Monday, 10 September 2012


So, no news, emails or interventions from within the Local Labour Party about cleaning up their own act or accepting that they still have work to do to become the sort of party you would like to join on a local basis. Of the three "issues" I raised in an earlier post I have laid one of them to one side on the request of an individual involved as they themselves attempt to seek their own justice, so more of that perhaps at a later date, so instead lets us start with the tale below, which I shall entitle:

'The events below and in other posts are as told to me by people (plural) concerned about the issues outlined therein and the lack of any disciplinary action seemingly taken either within the Borough Council Labour Group or at any higher level. It is for others to judge the culpability of those involved and the probability of success of any disciplinary action and also for the Labour Party to act should it wish to do so .If any person involved identifies themselves and wishes me to consider altering or removing any provable errors in the post then I will be happy to do so if they contact me.
I ask just one simple question, why is it that some party members seem to be excluded and expelled for what are very minor misdemeanour's and after long winded investigations and disciplinary hearings whilst others seem to be blessed with no action being taken for what would be in most people opinion much more serious offences?"

Funding and grants for local charities and organisations are becoming harder and harder to source as Local Authorities and national funders both clamp down on funding streams and replace long term community financing with short term political handouts often disguised as "Empowerment Funds" or "Community Chests"

Imagine then the delight of a chair of a local organisation when they received an e-mail from a local Labour Borough Cllr informing them that their organisation had had an application approved by the Borough Council for the sum £15,000 for funding to provide training and community events withiin their area, all they now had to do to receive the money was to sign on the dotted line.

Well initial delight turned very quickly into troubled uneasiness when the chair of the organisation realised that they had never actually submitted an application to the Council in the first place and didn't need the training or events proposed! What's more it seemed that these same "Training and Community" events were to be provided by a company run by? You guessed it the same Labour Cllr who had submitted the application and informed them of the windfall themselves!

Being 100% above board and not interested in anything remotely dodgy the Chair immediately called a meeting of the organisations executive committee and laid out to them all what had happened, the committee were outraged, how had someone been allowed to make an application for funding out on their behalf, and in their name without their knowledge or authority? How had this Labour Cllr decided what their organisation needed when applying for monies? And how was it that the Labour Cllr responsible for submitting the application to the same Council they served on would also be benefiting from the payment of the grant by providing services through their own company?

The last straw for the committee was that the chair of their organisation was also a Labour Cllr on the same Authority and they wanted no blame or stain being placed on his reputation by the independent actions of another Cllr without his knowledge. The executive therefore asked that the police and the council be informed of their concerns, and as a matter of courtesy the Labour Group were also informed. The police having I am told spoken to the local authority decided on this occasion to take no further action, they were willing to accept that as a new Cllr the individual involved was probably not as aware of the rules and laws surrounding grant funding as they should have been, and as a consequence they would be given the benefit of doubt in the belief that they were attempting to serve the community irrespective of any potential private gain.

The issue caused some understandable friction between the two Cllrs concerned and should have led to the Cllr responsible for self submitting the grant on behalf of an other organisation without their consent or even knowledge being dealt with internally by the party and told to be much more careful in future.

And yet less than two months later this same Labour Cllr submitted another grant application on behalf of another charity group for a daytime event in their ward, this time the organisation were aware of the application being made and of the Cllrs role in assisting them with it. The problem this time though is that the application was submitted to a local funder with little to no real information purporting to the organisation (details of officers, membership, accounts, costings of the event etc) and was submitted under an address which belonged to a completely different organisation (a local church) who had no idea that their address was being used to support the funding bid! The Cllr then attracted further funding for the event from their fellow Borough and County Cllrs through their empowerment funds (supposedly with the same poor level of detail).

And then what happened? Well AN event took place, but not the one mentioned in the funding requests, it was at least on the same day, but took place in the evening rather than the applied for "Daytime" family based activities mentioned in the application and instead of providing support for the local resident community the event was a UK wide "Nation Day" event which has been a part of the calender for many years where members of a local ethnic community invite their friends and family from across the Country to come together to party late into the night, a great and colourful event it always is, I know because I have attended on more than one occasion over the years, and have thoroughly enjoyed it but it has never needed funding before as the Community members themselves bring their own food and provide their own entertainment. So just what was promised regarding the funding that was given and what exactly was it spent on?

A third application from the same Cllr to a funding body on behalf of another third party came to my attention this week which it seems also (unsurprisingly) has not met the criteria level for providing the relevant information regarding either the organisation or the costing and provision of the services requested to be provided through the funding, surprise surprise.

Over the years Labour Councils and groups across the UK have been embarrassed more than once over funding bids which were not all they were made out to be, individual Cllrs have found themselves in very hot water after being found to personally benefit from grants they themselves had a hand in acquiring.

So I wonder what our local Labour Group has to say about the above?


  1. Let's hope that Newsnight has some space tonight to cover this. It could bring the whole town crashing down around our ears.

    Come on Tony - this is hardly news. At best it's Town Hall tittle tattle. If something has been done that is wrong, let the Police decide. If they have been involved and are taking no action then so be it.

    I am sure your followers from Iraq to Melbourne (House) from New York to Peckham will be up in arms about this too.

  2. Anon, answer me this please, is the Cllr acting correctly? Should be being filling out forms fraudulently on behalf of organizations who are not involved to gain public money from which they personally will gain? Are you happy to let this happen? Do you think their party should act? Are you surprised that they have continued to submit dodgy applications? Could you vote for such a person or party that allowed this to happen?

  3. Is the Cllr acting correctly? It's a subjective matter Tony. You have a view tainted (by your politics) and the only way to get a view on 'filling out forms fraudulently' is to involve the Police.

    If there is evidence (key to the whole thing) and not just political gossip then a prosecution should follow and that Cllr should stand down (and for goodness sake if you believe they have done this and have the evidence to back it then name them)

    Do I think a party should act based on an opposition politicians claims? No I don't. Should they act based on a police prosecution. Yes of course.

    It reminds me of someone's post on here some time ago. You had a member of staff who went to prison. Like it, disagree with it, agree with it etc etc where there is wrong doing let the Police and Courts decide. Thats why we have them.

  4. What astounding ignorance! Subjective! fiddling claim forms to get money to pay for your own services? The police as I said were involved and decided in the first instance to give benefit of doubt a try due to the inexperience of the Cllr, but when they then go on to make further false claims and you feel it is not a party issue! Or perhaps a Borough issue as it is public funds we are dealing with. Well it must just be me then. But it is the failure of the Borough Labour Group to deal with matters like this that make it impossible for me to rejoin the party.

    As to your repeated mention of my member of staff, as I have said in my view he did nothing wrong, was used as a scapegoat by the Gov't to cover their own ar$e and if he was arrested and charged then so should I and Peter Kilfoyle have been.

  5. Can you seriously not see the irony of that last post?

    The issue that you feel is one of fraud is by-passed by the Police due to 'benefit of the doubt' (has anyone ever heard the Police letting a law breaker off due to the benefit of the doubt?)

    The issue that the Police and Courts did take action on is one where you say the person 'did nothing wrong'

    Therefore your whole premise is one where if you say someone has broken the law it is so (even if the Police dont agree) and if you say someone did nothing wrong, but the Police and Courts dont agree, then it is again so.

    I dont really think, however much you desire it, the 'truth' can be based on 'Tony's law'

    'Because Northampton deserves to know the truth'?

    I suggest you start with 'Because Northampton deserves some consistency'.....

  6. Anon, what Northampton deserves is Cllrs who put them and the town first rather than see the filling out of false grant claims on behalf of other people who are not involved in order to trouser cash which is not theirs as their priority.

    That would be a start.

    As to your second comment regarding that other case, I still hold, and always will do that they are innocent despite the courts ruling. and you know that the circumstances are very different. You may decide my faith is born out of blind loyalty, I would suggest that you are best placed to determine such action.

    Yes this is my truth and yes it is open to judgement, but this stillremains the only local political blog that allows others to challenge and comment on what I have posted, doesn't that alone speak volumes?

  7. I agree thats what Northampton deserves - just not sure you can claim that some 'are trousering cash' etc when its just your word against theirs.

    I accept that the legal system (and many prisons I would expect) are littered with the guilty pleading 'They are still innocent despite the courts ruling'

    Fair point re your blog. My personal view if that a little less rhetoric and little more substance would increase it quality.

  8. Interesting that none of the above contributors (agree I dont know if Anonymous was there or not)were at the debate of the Police and Crime Commissioner Candidates last night at Sheep Street WMC in Northampton.

    There was no mention of brown envelopes, dodgy councillors, party memberships, region, Sally Keeble, the list goes on.

    There was lots of discussion and questions on crime, personal safety, community initiatives, street lights, future of police funding.

    Interesting what the real world cares about isn't it.

  9. None of the above? there was only me and anon until you joined in CWF and I certainly wasn't there, as to what the real world cares about it may be worth reminding a few on the Borough Labour Group, as they seem to have lost the art of opposition or perhaps the heart?

  10. CWM
    A meeting at which the prospective crime commissioners attended?Well publicised that one?
    If the candidates turned up to speak it was hardly surprising what their chosen subject was!
    hard to believe they managed to talk about the non- job for more than a few minutes-so what did you 'real world' people really talk about!

  11. You can't blame the politicians jogn for not publicising a meeting arranged by someone else (think it was an association of residents groups - the red hair super gran woman was there).

    What were the questions about? Crime in Northampton - not has Labour lost its soul. Police presence in Northampton - not whether the region is interfering in Labour or not. Personal safety when walking around the town - not which local Cllr has Tony Clarke reported this week. The need for victims to have more of an input into the system - not whether Tony will rejoin Labour or not.

    Is that enough to give you a flavour?

  12. The red haired super gran women you talk about is Ann Timson, who used to be a Labour Party member, but the party were going to throw her out because you supported what I was trying to do on the ground in Castle Ward, which was concentrate on the day to day issues which the Labour Party had lost interest in

  13. back to the party then .... 'were going to throw her out' or 'did?' Of course if a political party member openly backs someone from another political party surely their position is not tenable anyway. If you read your four lines back Tony it again does have a hint of 'white horse' about it.

    It was a good meeting actually - a good mix of political party candidates and independents. We'll see in November I suppose who people choose.

  14. CWF she resigned before they had the chance to throw her out, but as soon as the "Supergran" story hit the news the offers from the party and the govt to meet up were plentiful, and thats the problem with the party, its not about being fair weather friends, its about backing and supporting your own people, members want to heard an to be involved and not just used as backdrops for photo shoots and doorstep work.

  15. Are you serious? Fair weather friends? You mean like members who get elected to Parliament on the back of national landslides then once they lose their seat and influence they leave the party?

    I was walking through town on Saturday and saw a Labour street stall, manned by young people, campaigning on the Police election (I think) looking very engaged and not as 'backdrops' to anything.

    It reads a little like you are out of touch with what is happening with the local party and still fighting battles from a number of years ago.

  16. CWF, you are entitled to your view and I am happy to publish it, I actually got elected twice and was proud of both campaigns, the street stall funny enough is the same one I bought for the party in 2005, as for fighting old battles I have long since stop caring about that, I worry more about the continuation of wrong doing amongst Cllrs (of all parties not just Labour) and as for the local party? don't tempt me, were you at the last meeting? Could you believe what occurred? and have you been told what reason was given by Cllr Stone for objecting to a new member? If not you should ask, I will keep my silence and my dignity, but when you find out out just ask yourself who it is that is really fighting old battle for little or no reason.




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