Thu. May 30th, 2024

As has become the norm during meetings of Independent Hemsworth Town Council, public question time was once again “entertaining” for all the wrong reasons.

The first question related to the statement made by Councillor Donna Moran in the previous finance meeting, where she requested that Alan Draper and Jean Eccles refer the council to the YLCA for investigation due to financial misdemeanours which had been uncovered by her and Councillor Hird.

They were simply asked if they had done so, and if not why not?

It came as no surprise that Mystic Jean hadn’t bothered.

If she can’t even manage to ensure the Christmas Float has an MOT, Tax and Valid Insurance, she isn’t going to potentially refer herself to get in more trouble is she?

Ferret was shocked, well not really by Alan Drapers bumbling reply:

“I am happy to do it”

So why haven’t you then Alan? Ferret wonders if you are still busy shredding the evidence?

The next question related to pecuniary and non-pecuniary interests and a specific item discussed in exclusion on 9 March.

Jean Eccles confirmed she had no interests in the quote for the cameras/cctv but couldn’t speak for the rest of the Council.

Ferret is intrigued by this question and looks forward to all being revealed in the future.

A parishioner was concerned about the lack of cleanliness at the Lakeside Café Bar, in particular the soft play area which was described as being filthy as was the carpet.

Jean Eccles stated it gets professionally cleaned and further added “steam cleaned”

Jean was asked if it was steam cleaned with a kettle 😊.

Jean was invited to go and crawl around inside it – Ferret very much doubts that will happen and can’t understand why a cleaning schedule is not in place.

Maybe Samantha Knowles is busy in the flat doing something or someone else?

The final question related to the letter which was published by Independent Hemsworth Town Council and the bodycam which was purchased for over £3000 from Yorkshire Fire and Security.

A simple question which had Alan Draper tripping over his previous lies.

The twists and turns taken by him seem to be endless and equally as ridiculous, trying to defend the purchase of what is most probably the dearest Bodycam used at any council, District, Borough or Town.

In fact it is even dearer than ones used by police forces.

The excuses made are more fitting to the noises that come forth from the disgraced former chair and former bankrupt Jim Kenyon when he, as he often is, is caught out.

Here are the previously known or released “facts” about the Hemsworth Town Council purchase of Bodycams:

The first bodycam and body harness was purchased 11th December 2019 via Amazon for £160.70 

No other amount showing in the accounts for a bodycam from YCFS until 24.11.2022 for £3889.34 

A resident made enquiries to Alan Draper and received an email saying why a SECOND bodycam was required. 

Ferret readers please note the descriptive word used: Second

Here is Alan Drapers reply

“I reported to the council on 18/8/22 the concerns raised by several members of staff for their own safety as there had been several occasions whereby they had been subjected to threatening abuse from members of the public. Such behaviour is often (nearly always) mitigated if a bodycam is present (there have been examples of that in the park).”

(Ferret also believes that alcohol and an abusive manager may also play a part)
Any way back to the Alan Draper’s email.

“A suggestion was made to have a (second) ‘floating’ bodycam, i.e. one that can be used by any member of staff (rather than buying bodycams for all staff). There are practical/IT and legal implications regarding the use of a bodycam so any (second) bodycam would have to be compliant on various fronts (GDPR, IT etc). Therefore, a quote was obtained from the council’s CCTV contractor and the council accepted the quote.”
Regards,
Alan.

This is what we were told when the enormous cost of the second bodycam was challenged.

The camera was purchased from a local firm, not far away from the Eccles residence at Kinsley, Your Choice Fire and Security.

Mr Draper made many attempts to justify the cost and none of them were found to be even remotely acceptable.

Hemsworth Town Council have refused to release the make and model number so an exact comparison could be made.

They did this despite even police forces and Government agencies freely releasing the information.

They have hidden behind a recommendation given to them by a firm saying it would compromise data protection.

Fair enough you may say, but hold on a minute who is this firm?

Well it’s none other than Your Choice Fire and Security, the Kinsley Firm that they purchased the overpriced camera from.

They can hardly be described as independent in this matter having been the recipients of £3889.34 of our money can they?

Alan Draper now claimed in the meeting, we have 3 or was it 4 and the last purchase was for 2!

Well it was hard to decipher at times and Ferret believes it is an answer that deserves to be treated with the contempt it was delivered with.

Ferret wonders if Mr Draper has been duplicating invoices or perhaps arranged to have a selection of cameras available for inspection should any of our councillors wish to pursue this matter?

Our councillors will need to give him plenty of notice to arrange for them to be available and of course time to erase the make and model numbers.

The final question was directed to Alan Draper:

“Are you being blackmailed or bullied?”

Gary, that is a unusual question and I won’t answer it.

Your voice may have not answered it Alan, but your demeanour and laugh certainly did…

Important Dates:

Publication Notice Of Election: 23 March 2023

Publication of Candidates: 5 April 2023

Polling Day: 4 May 2023

40 DAYS UNTIL POLLING DAY…

By Ferret

3 thought on “Independent Hemsworth Town Council: 23 March 2023, Public Question Time – Body Cam or Body Scam…”
  1. I very much doubt that our community will receive any truthful,honest answers until May when hopefully a complete overhaul into the running of HTC will take place.We have come to expect lies and cover ups by the Independent councillors and sending in FOIs to obtain what should be Transparency only leads to more questions ,the Town Clerk appears to prefer secrecy and vague closed answers especially around finance questions and prices of expenditure.The Bodycam or Bodycams what the true number is what the HTC own definitely appears to be a major issue to get answers for and the extreme price paid for the last one at nearly £4000 and its make and model number is definitely an answer the Town Clerk does not want to supply ,again no truth,honest transparent answers to the public’s questions you have to ask WHY.Roll on May.
    Please can you post on FB Thankyou.

  2. It’s easier to see a dentist these days than get a straight answer from Draper.
    As for body cams it’s definitely a body scam.
    I hope that all those involved either directly or complicity get their just deserves at his majesty’s pleasure.

  3. I’M HAPPY TO DO IT,
    Then why haven’t you? You’ve had a few weeks now to DO IT!
    NO
    Do we judge by that NO you have no intention of reporting this 🤔
    The bodycam
    What a saga, when asked about the make and model number Draper refered to the security representative having been WARMLY WELLOMED by the finance committee thus pushing through the non disclosure ,well the public could read its only a recommendation so why the big secreacy? ,find this puzzling one simple question for the committee ,did you ask to see any governing body who deal with this subject who declare the make/model number be not revealed ,if so please share the governing body or is that top secret. Would expect the bodycam as with other equipment to be securely marked as to identify who the equipment belongs to should it be misplaced (stolen), lost etc easy solution Mark with a dremel simple and effective with HTC item 1 and this could be used on the assets register
    Just a thought has any councillors seen this camera

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