Author Topic: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money  (Read 17968 times)

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Offline Richard Symonds

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The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« on: October 21, 2010, 04:57:39 PM »
Some months ago I heard that this money was still in existence and that unsuccessful 'attempts' had been made to find out what had happened to it, so raised the following Freedom of Information Request through They Work for You.

"Richard Symonds

28 September 2010
Dear Swindon Borough Council,

How many FOI requests have there been submitted to the Council
concerning the Residual Funds from the Parks and Walcot
Regeneration Project chaired by Councillor Peter Mallinson?

Did the Council provide the requested information against each one
of the requests? If not which ones were answered and which ones
were not answered?

Can the Council confirm the amount of Residual Funds ie Monies
Unspent and Deposited with Swindon Borough Council for safe
keeping?

Have any monies been withdrawn since deposit and if so by
whom/which body along with amounts and dates?

Yours faithfully,

Richard Symonds

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Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council

29 September 2010
Thank you for your email which has been forwarded to the FoI office for response.

Kind regards

Customer Services
Swindon Borough Council
Wat Tyler House
Swindon SN1 2JG
Phone: 01793 445500

E-mail: [Swindon Borough Council request email]
Website: www.swindon.gov.uk

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Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

1 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds

Thank you for your recent Freedom of Information request regarding the
residual funds of the Parks and Walcot Regeneration Project.

Your request was received on 29th September 2010 and I am dealing with it
under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.
The Council has a duty to respond promptly or no later than 20 working
days, you should receive a response to your request no later than 26th
October 2010.

I can answer the first part of your request, no previous FOI request has
been received by this Council regarding the residual funds of the Parks
and Walcot Regeneration Project. I will respond to the rest of your
questions as soon as I can. If you need to contact me about this, my
contact details are enclosed.

Yours sincerely

Jill Neale
Jill Neale
Data and Performance Officer
Learning and Engagement Team
Swindon Borough Council
5th Floor Wat Tyler House
Beckhampton Street
Swindon
SN1 2JH
Tel: 01793 466482
Fax: 01793 466484

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Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

21 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds

I am now able to advise you that there is a meeting on 2nd November
between local councillors and members of Swindon Walcot and Parks
Community Group to discuss the residual funds of the Parks and Walcot
Regeneration Project. I am not able to answer your questions ahead of this
meeting but will contact you again after the meeting has taken place.
I have been advised that a Freedom of Information request dated April
2010 concerning the residual funds has just been found by the cabinet
office and is now being dealt with. This is different to the information I
was given when I wrote to you on October 1st. I apologise that you have
been given the incorrect information regarding any previous FOI requests.

Yours Sincerely
Jill Neale
Jill Neale
Data and Performance Officer
Learning and Engagement Team
Swindon Borough Council
5th Floor Wat Tyler House
Beckhampton Street
Swindon
SN1 2JH
Tel: 01793 466482
Fax: 01793 466484

Richard Symonds

21 October 2010
Dear Jill Neale,

Thank you for your letter today.

Can you please advise me how much money has been located to date
and available for discussion at this meeting?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Symonds"

I find it absolutely incredible that other correspondence has now been 'found' in the Cabinet Office and raises the question how much more unanswered mail lies there?  I for one have written on numerous occasions to The Council Leader and Chief Executive and have never received so much as an acknowledgement.

And they still expect us to engage with them!

Is this the so called interest in the people?

Anyway, at least this subject is now well and truly out in the open for all to see and the money cannot now be used in any unsuitable or inappropriate ways.

Should be a good meeting on November 2nd and a meeting that is not optional as far a the Councillors for the Parks and Walcot are concerned.  No excuses for non attendence will be acceptable.



All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline poemogram

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2010, 05:24:15 PM »
Can "someone" please supply a list :

 of names

and 'hats worn'

and telephone, address and e mail contact details

by all members of the P&Walcot regeneration Cttee due to meet on 2 Nov please ?.

Also, where can access be gained to the minutes of previous meetings ?

Also is the agenda and papers made public prior to the meeting - if so how can access be gained to those - and when -

can members of the public observe at the nxt meeting ?

can they have speaking rights (of course not voting rights)

Thanks

anybody ?  anybody ?

or direct me to who can provide the above info...Chair or sec of the Cttee presumably ?


Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2010, 05:29:04 PM »
Tony use they work for you and direct it to the Council, with your list of questions.  There should be sufficient time before the meeting which I hope you will attend.

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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2010, 05:40:51 PM »
"I am now able to advise you that there is a meeting on 2nd November
between local councillors and members of Swindon Walcot and Parks
Community Group to discuss the residual funds of the Parks and Walcot
Regeneration Project"

Poem, they say they are meeting the Parks and Walcot Community Group, not the regeneration board.

Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2010, 05:42:39 PM »
I have heard it is a lot of money I had a conversation today and 50K was being mentioned, that will go some way towards compensating for the money from the demolition of the college from the University of Bath, which some how inadvertantly managed to get soaked up by the budget deficit last financial year. I was always surprised that the Walcot councillors had allowed this to happen. They could have done much for their ward with £225,000. Unless they knew that the conservative administration needed the money to close the gap far more than their ward did?

The silence on this issue has been deafening I think it was mentioned somewhere else on TS at the time Hoovers come to mind  and Geoff may have had an email on it at the time with more detail in it ;)
All posts on this forum are my own opinion and do not represent the views of any council or any political party.  :banana:

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2010, 05:46:38 PM »
I have also heard of the £50k find but always understood that the residue was some £279k odd.

Anyone else know anything of this funding?

As you can see I have already asked the necessary question via They Work for You, a truly excellent facillitator.
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2010, 05:52:48 PM »
I knew about £50k that the people of Parks and Walcot community group knew about.  I know what it was put to one side for - a Skate park (not the one that was recently vandalised - another one.  The Chair told us that they just couldn't find the right peice of land - not surprised, most of their green has been built on over the years. 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2010, 10:30:31 PM »
The silence on this issue has been deafening I think it was mentioned somewhere else on TS at the time Hoovers come to mind  and Geoff may have had an email on it at the time with more detail in it ;)


According to Cllr Mavis Childs the sum(s) in question add up to around £370,000

As there is some overlap between this thread and where the 'Mavis' thread is ultimately heading I need to consider how, when, and indeed if, I'll release some more information.

Bear with me  ;)

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2010, 05:43:49 PM »
I have received an interesting reply throught they work for you today!!

Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

21 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds

I am now able to advise you that there is a meeting on 2nd November
between local councillors and members of Swindon Walcot and Parks
Community Group to discuss the residual funds of the Parks and Walcot
Regeneration Project. I am not able to answer your questions ahead of this
meeting but will contact you again after the meeting has taken place.
I have been advised that a Freedom of Information request dated April
2010 concerning the residual funds has just been found by the cabinet
office and is now being dealt with. This is different to the information I
was given when I wrote to you on October 1st. I apologise that you have
been given the incorrect information regarding any previous FOI requests.

Yours Sincerely
Jill Neale
Jill Neale
Data and Performance Officer
Learning and Engagement Team
Swindon Borough Council
5th Floor Wat Tyler House
Beckhampton Street
Swindon
SN1 2JH
Tel: 01793 466482
Fax: 01793 466484

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Richard Symonds

21 October 2010
Dear Jill Neale,

Thank you for your letter today.

Can you please advise me how much money has been located to date
and available for discussion at this meeting?

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Symonds

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Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

25 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds
I am not able to give you any information about the residual funds until after the meeting on 4th November.
Yours sincerely
Jill Neale

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Richard Symonds

25 October 2010
Dear Jill Neale,

In your previous letter of October 21st you said the date for the
meeting was November 2nd and now in today's you say it is November
4th. Which one is it please and where is this meeting to be held?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Symonds

This is interesting from two perspectives:

1.  That they are not prepared to reveal how much money has been located and you have to ask the question will this be used for political advantage?

and

2.  How could there be a difference reference the dates, surely they are not trying to confuse the public to avoid a passionate meeting?

It is imperative there is a good turnout after all it is public funding and to be used for the benefit of ALL THE PEOPLE, not just for the benefit of some.
All my posts are my own opinion and do not represent any political organization or group

Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2010, 09:13:22 PM »
 
This is interesting from two perspectives:
1.  That they are not prepared to reveal how much money has been located and you have to ask the question will this be used for political advantage?

and

2.  How could there be a difference reference the dates, surely they are not trying to confuse the public to avoid a passionate meeting?

It is imperative there is a good turnout after all it is public funding and to be used for the benefit of ALL THE PEOPLE, not just for the benefit of some.



I blogged & cross-posted on this subject earlier today: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=6559.msg44419#msg44419

Short'ish axtract from that post:



Also Blogged here: http://www.geoffreid.com/?p=839



What is it about Walcot which makes a small, 2 seat ward in Swindon, politically interesting yet encourages all those who enter it with political intent abandon their principles repeatedly?

Both incumbent Tory Councillors,  (Mavis Childs and Peter Mallinson), are  'floor crossers', having deserted the local Labour party at a time when the political going got a little tougher for them and Swindons Tories were, conveniently enough, were on the political ascendant.

Since they crossed the floor to the Tory group, Cllr Childs and Mallinson have been fighting a weird and acrimonious 'turf war' against eachother which has escalated, (as their re-election campaigns get closer), to include regeneration money and whole building.

We have known for a while that significant sums of money,  (supposedly destined for the communities of  Walcot & Parks), are sloshing around in the Councils bank ccount and both Councillors are desperately vying for control of where it is spent.  Mallinson is up for re-election next May and Childs the year after so both of them want it, but Mallinson needs it first...........

Content removed from this quote to malke it shorter - please read the full post here: http://www.talkswindon.org/index.php?topic=6559.msg44419#msg44419

............Next week, (on the 2nd of November I believe), Councillors Childs and Mallinson will be present at a meeting where the future of the Parks and Walcot regeneration money, (part of their political  life raft), will be decided.  Readers should not be surprised if an announcement is made which quickly leads to Councillor Mallinson taking a more prominent role in the future management and redevelopment of the Walcot Dome and Councillor Childs moving back from whence she came, to the Walcot community shop/library.  If this does happen I think it signifies the 'changing of ends' on a very un-level political playing field.

Sadly, while this political gun-slinging is going on, both councillors appear content in playing Russian-Roullette with the lives and welfare of the very residents that both claim to be 'defending and fighting for'.  I believe the exact opposite of what they claim is true: Both councillors are fighting only for themselves, as demonstrated by Cllr Childs voting FOR Cllr Mallinsons £6 million worth of  'Butchers Budget' cuts, instead of recording a principled vote AGAINST them , as she'd quietly promised people she would.

Ultimately then, does Walcot deserve to have a sign on it's boundary which says:  'Abandon Political Principles, All Ye Who Enter Here' ?

Discuss


So, in answer to Richards questions, I think yes, and yes.

Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #10 on: October 26, 2010, 03:48:57 PM »
I have received a reply regarding clarification of the date as follows:-

Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

25 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds
I am not able to give you any information about the residual funds until after the meeting on 4th November.
Yours sincerely
Jill Neale

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Richard Symonds

25 October 2010
Dear Jill Neale,

In your previous letter of October 21st you said the date for the
meeting was November 2nd and now in today's you say it is November
4th. Which one is it please and where is this meeting to be held?

Yours sincerely,

Richard Symonds

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Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

26 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds

I can confirm that the meeting will take place on 2nd November at the Civic Offices.

Yours Sincerely
Jill Neale


Well at least we now know where it is but no time is specified.

I understand that neither Councillors Steve Allsopp or Mark Demsey are destined to be there and are instead relying on SWAP.

I know I am unhappy with the current Tory way of running this town but do Labour or the Liberals actually offer an alternative?

I feel the day of the Independent and available councillor is the only way forward for representation and democracy.
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Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #11 on: October 26, 2010, 04:28:20 PM »
Richard
Is this a public meeting? (I am getting confused here there is no time mentioned either in the email) Why is this meeting taking place at the civic offices? Is there no where else suitable in P&W, its a long way from Parks and Walcot for the public to attend? So perhaps it is not a meeting open to the public after all?
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #12 on: October 26, 2010, 04:32:04 PM »
I don't know the answers to any of these questions and suggest you make enquiries via the civic as that is where it is going to be held.

And furthermore if you don't know as a Councillor what chance do the people of the Parks and Walcot stand?

After all it is supposed to be their money isn't it?
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Offline Geoff Reid

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #13 on: October 26, 2010, 05:29:05 PM »
Jill Neale
Swindon Borough Council

21 October 2010
Dear Mr Symonds

I am now able to advise you that there is a meeting on 2nd November
between local councillors and members of Swindon Walcot and Parks
Community Group to discuss the residual funds of the Parks and Walcot
Regeneration Project. I am not able to answer your questions ahead of this
meeting but will contact you again after the meeting has taken place.

I have been advised that a Freedom of Information request dated April
2010 concerning the residual funds has just been found by the cabinet
office and is now being dealt with. This is different to the information I
was given when I wrote to you on October 1st. I apologise that you have
been given the incorrect information regarding any previous FOI requests.

Yours Sincerely
Jill Neale
Jill Neale
Data and Performance Officer
Learning and Engagement Team
Swindon Borough Council
5th Floor Wat Tyler House
Beckhampton Street
Swindon
SN1 2JH
Tel: 01793 466482
Fax: 01793 466484

Richard, have you requested clarification as to what exemption is being applied to warrant SBC not releasing the data when requested?

If there is a genuine exemption being temporarily applied, then fair enough, but if the reason for not releasing the data you have requested is political, you have cause for complaint to the Information Commissioner.


The issues of Douglas Campbell's office sitting on FOI requests for months, and why SBC's FOI officers have allowed it happen are other areas of concern.

I that anyone thinking of FOI'ing SBC do so via www.whatdotheyknow.com (where the whole process is transparent and permanetly recorded) and NOT THROUGH Swindon Borough Council's own FOI portal - where it is impossible to monitor or assertain how many freedom of information requests have been 'mislaid'.


Offline Ringer

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #14 on: October 27, 2010, 08:11:17 AM »
FOI being misplaced? FOI request being announced politically? FOI not being released as they are not in the public interest. Does that Information commmisioner ever get off their backside or do they have to be kicked up it. Is the Information Commisioner a joke? Is the way that your FOIs are being dealt with by SBC a................................................ ........?
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Offline Richard Symonds

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #15 on: October 27, 2010, 09:44:32 AM »
I have just now sent the following FOI request to SBC via They Work for You.

Richard Symonds

27 October 2010
Dear Jill Neale,

Thank you for your response yesterday, can you please advise the
time of the meeting?

Can you also please advise what exemption is being applied to
warrant SBC not releasing the data when requested and leaving this
until after the meeting?

Is this witholding of information political?

Thanking you in anticipation of your reply.

Yours sincerely,

Richard Symonds

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Offline Steve Wakefield

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #16 on: October 27, 2010, 10:29:36 AM »
Richard

I may be a councillor, but I know nothing as Toothill and Westlea; are a long way from Parks and Walcot. I am just like anyone else I am not priviledged as to why the meeting is called and where the venue is and if it is a public meeting? I don't know, what I don't know! I only know something when I am told it.  What I do know is that I post on here and so do 3 Labour cllrs, which is encouraging. I would suggest to you that it would be informative and helpful if you invited at least one of the 5 cllrs that represent Pks and Wlct to let you know what is happening, and when. Their email addresses are on the SBC website.
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Offline Muggins

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #17 on: October 27, 2010, 02:32:22 PM »
It could be that this meeting is a SWAP Meeting and they have invited the councillors etc. to be at it, in which case it is up to them (SWAP) who they invite.

It would not be up to SBC to send out invites or announce to anyone else the who, what, where etc.  Negotiations no doubt will be delicate and it would not help Parks and Walcot if anyone other than a resident waded in, knowing only half the story and half the history.

I suspect that, as this is about money set aside and ring fenced for use in Parks and Walcot, that is who is should concern.  If SWAP say afterwards that they feel cheated, and ask for help, then that's when it becomes a free for all. 

It is highly unlikely that anyone on SWAP uses social networking and these sorts of Forums so they won't know this thread is going on or realise it's potential support.

 
Oi! Listen mush. Old eyes, remember? I’ve been around the block a few times. More than a few. They’ve knocked down the blocks I’ve been around and rebuilt them as bigger blocks. Super blocks. And I’ve been round them as well.  The Doctor (Night Terrors)

Offline Martin Wicks

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Re: The Residual Parks & Walcot Regeneration Money
« Reply #18 on: October 27, 2010, 02:55:40 PM »
Ladies and gents, this is not a public meeting you are referring to here. I won't be there myself but I'm sure somebody will report on what happens.
Can we leave it at that for the moment?

Offline Ringer

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SWAP To Meet Councillors Over Questions Of Residual Monies ?
« Reply #19 on: October 27, 2010, 04:44:08 PM »
http://www.walcotandparks.btik.com/
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