Councillor Tom Fox – gone to ground?

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Councillor Tom Fox – gone to ground?

Councillor Tom FOX – gone to ground?

An ‘In My View’ article – by Nigel Ward; summarising the burgeoning confidence-crisis in the Leadership of Scarborough Borough Councillor Tom FOX, and charting the events that are driving it. (Revised article, following overt threat of legal action).

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IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

Scarborough Borough Councillor Leader Councillor Tom FOX has made a number of featured appearances on Real Whitby in recent months, none of them in the least to his credit.

Regular readers will remember Tim Thorne’s superb deconstruction of the Leader’s creative arithmetic in regard to his spurious justification of the “I-Pad’s for Councillors” initiative:

  1. “The £53K Question”
  2. “The True Cost of I-Pads”
  3. “I-Pads for SBC”

That is an unfinished investigation, but it is clear that the numbers do not stack up by a very wide margin.

Tim Thorne also covered the Leader’s deeply flawed, misguided and (finally) abortive plan to sell the St Nicholas Strasse Town Hall, and the Futurist Theatre still hangs in the balance:

  1. “Town Hall For Sale”
  2. “Assets of SBC”
  3. “How to waste £500,000”

And Tim Thorne played a huge rôle in the infamous DOUBLE-DIPPING investigation – a story with two or three riveting chapters waiting to be told.

One of Tim Thorne’s best coups was his exchange with Councillor Tom FOX during a BBC Radio York ‘live’ interview. Tim caught him fair and square stretching the truth well beyond breaking-point – well, lying his head off, actually – which I covered in detail in my article “Top SBC Councillor out-FOXed – or FOX outed”.

Then Tim Thorne blasted him again with both (metaphorical) barrels in his exposé of Councillor Tom FOX’s own ‘double-dip’ with wife (and former Councillor) Ros FOX:

  1. “SBC Leader Tom Fox Under Fire”
  1. “New Media and Local Politics”

This is old news, of course. But a gentle reminder of the precursors often serves to provide context to an emergent issue.

So let us not forget that all this has all been accompanied, albeit conspicuously silently, by Councillor Tom FOX’s refusal to be drawn on a series of five questions that I have put to him over the past six months, in the Public Interest:

  1. “Are you currently satisfied with your appointment of the present Portfolio Holder for Finance, Procurement and Legal?”
  1. Are you currently satisfied with your appointment of the present Portfolio Holder Housing, Property Maintenance, Health and Sustainability?”
  1. “Is it your intention to retract remarks made by you regarding your Allowances in a recent Radio York ‘live’ interview?”
  1. “In the light of the somewhat belated resignation of the Chief Whip, the Rt.Hon. Andrew MITCHELL MP, in consequence of his unacceptable disrespect in addressing a policeman as a ‘pleb’, do you anticipate that your Portfolio Holder for Holder Housing, Property Maintenance, Health and Sustainability will do the honourable thing?”
  1. “Would the Leader confirm or deny that, as a former ranking Police Officer in Scarborough, and as long-serving leading Councillor since that time, he was aware that elements within the Authorities were cognisant of concerns of the gravest nature in respect of the activities of Sir Jimmy Savile, yet nevertheless played a leading role in the lavish civic honours bestowed upon a man now widely reviled as the worst and most degenerate sexual predator in the Borough’s history?”

No response. Not one word. He has ducked them all.

These questions are, of course, expressed in a precise, even clinical, form of words for very important reasons; to ensure that only a truthful answer will bear close inspection. Consequently, Councillor Tom FOX has more likely than not been advised to seek refuge in his right silence – notwithstanding the appalling impression that that conveys.

But a colleague of mine has recently offered me a translation into plain English, which he claims captures the nitty-gritty, and which I hope will provide clarity for our readers. Please compare with the (numbered) originals, above:

  1. “Aren’t you worried that the Jane KENYON revelations will terminally tarnish your image?”
  1. “Aren’t you worried that your mate Bill CHATT’s rash and deeply offensive email to Tim Hick’s makes your Cabinet come over like a bunch of illiterate thugs?”
  1. “How can you justify getting caught lying on ‘live’ radio?”
  1. “Andrew MILLER MP, the Government Chief Whip, had to resign for allegedly saying the word ‘pleb’ – why should CHATT get away Scot-free with actually writing far, far worse?”
  1. “Own up, Tom. Everyone in Scarborough knows that every copper in Scarborough throughout the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s was knew what mega-perv Savile was rumoured to be up to – and you expect us to believe that you alone completely missed out on the talk of the town?

But regardless of the form of words, the fact is that Councillor Tom FOX simply does not believe that such an important and influential man as himself owes any measure of accountability to the electorate at all.

Now, I have a problem with people who concede in public that all men are born equal – yet privately believe that some (themselves, in particular) must rise, as of right, to the top of the great human dung-heap of mediocrity in virtue of their innate and immutable superiority.

That would be offensive enough in the case of a man of exceptional intellect, boundless imagination and exemplary moral rectitude.

In my view, Councillor Tom FOX, judging from our careful examination of his record, falls a long, long way short of that.

No doubt he is a splendid fellow ‘on stage’ at the Leeds Arms – at least in his own estimation – but the facts remain:

  • He is a ‘double-dipper’.
  • He is a proven liar.
  • He is, as Leader of the Council, an abject failure whose lamentable capacity for good judgement has proved unequal to the demands of his exalted position.

The Tom FOX trajectory is past its zenith. From here on, it will be all down-hill.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Now, I know that not all of my readers will agree with me.

But plenty do – witness the number of SBC Officers and crew who have made a dash for the lifeboat in the past twelve months. Gone are:

  • David ARCHER, formerly Strategic Director
  • Ian ANDERSON, formerly Head of Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring Officer
  • John RIBY, formerly Head of Technical Services
  • Pauline ELLIOTT, formerly Head of Regeneration & Planning
  • Nicola WILLIS, formerly Head of Transformational Management
  • Brian BENNETT, formerly Head of Tourism & Culture
  • Roger KAYE, formerly Head of Human Resources
  • Gill WILKINSON, formerly Democratic & Administrative Services Manager
  • Howard FOSTER, formerly Head of Customer First
  • Jonathan LEAROYD, formerly IT Manager

There have, of course, been ribald remarks doing the rounds, along the lines of the old cliché about ‘rats leaving the sinking ship’. (Be assured, though, that those old crewmembers will find safe havens).

But that made me wonder which of his fair-weather friends might have reluctantly, belatedly, but finally recognised which way the wind is blowing for Councillor Tom FOX. Nobody wants to go down the plug-hole through ‘guilt by association’.

So, on Friday 8th February, I visited the SBC website to take a look at Councillor Tom FOX’s CURRENT Register of Interest, as declared for the period 17th July 2012 to 9th January 2013.

Apart from his Conservative Party membership, his home and his many local government appointments, Councillor Tom FOX has commendably little to declare at all.

But then my eye fell on this:

SBCwebsite_screenshot_080213

 

That, too, is highly commendable indeed. And it is especially gratifying, in the light of recent revelations about irregularities in certain other Councillors’ Register of Interests, to note that Councillor Tom FOX has taken care to comply with the requirements (as recently as October last year) and ensure that his Register of Interests does include his long-time participation in the heroic work of the RNLI.

But now my sources tell me that even the Lifeboat is leaving the ship to sink.

If my information is correct – and coming, as it does, through three absolutely distinct and independent sources – including the RNLI Press Officer (North) – one must give it considerable credence – Councillor Tom FOX parted company with the RNLI last year – 2012.

  • ¡Adiós, Señor Tractorista el Zorro!

Yet I can find no testimonial or statement of thanks for sterling service to Councillor Tom FOX on the Scarborough Lifeboat website – nor even a dry and non-committal announcement of his departure. One might have expected a gold watch or at least a cheap tankard . . .

Be that as it may, many have indeed been leaving the sinking ship and the Lifeboat seems to offer no succour to the skipper at the helm of our local ‘ship-of-State’.

How does that rate as a vote of no confidence?

  • BUT NOW COMES A CURIOUS DEVELOPMENT.

On the morning of Saturday 9th February, I revisited the SBC website to check again on Councillor Tom FOX’s Register of Interests, to be sure of my facts ahead of publication of this article. I was astonished at what I found – Councillor Tom FOX’s Register of Interests had been updated – with no date entered for the change:

SBCwebsite_screenshot_090213

 

What a curious coincidence then, that within hours of me visiting the SBC web-site (and taking the screenshot of Councillor Tom FOX’s Register of Interest – see further up this page), the Register has been changed, with no information regarding the removal date of his declaration of membership of the Scarborough RNLI from the Register.

But be that as it may, it remains the case that Councillor Tom FOX has breached the terms of the Councillors Code of Conduct in respect of his duty under the Localism Act 2011 to declare changes to his Register of Interests within the specified 28 day period of grace.

Obviously, if Councillor Tom FOX left the Lifeboat in 2012, the latest possible date that he could have done so can only be 31st December 2012 – 40 days ago. His 28 days grace period has long since expired.

Is Councillor Tom FOX exempt from the terms of the Localism Act 2011?

tight-lipped_tom_see_no_ships

Tight-lipped, still, on the matter of any prior knowledge that he may have had about Jimmy SAVILE, Councillor Tom FOX leaves us to wonder what other skeletons will be emerging from the closet.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Related reading:

All Cllr Tom FOX articles

Cllr Geoff Evans (LibDem – Eastfield) denounces Jaconelli

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

cllr_geoff_evans

 

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.

23 Comments

  1. Ian Detute February 9, 2013 at 8:51 pm - Reply

    Yet again this is what we should be reading in the Whitby gazette/Scarborough news.Well done RW and Nigel for having the balls the Johnson press lacks.

  2. kathleen parker February 9, 2013 at 9:34 pm - Reply

    {{{{{APPLAUDS}}}}} well done! I just hope the man gets what he deserves! He thinks he’s untouchable,I for one would,along with a few others,like to see the back of em!

  3. Brian Dodds February 9, 2013 at 10:47 pm - Reply

    The list get bigger by the week, I wonder how many such events are buried deep within the confines of the darkness that surrounds our council leader. I suspect that in the minds of many members of the electorate who read these articles, he has damned himself many times over by his refusal to answer any of the questions that have been put to him about these matters. He is a clear demonstration of everything that is wrong with our system of government, local and national, wheels within wheels, mutual scratching of backs and secret handshakes. There needs to be a complete overhaul of the way in which business is conducted in the local halls of power, an independent revue body made up of local people who have access to all council affairs. Until “We The People” make it understood that we will no longer give them free rein to set their own expenses(allowances) and make it impossible for them to mirror the behaviour we are witnessing now, then they will continue to believe they are bullet proof.

  4. Jane Swales February 10, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    This man’s name is mud all over Yorkshire. His ego exceeds his talent by ten to one, and every one of his policies has been an unmitigated disaster. Time for a vote of no confidence before he destroys the economy of our three seaside jewels. Doesn’t Scarborough Council have a petition system in place?

  5. DKP February 10, 2013 at 11:31 am - Reply

    If the local Labour lot had any cojones they’d be stomping all over this man. But they don’t. All in it together?

  6. Derek Robinson February 10, 2013 at 12:19 pm - Reply

    It would be a waste of time Scarborough borough council holding a vote of no confidence in Tom Fox because at the moment with the current make up of the council he would walk it, and thereby tells a story.
    May deep concern at the moment is that the conservatives at the moment control the whole borough and are doing as they wish and they all believe that they are unaccountable to the electorate, no fellow tory councillors are coming out of the woodwork to support the culprits but what dismays me even more is the fact that none are coming forward to condemn them either in fact no councillors from any party are saying anything at all but you can bet your clogs that in about 3/4 weeks these same apathetic councillors will finally emerge from there cess pitts to start canvassing for the upcoming elections.
    My advice, do what I am going to do tell them all to go to H++l you two faced toads because that is what they are toads all toadying up to their parties and closing ranks to protect the lying cheating scum that is hiding within their ranks.
    The government wonders why a large percentage of the population does not vote, well come to North Yorkshire and we will tell you exactly why.
    Sorry for the moaning session

  7. Tom Brown February 10, 2013 at 3:01 pm - Reply

    Please take note, I have three times asked Jim Dillon a freedom of information question as follows HAS SCARBOROUGH BOROUGH COUNCIL BEE POLITICALLY ABOLISHED?
    So far I have had no answer. They must answer if they are a BOROUGH COUNCIL but they DON’T need to if they only a Public Limited Company or a private concern.
    It follows then that we are being taxed by private company and Borough Councillors are imposters taking money on false pretences

  8. Walker February 10, 2013 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    @Tom Brown Don’t hold your breath waiting for people like these to follow the law and answer FOI requests honestly and in a straight-forward manner.

  9. Nigel Ward February 10, 2013 at 11:20 pm - Reply

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: David Kitson
    Sent: Sunday, February 10, 2013 10:34 PM
    Subject: Register of Interests + QUESTIONS – [12]

    Mr David KITSON – Senior Solicitor – SBC

    IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

    David,

    Please would you provide me with a fully up-to-date copy of the Register of Interests of Councillor Tom FOX? Thank you.

    I would also like Councillor Tom FOX to offer a response to my question of 25th October 2012 (amongst others):

    “Would the Leader confirm or deny that, as a former ranking Police Officer in Scarborough, and as long-serving leading Councillor since that time, he was aware that elements within the Authorities were cognisant of concerns of the gravest nature in respect of the activities of Sir Jimmy Savile, yet nevertheless played a leading role in the lavish civic honours bestowed upon a man now widely reviled as the worst and most degenerate sexual predator in the Borough’s history?”

    It would be most helpful if you could ensure that these matters are resolved without any unnecessary delay; the Register must be a matter of easily-available record; the question to the Leader requires only a few minutes of his time; he was aware, or he was not aware. Which is it?

    Finally, what is the intention of the Leader in respect of the many serious allegations, every bit as horrific as those against Jimmy SAVILE, against former Councillor and Mayor Peter JACONELLI, in respect of his status as Alderman of the Borough. Is there a process in train for the Council to adopt the same approach as in the SAVILE case?

    Again, this is a very straightforward matter; either the Leader intends urging the Council to remain content with the Alderman of the Borough status of Peter JACONELLI, or he intends to urge the Council to adopt the ‘SAVILE’ approach. Which is it to be?

    I look forward to your prompt response – and that of the Leader. Thank you.

    Yours, with very kind regards,

    Nigel

  10. David Clark February 11, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

    If cllr. Fox has breached the terms of the Localism Act the monotoing officer should make sure that action is taken. What are other members of the council doing, to let this situation continue without any meaningfull sanction. When Mr. Fox reads this I would like him to know that this was written by the man with the “Jaundiced” view point.

    • Stakesby Legs February 11, 2013 at 11:33 am - Reply

      The other councillors are saying nothing cos they scared to death there next, Dave. That new monitoring officer is out of her depth. Wait till the unnecessary demolitions hit the fan. Corporate chaos!

  11. Tom Brown February 11, 2013 at 12:03 pm - Reply

    Message for Dave Clark

    Dave contact Peter Hofschoer (Granny ‘B’) peter@hofschroer.com

    He has some info for you

  12. sarraceniac February 11, 2013 at 1:38 pm - Reply

    I first came across Tom Fox when he was Acting Chief Inspector in charge of Scarborough station. He appeared along with Della Cannings, of personal shower fame, the then Chief Constable of N. Yorks, at a parish council meeting at Eastfield under the chairmanship of Parish, Borough and County (double-dipping) Councillor Brian Simpson, to answer questions.

    I had a question. The new partner of a neighbour of mine had gone somewhat loopy and had run around with a chisel and a lump hammer, threatening to kill other neighbours. 2 of them, scared stiff ran round to see (retired) me, after being threatened, to see what could be done. I didn’t hesitate but dialed 999 and, as all calls are put through to Northallerton asked to be put through to Scarborough station. ‘Where are you calling from’? asked the call centre so I gave them my address. ‘You want Eastfield office’, she said and before I could point out that it was Sunday and the Eastfield office was not manned on a Sunday, she had put me through to a ringing noise. I hoped for 5 minutes that there just may be somebody there but by this point the guy who had flipped was beating on my door with a lump hammer screaming obscenities. So I re-phoned Northallerton. ‘I told you, you need Eastfield,’ said our helpful operative. ‘And I tried to tell you that it is Sunday and nobody is there but you started to put me through there before I could explain’ said I. Very begrudgingly the operator put me through to the main Scarborough station. I explained what was happening to the officer who answered and held the phone up so he could here what was going on. ‘You want Eastfield’, he said and was quite surprised when I said it was closed on a Sunday, despite the fact that it is all under the care of Scarborough. ‘ Leave it with us. I’ll get a car there’, he said. Fortunately by this point the man who was causing the problem had given up trying to bash down the upvc door and was contenting himself with smashing down my garden fence.

    35 minutes later two constables, with armoured protection on, jumped out of a 4 x 4 outside the house and tried to arrest a neighbour on the other side who had just arrived home. The recalcitrant had disappeared by now into his own (girl friend’s) house when he saw the police car coming and I was able to rush out and point out that this was not the guy involved. They then went to the correct house and knocked on the door. After gaining admittance they discovered that whilst they were knocking at the front door, the villain of the piece had gone out of the back door and disappeared. The officers were very apologetic about the response time and said that there was only one car on, on a Sunday, between Eastfield and Malton and of course they were in Malton when the call came through, about ‘a tiff between neighbours’. We later found out that whilst this was going on the tyres on the car of the people who had come to me, had been punctured, with something like a chisel. The officers said they would send me an incident number (never received).

    Although they later (about 3 months later) caught the gentleman for smashing up a pizza take-away, he was never charged with anything arising from this incident and when I tried to claim for a new garden fence on insurance the claim was turned down as the police had no record of the incident.

    So needless to say I had a few questions to ask of both Della Canning and Tom Fox. Brian Simpson tried to stop me as I was going through the details of this on the grounds that it only concerned one incident and questions should be about policy. Della Canning however said that Tom Fox would send me a written reply dealing with my points so I let it drop, but unfortunately the reply must have got lost in the post. Years later I am still waiting. So I will just say this. That Tom Fox couldn’t organise pea-soup at the local Conservative club (before it closed), certainly couldn’t organise a seaside police station and shouldn’t be allowed to oversee the management of the Borough of Scarborough, Whitby and Filey. My advice to anyone with a desire to commit a criminal offence in North Yorkshire is to commit it on a Sunday when there are no police working.

    Brian Simpson, when questioned about the handling of the parish council meeting said he had ‘no recollection of the question’, by the way. Isn’t he the Borough Council cabinet member with responsibility for this very thing?

  13. Tom Brown February 11, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Thank you sarraceniac

    Its all about organised neglect by the police, schools and the NHS to prepare us for the governments new and unwanted EU regime.

    • sarraceniac February 11, 2013 at 4:16 pm - Reply

      Tom, a few months ago I would have thought you were talking rubbish but now, looking at the evidence, I have become that dreadful thing – ‘a conspiracy theorist’. I now seriously believe that the major parties, of all colours, are so riddled with a major conspiracy to remove ordinary peoples rights that there is little hope for us ‘plebs’. Call it what you want, EU, Common Purpose, Freemasonry and a lot more, the point is to hang on to control for the ‘in-crowd’. When you are elected to a so called democratic position or appointed to a top bureaucratic one to protect the status quo you are sounded out to join the ‘elite’. If you do join you immediately start supporting, and being supported by, other members.

      I had started to think that I was becoming paranoid. I now think that they really are out to dominate us.

      • Tim Thorne February 13, 2013 at 6:52 pm - Reply

        “I had started to think that I was becoming paranoid”

        Are you more paranoid now that it has been removed? 😀

        • sarraceniac February 16, 2013 at 7:34 pm - Reply

          Of course I am not paranoid. I now know that they are really out to get me. Doh!

  14. rod mathers February 13, 2013 at 8:58 am - Reply

    Mr Ward, you need to know the precise circumstances surrounding his departure from the police. Come to that, everyone with a vote needs to know the precise circumstances of his departure from the police. You could always try asking him.

  15. Nigel Ward February 16, 2013 at 5:30 pm - Reply

    Further developments on the Savile/Jaconelli investigation:

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/savile-associate-jaconelli-finally-exposed

  16. sarraceniac February 16, 2013 at 7:47 pm - Reply

    Um. Maybe my paranoia has cut in again, or maybe its my obsessive, compulsive syndrome, but wasn’t this removed under threat of legal action and now its back?

    Whilst I’m chatting I’ll tell you a story. Brian Simpson is standing again for County. Beautiful day today and I was in my garden watching my team of gardeners watering the daisies and a voice said from the gate ‘I don’t suppose you want one of my leaflets?’ I looked and it was BS (both by name and nature). Knowing I could have a look at a neighbour’s copy for publication purposes, I declined his kind offer, after all hell hasn’t frozen over yet, but couldn’t help wondering why he hasn’t, apparently, realised that it is not so much a matter of his policies, as it is about his ethics, or lack of them. As soon as he admits that double dipping is wrong and agrees to pay back what he owes me as a tax payer, then I will at least look at his policies and then decide if I will ever trust him again. Why don’t we have smilies on RW? I could certainly use one here.

  17. admin February 16, 2013 at 9:15 pm - Reply

    The RNLI got very heavy handed and threatened legal action by Friday last week. we believe we had the proof but couldnt afford the court case. Nigel agreed to rewrite the article minus the offending content.

  18. Tom Brown February 18, 2013 at 2:34 am - Reply

    What are we up against? We hope topple Tom Fox et all but when you consider :-3 arrested in horse meat operation , no one hurt or killed. 1200 killed in NHS hospital no one arrested, what’s going on. The man responsible is now in charge of the whole thing.
    These people died for the sole purpose of convincing us that the NHS is not fit for purpose.

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