The investigations into corruption in North Yorkshire are now moving swiftly towards a climax. In true Real Whitby tradition, we now bring you the Tim Hick’s article originally scheduled for Monday one day earlier, in anticipation of a major breakthrough early next week – Nigel.
Councillor Kenyon and Councillor Miller’s failure to disclose their interests:
I recently wrote an open letter to every member of Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council and the North Yorkshire Police Authority, calling on every member of those august bodies to demand an explanation from Councillor Kenyon over the recent revelations in Real Whitby that she and her life partner Councillor Bill Miller deliberately omitted to declare their business interests in several companies, over many years, and her incredible explanation that Dales Timber Limited had submitted official documents to Companies House that were signed not by her, but by another – ie: forged – while she was the Company Secretary and her life partner Councillor Miller was a Director.
The response: Silence.
I also wrote to Councillor Kenyon (copied to all the aforementioned Councillors) assuring her that any rebuttal would be published in Real Whitby in full, so she would have a full and fair opportunity to put her side of things.
The response from Councillor Kenyon: Again Silence.
If neither Councillor Kenyon nor Councillor Miller is willing to make a statement and clear the air, why will no member of the Conservative Party, or the Monitoring Officers, or any of the above authorities provide a plausible explanation?
After all, if the allegations made in Real Whitby are false, then all she has to do is set down her side of things and send it in for publication. So why do Councillor Miller and Councillor Kenyon not take advantage of the offer freely and fairly given to publicise their defence and respond?
After this length of time, one can only conclude that the answer is that they have no response, because the allegations are true in their entirety.
Councillor Kenyon and Councillor Miller must surely resign.
The on-going Chief Police Officers expenses scandals:
For some time Real Whitby has been covering the ongoing scandals of various Chief Police Officers expenses, including Acting Chief Constable Tim Madgwick and Acting Deputy Chief Constable Sue Cross.
Again, neither ACC Madgwick nor ADCC Cross, nor the NYPA, will comment on these concerns – much less deny them – although they have a duty to the public to do so. Their response: Silence.
The Barbara Hofschröer Case:
Real Whitby has also taken up the deeply disturbing case of Mrs Barbara Hofschröer (aged eighty-four; disabled, incapacitated and seriously ill in Austria, where she is tended by her devoted son Peter), who it is alleged has been defrauded of her home by long-estranged relatives acting in concert with corrupt Police Officers and a corrupt Social Worker.
There has recently been a series of questions asked in Parliament and serious allegations have been made in the press concerning this case, primarily as a result of the investigation conducted by a team of concerned voluntary investigators, journalists, lawyers, Parliamentarians and an investigating forensic accountant.
However, as with the cases of Councillor Kenyon, Councillor Miller, ACC Madgwick and ADCC Cross, no one from City of York Council, or the North Yorkshire Police, or the Ombudsman, or the NYPA will comment on these very grave allegations of misconduct . They are all simply maintaining their right to – silence.
Further grounds for concern:
The above three lines of enquiry have revealed renewed cause for concern concerning Councillor Kenyon’s conduct in her position as Chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Authority. I regret to say that I can now reveal further evidence of misconduct in the North Yorkshire Police Authority:
- Councillor Kenyon and her NYPA Chief Executive Mr Jeremy Holderness have ignored all correspondence on the Hofschröer Police corruption case for almost one year (since the 19th of July 2011), although it is obvious there has been corruption within North Yorkshire Police in the handling of the case and they have a legal duty to investigate and respond to it.
- As already noted, North Yorkshire Police has been the subject of public criticisms and open allegations of corruption concerning the Hofschröer Case, in the press and in Parliament, that are deeply damaging to the already-tarnished reputation of North Yorkshire Police – once again without rebuttal or comment from the NYPA.
- Complaints and correspondence concerning the conduct of Chief Police Officers in the Hofschröer Case, submitted to the NYPA, by me and others, continue to be ignored – although Councillor Kenyon has a legal duty to ensure they, too, are investigated and a proper response provided.
- Complaints and correspondence concerning Chief Police Officers expenses submitted to the Chief Financial Officer Ms Joanna Carter by myself were also ignored.
- Complaints against Councillor Bill Baugh (Vice Chairman of the NYPA), made on the 20th of May (for suppressing my complaints against Councillor Kenyon and Mr Holderness) were also suppressed.
- It has recently transpired that Police Officers have been unlawfully deployed to eject, under threat of arrest, a member of the public from a NYPA public meeting. The grounds? Asking questions that were legitimate but embarrassing to Councillor Kenyon.
- NYPA Chief Executive Mr Jeremy Holderness lied to the press when he described the unauditable and unaccountable personal allowances paid to Chief Constable Maxwell and Deputy Chief Constable Briggs as being:
“not unfamiliar in policing, or indeed many other avenues of business, and they are seen to be quite reasonable in the circumstances of employment of senior professionals”
when in fact they were illegal. I have asked him to name other organisations that allowed this corrupt practice and he has not been able to quote one single example. Only silence.
When, on the 6th of April 2012, I complained to the NYPA that Councillor Kenyon had not declared her interests fully on the NYPA Register of Interests (the same allegation exposed publicly on Real Whitby some time later), my complaint was ignored. Councillor Kenyon has a legal duty to ensure that, like all public complaints, my complaint was fully and impartially investigated and a proper response provided. She has failed in that duty, too.
And now, for the first time, the North Yorkshire Police has admitted serious misconduct by Councillor Kenyon.
I can reveal that, following the article in Real Whitby, the NYPA received a complaint from a member of the public about Councillor Kenyon withholding her interest in Whitby Regatta Limited from her Registers of Interests from its formation on 25th July 2011 onwards.
In a response dated the 5th of July 2012, Mr Holderness stated:
“Whitby Regatta Limited had the same purpose as the former Whitby Regatta Charity”.
I can and do confirm this is a complete and blatant falsehood.
The original Whitby Regatta’s objective was to run the Whitby Regatta for four days once a year.
The new Whitby Regatta Limited’s registered objectives are:
- “To promote hold arrange take part in yachting and other marine activities events meetings trials competitions and the like; to do all such things as may be deemed expedient for the promotion of such sports and pastimes to establish maintain promote and operate an organisation club school or academy yachting and yacht racing or like events and to protect advance and further the interests of and provide facilities for yachtsmen and to provide information advice and assistance on or in all matters incidental to or affecting the use of yachts and marine craft and the laws and regulations appertaining thereto. To carry on all or any of the businesses of promoters organisers conductors of races competitions sporting and other entertainments and enterprises of every description (whether or not connected to yachting) proprietors and operators of marinas moorings slipways causeways landing stages boat house foreshore rights and wet and dry docks and repair yards operators and proprietors of caravan and camping sites operators of markets auctions and sales lock-up garages motorcycle trailer and car parks and all accommodation and conveniences required in connection therewith cafe restaurant and hotel and motel proprietors refreshment caterers and contractors and things of all kinds necessary or useful for carrying on the foregoing businesses or any of them or likely to be required by customers of or persons having dealings with the Company”).
Please note that the words “Whitby Regatta” do not appear anywhere in the new Limited Company’s stated objectives. It is thus patently obvious that Councillor Kenyon has misled the Standards investigation on a material point of fact.
Mr Holderness has also asserted that none of the Directors derive any financial gain from their association with the company, but he has conveniently ignored the fact that the new company makes specific provision for this to occur in the future:
- “Nothing … prevents any payment in good faith by the Company of reasonable remuneration to any member who is an officer or employee of the Company or who otherwise provides any services to the Company”.
Mr Jeremy Holderness confirmed that Councillor Kenyon had not registered her interest until the 2nd of July 2012, thereby conceding that Councillor Kenyon failed almosy a year to declare her interests from the outset, as she was required to do by law, and had only registered it after its existence had been revealed to the NYPA by Real Whitby, thus vindicating the concerns raised by Nigel Ward. Holderness has been unable to provide any explanation for Councillor Kenyon’s failure to disclose her interests.
However, whilst admitting that Councillor Kenyon, as Chairman of the NYPA, had breached the Code of Conduct by not declaring her interest (thereby committing a criminal offence), he described this as merely a
- “very minor infraction of the Code of Conduct which does not require further investigation or any further action”.
Under the Localism Act 2011 failure by a Councillor to register his or her interests in the Register of Interests is indeed a criminal offence.
Given that this criminal offence has now been admitted – coupled with Councillor Kenyon and Councillor Miller’s refusal to comment on the related allegations of criminal offences surrounding Dales Timber Limited and Belvedere Computers Inc – the conclusion is inescapable that – subject to their response (if any) – these allegations of further criminal offences are also accurate and well founded.
Obviously we all respect the right of anyone who may fear prosecution to maintain their right to silence. But not when they are in public office, elected on a platform of openness and a commitment to opposing corruption. That is both hypocritical and immoral.
As I write, Councillor Kenyon remains Chairman of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, having admitted one allegation of a criminal offence and maintaining her right to silence in respect of many others. This is incredible and flies in the face of all accepted standards of conduct for public servants.
So there it is. The North Yorkshire Police Authority (whose remit it is to overview the North Yorkshire Police, is led by a person who commits criminal offences – but Mr Holderness considers this is a ‘minor’ infraction.
Clearly, Councillor Kenyon and Mr Holderness have no concept of leadership by example.
I think it worth noting at this point that in his Open letter dated 21st of May 2012, to Mr Julian Smith MP, Mr Holderness stated:
- “As always my members would be pleased to meet with you, or anyone, to discuss these and any other issues.”
So I took him at his word and emailed Councillor Carl Les of the Police Authority asking for such a meeting. The response? Yes, you guessed it: Silence.
What sort of organisation is it that issues a public challenge like that and then, when it is taken up, just funks it and states that the Chairman of the Police Authority committing a criminal offence is only a ‘minor’ infraction?
All complaints MUST, by law, be investigated in strict compliance with official procedures. They cannot be ignored, minimised, perverted or dismissed on an ad hoc basis for no better reason than that the Authority concerned does not want to address misconduct by its own personnel.
Our Police Force cannot become politicised or used to prevent legitimate public debate, nor the legitimate scrutiny of an elected official, by citizens and journalists.
“Fiat justitia ruat caelum”
“Let justice be done though the heavens fall”
(Lucius Calpurnius Piso Caesoninus)
The conclusion is inescapable. NYPA will not impartially investigate any complaint against any Chief Police Officer or any of its Members, or take any action to address misconduct. To quote the IPCC referring to the Chief Officers expenses scandal:
- “It is utterly unacceptable that more than £30,000 of public funds can be handed to an officer without any means to audit how that money is used. Although the police authority stipulated what the money was to be used for, they did not check. …… The police authority’s remit is to scrutinise the expenditure of a police force and hold the senior officers to account. It is utterly unacceptable therefore that more than £30,000 of public funds can be handed to an officer without any means to audit how that money is used.”
The honourable course of action for Councillor Kenyon is clear.
COMING NEXT: MORE GRAVE REVELATIONS TEMPORARILY WITHELD FOR LEGAL REASONS.