So what has DCC got to hide on the day there are reports about mileage claims in the papers?

Take a look at the members expenses page. For some reason the 2016/17 councillor allowances page has been replaced by a picture of Rory Bremner. I know DCC has been referred to as a comedy act in the past, perhaps they are trying to have a laugh over the use of taxpayers money.

The link is

Not a clue how long it will take to change it.


After a summer break, I am starting up the blog again. A lot has been going on over the summer and early autumn with plenty of good work going on by your Lib Dem councillors in the area.

We will be reporting back on many of this issues in the coming days and weeks. Please let us know about any problems or issues you would like addressing in the area.


Next Thursday we are standing for re-election as your Lib Dem County Councillors. Please vote for Mark Wilkes, Mamie Simmons and Amanda Hopgood on Thursday 4th May.

We are getting a great response on the doorstep, with many residents also contacting us by email to confirm they are supporting us.

We also hope to get elected to the Parish Council along with our Lib Dem colleagues Nigel Martin, Grenville Holland, Colin Hillary and Clive Beddoes.

Weeds, leaves and rubbish cleared from Pity Me Front St

Last years leaves along with this years weeds have now been completely cleared from Pity Me Front street after we intervened. Residents were sent letters asking them to move cars away from the ¬†pavement edge. The Council’s clean and green team have done a really good job of a difficult area which is always blocked by parked cars.

If there are any other areas where there are still rotting leaves on pavements or other similar issues please let us know so we can get them cleaned up quickly.

200 Council Managers still haven’t completed COMPULSORY staff sickness training 12 MONTHS after being told to

A few years ago we managed to get the Council to agree to a major program of changes to tackle sickness absence and attendance management issues at the Council.

The good news is that sickness absence is falling, although it is still way too high at over 10 days per employee a year.

The bad news, no the appalling news, is that over 200 managers still have not completed the compulsory training they are required to: 12 months after being told to do it. This training makes sure that they understand when to refer someone for example to occupational health and how to deal with a sick employee in a proper manner. Previously some employees were not referred for months when there were clear issues – one employee wasn’t referred to occupational health for 300 days!!

The Council is continuing to let down employees by not making sure that all managers are properly trained. Surely 12 months is long enough for a manager to have done the compulsory training. Personally, apart from holidays and their own sickness, a month should have been long enough to book a few hours of time in to do the course on the council’s computer system. It’s not a huge ask to put the computer on and do it after all.

I am absolutely certain that not a single manager will have seen any serious repercussions from failing to carry out the training.Offiers at today’s meeting could;t answer what the repercussions were for someone failing to do the training. Compulsory means compulsory. Any manager not having done the training is letting down their staff and this County. The Labour cabinet members responsible should get off their gold plated chairs and have a right go at senior management, much as I did today at our Scrutiny meeting.