Joe Plant: “The Wind In The Willows”
- Richard Ineson gathers up the loose ends ahead of the big Zonal Parking decision on Thursday 19th September.
This is what Joe Plant means when he talks about democracy; when the figures are in his favour, they are alright – when they go against him, he sticks with the figures which support his view.
Is there any point in Joe attending the meeting at Sneaton Castle on Thursday? We know how he is going to vote already, so why does he have to suffer the inconvenience of attending a meeting where he will not be swayed by any argument, no matter how compelling?
Subject: RE: Whitby Parking
Date: Fri, 13 Sep 2013 12:30:03 +0000
Thank you for your email.
It has to be remembered it was the public etc back in 2010 who supported the scheme.
Nobody forced them to have their views and over 8000 people were allowed to express their views. 1400 returns and 75% in favour.
It was not politicians[sic] or officers, it was the public and if you believe in democracy then we should carry the majority. The reason why we are here today is because of democracy.
I will base my thoughts on the on democracy as well.
Cllr Joe Plant
Just like Joe, Highways supremo, Nick West constantly claims that 75% of residents are in favour of the parking scheme, so how can this be true?
The main question in the 2010 so called ‘public consultation’ was this, “Do you support the introduction of controlled parking zones to provide priority for residents?”. Sounds good doesn’t it? Naturally, everyone took this at face value and many, but not all (the percentages varied from 52.9% to 84.9% in each zone) voted for the proposal. I read the small print, the scheme does not give priority to residents at all, this is SPIN-DOCTORING, in the best traditions of Alistair Campbell and Peter Mandelson, anybody can park in any of the zones, providing that you either have a resident’s permit, a scratch card, a tradesman’s permit, a business permit, or a parking disc. The whole scheme is a con-trick, the ‘public consultation’ in 2010 was a con-trick, the so called survey was ‘fixed’, the main question was ‘loaded’ you don’t have to live in Zimbabwe to see how democracy can be manipulated to serve the ends of a vested interest minority.
These are the figures, prepared by the NYCC Highways Department, which are listed in the report which is to be presented to our decision-makers on Thursday, at the Yorkshire Coast and Moors Area Committee meeting, these are the figures which are pertinent now, and which Joe Plant is apparently choosing to ignore because they do not support his ‘set in stone’ views about the parking proposals.
NORTH YORKSHIRE COUNTY COUNCIL
YORKSHIRE COAST & MOORS COUNTY AREA COMMITTEE
19 SEPTEMBER 2013
PARKING MANAGEMENT PROPOSALS IN WHITBY & SANDSEND
ASSOCIATED WITH THE WHITBY PARK & RIDE SCHEME
Report of the Corporate Director – Business and Environmental Services
7.9 The analysis in table 1S shows that a majority of respondents to the consultation exercise (893 respondents, 82.2%) were not favour of the proposals for on street parking measures.
7.10 A more detailed consideration of the reasons given for not being in favour of the proposals shows that the majority relate to the parking zone proposals and concern about parking availability, the complexity of the proposals and the cost of residents’ parking permits. A significant proportion of responses raised concerns about the introduction of on street parking charges and the detrimental impact that could have on the attractiveness of Whitby as a tourist destination.
7.11 The majority of respondents (776 respondents, 78.5%) answered ‘no’ to the question whether they felt that the prices proposed for the on street parking charges and permits were reasonable. The main reasons given for the ‘no’ response related to concern that the charges were too expensive and that the parking charges, especially those for residents permits, should not be the source of funding for the proposed park and ride service.
7.12 The consultation questionnaire also provided an opportunity for people to express their opinion on the proposed times of day that the parking zones would operate and the proposed maximum length of stay permitted with a disc. A majority of respondents (686 respondents, 72%) were not in favour of the proposals with the main reason being the difficulties that the zones would create for visitors and that free time limited parking durations should be extended.
69NYCC – 19 September 2013 – YC&M Area Committee
Supplemental Report – Parking Management Proposals in Whitby & Sandsend/8
It must be remembered that ‘Honest’ Joe was part of the iniquitous STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUP system, which decided/influenced the decisions, in relation to the parking zones/parking space allocation etc. and, whereby, the democratic process was/is bypassed.
The use of the STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUP system by NYCC, has been criticised earlier this year, by the Local Government Ombudsman:-
1. I consider that the Council failed to establish a SSG with a balanced membership. There is a preponderance of business people with few if any, representatives from local residents, this is unfortunate because it gives an impression of bias. I cannot judge how the group acted in practice because there are no minutes of any meetings. This is an area which the Council needs to reconsider if it is to use this type of group again.
2. The Council should review how the Highways Department is recording its actions and ensure that it keeps proper records of decisions including reasons.
3. The Council should consider the comment on the composition of SSGs.
NYCC wrote to the Ombudsman and accepted these recommendations, so why have the views of the members of the three secret SSGs, involved in the parking proposal consultations, and the memberships of which, were biased in favour of the commercial sector, still being given any validity?
Here are the details of the STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS :-
I am sure that many people will be interested to know the memberships of the three STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS which considered/decided upon the controlled parking zones proposed for Whitby town, in connection with the park and ride scheme and consequently the numbers of parking spaces available in each zone.
The identities of the members of these SSGs were supposed to be kept secret – the DATA PROTECTION ACT was quoted to me when I asked about this matter, fortunately, a public spirited person who had access to this information and who could see no credible reason for it to be kept secret, released the information to me.
The memberships of the three STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS were as follows:-
One entire Stakeholder Steering Group was selected by Cllr Jane Kenyon – an Executive member of the Whitby and District Tourism Association, she also selected the Chairs of the other two groups, there was at least one member of the various tourist associations on each group.
Incidentally, the membership of these groups was supposed to remain confidential.
The minutes/notes of the proceedings of the meetings of these groups are only available in a redacted form and are very sketchy, in any case.
Many people, including myself, say that the commercial sector/tourist associations were over-represented on these groups.
Two of the SSGs had a specific, designated, representative of the views of the residents in the particular area covered by those particular SSGs. The east side of Whitby had no designated, specific, resident representation.
The supposedly secret memberships of the three STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS were as follows:-
The Chair of the secret Whitby Traffic Partnership, Conservative Cllr. Jane Kenyon, (also an Executive member of the Whitby and District Tourist Association) in conjunction with Conservative Cllr. Joe Plant, recommended the makeup, including choosing the Chairs of the other two groups, of the three SSGs.
The individual Chairs selected the residents’ representatives (please note that the East Side SSG, Chaired by Cllr. D.Clegg) did not have a residents’ representative).
Whitby Town (Parish) Council nominated the Town Council representatives on SSGs 2&3.
[Please note that Dalton Peake (Whitby Chamber of Commerce) and Tony Charlton (Whitby Hospitality Association) were appointed to all three STAKEHOLDER STEERING GROUPS.]
Chair, Conservative Cllr. Jane Kenyon (also an Executive member of the Whitby and District Tourist Association), Dalton Peake (Whitby Chamber of Commerce), Tony Charlton (Whitby Hospitality Association) Christiane Kroebel (Chair, Lythe PC), David Pybus (Residents’ Representative).
SSG-2. West Cliff and Town Centre.
Chair, Conservative Cllr. Joe Plant, Dalton Peake (Whitby Chamber of Commerce) Tony Charlton (Whitby Hospitality Association) Cllr. Mike Ward (SBC and Whitby Town Council) Cllr. Dickinson (Whitby Town Council) Barry Brown/Dr.Dunn (Residents’ Representatives).
[Please note that I am informed that Barry Brown was never invited to any of the meetings of this group, neither did he receive any documents or help to make any decisions relating to this group].
SSG-3. Church Street/East Side
Chair, Conservative Cllr. D.Clegg (Chair of Capt. Cook Tourist Association & shopkeeper), Dalton Peake (Whitby Chamber of Commerce), Tony Charlton (Whitby Hospitality Association), Conservative Cllr. Sandra Turner (shopkeeper) (SBC), Cllr. Steve Smith (shopkeeper) /Cllr. Pitts (WTC).
[Please note that, unlike the other two groups, there was no residents' representation on this group. The residents of the East Side of Whitby had no dedicated representative on the SSG which supposedly represented their views].