Monday, July 12, 2010

Gilberdyke Flooding and Memorial Hall Funding Issues

Gilberdyke residents may have received a letter from a Mike Whitley in which he details what he believes to be the flood relief scheme in Gilberdyke and the funding plans for a replacement Memorial Hall. He also makes serious and false accusations about the Parish Council as he seeks to satisfy and further his own agenda. Most residents are aware of the proposals and the funding arrangements, and the Parish Council has published a rebuttal document to clarify the details of the scheme and address Mr Whitley’s accusations directly.

Mr Whitley appears to have totally misunderstood the scope of the flood relief works, how it is to be funded and how the consultation process was carried out. He also fails to understand how Gilberdyke people feel about their Memorial Hall.

The document can be found at: http://gilberdyke.org.uk/

Gilberdyke Parish Council has unfortunately been subject to Mr Whitley’s actions for many months, which have cost the Parish Council a considerable amount of extra money and wasted time. The Parish Council has been open about the scheme and the cost implication from the very beginning, and has consulted extensively with residents. Now is the time to move forward with the flood relief scheme - as any further delays may well result in the work not being completed this year.

28 comments:

A Flood Action Group member said...
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John Jessop said...

I have read with some incredulity Mr Whitleys latest leaflet. He utterly fails to understand the situation with the drainage and the Memorial Hall. Perhaps this is deliberate?
The proposals were drawn up by ERYC Drainage Engineers following detailed investigation and design. An amount of £85,000 was obtained as a grant and this amount will pay for the new drain from Westbrook to the connection with the critical dyke running behind Scalby Lane/Chestnut Drive. The remedial work and improvement of this critical dyke is where the other £80,000 is required and this section is where Mr Whitley installed two 300mm pipes as a culvert, downstream of a 900mm pipe, after being advised not to by the LOIDB but went ahead anyway.

He was with the Memorial Hall committee and party to their application for funds for the hall, which provides a valuable resource for the village.
Maybe his new allegiance to the Lib-Dems is related to a wish to become known as an activist. Does he really wish to see our village lose its Memorial Hall and facilities? No doubt the party will not wish to be seen to be allied to such a stance being pursued by someone so keen to become known as a Lib-Dem supporter.

There are some further disquieting aspects of the questions in Mr Whitleys leaflet. Most importantly the last question asks if the link dyke should be a culvert. Mr Whitley stands to have considerable personal gain from culverting this section at public expense as he has previously mooted the idea of building on the site which would be made available by such action.

Anonymous said...

odinary people like me, support him,
Why should the ccouncil keep this money. They have never asked me.

Anonymous said...

Dear Anonymous - which money would that be exactly?

User of the English Language said...
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John Jessop said...

Having been present during last nights parish council meeting, the extent of Mr Whitleys recent outpouring of misleading information became apparent.
For the record, copies of his leaflet to Westbrook Road residents were read out and shown to contain blatant untruths which seem to have been deliberately included to skew the readers thoughts.
His further leaflet (allegedly to all residents but only one councillor had received one - strange?) was also read out and was considered to be scaremongering at best, at worst attempted sabotage of the project.
Further emails were read out showing that he had consulted his new friends in the Lib-Dems, but failed to gain their support for the second leaflet so blundered blindly on. As with the previous leaflet it contained a number of gross inaccuracies, which with even a little proper thought could have been avoided, perhaps the intent to produce an accurate leaflet did not exist?
As you did most of the reading out Paul no doubt you will be the bad guy in his mind whereas in truth there is only one person who has spent the last couple of years apparently trying to throw sand into the gears of the flood defence project.
May I offer my personal thanks to you for your invaluable knowledge of drainage systems, guidance in dealing with the relevant authorities, the amount of effort you have expended in pursuing this project towards conclusion and finally collating the information relating to Mr Whitleys devious attempts at disruption.
I hope the rest of the community sees through this crass attempt to derail these vital works.

Flood victim said...

If the floods return before the job is done I will know where to lay the blame for the work not being completed before now.

Garrie said...

I think that certain residents are losing sight of what the “Hall” represents and what being flooded truly means.

First, it is not a “village hall” but a “Memorial Hall” to commemorate those villagers that gave up their lives in two world wars.

Second. There were, I believe, over 80 residents affected by flooding ( the definition of flooding to me is water entering my home) I, for one do not want a repeat of 2007. Every time it rains, my thoughts drift back to that day when floodwater came into my house, destroying my posessions.

Paul Robinson and the Parish Council, for the past 3 years, have been working hard to obtain a solution. Part of the solution seems to be within our grasp when suddenly opposition to the scheme threatens the start date.

Those residents that are in opposition to the proposed scheme have never been flooded.

It's in Gods hands who the next victim will be and when it will happen but the scheme will at least reduce the risk to our village.

Garrie.

Anonymous said...

I've heard him tell some people the dyke behind his house belongs to the county council. So why is he trying to get it piped - is it for him to expand his garden? If it isn't his dyke its nowt to do with him anyway.

down by the railway said...
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Anonymous said...

As a relative of someone who was flooded in gilberdyke in 2007 I fully support the sterling efforts of the parish council regarding the drainage scheme for the village.Looking at the bigger picture have eryc nearly finished the scopeing study needed before the gilberdyke and blacktoft flood scheme(ie new pumping station and widening and joining of dykes from blacktoft to gilberdyke)can proceed?One hears of financial cutbacks almost every day and I feel things need to keep moving in case of this prospect.Without the gilberdyke and blacktoft flood scheme been completed the gilberdyke village scheme would be far less beneficial.

Long term resident said...
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Anonymous said...

Hi,
I write on behalf of my mother who does not have email,
She is outraged that the council would consider demolition of the Memorial Hall.
My mother and late father contributed money to build the Hall, yes we can see that it needs maintence, it may need bring up to date, that does not need demolition.
Yes I can fully understand that the people, need flood protection, as indicated by Garrie so put some or all of the money to flood relief. Yes, my mother can not afford both.

Parish resident said...

I fully sympathise with the writers mother but let me explain a couple of points:
The hall is managed by a group of trustees and its demolition could never be decide by the parish council. It is the communities Memorial Hall not the Parish Councils. All decisions must be by the trustees who are unconnected to the Parish Council.
The Parish Council is mindful of the great affection the hall enjoys in the hearts of our community and has for a number of years been putting money into a reserve fund for the eventual replacement of the now decaying hall. The Parish Council hold this money on the hall trustees behalf for use as "match funding" to enable other funds and grants to be applied for. It is not there to pour into other projects especially in the current economic climate when it may have to be replaced in a relatively short time in view of the structural state of the hall. The council taxpayers could not reasonably be asked to pay this at a high rate to achieve the timescale.
The drainage scheme is an eligible capital project and the council can borrow the £80,000 required at an extremely low rate of interest from the public works loan board. This application was made once the village consultation open day showed a favourable response from the public. The application was successful and the loan granted so the project has now commenced with tenders being sought. The groundworks will start as soon as the contractors are selected.
The public works loan facility is only available for a limited range of purposes and the council did enquire but were advised the replacement of the hall would NOT be eligible.
The actual works on the hall will be decided by the Trustees. The Parish Council may well assist in the process if asked and will almost certainly try to give further support but balance this need with the prevailing economics as and when it happens.
You may recall that the Parish Council did manage to reduce the village precept last year and are committed to strive for prudent use of public money. This has not been helped by the continual carping from one particular individual, resulting in significant costs for administration time and legal advice to deal with his wild accusations and irrational arguments. Quite simply it appears that his "circulars" and letters illustrate a marked lack of a grasp on reality - financially, administrationally and an elementary schoolboy understanding of the laws of physics

Scholar said...
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t'internet user said...
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User of the English Language said...
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Nauseated by stupidity said...
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S Ward said...

Dear Village,

As the current Chairman of the Gilberdyke and District War Memorial Hall I thought it prevalent to explain the current position and thoughts of the hall trustees.

We as a committee and with support from a few select people ( including members of the Parish Council) have been working tirelessly to ensure the hall remains open. If possible ,we will always ensure it continues to stand as a memorial to those who lost their lives in previous conflicts and to those whose families have supported it both financially and with their time and attendance.

However, we are all volunteers and are now really beginning to struggle with numbers and time to keep the day to day running of the hall possible.

None of us want to let down any of the user groups or have to close an important part of the village - however we need help and support NOW.

There are ideas and rumours circulating about the hall being demolished and the huge amount of funds we have "hidden away"

Number 1 - the hall needs updating and improving and we have discussed building a new memorial centre. These are early discussions and nothing will be done without full consultation to the village but to be consulted you need to be interested. Whatever happens it will remain in the same area and will be forever retained as a "memorial hall" whilst the present committee and trustees are in place.

Number 2 - any monies precept or held by EYRC are for a new build or significant alterations to the current building. We do not have that money - so it is not being diverted or held by us in lieu of any other village needs.

Over the past few years I have seen significant changes in the hall and what we are hoping to offer long term. These include evening classes / exercise and fitness nights / a new look Youth Club / a new children's play park / film evenings / bouncy castle and children's party hire etc etc.

None of these will come to fruition without the support of the village.

My personal dream is one day the people of the village will have a hall they are so proud of that they will have their children's christenings here, celebrate family birthdays, hold wedding receptions and have wakes for their dearly departed. How nice it would be to when attending these occasions to think you had somehow contributed to the new look hall being able to hold them.

Please please contact the hall if you want to be part of something special.

Anonymous said...

At last we have a common sense statement from the Memorial Hall, S. Ward that addresses the issues.
I agree with the facts and I am pleased to see them.
How soon can we expect to see them, a rebuild could be some way off, because of the monies involved. The support for the committee seems to ebb and flow, I don't know if as many people use the hall. Many seem to use pubs now for the events you describe.
I do think the ideas are correct, but the people needed to carry out those ideas are currently in short supply, as with other groups. Sadly this reflection may indicate the support your ideas receive.
Don’t listen to rumours, they are just that, and usually wrong

Anonymous said...

If Mr Whitely is going to be the Lib Dems candidate for Howdenshire then they have definatly lost my vote!! The man is nothing but trouble spreading mis information not only where he lives but within other communities as well!!
Keep up the good work Paul

Flood victim said...
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Anonymous said...
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Lib-Dem supporter said...

I have voted Lib-Dem but for this individual to try to use the party as a springboard to his own aggrandisment seriously compromises the party public image.
I look forward to his excommunication from our numbers as the image he generates damages us in many ways.

One of the flood victims said...
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Paul Robinson said...
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Paul Robinson said...

I have tried to avoid bringing Party Politics into local issues since before and after being elected. I am unsure of the Politics of my fellow Gilberdyke Parish Councillors, and it is not my concern – but I will say that as a team of people working together for the good of the village they are second to none – and to be accused of being ‘Political’ is completely unfounded and difficult to understand.

Mr Whitley is a Liberal Democrat member and if this is his way of mounting a campaign, then he appears to be alienating many more people then he is befriending.

As this is my blog, I will have the final word on this – for the time being I will not allow any further comments that criticise the Liberal Democrats when it comes to the flood relief work in Gilberdyke. It is not a Party Political issue, it never has been, and I understand they are somewhat concerned over the antics of one of their members – I will leave the problem for them to sort out.

Mr Whitley has also accused the Parish Council of many other things over the past year or so, including embezzlement and conflicts of interests (these were thoroughly investigated by the Standards Board for England - who subsequently cleared all members of any wrong doing, and them having no case to answer).

Mr Mike Whitley’s latest accusation that the Parish Council is looking to ‘siphon off funds’ is yet another crass attempt to undermine the Members and should be treated with the contempt it deserves.

He tried (and failed miserably!!) to intimidate me; but unfortunately he did intimidate the Parish Council Clerk who felt bullied by him, which is very worrying.

Unfortunately Mr Whitley, unlike the Parish Council, is not accountable to any body, nor subject to any rules or regulations, codes of conduct or standing orders. He is free to say what he wants as we live in a free country…but what is morally unacceptable is for him to deliberately peddle lies and disingenuous statements – and bullying is something that I for one will not tolerate.

Flood victim said...
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