An open letter to the parish council

Parish Clerk
Buckland Brewer Parish Council

Dear …

In the November edition of the Village Scene the parish council asked for parishioners to come forward to help deliver the objectives of the parish plan.

That request is ironic, given that my year old offer to help deliver one objective – a community website – has been refused.

My offer, which I first discussed with a parish councillor last November, was to design and build community website. The only cost would for web hosting – about £15 a year. I would contribute about 20 hours of my time to set up the site and several hours a month to maintain and update the site.

This was no empty offer as I have considerable expertise, experience and knowledge in commissioning, building and managing a broad range websites.

I am currently the web content manager for … where I am responsible for maintaining standards, as well writing a considerable portion of content for both the … website and intranet.

Since I joined …, [our] performance has steadily improved. This year, we have achieved our highest ever rankings in two well-respected surveys …

My experience managing a … website and dealing with the legal and practical issues which that entails could have been helpful to the parish council.

Nevertheless, since that original offer I had nothing more than an acknowledgement of my offer.

After the October parish council meeting public session ended, I decided to ask again whether my offer would be considered.

I was told in no uncertain terms that my offer would not be taken up because “we do not trust you”. I can only assume that frosty response is down to the petition I set up requesting that the council withdraw its threat to evict [Jim aka Bil] from his allotment.

I realise that feelings ran high during that dispute and I am sorry if the petition caused offence. I removed the petition because the dispute was becoming too personal. I was under the impression that both sides agreed to draw a line under that dispute at the meeting between allotment holders and the council.

I have worked over 20 years in local and central government so I can appreciate the time and dedication that elected members put into public service. However, as a member of the public I have right to expect that elected members act in a fair and open manner without personal prejudice.

I made what I considered to be a generous offer. All that I wanted was for my idea to be given fair and balanced consideration. I feel that that has not happened and that personal feelings have prevailed.

I ask that the council reflects upon that conclusion.

Yours sincerely

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