Dear Yarm Town Council,

It has recently been stated by Yarm Residents' Association (the controlling group on Yarm Town Council) that £25,000 was saved from the YTC budget in financial year 2015/16 and transferred to reserves to be used for the Town Hall restoration.

Please would you provide the following:

1. A full schedule of what expenditure was cut to achieve savings of £25,000.

2. A detailed YTC balance sheet as at 31/03/2015 or the closest year end to that.

3. A detailed YTC balance sheet as at 31/03/2016 or the closest year end to that.

4. A copy of the approved and signed minutes of YTC which details the transfer of £25,000 into reserves to be spent on the Town Hall.

Yours faithfully,

Allan Mitchell

Sent request to Yarm Town Council again, using a new contact address.

Sent request to Yarm Town Council again, using a new contact address.

Richard Taylor left an annotation ()

We re-sent the request following a request to do so from a councillor claiming to have access to the council's email account who said they couldn't find the email there.

--

WhatDoTheyKnow.com volunteer

Allan Mitchell left an annotation ()

I'm told by a Yarm Town Councillor that their list of correspondence received shows my FOI request as having been received on 23 May.

I am therefore at a loss to understand what motive there could be for another councillor with access to Yarm Town Council's e-mail account to extend the time they have available to reply by claiming the request could not be traced.

Carolyn Casey left an annotation ()

The request was picked up from a personal account. The email was required in order to proide a formal response from the council. No extension is required. Once the accounts have been adopted at the YTC meeting on 14 June a response will be provided.

Allan Mitchell left an annotation ()

Why are official e-mails to Yarm Town Council being diverted to a personal e-mail account? What is going on?

In any case, why should a valid FOI request be delayed because of such incompetence?

And why did a Yarm Town Councillor state there was no trace of my FOI request when it was recorded as having been received?

Would you like to borrow a shovel?

Carolyn Casey left an annotation ()

An email was NOT diverted from a YTC account to a personal account. I have a personal What Do They Know account which is set up to notify me when requests are made to Stockton Borough Council and Yarm Town Council. When notification of this request came in I circulated an email to all town councillors and the Town Clerk about it. There have been no requests since the former Town Clerk left the Town Council's employment in May 2015 and no passwords were handed over.

Thanks to the help of the administrators of this site we are now in a position to respond. However 2015/2016 statement of accounts will not be valid until it has been presented to the Town Council on 14 June. After this meeting has taken place the information will be provided to you within the timeframe required by the freedom of information act, ie within20 working days of your request (not the extended deadline given here)

sandra mcleavy left an annotation ()

Hi Sandra

Many thanks for taking the trouble to let us know that townclerk@yarmtc.org is now not to be used as a contact email address for Freedom of Information requests.

You give Yarm Town Hall as a temporary contact point. Could you please reply to this email with the email address?

Kind regards

Peter

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On 23 May 2016 at 11:43, sandra mcleavy <do-not-reply-whatdotheyknow.com> wrote:
hi
I am a parish councillor on yarm town council, we have received a foi but the account we have is an old one and the clerk who set it up have left without giving us the password. I have reported foi suggesting all foi's can be sent to town hall until a new account is set up
regards
Cllr Mcleavy

sandra mcleavy left an annotation ()

Date: Mon, 23 May 2016 23:28:01 +0100
Subject: Re: Yarm town council account
From: team@whatdotheyknow.com

CC: team@whatdotheyknow.com; cllrcasey

Hi Sandra

Many thanks for today's emails.

I am about to forward to your email address a Freedom of Information request 'Movements in reserves' from one of our users. It is unlikely you will receive any other requests through our website before the password is reset as the last one the council received was almost two years ago.

No doubt Yarm Town Council will respond after townclerk@yarmtc.org is up and running. When it is, please let us know and we will change the contact email address back again.

Thanks again.

Kind regards

Peter

sandra mcleavy left an annotation ()

Lyn Casey 08/06/2016 Flag this message
To: WhatDoTheyKnow Support Cc: sandra mcleavy

I have just checked the Town Clerk’s email account and cannot find the email. Would it be possible to re send it to us so that we can respond.

Regards
Lyn Casey

From: WhatDoTheyKnow Support
Sent: 07 June 2016 22:52
To: Lyn Casey
Cc: sandra mcleavy
Subject: Re: Yarm town council account

Cllr Casey,

The screenshot you've attached shows that we list Yarm Town Council on
our service and enable people to make requests for information to the
council.

Responding to requests does not require an account with us, the
council can just reply to an email containing the request just as it
does with any other email.

Regards,

--
Richard

WhatDoTheyKnow.com Volunteer Support Team

www.WhatDoTheyKnow.com is run by mySociety
Project of a registered charity
Donate to help us maintain this site: www.mysociety.org/donate/

On 7 June 2016 at 22:45, Lyn Casey <cllrcasey
> Should have said, doesn't the attached mean we have an account?
>
>
>
> Regards
> Lyn Casey
> Chairman of Yarm Town Council
>
>> On 7 Jun 2016, at 22:40, Lyn Casey <cllrcasey
>>
>> Sorry I am struggling with this. A notification of a FOI request came into the town clerks email address from What Do They Know. He has no knowledge of a password (thought it had been set up by the previous town clerk who has answered requests in the past) He has given me access to his email account and I have tried the "forgotten password" button but to no avail. How can we respond without an account?
>>
>> Regards
>>
>> Lyn Casey
>> Chairman of Yarm Town Council

sandra mcleavy left an annotation ()

I have posted a trail of our emails trying to gain access to our account

Allan Mitchell left an annotation ()

What a mess Yarm Town Council is in. Having lost their third(?) Town Clerk since May 2015 and now seemingly unable to access e-mails, one wonders whether the Council is in any way competent to run its business.

Meanwhile I still await copies of minutes approving the transfer of £25,000 into Town Hall Regeneration reserves which YRA claimed on 21 May 2016 had already been approved. Interesting, bearing in mind the accounts have still not been presented to Council.

Town Clerk, Yarm Town Council

2 Attachments

Dear Mr Mitchell

Following Yarm Town Council’s approval of the 2015/2016 accounts at its
meeting last night (Tuesday 14 June) I am now able to provide you with the
information you requested. However, I must caution you that all figures
relating to 2015/16 are subject to audit (external audit scheduled to
commence 11 July).

A full schedule of what expenditure was cut to achieve savings of £25,000

Attached is a line by line comparison of outturn to the budget set 10
February 2015 by the pre-election council.

A detailed YTC balance sheet as at 31/03/2015 or the closest year end to
that

There are 2014/2015 figures included in the statement of accounts for
2015/2016 for comparison purposes. However, if you wish to look at
accounts for previous years’, accounts from 2010 to 2015 are available on
the Yarm Town Council website [1]http://www.yarmtc.org/#!blank/wrgvw

A detailed YTC balance sheet as at 31/03/2016 or the closest year end to
that

Attached is a copy of the statement of accounts for 2015/2016 together
with the covering report that went to Yarm Town Council 14 June

A copy of the approved and signed minutes of YTC which details the
transfer of £25,000 into reserves to be spent on the Town Hall

A decision was made at the Town Council meeting on 8 March 2016 that the
year’s underspend be placed into the Town Hall Refurbishment Fund (minute
reference 263.1). As this was before year end no specific figure was
agreed, however the accounts were made up in line with this decision.
Minutes can be found on the Yarm Town Council website
[2]http://www.yarmtc.org/#!archive/czpw

Yours Sincerely

Lyn Casey

Chairman of Yarm Town Council

show quoted sections

Allan Mitchell left an annotation ()

Yarm Residents Association (YRA) publicly announced on 21 May 2016 that a sum of £25,000 had been saved and that Yarm Town Council (YTC) had agreed that this sum be transferred to the Town Hall Restoration Fund.

My FOI request was for a copy of the minutes showing that it had been agreed to transfer identified savings of £25,000 into reserves.

The answer to my FOI request clearly demonstrates that this announcement was a falsehood as the latest accounts have only now just been agreed, therefore no decision could have been made by 21 May 2016. No minutes detailing YTC passing a motion to transfer £25,000 into reserves even existed at the date of the YRA statement, as YTC's Chair now confirms.

I wonder if the YRA Chair of Yarm Town Council would agree that publishing a false and misleading statement, claiming a decision had been made by YTC which had not been made, is reprehensible, dishonest, and a breach of the Nolan Principles of public office.

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