County Councillor says South Normanton Parish Council “are opening a can of worms”

The Post Mill Centre, South Normanton, was the scene of a remarkable decision taken by the South Normanton Parish Council at their meeting on 9th February.

District Councillor, and Chair of the Local Labour Party Branch, Emma Stevenson moved that the Council suspend the annual grant to the Post Mill Centre and instead, require each individual group to separately for apply grants in what County Councillor Jim Coyle describe as “opening a can of worms” and suggested that the Council will find themselves needing “to employ more staff” to deal with the increased volume of grant requests from local community groups.

It also raised the question as to whether smaller community groups would find the process of having to apply for their own grants too cumbersome and force them to stop providing services altogether.

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The controlling Labour group was split down the middle as 5 voted for the motion and 4 voted against.

Cllr Emma Stevenson (moved), Cllr Mick Brough (seconded), Cllr Paul Matthews, Cllr Paul Barnes and Cllr Kevin Kavaliunas all voted to scrap the grant towards the Post Mill Centre which caused the public present to erupt with heckling and jeering at the Parish Council.

Despite several councillors having established links with the Post Mill Centre, no interests were declared by any members, who all participated in the vote.

Members of the public were left furious at the decision taken and left the meeting early saying that “this would be taken further”.

One local residents said that “this was all planned to begin starving the Post Mill Centre of funds in order for certain members of the Parish Council to get the centre back under their control and was nothing more than a personal vendetta against the centre manager”.

In the public section of the meeting Liberal Democrat District Councillor, David Hancock questioned South Normanton Parish Council why they had “not responded to questions asked” on the previous two occasions they were put towards the Council.

This public dissatisfaction adds further to the woes of South Normanton Parish Council who were asked at the previous Council meeting on 12th January “how can residents call a vote of no confidence in the Parish Council?”

South Normanton Residents can sign our petition calling for a vote of no confidence by clicking here >

The next Parish Council meeting will be held on 9th March 2017 at The Post Mill Centre, Market Street, South Normanton, De55 2EJ starting at 7pm.

5 thoughts on “County Councillor says South Normanton Parish Council “are opening a can of worms”

  • Shane Langton

    Why should the post mill get this grant every year.
    There are a lot more other groups in the village who could use the grants.
    If it is not run by the parish council then I agree they should apply for a grant.
    Well done to those on the parish council who voted in favour of this.

    • David Hancock

      Hi Shane

      The grant money is paid on behalf of all of the community groups who use the Post Mill. The rule change now means that instead of a single grant which covers all of the different community groups that use the Post Mill, each of the individual groups now has to apply separately. So the payment isn’t handled any differently – it just adds a huge amount of work to the Parish Council staff (and, based on what was being said by the council members last night, will almost certainly result in South Normanton Council Tax payers funding an extra member of staff for to handle the increased number of applications) and it will almost certainly see FEWER community groups being funded as a result.

  • Lauren

    How do you know this will result in fewer community groups being funded?? And I’m sure only a few months ago you as a group was stating that the council should be made accountable for where their grants where going as the people of South Normanton have a right to know where our money is going is this not the case anymore?

    • David Hancock

      Hi Lauren

      To answer your first point, a number of representatives who worked with some of the local community groups openly said that the process would make it difficult for a significant number of groups to apply for individual funding.

      The Clerk confirmed that the Post Mill Centre already provide a set of accounts as well as a detailed breakdown – so are fully transparent in terms of where the community grants are spent; so I’m uncertain as to how you believe that we have changed our stance on holding the council accountable. Do I assume that you are making reference to a previous post about the Gala Committee, which made reference to them never having provided any accounts as part of their grant request. I trust that clears up any confusion.

      We fully support all community groups and event committees; however, it is important that full transparency and accountability are maintained at all times.

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