Here I am again, summarising the latest New Frankley in Birmingham (NFiB) Parish Council meeting. For the record, this was the meeting held on the 20th August 2012.

The meeting followed the usual format, apologises, declaration of interest and then a discussion on each of the items on the agenda. In addition to the regular agenda items, like the chairpersons announcements, questions to the chair and planning applications, this month’s agenda also included a report on the localisation of council tax benefit, a report on the council’s standing orders (these are the rules and regulations that councillors are supposed to adhere to whilst in office) and the proposals for the provision of a new parish council website. There were a few additional items to these, which can all be found in the draft minutes.

Talking about draft minutes, I notice there was a change to July’s, with the inclusion of a paragraph related to ‘cash in hand’ payments. Given the announcements made on behalf of the Chairperson this month, it seems this may have major ramifications for The Frankley Newsletter, more on this in a bit.

Out of the twelve councillors summoned to this month’s meeting, seven attended. There may have been more absent this month, but at least the council received a number of apologises this time.

With apologises considered and accepted, the meeting proceeded in the usual fasion. When it came to the Chairperson’s announcements these were submitted by the RFO (Responsible Financial Officer) as the chairperson was one of those absent. There were only two announcements this month, one related to former councillor Andrew Thompson and the other related to the Neighbourhood News. It was announced that even though Councillor Thompson had indicated he wished to resign from the council, as official procedure had not been followed he had been disqualified from serving on the Parish council. The other announcement, related to the Neighbourhood News, was to inform councillors that due to complications in arranging delivery, unless adequate arrangements could be made, the Newsletter will cease to be printed. I can’t help but wonder, is this related to the ‘cash in hand’ payments mentioned earlier??

When it came to questions to the Chair, there was only one Councillor who asked any questions this month and that was Councillor Gibbs. On this occasion he asked questions about how the vacancy for a new councillor would be advertised, how the tendering process for the caretaker service was going, what criteria is being used in relation to the hedge cutting service organised by the parish council, had the council heard anything about the public consultation for the alcohol free zone and a question related to the holding of parish council meetings at local LEA schools. If you like to know what response these questions received, then check out the draft minutes by clicking here.

It was interesting that the report on the impact of council tax benefits, which may have severe consequences for the parish council’s funding in future, was only to be noted and not discussed. Given the budget is usually set in November it doesn’t give the council much time to consider what options it can take in response to any possible changes. As a democratic organisation, decisions have to be made by the full council, this means there’s only really two occasions to consider the options available, September’s and October’s meetings.

The other report received by the council this month, outlined a number of amendments made to the council’s standing orders, which were all accepted.

After considering the planning applications, schedule of payments and a few other updates on the agenda, the meeting reached the point where items for information only are raised. There was quite an eye opener this month and that was the cost of the “Christmas” tree by Hollyhill shops. I wonder how many others will be flabbergasted to learn this tree cost £3500… I was. The reason this came up was the condition of the tree, which seems to be dying. An update on what’s going to happen to it is due next month. At £3500 let’s hope it can be revived. That’s a lot of money to waste on a tree.

Every month, the public have the chance to raise issues of local concern. This month, a local resident raised an issue related to Frankley Library’s opening hours. This individual was concerned that people were not being consulted about a proposed reduction in the opening times of the library and wanted to bring this to the notice of the parish council. If you would like to know more about what’s being proposed for the library, then I recommend you contact Frankley Library direct.

After hearing these concerns members of the public were excluded, as the council then went on to discuss the awarding of a contract to build a new parish council website. From the draft minutes you can see this contract was awarded to Blue Fusion Studios at the cost of £2595. After making this decision the meeting ended.

As ever, if you would like to fill in the gaps, the draft minutes can be found by clicking here, the Parish Council can be contact by telephoning 0121 457 9410 and you can email me at TheFrankleyMan@gmail.com.

Hopefully, a summary of September’s meeting, which is scheduled for the 17th, will be available a little sooner than this one. You could of course come along to the next meeting, at St Christopher’s Church Centre, New St, Frankley at 19.30, and hear everything for yourself in full.

NB: This report on New Frankley in Birmingham Parish Council is provided by “The Frankley Man”. You can email him on TheFrankleyMan@gmail.com or find him on Twitter at @FrankleyMan

14 COMMENTS

  1. to reply I need to give my name. why is this report from a unamed person.
    will Frankleyman use his name to show those reading this report who he is

    • Hi Sid, many thanks for your reply. B31 Voices aims to give ALL local people a voice – a place to air their views and report their own news and to discuss local issues.

      “Frankley Man” has chosen to do this anonymously. Right or wrong, that’s his choice. The blog system we use does ask for your name when you register or comment but, as elsewhere on the Internet (or even in a letter to the local
      paper), you can choose to use a pseudonym.

      If you’d like to counter what FM has to say, please feel free to do so in the comments, or you can submit your own posts yourself or email them to us to post for you to sas@b31.org.uk

  2. Sid,
    I agree with you,if Frankleyman does not have the decency to identify himself than that dramatically undermines the veracity and objectivity of his comments

  3. if you look at the minutes and who attended then surely people intelligent enough to sit on a parish council can conclude who frankley man is???

    • what about those who do not sit on the council,as presumably this is the audience Frankleyman is aiming for.?
      I find these line of reasoning totally baffling

      • Barry. I am simply trying to explain what B31 Voices is -while we report news which is from reliable sources eg police press releases etc, it is also a place where anyone can have their say. Frankley Man’s articles do not claim to be an official representation of the parish council, but are his take on the issues. As I’ve said, we would welcome official reports from the parish council, to promote and let local people know what you do as I’m sure many are unaware. You are welcome to use B31 Voices as a platform to inform :)

        • sas,
          I was replying to the item from ‘onlooker’ not anything you have said. in this instance.I fully understand about blogging and I think you are being a little bit too defensive and setting off too many ‘aunt sallys’.

          Maybe I am old fashioned but i do believe that if an insider like frankleyman blogs the minutes of a meeting by putting his own spin on the meeting then to do that under the cloak of anonymity is not the act of a gentleman,He is perfectly entitled to report the minutes in his own way but surely to heaven he should be honest about who he is.
          Anyway that is my last word on the issue.

  4. Thank you for your reply, It has been made clear to me that a BLOG is one persons option of what goes on.The matter of accuracy does not come into it.
    It is my optinion, that any statutory body [a council] ,expects accurate reporting of any of its meeting, this is most important.
    To this end we can disregard any unauthorized reports as BUNKUM

    • Well Sid, B31 Voices itself carefully shares FACTS but it also brings together local information from around the internet and provides a platform for individuals, groups and organisations to share opinions, news, events and so on. All blog posts by others should be regarded as opinion pieces.

      It’s not an ‘official’ media outlet, it is run voluntarily by individuals who want to help keep the local community informed and give them a place to have their say. To be true to this aim, we have to allow anyone to submit content, whether it is consistent with the editors views or not – in fact, we would actively encourage submissions from as wide a spectrum of contributors as possible. As long as contributions (posts and comments) are not libellous, defamatory, offensive they will be published.

      I think it is obvious to readers that Frankley Man’s articles are written from a personal perspective. If you’d like to provide official updates from the parish council that would be fantastic. We’d welcome such contributions. :)

  5. How sad…

    Rather than focus on the contents of my post Mr Grey and Mr Coates have to comment on the pseudonym I use. Had I used a pseudonym that could have been a real person’s name, such as Joe Jackson, rather than one that is obviously not (TheFrankleyMan), this wouldn’t change the contents of this post, so why focus on the name so much Mr Grey?

    Onlooker has shown, you don’t need to use names to post here, so why has Mr Grey chosen to comment on the name I use, rather than the contents of my post? Hmm?

    I suspect Mr Grey is well aware of who I am, especially if this is the Mr Grey that is also a Parish councillor, as I have added my FrankleyMan details to a number of letters sent to the Parish Council along with those sent to Frankley residents, including a certain Mr Grey who lives in the area, all of which were signed with my real name.

    As I have also used my Twitter account (@FrankleyMan) to communicate with Parish Councillors, Ward Councillors and local residents, all of whom, are aware of who I am, finding out who I am is not that hard really.

    If there is an issue with the contents of my post, why not comment on that rather than the name I post under Mr Grey? The fact that I have used a pseudonym does not stop people from addressing any inaccuracies with my post, which readers should notice, neither Mr Grey or Mr Coates have chosen to do so. So what does that tell you? Is there an hidden agenda here Mr Grey?

    For those who have stuck with this, I use the pseudonym “Frankley Man” so people focus on what is posted, rather than who is posting it. Well, that was the idea behind it. The fact that Mr Grey has chosen to make an issue of the name I post under rather than the contents of my post should quite telling. Hey Mr Grey?

    (Response delayed due to recent illness)

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