Time and money wasted by ‘blight on community’


A resident who continually complains about Rothbury Parish Council is costing the body ‘far too much money, time and peace of mind’.

That was the view of Coun Jeff Reynalds at last Wednesday’s meeting as he reflected on the previous month’s meeting, which ended prematurely after the police were called due to an altercation.

This occurred after several residents from Berwick attended and asked a series of questions, based on ‘unsubstantiated rumours of illegal activity and wrongdoing’.

These were based on ‘misinformation’, which Coun Reynalds suspects was supplied by a Rothbury resident, ‘well-known to all’, who was described asa ‘blight on the community’.

At last week’s meeting, there were a series of matters which related to complaints made by this individial.

Under financial matters, it was reported that the external audit had not yet been completed due to someone complaining about it.

The audit normally costs around £240, but this year the bill is likely to be in the region of £1,000.

A review of the council’s financial standing orders is being carried out following a complaint, which had ‘some merit, but some spurious claims as well’.

The contract in question was retendered and a review agreed, which Coun Brian Hesler said will be presented to the council at its next meeting, in November.

Chairman Coun Mark Gilson said: “In the review, can we remember we are not trying to buy aircraft carriers.”

A complaint had also been made to the county council as a planning authority suggesting that the parish clerk is not the parish clerk.

Coun Gilson said he had sought legal advice, which confirmed that the clerk is the clerk, as she is paid to carry out that role by the council.

The Gazette was also criticised by resident David Brown for our story, Wranglings still rumbling over activities of parish council (Oct 8), for ‘omitting or failing’ to provide the details of the issues raised by a Berwick resident in relation to the parish council’s accounts.

Editor’s note: Upon receiving the response from the parish council for the above article, which explained that the external audit was yet to be published, the Gazette took the decision to point out that someone had raised issues, but to wait for the outcome of the audit before examining the details.