Residents query council records

PUBLISHED: 13:00 29 January 2010 | UPDATED: 11:39 25 May 2010

BOGUS information has been recorded by a village parish council, a resident has claimed.

BOGUS information has been recorded by a village parish council, a resident has claimed.

At a Winscombe and Sandford Parish Council meeting last week doctor Gavin Rider appealed to the council to review information that was approved at the end of 2008.

The concerns are over a report complied by English Rural Housing Association (ERHA) in relation to the proposal for 30 affordable homes on an area of outstanding natural beauty at the end of Well Close, Winscombe.

At the meeting, villager and member of the housing action group, Mr Rider, said: "I believe that there have been numerous mis-statements of fact during the consideration of the affordable housing issue in Winscombe.

"One glaringly obvious example is the report on the village housing survey written by ERHA, which is posted on the parish council website.

"I believe that any truly objective person would agree that the statements made in the report about the evidence of affordable housing needed in the parish are false."

Mr Rider of Sandford Road, Winscombe, provided the parish council with a summary concerning the most serious example of false information in the report and asked that every parish councillor read it and understand it.

He added: "It is not acceptable for the parish council to rely on the approval of this report by any other body.

"It should read the information for itself and form its own independent conclusions about the validity of the statements made.

"The offending report should be removed from the parish council website."

Mr Rider said that many other residents also believe the recorded information is 'a compilation of false statements' and the parish council did admit it failed to read the report.

In the meeting, another resident, John Ellis, requested for there to be less secrecy in regard to the parish council's accounts.

Mr Ellis asked for the finances to be attached to the minutes so that all members of the public can see how the funds are spent.

He also expressed dismay at the lack of correspondence from the council after it received several queries on the issue.

After the meeting a parish council spokesman said there are no plans to review the reports in its minutes.

The spokesman said: "This is Mr Rider's opinion and our stance on this remains the same.

"ERHA is the author of the document and it was approved by North Somerset Council.

"It is based on a survey used in other parishes which is why it was not analysed by the parish council."

The parish door is open for residents to view the accounts and we are looking at Mr Ellis's request.

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