NEWS: AGM…not / Joe’s heritage / artwork / cricket on the up

News-in-brief  from Draycott-In-The-Moors in mid-May 2017
In this post we have news of…:  When is an AGM not an AGM? / Blythe CC on a roll / Joe Thorley’s heritage / artwork at The Arms …
(NB – There are also dozens of events coming up in our locality – including a Grand Prix Dance Festival. Check out the Events page)

For daily updates about life in our district, keep checking the village Facebook page

– – –
You couldn’t make it up

An ‘annual general meeting’ is the high spot of an organisation’s year – with summaries of achievements, and a chance to review the past year and the annual accounts, and more.
So, the AGM of Draycott Parish Council is a big deal – after all, this council spends nearly £10,000 every year of local residents’ money, which they take from us in tax.
This year’s AGM took place on Monday.

Guess what?
There was no Chairman’s Report (the usual look-back at the council’s activities over the last twelve months); the annual accounts hadn’t been audited in time so we didn’t see them; and the reports from our SMDC district councillors didn’t happen either, because, er, they didn’t turn up. So … that is hardly what we call an AGM….!
How can we the public put sensible questions at an AGM if no reports and figures are forthcoming?

It is also the time of year when our local councillors need to be sure that their ‘declarations of interest’ (i.e. the things they do that might affect their role as councillors) are up to date.  So, as you do, we checked each one of them.  You can see them all for yourself, by clicking here.
Well, it turns out that not one of the current councillors (i.e. excluding Pat) has actually filled in the form correctly; and there was no form at all for one councillor – despite the fact that he has been on the council for over ten years!
Even worse was the revelation that hardly any councillor was able to think of anything when asked on the form for their “leading roles in community organisations”.

Some people think that this website is overly critical of the Draycott Council, but, honestly, this is simple stuff.  If, as a councillor, you take on the responsibility of spending ten grand of our money every year, surely you can start with getting the basics right…

– – –
Smashing Blythe!

Blythe Cricket Club First XI has, we are happy to say, got off to a cracking start to their season.  They were unbeaten until last weekend (when they succumbed to an unexpected reverse at Wood Lane).  Their home games, at their Cresswell ground, have been a joy to watch.
And all this without their professional, the Bangladesh international Mosharraf Hossain.  Mosharaf has been unable to take up his place because of the surprising recent success of his Bangladesh side, which has been progressing through international tournaments with ease!  One hopes he will be here soon though.

Meanwhile, work on the new £500,000 pavilion & centre goes on. It’s hoped that everything will be completed on time – i.e. in mid-July.  What a party that will be when it throws its doors open!

PS – don’t let the ongoing work at the ground put you off attending as a spectator.  The bar is (temporarily) in the annexe… and the beer tastes just as good.

– – –
Culture & beer

Sometimes when you want a quiet pint on your own, you might take a newspaper with you.  But what happens if you forget your paper?

Draycott Arms artwork
Well, at The Draycott Arms, they’ve solved that problem.  All you have to do is check out the art on the walls (see pic).  There are a number of interesting paintings on the walls, most of which have been submitted by local artists.  You’ll recognise the names of Jackie Knott and Alan Savage, just for two.  An absorbing 20 minutes can be spent doing it.

The art changes regularly, and much of it is for sale, so, if you are a culture-vulture, you know what to do…

– – –
Joe’s heritage

One of the great characters of this district was Joe Thorley.  Between the 1920s and 1950s, he was often to be seen out with his photography equipment – and his photos are well worth checking out if you ever get the chance.  He also collected paintings of local scenes, and thank goodness he did, or they might have been lost forever.

The View of Tean High Street taken from the Old Roebuck Inn by John Gosling 1832
The ‘View of Tean High Street taken from the Old Roebuck Inn’ – see pic, above – (painted by John Gosling in 1832) was formerly owned by Joe.  Joe, who was a local farmer – at Totmonslow Farm – left it in his will to his sister Pat (Whitfield), who then herself donated to GreatWood Community Hall in Tean, where it can be seen to this day.

The future of Totmonslow Farm – the imposing building on the right as you go past the Totmonslow sign on the way to Tean – was in doubt for a while after Pat died.  However, the good news is that there are plans to adapt the barns into flats, though the actual farmhouse will remain lived in by family members.  It’ll be nice to see the farm buzzing with life again.

Want to comment on any of the items on this page?
Just use the comments box – near the bottom of this page.           (The form will ask if you wish to put in your email address.  You don’t have to – and it is always kept private anyway and never published -, but, if you don’t add your email, that means you might miss any responses to your comment)

10 responses to “NEWS: AGM…not / Joe’s heritage / artwork / cricket on the up

  1. Talking of meetings, a parish council also has a ‘Parish Assembly’. In the past couple of years the Draycott one has been held about the end of April or beginning of May but with Bank Holidays and Elections to contend with it has found itself at the beginning of June. Here there will be opportunities to speak to various persons involved with the community – fire, police, defibrillators, local organisations etc.

    Maybe the reason this village website seems to criticise the parish council so much is that it publishes information that is hmmmm ….. basically at best inaccurate and at worst plain wrong!…….
    Draycott Parish Council Clerk

    It would be interesting if you were more specific about our “inaccuracies”. If it turns out you can name some, we will correct them.

    Talking of inaccuracy, you are plain wrong to say that the “parish council also has a Parish Assembly”.
    To quote some guidelines: “An Annual Parish Assembly is a meeting of the parish electorate. It is NOT a parish council meeting! … although the parish council chairman will call the meeting.
    It discusses village matters and listens to reports from its representatives about what they have achieved – and electors can freely speak out and criticise [which is not possible during parish council meetings].”


  2. To those of you who are misinformed… A parish council does not have an ‘annual general meeting’, it has an ‘annual meeting’. The annual meeting is as the meeting on 8th May where the council elects a new chair etc etc.
    Draycott Parish Council Clerk

    We apologise for adding the word ‘general’. We should have said ‘annual meeting’ only.


  3. On the subject of Declarations of Interest by the councillors…. Forms submitted by councllors are processed by SMDC so if there’s an error in the completion of any form, let them deal with it. (I don’t know how you know new councillor Pat MClaughlin’s form is completed correctly or even if it is, as it hasn’t gone to SMDC yet).
    Draycott Parish Council Clerk


  4. The parish council Clerk dared to ask the council to move the May (annual meeting) forward one week….. (shame!) This is the reason why the internal auditor hasn’t finished her work. (And the draft accounts are on the April minutes and were at the April meeting – shame you weren’t there.)
    At the Parish Assembly in June will be the Chair’s report, the audited accounts, presentations.
    Draycott Parish Council Clerk

    Dear Clerk, the agenda for the meeting clearly stated that the accounts would be available (and not just any old draft accounts, which often prove incorrect!) and that there would be presentations from the district councillors. Why do we bother turning up, if the agenda is incorrect?
    Because this particular agenda failed in its aims, we now understand that there will have to be yet another unnecessary extra-ordinary meeting of the PC sometime this month, so that the accounts can finally be presented and discussed by the deadline


    • Disorganised council

      Why is the Parish council so disorganised that it cannot even have its accounts completed on time? And even worse it sets it’s own deadlines which are not achieved?
      The council members and clerk should be ashamed. We vote and they don’t lead.
      Joan S


  5. Can you answer a question?
    during the Draycott election campaign, the parish council Facebook page ‘pinned’ the manifesto of only ONE of the candiadtes to the top of its page. This looks like favouritism to me.
    Can you tell us if it is illegal?
    Democrat from Draycott

    Click here to see: Draycott Council Facebook page


    • Living in hope

      On the subject of Councillors, well done to Pat McLaughlin, who already appears to be a voice of reason on the Council.
      Unlucky, Roger. We voted for you but now hope Pat will create the changes you strived for.


      It is certainly illegal for a parish council website to prominently display only one candidate’s manifesto during an election.
      It seems that this instance was unintentional though, and was more about how Facebook pages behave. However, it should & could have been stopped as soon as it was observed.
      One suggestion is that the council appoint a ‘social media adviser’ to stop this sort of thing happening again


    • The reason that Pat’s picture appears to be pinned at the top of the page is because it came to me as a photograph and therefore sits at the top of the page as one of the “most popularly viewed items by members of the public”. The council endorsed no candidate.
      The pinned post always refers to the publication of the minutes on the council website.
      Draycott Parish Council


Write your comment here

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.