For many years I have received an average of 30+ none business emails per day on a variety of topics from around the world. From such communication exciting adventures and campaigns have resulted. Unfortunately some of these emails require to be treated with caution as the origins are unconfirmed. I always find that those who are genuine to be more than happy to fully identify themselves prior to my communication if requested.
So with this in mind I shall happily produce the email I received yesterday (see lower part of Email to Huttoft Parish Council below) from a Huttoft resident who I shall call Paddington. As my investigation into Lincolnshire Overnight Parking is becoming increasingly extensive I will give the name of a train station to each person I communicate with. Of course if the person would like to have their name, address and email included I will replace their train station name with these details. I believe everyone will understand my reason for doing this.
Email To Huttoft Parish Council
—– Original Message —–
From: Andy Strangeway
Sent: Sunday, May 25, 2014 3:21 PM
Subject: Huttoft Parish Council – allegations
Could I politely refer you to the forwarded email from a Huttoft resident? (I have blind copied them into this email) In addition could I please refer you to https://lincolnshireovernightparking.wordpress.com/2014/05/25/huttoft-resident-communication/
As I believe Paddington is “representing” Huttoft Parish Council and states that I “misrepresented the situation and videoed it under what could be construed as false pretences” I will require:
- These questions to be asked officially by Huttoft Parish Council and
- For Huttoft Parish Council to explain why the majority of the Huttoft Parish Council walked out of this months Parish Council meeting.
Once I have received the above I will happily deal with the questions in an appropriate manner.
“(Yorkshiremen are) richly endowed with that gritty determination, that wilful refusal to give up and that sheer bloody-mindedness that eventually prevails.” Sir Bernard Ingham
While I would have preferred you to open your blog to comments as this would have allowed both myself and others to attach comments directly to the blog posts to which they relate, I accept there may be good reasons for your decision and appreciate your offer to enter into a discussion you are prepared to make public.
I hope I am able to offer not just opinion but also facts. I will also have questions that I trust you will be able to answer.
As requested, I will endeavour to enumerate my points in a manner that will enable us both to easily reference them in future correspondence.
My primary concerns relate to the community in which I live, i.e. Huttoft Parish. The two main issues I wish to address are:
- Your allegations against Huttoft Parish Council and local people
- The Huttoft Parish Council Meeting of 15th May
1) Allegations against Huttoft Parish Council and “Local people”
To remove any ambiguity, I think we should first clarify exactly what the allegations are.
There are two main issues:
a). There exists what you refer to as the “Huttoft Sex Ring”.
You have not explicitly defined what you mean by “sex ring”, despite a request for you to do so by Polly Conroy on your “Motorhomers Against Discrimination” facebook page. In earlier posts on this subject you talk about both sex in a public place and paedophilia . In the blog post where you make the allegation  described below in section 1.b, the clear implication is that this is a paedophile ring.
Am I correct that your references to “Huttoft Sex Ring” refer to a paedophile ring? If not please define exactly what you mean.
b). Huttoft Parish Council (as well as other public bodies) and “local people” are “clearly turning a blind eye”.
You allege that a blind eye is being turned to the “Huttoft Sex Ring”. As my concern is with my local community, I must press you to explain who you mean by “local people”? Are you referring to Huttoft parishioners? People living within, say, 3 miles of the Huttoft coast? Do you have a specific group of locals in mind?
What exactly is your definition of “local people”?
Once you have clarified the above I will be able to make further comment. If I have misunderstood anything, please let me know.
2) The Huttoft Parish Council Meeting (15/5/14)
I was present at this meeting so feel qualified to comment on your blog post: “Huttoft Parish Council Walkout”.
a) It is incorrect to say that the walkout occurred after only two minutes. The meeting started on time at 7.00pm and the chairman’s introduction lasted no more than a minute. When I checked my watch at 7.07pm all in attendance were still seated – albeit the walkout occurred soon after. This may seem a trivial point but it is important that readers are aware that the walkout was not immediate.
b) Your understanding of section 1(7) of the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960  is incorrect. I have reproduced the relevant section below:
“(7) Any reference in this section to a newspaper shall apply also to a news agency which systematically carries on the business of selling and supplying reports or information to newspapers, and to any organisation which is systematically engaged in collecting news for sound or television broadcasts; but nothing in this section shall require a body to permit the taking of photographs of any proceedings, or the use of any means to enable persons not present to see or hear any proceedings (whether at the time or later), or the making of any oral report on any proceedings as they take place.” [my emphasis]
I think you have misinterpreted the italicised section to mean that you do not need to get permission from the council to record the meeting when in fact it means the council are not obliged to give you permission to record the meeting.
As you did not obtain permission prior to recording this meeting, the council were within their rights to ask you to stop videoing.
I understand that at the Parish Council meeting prior to this (17/4/14) you approached the council chairman and explained that he was obliged to allow you to record the meeting on the basis of this Act. You had with you correspondence from the Secretary of State. This correspondence does not state that the council is required to give permission to record the proceedings. Rather, it explains that the Government wishes this to be the case, to maximise transparency and openness, and that you should encourage the council to give permission.
I know this because I challenged the chairman after I discovered from your blog  the meeting had been videoed and was to appear on YouTube.
It would appear that at that first meeting (17/4/14) you misrepresented the situation and videoed it under what could be construed as false pretences. By videoing the meeting of 15/5/14 without permission and then using the video to threaten the council you have rather undermined your position.
Until the Openness of Local Government Bodies Regulations 2014 becomes law you do not have a statutory right to record council meetings and must seek permission to do so; the council are not required to give permission.
c) You wonder why councillors walked out of the meeting and returned after the public participation was over? Here is my take on why they walked out and then returned: they wanted to complete the business of the meeting without further disruption.
The public had already been given the opportunity to raise any issues (there were only 4 or 5 parishioners present). Nobody raised any concerns. To your credit you gave other members of the public the opportunity to raise any issues before you raised yours. It was reasonable therefore for the chairman to believe there were no further public concerns to be discussed besides yours.
Councillor Webb had explained that Huttoft Parish Council had nothing to do with the toilets at Marsh Yard and the chairman then asked you to remove the blog post  because it was defamatory – you refused. I think it was at this point that Councillor Webb spotted someone videoing the meeting and asked them to stop. Discussions at that point became heated (your response to removing the blog post has been described as aggressive). I think it was then that invited Councillors Webb (ELDC) and Palmer (LCC) walked out because they did not want to be videoed. The chairman then decided the meeting could no longer proceed because it was becoming disruptive. I believe his decision to stop the meeting temporarily was the right one. It prevented further disruption while allowing the main business of the council to be conducted without reconvening at a later date.
It is unfortunate that you have not published the video recording you made of the meeting (15/5/14) as this might have clarified the situation, allowing people to make up their own minds about what happened. Perhaps the video recording was of too poor quality?
However, given you used the existence of this video in an attempt to persuade Huttoft Parish Council and the two invited councillors to apologise, a reader might conclude that this was either a) an empty threat or b) there is something on the video you don’t want them to see.
Can I suggest, in the interests of openness and for the reasons given above, you publish the video in its entirety.
I look forward to your reply – in particular to item 1) above.
I have received your email regarding the meeting you plan to arrange. At present it is unlikely I will be able to attend as I have other commitments.
Paddington (name supplied)
|||A. Strangeway, “£100K Perverts Paradise?,” [Online]. Available: http://andystrangewayovernightparkingcampaigner.wordpress.com/2014/04/13/100k-perverts-paradise/.|
|||A. Strangeway, “Huttoft Sex Ring,” [Online]. Available: http://andystrangewayovernightparkingcampaigner.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/huttoft-sex-ring/.|
|||A. Strangeway, “Andy Strangeway MP,” [Online]. Available: http://andystrangewayovernightparkingcampaigner.wordpress.com/2014/05/04/andy-strangeway-mp/.|
|||A. Strangeway, “Huttoft Parish Council Walkout,” [Online]. Available: http://andystrangewayovernightparkingcampaigner.wordpress.com/2014/05/16/huttoft-parish-council-walkout/.|
|||HM Government, “Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings) Act 1960,” [Online]. Available: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/ukpga/Eliz2/8-9/67/contents.|
|||A. Strangeway, “Barriers Will Not Be Replaced,” [Online]. Available: http://andystrangewayovernightparkingcampaigner.wordpress.com/2014/04/18/barriers-will-not-be-replaced/.|