Tue. May 28th, 2024

Following on from the post on Ferret, that revealed Hemsworth Town Council had brought in a friend of Jean and Gordon Eccles, Matthew Wibberley, not only to construct the bonfire at the Waterpark but to purchase the required wooden pallets from, a resident asked for more information from the Town Clerk – Alan Draper, as they were dissatisfied with his initial response.

(Extracts from the enquiry)
Subject: re pallets.

Unfortunately your answer leaves me with more questions.

Which firms did staff call please?

How much did each firm say the pallets would cost?

How many pallets were verbally quoted for?

How many pallets were bought?

Why were HTC short of pallets?

How many pallets short?

Did the quotes include the cost of building the fire?

Please send me copies of Mr Wimberley’s insurance.

Thank you

For convenience, Ferret will break down the reply to the specific questions one by one:

Q: Could I have copies of quotes and minutes where the council discussed the purchase of pallets.
A: The matter was not referred to council

Q: Which firms did staff call please?
A: As they were verbal (and semi urgent) records weren’t kept of which firms were called.

Q:  How much did each firm say the pallets would cost?
A: As they were verbal (and semi urgent) records weren’t kept of which firms were called or of the quotes that weren’t taken up.

Q: How many pallets were verbally quote for?
A: Mr Wibberley provided 80 pallets.

Q: Why were HTC short of pallets?
A: We were short because we had not received pallets for free, as in previous years.

Q: How may pallets short?
A: No answer.
Ferret assumes they must have been 80 short


Q: Did the quotes include the cost of building the fire?
A:  The cost included the transport of the pallets and assistance to build the bonfire with a fork tuck and a grabber as we were short staffed.

Q: Please send me copies of Mr Wibberley’s insurance.
A: I am unable to provide you with Mr Wibberley’s insurance details you will need to ask him.

The Freedom of Information Act does not only cover written notes but includes any knowledge that anyone has about the subject requested.

That said, Ferret finds it hard to believe that notes weren’t kept when or if staff rang around firms for later comparison or they had forgotten who they had rung.

If the matter really was urgent or semi urgent then that should make it all the more important that records are kept.

If 80 pallets were actually purchased they would make one heck of a bonfire in size alone and bearing in mind the bonfire is only built to last one hour or less the figures do not seem to match and that is assuming HTC had no wood at all.

Given that the bonfire is an annual event, it beggars belief or competency that HTC found themselves short of wood for this event when they have had one full year to collect or save the timber.

Perhaps as much credence should be given to the claim that they were short staffed as to the other answers given.

The one thing that is not in doubt is that proper procedures have not been followed again, and full and frank answers given from a request for information.

Hemsworth Town Council: How to build a Bonfire the Wibberley, Wobberly, Draper way…

Or, How to waste or give away £500 of our money unnecessarily.

By Ferret

7 thought on “Hemsworth Town Council: How to build a bonfire the Wibberley, Wobberly, Draper way…”
  1. Find the responsible person totally inept bungling incompetent , I could go on .To use excuses of time was short to record events is totally trash I’m more now convinced he is not capable of doing his role as town clerk then ever , to say go ask Mr wibbeley for his insurance is beyond believe, any contractors coming onto HTC land or property should provide risk assessment and a method statement these are required and above all else insured for the work they are about to comense and be qualified/ trained to do. Come on Mr town clerk this is bread and butter stuff, it’s thankfully no one was hurt .
    I wonder if there are risk assessment/ method statements/lnsurance from pevious companies who HTC have been using 🤔

  2. I believe several residents also asked the same questions and sent the Town Clerk Alan Draper FOIS regarding the pallets and paying £500 of the communities money .The invoice shows work 1day 5/11/22 paid £500 but when challenged about the invoice one was suddenly produced dated 28/11/22 and you would think that it would have been paid sooner or could it be parishioners were checking and watching how the HTC conducts and uses the community money and an invoice was an after thought if cash in hand had been done.Either way the other councillors should and must challenge how and why they knew nothing about employing MR Wibberley for 1day but we do know the chair of HTC would have known ,roll on May when truth and honesty and transparency will be VOTED for and the community can once again become a community and not a serving money pot for some.

  3. HTC… the Bank which keeps on giving!
    Credit to you Julie. Their integrity is in debit…. Regards

  4. Perhaps the town clerk needs to employ a special adviser to show him how to do basic audits.Anybody know is there a document about procuring work from outsourced companies/ individuals and what is required 🤔

  5. Think HTC have had enough special Advisers unpaid or maybe not.Friends of friends being privy to HTC confidential business.Hopefully come May the parishioners can be more involved with the dealings that goes on within the HTC then May be Honesty,Truth and Transparency can become values again as they have disappeared over the last 4 years,time to VOTE for change.

  6. Mmmnn… Maybe more to be paid out for Professional Advice? Lol. Oh the expenditure of this Council since 2019. I wonder who is was that stayed at a rather swanky hotel…. Will we ever know? Maybe it was Agent X.

  7. People keep going on about May when all will be revealed I say will it. Just think for a minute no councillors are going to want to implement something if there’s a chance they may be implicated in any shenanigans
    Remember records are kept for seven years say let’s wait and see

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