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Councillor John WEIGHELL – Leader – North Yorkshire County Council
It is a while since we spoke. With reference to NYCC’s promotional article on Page 17 of the Whitby Gazette of Friday 6th April 2012, entitled “Council always watching spending”, please allow me to paraphrase, in the interests of brevity, a passage that has been drawn to my attention by a number of neighbors:
The Council is seeking to make savings of £69M. In particular, the Council hopes to find £40M of these savings by revising staff terms and conditions of employment.
I hope you will agree that this is a fair characterization of the Council’s statement.
I also hope you will agree that members of the public, including the staff referred to in the article, are deeply affronted by the knowledge that ‘two-hatted’ Councillors throughout the County have been receiving allowances to reimburse out-of-pocket expenses for broadband and other ITC facilities – not only from NYCC, but also from their respective District Councils.
Indeed, one ‘two-hatted’ Council, serving also on the NYPA, has apparently been receiving an allowance to reimburse broadband and other ITC facilities in the sum of £750-£850 per annum.
Meanwhile, jobs, services and facilities including public transport are being subjected to swingeing cuts. Can these Councillors look into the eyes of the members of staff whose hours have been curtailed? Whose contracts have not been renewed? Whose futures remain uncertain? Can you?
In circumstances so straitened as to require the Council to tighten its belt to the tune of £69M, public opinion approaches the same level of disgust as was aroused by the MPs’ expenses scandal. Clearly, prosecutions are in order – certainly in the more flagrant cases.
I hope you will assure me – and the public at large – that the Council will be acting immediately to stop this so-called ‘double-dipping’, and to take punitive action against those who have effectively abused the privilege of the positions and betrayed the public who have voted them their trust.
I point out that, in the interests of transparency, I have included our colleague Robert Goodwill, MP for Whitby & Scarborough, into this email
Yours, with very kind regards,