Tue. May 28th, 2024

Following on from yesterday’s post on Ferret, today Ferret will go into more detail about the Extraordinary Hemsworth Town Council meeting which has been called for this Thursday, the 13th April at 7pm.

This meeting has not been called by the Town Clerk – Alan Draper but by Jean Eccles the (current but not for much longer) Chair of Hemsworth Town Council.

There is only one pertinent item on the agenda:

05 Land at Club Terrace.
To receive and consider advice from the council’s appointed RICS valuer (Sanderson Weatherall) regarding the sale of land at Club Terrace Fitzwilliam.

Ferret believes this is so wrong for the following reason:

It was decided at the last full Hemsworth Town Council meeting to defer any action on the sale of this site until after May 2023.

This was to allow the new councillors to make any decisions, when they take up office.

Just for one moment Ferret will be kind and give the benefit of the doubt to Independent Hemsworth Town Council.

Maybe, just maybe, that this is just to consider the advice from the valuer as stated on the agenda.

However, this does not make sense as the new council will, no doubt make up their own minds about this advice and all the other dubious issues that surround this sale and peripheral land.

Ferret actually believes this may be a last ditch attempt by the Kenyon, Eccles cabal of councillors to push this deal through.

Ferret has already highlighted the documented highly irregular meetings that Jim Kenyon held with a potential buyer, with not even the Town Clerk being present.

Then there was the problem that Hemsworth Town Council had not sought planning permission for the site that would have increased its potential value immensely.

Also, the council and the valuer originally denied that the site had its own highway access, claiming that its value would be reduced due to the “ransom” of having to be accessed elsewhere.

Miraculously, they then found the relevant documentation after the public were made aware by Ferret, between planning and the previous Town Council’s solicitors that confirmed there was indeed right of highway access to the site.

The original valuation of the site was for only £800,000 to £1.2 million, a ridiculously low figure.

It then rose to £1.5 million.

Once again, a ridiculously low sum for a site next to a country park, a railway station and with road access.

Jim Kenyon has now been boasting that HE has negotiated a sale price of £2 million for the land!

Ferret finds these price increases very strange and the release of the correct details of the site being made public, has obviously been one of those pesky co-incidences that plague Hemsworth Town Council.

However Chair Eccles, we have a problem and a huge one, if this meeting has been called to push through the land sale before the new councillors take up office:

The last meeting resolved that any action be deferred until May 2023 for the new councillors to deal with.

This has not been rescinded and is still in force.

Any rescinding of this resolution has to be on a SPECIFICALLY worded and clear agenda item.

There is no such item on your extraordinary meeting agenda and it now cannot be added, especially on the night of the meeting.

The agenda item of “To receive and consider advice from the council’s appointed RICS valuer (Sanderson Weatherall) regarding the sale of land at Club Terrace Fitzwilliam.” only covers receiving the advice and giving it consideration.

It does not empower any vote to sell the land.

This is not Ferret’s opinion it is backed in law.

It may be a bit late, but Jean Eccles could try looking at the relevant legislation or for an easy read, which may be more appropriate, the Good Councillors guide that she was given when taking up the office as a Town Councillor.

In addition, as pointed out by incoming Councillor Keith Fernie: The extraordinary meeting on the 13th April 2023 is called by a notice dated 6th April 2023. However Standing Order 4b is “The minimum three clear days for notice of a meeting does not include the day on which notice was issued, the day of the meeting, a Sunday, a day of the Christmas break, a day of the Easter break or of a bank holiday or a day appointed for public thanksgiving or mourning.” Can anyone see three clear days of notice? I can’t.

And neither can Ferret.

Finally, Sanderson Weatherall have valued the site, Sanderson Weatherall have marketed the site, Sanderson Weatherall are recommending a buyer to Hemsworth Town Council.

Can anyone else see a potential problem here?

Ferret offers a word of warning to all councillors who may be being coerced to vote for the sale, actions undertaken illegally are not covered by Hemsworth’s Town Councils insurers and any councillors who vote for this could be made liable for any losses or costs incurred, as well as facing criminal proceedings…

By Ferret

One thought on “Independent Hemsworth Town Council Meetings: Important Legal Agendas…”
  1. So even if it goes ahead it is unlawful, how disappointing for those councillors who are wanting a quick sale. Nearly time to say goodbye.

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