Me Too Vouchers Part 3 Of 4

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Me Too Vouchers Part 3 Of 4

Me Too Part 3 – First Published April 2011

“All lies and jest” sang Simon and Garfunkel, in their classic sixties hit “The Sound of Silence”.

It is the sound of silence that echoes now through the corridors of power in Northallerton and Scarborough. Silence – the classic symptom of the institutional cover-up.

The ME TOO! voucher scheme has certainly brought out the best and the worst in people – the BEST being the people of good conscience who have come forward with the truth, often despite the shame of having themselves benefited from the system that they knew was too much of a good thing; the WORST being the greed and unscrupulousness that has shamelessly exploited a well-meaning but misconceived source of funding for the least privileged children in our community.

Greed. There is an old Scottish saying – “MORE WANTS MORE”. The meaning is clear – the greedy are never satisfied.

Real-Whitby has been gathering the low-down on this saga of debts and threats, and the plot gets ever thicker, ever dirtier.

Detectives, when investigating a crime, use three tests in relation to suspects: MOTIVE, MEANS and OPPORTUNITY.

In the case of the Me Too! voucher scam, it is easy enough to identify them.

MOTIVE

Mounting debts: Unpaid tradesmen. Unpaid suppliers. Unpaid taxes.

MEANS

A captive clientele, too intent on getting something for nothing to notice (or care?) that Me Too! approved providers were cynically exploiting the uncapped value of the vouchers to run up monstrously large invoices, expecting to be paid out without a quibble.

OPPORTUNITY

The third and most corrupt element is provided by the opportunity to call on nepotistic back-up – to ‘grease the wheels’ of payment.

The Free Dictionary (http://www.thefreedictionary.com/nepotism) defines ‘nepotism’ like this:

nep·o·tism (np-tzm)
n.
Favoritism shown or patronage granted to relatives, as in business.

Real-Whitby has been shown conclusive evidence, and more is rolling in by the day.

Meanwhile, the guilty are compounding their problems daily, by spewing forth lies and accusations. Still, a man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the threats.

Roll on Part Four.

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By |2013-03-24T18:38:15+00:00March 24th, 2013|Categories: Featured, News|Tags: , , |10 Comments

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10 Comments

  1. Jon Risdon April 11, 2011 at 12:50 pm - Reply

    This is very disappointing; is it truly not possible to help the less well-off, without greed being the inevitable consequence?

  2. Tom April 11, 2011 at 1:12 pm - Reply

    Can we have some facts or accusations? “lead us not into temptation”
    No doubt an excellent scheme brought in by the last government. Abused by people who really should have known better.

    James 1: 13-14 says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each one is tempted when, by his own evil desire, he is dragged away and enticed.” We are always ready to shift the blame. If we cannot blame God for temptation, we will say his sin is a sickness so as not to face the judgment. Sin is not a sickness, but a moral failure and we will have to face judgment. We may also blame others or our circumstances, which are not the cause of sin either.
    Sin comes from within us. It comes from dwelling on temptations rather than driving temptations from our minds.
    But don’t worry, we will forgive you, whoever you are, just be honest.
    Tom

  3. Ian Victa April 11, 2011 at 1:23 pm - Reply

    A nice article, except that you are quoting “The Boxer”. Sorry to be a nerd.
    I was saddened to see your last sentence: “Meanwhile, the guilty are compounding their problems daily, by spewing forth lies and accusations. Still, a man believes what he wants to believe and disregards the threats.”
    Does this mean that there are indeed people in Whitby have something to hide? I think we should be told.

  4. Bob Turner April 11, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    The simple fact is that if a scheme, of any type, is open to exploitation then there are the unscrupulous that will ALWAYS take advantage of it. Thus it was ever so. On the face of it this appears to be a well-intentioned but badly thought through idea. All of the facts and names of those involved/responsible need to be brought into the public domain to explain their actions.

  5. Real Whitby April 11, 2011 at 4:15 pm - Reply

    It really is a tough call and I had this conversation when I met with Nigel recently, with regards to who is to blame and who has acted wrongly ? Does the blame lay with NYCC for designing a non means tested system that was so wide open to abuse. Or does blame lie with the providers who allegedly had it large at the tax payers expense, or does the blame lie with parents who used the system. My gut feeling based on my own opinions is that NYCC should take the majority of the blame. If what I have read and been told is true they set up a system which had no way of means testing for the recipients, therefore regardless of your income or personal wealth your children got free passes for activities (Real Whitby has seen details of emails suggesting that the familiy members of millionaire lottery winners got the vouchers, and also children of families with 70 grand a year incomes). Worse still no set value appears to have been put on the vouchers, which if correct led to some service providers playing the system to their advantage. That brings us to the service providers. Were they wrong to take advantage ? Well yes of course they were, but in this day and age of government cuts, recession, etc etc, who can blame a frightened business man for wanting to keep the bank manager of his back ? Morally its wrong, but morals went out the window a lot of years ago now for many business people. Then there is the parents. Real Whitby has seen emails detailing how some parents bought season tickets for swimming lessons, and some even bought swimming costumes for the next five years in various sizes for their children, all off one voucher. Can you blame them for doing this ? Also we have seen emails about lottery winners getting the vouchers despite not needing them. Should these families have sent the vouchers back to the schools and highlighted the fact that they dosnt actually need them. Did these families realise that by accepting the vouchers they were taking funds away from the deprived children the scheme was actually aimed at.

    I know a lot of people will read these comments, and wonder what I’m going on about. But amongst you are the very people Im talking about. Some of you are high income families who took the vouchers and used them. So why not have your say here rather than through unpublished anonymous emails. Why did you take the vouchers when you knew you didn’t need them ?

  6. INSIDER April 11, 2011 at 5:53 pm - Reply

    Loadsamoney?

    POTS of it – at Money Mintsters!

  7. angela April 11, 2011 at 7:56 pm - Reply

    When a scheme is open to all with no limits, in this day and age 99.9% of people will take it. THAT is the truth.

  8. M April 22, 2011 at 1:51 pm - Reply

    Get rid of Me Too

    People can’t take advantage

    Saves tax-payers money

    Simple

    M

  9. bettyswallocks May 8, 2011 at 6:36 pm - Reply

    mmmmmmmm seems like foul play here on a certain business AND a local Councillor…Quick call Grange!!!!!

  10. Gary Ludlow March 30, 2013 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Cllr Plant
    Encouraging people, your electorate, to go to the police because you think that the police will not prosecute you does not make you a stand up guy.
    It makes you a stand up Comedian!
    Try being a stand up guy for once, Councillor or no Councillor.
    Reading between the lines it is perfectly, obviously clear that your involvement with the Mee-Too fiasco was dreadful.
    In your position as Chair of the “NYCC Young People Scrutiny Committee who had “oversight of the initiative” you had a golden opportunity to ensure that at least in your council ward, in fact the entire area of Whitby, you could have made up a list of suitable activities, it would have taken you an hour or two, a very worthwhile and personally satisfying public role.
    Instead, from what I can read between the lines, you were involved in a £100,000 scam that brought the whole scheme not only into disrepute, but left many people angry. Instead of a wholesome feeling of a job well done the £100,000 plus claimed by one local business, I believe an extended family member of yours almost brought the entire scheme to its knees across the whole of North Yorkshire. Again from what I understand from the article, you then had the nerve as a North Yorkshire Councillor and Chair of the ‘NYCC Young People Scrutiny Committee’ to actually personally chase up the enormous payment?
    Also claiming such a huge amount for a single Broadband connection.
    And all you have to say is “go to the police”.
    Try being a stand up guy for once and defend yourself against such allegations properly.

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