An Open Letter to the National Park CEO Andy WILSON

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An Open Letter to the National Park CEO Andy WILSON

An Open Letter to the National Park CEO Andy WILSON

Mr Andy WILSON – Chief Executive Officer – North Yorkshire Moors National Park Authority


As you are aware, I emailed you on 8th March 2013 (followed by a brief addendum the following morning, 9th March 2013), expressing my concerns regarding the extraordinary managerial ineptitude that has had taken place, allowing the NYMNPA Planning Committee to convene short-handed to consider the most significant Planning Application in the Authority’s history.

I refer, of course, to the declarable personal prejudicial interests of the then-Chair of the Planning Committee, former SBC Councillor Tim LAWN.

Having received no response on the matters raised, I subsequently emailed you once more, on 12th March 2013, lodging a Formal Complaint against the Chair of the Planning Committee, former SBC Councillor Tim LAWN, as I believed him to stand in breach of Article 5 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, which, under the terms of the Localism Act 2005, may constitute a criminal offence:

  • “5. You must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person any advantage or disadvantage.”

I also asked you to draw the matter to the attention of the Major Fraud Investigation Team of the North Yorkshire Police. Please confirm that you have done so.

And I drew your attention to the national publicity (in Private Eye) surrounding the circumstances of the Planning Application process.

On 13th March 2013, I received the following one-line response from you:

  • “I acknowledge this and your previous two e-mails.  We will reply in due course.”

I have heard nothing since. That is rather unhelpful.

However, the following PDF document has now appeared on the NYMNPA website:

Entitled 25 March 2013 Arrangements for Consideration of the York Potash Planning Application by Members”, the document was created, I note with some interest, on 14th March 2013, at 3:48pm, by one V. TAYLOR.

This gives rise to the supposition that steps had been taken since my emails of 8th, 9th and 12th March 2013, to implement new arrangements for the Planning Application Meeting scheduled for 25th March 2013; specifically, to install Mr Jim BAILEY as Chair, and for a new Deputy Chair to be appointed.

Am I to believe that this information was unknown to you at 10:46am on 13th March 2013, when you sent your one-line prevaricative email to me?

Would you please explain to me your justification for withholding that information from me?

Moving on:

On Monday 18th March 2013, Scarborough Borough Council accepted the resignation of (until then) Councillor Tim LAWN.

Please correct me if I am mistaken in my interpretation that Mr Tim LAWN ceased to be a Member of the NYMNPA at the same moment that he ceased to be a Councillor; my expectation being that Mr Tim LAWN’s positions as a Member of NYMNPA and Chair of the NYMNPA Planning Committee, being contingent upon his delegation to NYMNPA on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, now stand vacant. Could you confirm my expectation, please?

The foregoing chronologically delineated sequence of events gives support to the information that I have received this morning that Mr Tim LAWN may not be the only NYMNPA Member, or member of staff, to hold a declarable personal prejudicial interest in York Potash Ltd, by dint either of share-holdings or land-holdings (and, therefore, mineral rights), or some other cause.

Would you please provide me with an exhaustive list of those NYMNPA members and/or members of staff who fall into that category?

I am sure you will agree that now, perhaps more than at any time in the history of NYMNPA, the highest possible standards of ethical rectitude and transparency must be maintained – and be seen to have been maintained.

I look forward to your exhaustive response to my concerns, raised in the best interests of NYMNPA and of the inhabitants of the entire region.

Yours, with very kind regards,


Related Reading:

Previous Real Whitby Potash articles

About the Author:

Website Admin for the Real Whitby Website. All authors of the Real Whitby Website have access to publish on the website. Individual authors will usually sign off their articles with their own names.


  1. Tim Thorne March 19, 2013 at 12:11 pm - Reply

    NYMNPA now shows a vacancy for a member from Scarborough Borough Council:

  2. DKP March 19, 2013 at 12:45 pm - Reply

    Could be a hard seat to fill. Is there a Borough Councillor who hasn’t got an interest in the potash?

  3. Young and Local March 19, 2013 at 5:08 pm - Reply

    So funny, how the older memebers of our locality, appear to focus onanything that stops orattempts to stop progress. We all want clarity and honesty in any process, but Tim Thorne is starting to grind on those of us, who may enjoy gainfull employment in the locality and our children, who too maybe able to stay in the area and find suitable employment, rather than have to serve Ice Cream to the reducing number of tourists.

    Mr Thorne I have a message for you and the like, start supporting the area and spend you time bringing prosperity to the area.

    In support of Mr Thorne comments, lets hope we have transparency on all local and national issues.

  4. James Irvine March 19, 2013 at 5:26 pm - Reply

    What a shameful waste of time this whole initiative is. The people behind this website and their negativity towards the proposed potash mine are a real disgrace.

    We live at a time where those outside the “baby boom club” are really struggling each week to maintain a reasonable standard of living, particularly in the North East. A smear campaign such as this (and it is nothing short of a smear campaign) is both unpatriotic and hugely selfish.

    You aren’t doing this for the good of the Moors (because you know very well the proposed plans are so much better than you could have imagined them to be), you are doing it because you have nothing better to do with your retired, pension-sapping lifestyles but latch on to this misguided “do-good” venture. In reality, you are doing just the opposite.

    We could have a real opportunity to revitalise the area and help to conserve the NYM at the same time, or we could just stick our heads in the sand while all our children run off to London or abroad in search of a better life.

    Truly saddening.

    • J Chapman March 19, 2013 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      It would be untrue to say that Nigel Ward is on a one-man crusade to stop the potash mine but he surely knows that he is in the tiny minority of objectors. At the 13 March public meeting, the announced tally of representations was 544 in favour and 54 against. Since then the total has doubled with only a handful of further objections. So around 95% are in favour of the mine.

      That number includes some people with a vested interest, including shareholders – some of whom don’t live in the area. But the tally of local representations is still 90% in favour of the mine.

      That doesn’t mean that the mine will satisfy the planners but it probably means that those seen to be waging a campaign of disinformation against the mine will be very unpopular – including any media which facilitate that disinformation.

      And I do think that an owner/publisher has a duty to check the veracity of what he commits to print.

      Sometimes, when comments are allowed, the disinformation is rectified in the small print at the bottom of an article. But that really isn’t enough. Some of the misleading and mischievous statements made by the accredited contributors to this organ should never have been given any oxygen in the first place.

  5. admin March 19, 2013 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    I rarely comment on these articles. However just to put a few records straight.

    1. I am “The person, behind this website”
    2. You do not know my personal views on the potash mine.
    3. I am almost 25 years off retirement.
    4. My son has an application form in for a job at the mine.
    5. This site is open to anyone who can knock up a decent article, so if you would like to write “something positive” then I’ll publish it so long as its not rant a personal judgment or an attack on any other person who has taken time out of their day to write something. Sadly too many people choose to rant at each other through the comments rather than submitting something constructive themeselves, yourself included so far.

    • James Irvine March 19, 2013 at 6:51 pm - Reply


      Then I apologise for misdirecting judgements at you. However, my comments and frustrations stand regarding the onslaught of propaganda that keeps coming out of this website concerning York Potash. It seems to have become a breeding ground for anti potash mine misinformation and smear from a small group of individuals who feel it is their right to spoil a great opportunity for the vast majority who support it for various reasons.

      The British Empire has never seemed such a distant memory. How did we ever manage it with such small mindedness?

  6. J Chapman March 19, 2013 at 5:50 pm - Reply

    I thought that Tim Lawn had declared his interest and excluded himself from the decision-making process. Are you implying some undisclosed malfeasance on his part? Perhaps not with any evidence or you would presumably have spelled it out.

    It is known of course that Mr Lawn owns land in the vicinity of the proposed mine and would stand to gain from the exploitation of any potash thereunder. Has he failed to disclose this?

    Instead of appointing yourself as judge, jury and executioner, why don’t you take your concerns and your evidence to the Serious Fraud Office and let them decide?—provide-information-in-confidence.aspx

    I’m all for full disclosure and transparency but I thought Mr Lawn had complied with the rules. Perhaps you are simply assuming that his resignation is a tacit admission of guilt? I fancy you will need more than that if you want to hound him.

    I find your high handed, self-righteous tone objectionable and the very suggestion in a public place that Mr Lawn has committed some crime worthy of investigation by the SFO could well be defamatory; so in your own interest you should consider reining yourself in.

    • J Chapman March 19, 2013 at 9:41 pm - Reply

      This article has now been edited since my comment above so do we now have Nigel Ward’s open letter to Andy Wilson or a subsequently edited version that was not in fact the letter sent to Mr Wilson?

      Is it standard practice for articles to be “silently” edited – ie without notification or explanation to readers that it has been changed or updated?

  7. admin March 20, 2013 at 12:02 am - Reply

    Looking at the timestamp on the article it was published at : Published on: Mar 19, 2013 @ 11:32. Since that time it has been edited, by user Real Whitby (Nigel) 3 times.

    19 March, 2013 @ 11:32 by Real Whitby
    19 March, 2013 @ 11:30 by Real Whitby
    19 March, 2013 @ 11:28 by Real Whitby

    These types of editing so close to publishing are often to tidy up presentation and spelling and to add featured images for the homepage. This is not unusual and I would expect to see this type of editing on most articles.

    Since Nigel did his edits it has been edited twice more by myself. Ive had a long standing discussion with Nigel about how he presents his articles. I do not like over use of of formatting in the sense of bold, italatics etc. I also dont like the use of certain types of html that appear in Nigels articles such as the (div> element (I think this arises when he writes the content in his own editor and then copies it to this site, he seems to import all the formatting across at the same time), because if they arent closed off properly they can completely throw out the whole site template. I also like sentences to be seperated by a line break to make very short paragraphs. This makes articles far easier for people to read (take a look at the bbc website and the style they employ).

    I also dont like the use of certain characters in articles such as ~~~~~~~~~~~~

    I think this makes a page look very untidy and again difficult to read.

    I often edit Nigels articles to take out over use of bold and italics and to remove the symbols he uses.

    This was the reason for my edits today.

    Unless you have direct evidence of any changes of content I think you can relax and be assured that the content of the article you now see is the same as the content originally posted, minus a few squiggly lines such as ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~.

  8. wendy March 20, 2013 at 7:56 am - Reply

    Ha-ha Tim, you a baby boomer, that must make me an old biddy.

    It always amuses me that many people are willing to sacrifice the future of our children and grandchildren and future generations for short term gain.

    As to this site being a joke. It maybe is to those who are happy to see their hard earned cash pilfered. Assuming that it is theirs in the first place and for those who were trusted to represent us with honesty and integrity to gain financially whilst wanting us silenced by what every means possible. That alone should be enough to set the alarm bells ringing.

    Thankfully there are those who are prepared to put time and effort into exposing such actions against the negativity of those who appear to not give a hoot about the injustice of the cuts being forced on many people and the long term effects many decisions will have.

    Keep up the good work Folks, either the leave them alone band will reap what they sow at the expense of all or those who seek will make the place a better place for all.

    I know which side gets my support.

  9. Young and Local March 20, 2013 at 12:09 pm - Reply

    I hope for the sake of those negative people who appear hell bent on stopping employment for current and future generations are able to live withemselves. IMO, all that is happening is more friction from us locals who want the planning asap, so we can have a chance of employment.

    You should all note that unemployment has again risen today, particularly in younger age groups.

    Get a grip and think about the future. (and not just for yourselves)The local businesses will aslo see more spend in the towns and villages throughout the year.

    Young, Local and fighting for all of our futures.

  10. wendy March 20, 2013 at 1:24 pm - Reply

    If you want work, clean toilets like many mothers did to support their children.

  11. Jamie Finch March 20, 2013 at 1:35 pm - Reply

    What an arrogant letter!

  12. Young and Local March 20, 2013 at 4:56 pm - Reply


    Just for the record,I have cleaned toliets in fast food outlets, offices and the likes, nothing it beneath me.

    Clearly your response, says excatly what is wrong with “Broken Britian”

    1. Are you unable to have children?
    2. No Grand children?
    3. Or is it not in my back yard?

    It matters not, it’s your view, which you are entitled too, but be assured that there are very few who share the same view and you have yet to come up with single good acceptable reason, why I the mine should be built.

    Come on let’s hear it?

    1. Your view will be spoilt?
    2. You may so lots of wealth people walking around town?
    3. Your land is just outside the area of mining?

    Your comment is a disgrace.

    • anarchyUK March 22, 2013 at 7:55 am - Reply

      So Holly, What do you think the purpose of a National Park is?
      Do you think National Parks should be abolished?
      Do you think?

  13. wendy March 21, 2013 at 7:23 pm - Reply

    Reword it without the guesswork and insults and I might just believe you are actually who you are portraying yourself as being. As to my comment being a disgrace, what does that make yours?

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