I sent this email
I moved to the area in August of 2006 and have heard only rumours, whispers and the seen occasional mention of the Brierley Town Council. I note that the council does not have an internet presence (as yet?) and that information on the organisation is sadly lacking. As I am eager to integrate into my new neighbourhood and become involved with the community I am surprised that my usual 21st century methods of doing research (ie looking on the internet and asking people) have only revealed this email address and some postal address in Grimethorpe. Not very transparent really.
Anyway, as it is now less than a week from local election time I was hoping I would have seen one or two of the candidates that are vying for a seat on the council. Especially as I thought they would be eager to provide information at a grass roots level and interact with the community. It appears I have been mistaken. However, not wanting to be apathetic in the polling booth (as has happend on previous occasions) I thought I would immerse myself into the world of local politics in my new area.
But like I state earlier, I have found very little about Brierley Town Council in the public domain. I can see that occasionally council members attend the “Area Forums” and I can see that they have offices in the Acorn Centre in Grimethorpe but other than that my questions go unanswered. Further research revealed Councillor Vodden’s website but sadly his “Contact Me” page does not appear to be working and emails sent to the address on his site have been bounced back to me as undeliverable Therefore I thought I would chance my arm at sending an email to this address to see if I can obtain some answers to the burning questions I have:-
– Who are Brierley Town Council?
– What do you actually do for the Community?
– Where can I see evidence of the work you do for the community? (ie reports, accounts, press releases)
– Do you have an internet site? If so where is it?
– Area Forums – When are they held? Where are they publicised? How much notice is given and where are forthcoming agendas published?
I note that there are 4 candidates at the forthcoming election. Perhaps you would be kind enough to pass these questions onto them.
– What are their political ideals?
– What is their opinion on the various issues affecting the local area (unemployment, antisocial behaviour, drug and alcohol abuse, traffic,planning, housing, local business)
– What interests do they have in the local and larger community? (Which organisations are they supporters or members of? What are their relationships to other council members?)
– If I vote for them what would they do for me?
– Who are they?
I believe that really it is the job of the electoral candidate to put themselves out into the public realm and solicit votes from the electorate and not the other way round.
Anyway, I’m sure you are really busy so I will leave it at that.
Looking forward to your reply
To which I got
Hi Mr Gnomepants,
Many thanks for your email. Be grateful you found an email address for us, until I took over as Clerk to the Council some six month ago, we never even had that!!!!!!!! I am working on a web site, but it will not be operational until the end of the year.
I will try to answer some of your questions:
Brierley Town Council, sit every month on the last Wednesday. The meetings are usually held at Brierley Hall, in the Council Chambers at 7pm. Public are always welcome. Copy of the last meeting minutes are displayed in Grimethorpe Library, at The Acorn Centre, for the public to read. The Notice of meetings are usually placed on the parish notice boards, a week before the meeting. However because of the election and statutory regulations, meetings are slightly different for the month of May:
Brierley Parish Meeting will be held on Wednesday 9th May, at 7pm at Brierley Hall. This meeting is called by the Brierley Town Council Mayor – Cllr Glen Gascoigne and he will give a run down on the past years ativities – the public are welcome to attend.
The Annual General Meeting of the Council will take place on Wednesday 16th May at 7pm at Brierley Hall, this meeting will be followed by the Full Council meeting for May, the public are welcome to attend both of these meetings. The four brierley seats on the Town Council were not contested and the coucillors will be elected unapposed. However the seat to district council is being contested and I understand that district councillors have been attending their normal surgeries, details of which can be found on the Barnsley.Gov.UK website.
Area forum is another way of meeting your local council representatives, as you are aware. Your area forum officer is Caroline Cromack and she can be contacted on 01226 773013. I understand that the next Area Forum Meeting, will be held at The Pentecostal Church in Grimethorpe, at the beginning of May, this meeting is publicised in local press and also in The Acorn Centre, notice board. I am sure Mrs Cromack, would be able to send you out copies of the agenda etc, if you phone her. Below is a link to the Area Forum web address, where you can view meeting minutes etc.
I will pass on your email to the Town Councillors for Brierley and ask them to contact you and hopefully they will be able to answer your questions.
In the meantime, I look forward to meeting you at a forthcoming Town Council Meeting
Maybe after I stop laughing I’ll attend the meeting next Wednesday