Ask your councillor - Issue 2

1.  Are you in favour of the plan to demolish Saint Luke's School and move the library from Victoria Hall to a new purpose built building?
2. Should dogs be kept on leads in public spaces such as parks?
3. Do you agree with David Gale (UKIP candidate for Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner) that people in public office should make a public declaration of membership of secret societies such as the Freemasons to create "a spirit of openness and transparency"?

Answers from
High Peak Borough Council

Councillor Colin Peter Waude
Party : Labour
Ward : Howard Town
1. The simple answer is no. The money should be used to improve and maintain our iconic existing facility. This is what the people of the Glossop want, and have been campaigning for. The current Derbyshire County Council administration is clearly out of touch with residents on this issue.
2. The sensible approach is to gather data, a Risk Assessment if you will. HPBC are working with dog owners over the next twelve months to come to a resolution on this issue. There is obviously some concern over dogs running free, but whether that concern is justified must be backed by hard evidence, not anecdote.
3. I wholeheartedly agree with Mr Gale on this issue.

Councillor Jean Wharmby
Party : Conservative
Ward : Dinting
1. [see letter to editor]

Councillor Anthony McKeown
Party : Labour
Ward : Gamesley
  No, I'm not in favour of this latest proposal to replace the library, partly as I'm not sure it’s a good use of the money to move it 150 yards or so down the road when the funding could be better used to improve facilities in Victoria Hall and by doing so help safeguard this heritage asset, but also because as I flagged up on my blog, back in September 2011 when the last set of proposals to move the library were raised the county refused to consult with local people on the proposals then as they viewed it as a significant improvement to the a statutory service and seem to refusing to consult with local people now.
2. I have no strong personal view either way on this, officers came forward with proposals which could go out for public consultation, which were initially supported by members, but on the basis of the concerns raised by locals, including the Good Glossop Dogs Group, I'm happy to support the recommendation from our community select committee to ensure all appropriate issues are logged over the next 12 months, and review if there is a problem that a dog on a lead order could tackle, whilst at the same time working with the various 'dog' groups out there to jointly tackle any issues of concern within our parks.
3. The Labour Party has required for many years that any of our candidates going forward for public office make a declaration about any groups or societies (secret or otherwise) that they are members of, so it's nothing new to make such a dec

Councillor John Haken
Party : Conservative
Ward : Simmondley
1. I would of liked to of seen public consultation on the plans to improve the library service sooner. Having said that I am pleased to read that DCC are committing extra resources to the library service in Glossop, increasing both the choice of books and the scope of interactive learning. This is in stark contrast to other Councils reductions in library provision
 One benefit for whichever group takes over Victoria Hall will be that, with the library moved,the major refurbishment needed at the hall can go ahead without the problem of having the library in the same building whilst noise and dust are everywhere.
2. The dog control order proposals came from officers earlier this year. Councillors unanimously supported plans to double the fine on those few dog owners who refuse to clean up after their dogs. The dogs on leads issue caused a heated debate and myself and two other Councillors refused to support it.
 When these unproven plans were made public there was a strong reaction from dog owners across the High Peak. Here in Glossop the Glossop Good Dogs Group was formed and lobbied the councillors with carefully researched facts and figures. Their campaign was a refreshing example of Councillors accepting public opinion.
3. Whilst no doubt well meant, Mr Gale's suggestion of a declaration would not work. Organisations such as the Masons and Trade Unions may be membership only and private but they are not secret. Organisations that support obscure religious beliefs, different sexual preferences or political ideology may be secret but are not illegal nor a threat to anybody. Membership of organisations such as these however could leave people open to ridicule or attack. People have a right to free association and belief, Mr Gale's suggestion could restrict the ability of some people from standing for public office. Finally anybody who really is a member of a secret or illegal organisation is hardly likely to admit to such membership.

Councillor Victoria Mann
Party : Labour
Ward : Hadfield North
1. I do not support the plan to demolish St Luke's school and move the library. Glossop is a town with a fantastic heritage, which we should be saving for future generations. Instead of demolishing a building, spending 2 million pounds on refurbishment of one of Glossop's existing buildings would provide a new home for the library, whilst supporting the town's architectural legacy.
2.   The issue of dogs on leads is an emotive one and as Councillors are elected to represent everyone in the High Peak, it is important to balance the needs of everyone who enjoys our parks. As such I support the decision to work with Glossop Good Dogs and re-consider the issue after 12 months.
3. I absolutely agree that any person standing for public office should make a declaration of membership of societies, secret or otherwise. In addition, there is a case that any links to industry should be declared to enable the electorate to make an informed decision about their preferred candidate.

Councillor Godfrey Claff
Party : Labour
Ward : Howard Town
 1. NO I do not think St Lukes should be demolished to provide a new library. There is a perfectly good building 100 yards up the road which is an important part of Glossop's heritage. Why would you not spend the money improving facilities in that building and so also safeguard that heritage. The plans for the new library show that facilities and space will be a reduction on what already exists in Victoria Hall; how does that make any sense.
2. There are parts of the dog order proposals that everyone supports. In particular, no one has so far suggested that dogs should be allowed to foul our pavements and leisure spaces; so that section of the proposals will remain. However, the section relating to dogs on leads in parks needs testing with better evidence than the Council currently has. It is clear that there are a number of people who would be distressed if they could not exercise their dogs freely in parks and a balanced decision needs to be taken weighing the potential danger to residents, particularly children, and the enjoyment people get from exercising their dogs in parks. It is  for that reason that the Community Select Committee decided last week to withdraw the dogs on leads section of the proposals and spend twelve months to see if reports  of attacks by dogs in parks emerged to support such a move. In the meantime the Council will work with Glossop Good Dogs group and any other such groups in the Borough to see how the Council could tackle any nuisance or danger caused by dogs in public places. This balances the freedom of residents with a duty the Council has to protect residents.
3. Yes! In an open democracy the public have a right to know what networks and connections may influence decisions made by their representatives.

Councillor Pat Jenner
Party : Labour
Ward : Tintwistle
1.I am not in favour of demolishing a perfectly good building and leave a building that is perfectly placed in Glossop that needs a bit of T.L.C. which wouldn't cost  £2 million  and would serve the community very well for many years to come. if the present Victoria Hall was in a derelict state then it maybe a different matter.  Why not bring both buildings up to standard, which still,  in my opinion,  wouldn't cost £2 million and let the community use the Saint Luke's School  and keep Victoria Hall as the Library?
2. In my opinion Some dogs need to be kept on leads if that is the only way they can be kept under control, the operative word is  ''under control'' . I have seen some dogs that are very well behaved at the command of the owners, we should do some more work with good dog groups as it is a pleasure to walk with ones dog,  as a form of relaxation in the park, after a stressful day at work. no I don't agree that all dogs should be kept on a lead in the park's  but,  in some public spaces  and children's play areas there maybe a need . Lets talk and educate ourselves before we leap.
3. No. I don't agree with David Gale. I have always held this opinion that people in the public eye should be as open and transparent as possible, if this means making it public that they are members of secret societies , or any other organisations, such as, trade unions or political parties or other affiliations, governing Bodies etc they should declare them. I am a member of the Labour Party,  Glossop Labour Club, Unison, G.M.B. Union etc.  I am the present Mayor of the High Peak and proudly represent the Borough. So you see David Bale agrees with ME.  Not I with him.  

Councillor Graham Oakley
Party : Labour
Ward : Whitfield
 1. I am not in favour of £2 million being spent on a new library in the old St Lukes building. I am not aware of a groundswell of complaints about the library we have. The reverse appears to be the case - many people love the building it is in. Yes, it probably needs some money spending on it to enable it to cope with the changing demands of the 21st century - but why move the library a few yards down the road? I might have been more likely to support a move into one of our town centre buildings.
2. Dogs on leads is a difficult issue. As a councillor I get more complaints about dog fouling than any other matter. Most dog owners are responsible and clear up. However there remains a hardcore of owners happy to foul the streets, playing fields, parks, even playgrounds, though probably not outside their own front doors. I believe that if a dog is on a lead, the owner is more likely to pick up. But I have been persuaded that we would be penalizing responsible dog owners by making lead restrictions so a year to collect information and work with Dog Groups seems like a way forward I am willing to support.
3. As for declaring membership of 'secret societies', I am totally in favour of complete openess. There are still too many undisclosed interests at work in our society - for instance ministers are making important decisions every day after being influenced by shady lobbying firms buzzing around the Houses of Parliament.

Councillor Julie Ann McCabe
Party : Conservative
Ward : Simmondley

Councillor Robert McKeown
Party : Labour
Ward : Hadfield South
 1. No I'm not in favour of moving the library out of Victoria Hall, especially for this proposal which seeks to shift the library just down the road.
2. The only place I would say this is required would be cemeteries, but in most of our parks and other open spaces there should be enough space for everyone to enjoy them, and by working with local dog groups I would hope the review in 12 months time will say no change is needed.
3. Yes I agree with such a declaration.

Councillor Chris Webster
Party : Independent
Ward : Old Glossop
1.  If DCC have got £2 million to spend on demolishing St Lukes building and constructing a new building to house the Library, then it naturally follows that we should ask just what will the cost be to DCC of actually leaving the library where it is and taking control of the whole of the Victoria Hall and reopening the upstairs as a performing arts centre of excellence.
2. The second question is a little more difficult. Public spaces such as parks also have dedicated play areas for children and as such, I support a 'no dogs' policy in these areas. Some areas of public space have areas where it will be of benefit to draft an order to keep dogs on a lead. Such areas are the sensory gardens in Manor Park and the Rose Gardens. The idea of having dogs on a lead in all public spaces is not a policy that I support.
3. The third question must be answered with a question. Would Mr Gale ask the same question to Admiral Lord Nelson, or to Sir Donald Campbell, Dr TJ Barnardo, Sir Winston Churchill, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, Mozart,  RF Scott of the Antarctic, Ernest Shackleton, Sir Billy Butlin, Sir Christopher Wren, Captain Webb, Sir Joseph Banks, John Glenn, Buzz Aldridge, Mark Twain or George Washington.  The list goes on and is certainly not a secret list. The Freemasons give more to Charity than any other institution other than the National Lottery. They provide free university places to students who otherwise could not afford the fees, they support the National College of Surgeons as well as thousands of other charities. The Freemasons are not a secret society, they are a society with secrets and these secrets are easily accessible on the Internet. If Mr Gale seems to feel this is a matter for scrutiny, The Freemasons will be more than willing to take part. I fear Mr Gale may find the role of Derbyshire Police and Crime Commissioner has more to do with his own ability than wondering who does what for a hobby and charitable causes. I have never made a secret that I donate to Masonic Charities and it is down on my declaration of interests. I am also well aware that several Freemasons Lodges have made donations to the memorial funds for the two Police Officers who tragically lost their lives recently in Mottram.

Councillor Ellie Wilcox
Party : Labour
Ward : Padfield
1. I'm not in favour of the current library being moved a hundred or so metres away into a new building, as I don't think that it serves any particular strategic objective - if they are using the old St Lukes site, I don't see why the County Council couldn't have spent the money on improving the existing library, in a building that is loved by Glossop people.  I'm not opposed to change if it better meets the needs of the public, however Derbyshire County Council's lack of engagement with Glossopdale people over the issue has been disappointing.   Geographically, if the new site had been proposed for the centre of Glossop (using an existing building to house it in), I think that would have made accessibility far easier, and would have made the library a central meeting point within the town - encouraging a higher footfall.  As part of the bigger picture, I do think that we need to look at how the public's perception of the 'local library' has changed within a 21st century context, in order for services to be appropriately adapted, ensuring the future sustainabililty of a Glossop library.
2. In relation to dogs in parks, this is a difficult issue. We need to improve our monitoring of attacks in order to support any plans to keep dogs on leads within our parks (a recent decision made by the Community Select Committee will focus on this).   I understand that dog owners feel distressed by moves to keep their dogs on leads within park areas, however, there also needs to be a recognition that it's frightening to have dogs running towards people and jumping up (even if they're just playing) - especially in areas where children play.  The Glossop Good Dogs Group should offer plenty of insight into how to tackle nuisance behaviour, and hopefully we will be able to adopt a balanced policy.
3. Absolutely 100%.  Democracy is all about transparency - people should know about the connections you may have that could influence your decision making.

Councillor Caitlin Bisknell (Council Leader)
Party : Labour
Ward : Stone Bench
1. No - It makes no sense at all, especially when council finances are being cut year on year. It would be much better to use the money to refurbish the existing building and to work with local groups and the borough council to ensure the future for Victoria Hall. With the improvements in technology, especially Internet access, I see no reason why the library should not remain in Victoria Hall. I am disappointed that Derbyshire County Council did not take the opportunity to attend the Open Halls consultation organised by the borough council earlier this year - thereby missing out on the opportunity to work together with us and other groups in the town to find a holistic solution for all Glossop's halls.
2. There is clearly a balance to be struck between the rights of the non-dog owning public and the dog owning public. I think the decision to consult with residents was the correct one - and I am hopeful that by working with the Glossop Good Dogs Group and others a solution to which everyone can agree will be found.
3. Yes absolutely.  In fact all Labour candidates are already required to make such declarations before being selected as candidates.

Councillor Garry Lawrence Parvin
Party : Labour
Ward : Old Glossop
1. Personally I am not.  But there should be consultation to determine the views of the citizens  of Glossop.  The Open Halls consultation offered this opportunity but was not taken by DCC.
2. When I was first asked this question at the Community Select Committee I said yes.  This  was  because  residents had highlighted their concerns about dogs being off the lead and concerns for young children.  But when a disabled resident explained that the introduction of dog control orders would mean that she would be unable to walk her dog and the lack of reported evidence then clearly the council was not being proportionate to order dogs on leads in a large part of Manor and Howard Parks.  I have met with Glossop Good Dogs and Clean Up Glossop and it is clear that the council should work hand in hand with these groups to try to improve the behaviour of a small minority of dog owners before looking to go down the line of control orders.  To this end I was pleased that the Community Select Committee resolved that 1. Officers should work with groups such as Glossop Good Dogs and Clean Up Glossop and 2.  that the committee review the situation in a years time.
3. David Gale is the UKIP Police and Crime Commissioner candidate for Derbyshire.  Although I would disagree with most of UKIP's manifesto. I would agree that on this issue that people in public office should make such public declarations.  Although,  I find myself asking why  has he made such a statement?

Councillor Edward Siddall
Party : Labour
Ward : Hadfield South
1. I don't agree with the plan to demolish Saint Luke's school and move the library from Victoria Hall to a new purpose-built building.
2. I voted against dogs on leads at July’s Community select.
3. People should be open and honest about what groups they are members of.

Councillor George David Wharmby
Party : Conservative
Ward : St. Johns
1. [see letter to editor]

Answers from
Derbyshire County Council

Jean Wharmby
Conservative, Glossop South
1. [see letter to editor]

George Wharmby
Conservative, Glossop North and Rural
1. [see letter to editor]

Dave Wilcox
Labour, Etherow
1. If there was an appropriate town centre location, with parking, then I could support a move. Unfortunately, the proposal to move the library 100 yards seems to me to be a mistake. It would be preferable if the Borough and County Councils had a meaningful dialogue about the future use of the Victoria Hall and jointly consulted the people of Glossopdale on the possibilities.
2. In an ideal world, everyone would keep their dog under control and carry a plastic bag to collect faeces. Most responsible dog owners do both. For those who don't you have to make some rules, but because you are seeking to regulate everyone, there will be a vociferous set of people who will object.You can't win, but you have to act. Personally I'd put dog toilets in fenced areas in parks and require dogs to be on leads at other times.
3. People I represent in Tintwistle, Hadfield and Gamesley are more interested in sleeping soundly and securely in their beds at night in the knowledge their area is well policed. The question of freemasons openly declaring their lodge membership was sorted years ago. Value for money responsive policing delivered by teams of community based employees is what we need.

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