going on he has to be concerned and maybe a little embarrased that the system is being abused.
If he don't know he can't do anything about it.
Just offering some support is all.


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Andy Capp
post Mar 14 2012, 02:09 PM
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QUOTE (Bloggo @ Mar 14 2012, 01:44 PM) *
Why not let him know? Having heard what is going on he has to be concerned and maybe a little embarrased that the system is being abused.
If he don't know he can't do anything about it.
Just offering some support is all.

And I congratulate you for that.

The problem Simon has is that he is fighting the Tory and Lib Dem old-boys in Newbury, so he has no primary party support. If what I have read is true, the Newbury Town Council have acted, and are acting, shamefully.
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