Mike Ward presses MP Goodwill over Jane Kenyon

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Mike Ward presses MP Goodwill over Jane Kenyon

Another ‘Vote of Confidence’ – of sorts

Followers of the concerns raised by Real Whitby contributors concerning the moral probity of Councillor Jane Kenyon will remember former SBC Councillor Mike Ward’s letter to Scarborough & Whitby MP Robert Goodwill.

Mike was most dissatisfied with Mr Goodwill’s response and his responded with the following email:

From: Mike Ward
Sent: Friday, August 24, 2012 12:12 AM
Subject: Re: A vote of confidence

TO ROBERT GOODWILL MP

Thank you for your reply stating that Cllr Kenyon ‘continues to have my full support’.

Unfortunately your reply only touches the surface and fails to address the questions and concerns in my previous e-mail.

You say:-

For example the facts regarding the business in America were drawn to my attention 7 years ago and I asked them to be looked into at that time.I was told they were fully investigated and there was nothing outstanding that would affect Councillor Kenyon’s ability to continue her work.Secondly,the points regarding the timber company have been fully investigated and explained.In particular any perceived discrepancies in dates when declarations were made have been explained by the way that the internal processes within the local authorities work.”

It is not the issue of declarations of interest or the Councillor’s ability to do the job that gives rise to my concerns.I have already said that I appreciate much of that Councillor’s work within the community.

My concern centres on how our Councils are handling complaints and whether certain issues are being thoroughly and properly investigated.

From what you have been told can you confirm if the facts on the two companies as reported are true or false ? If true do you think a simple apology to those who suffered financially might be in order ?

Who investigated both matters ? Were minutes taken of any meetings ? Was a full report prepared ? Was it a thorough and comprehensive investigation ? Who was asked to present any possible evidence ? My information is that no evidence has ever been asked for or looked at in detail? Is this true ? If not how did any enquiry reach it’s conclusion.Was it an independent investigation ? If not could there have been any conflict of interest ?

You mention the long running campaign by David Clark “who has been harrassing Councillor Kenyon for some considerable time,despite the fact that the allegations that were made against her have been fully investigated”.

Who conducted that enquiry? Was Mr Clark called to give evidence and was a report prepared with the findings presented to him? If not I can see possibly reasons for his continuing concern. All serious complaints must be dealt with efficiently and brought to a satisfactory conclusion otherwise they will continue. In many cases the only way forward is to hold an independent enquiry. Every complaimant deserves the respect that public officials would themselves expect and answers that get to the root cause of the complaint. No complaint can ever be brushed aside and silence is never an option.

With my limited legal knoweledge I can see that an overseas matter of the kind reported might not prevent anyone from standing as a Councillor,whilst maybe not in accordance with Nolan’s 7 Principles of Public life. I am less sure with the reported issues surrounding the other company.

Do you think anyone’s financial judgement has been called into question if the alleged offences are true ?

Would I employ a financial advisor with a background of failed companies ? I would have to say it would be extremely doubtful ?

Everyone needs to have total confidence in the way public finances are managed. The background of those holding positions with huge financial responsibilities surely must be whiter than white.

However my e-mail to you went beyond any one councillor.

My two key concerns surround the Vicar’s widow (her statement and the alleged misappropriation of church funds) and the alleged forged document sent to Companies House. Have you asked for an enquiry into those two issues? Surely it is in everyone’s best interest to examine them in detail. I would have thought the alleged forged signature on a company document would be taken very seriously and I would certainly want a full investigation if I had been put into that situation myself. Also as she is one of your constituents have you spoken to the vicar’s widow to establish if there are possible grounds for an enquiry? Unless someone speaks to those who say they hold information how can anything be established and any sort of conclusion reached?

I also raised the question of double claims for broadband charges. I realise the Standards Committee is now conducting an investigation but I hope you would add your weight to a call for it to be thorough going back beyond 2009. I do appreciate that from 2009 expenses were not broken down on the pay slip so there could have been a misunderstanding. Claims from the same household as well as those claims to a Council and another Authority need to be dealt with at the same time. Does the National Park and/or the Police Authority pay a telephone/broadband allowance ? Has any double claim be made with them ?

Would you encourage all councillors who double claimed to pay back what they owe even before an enquiry? Why would any Councillor now knowing a double claim had been made, even through a misunderstanding, not repay that amount immediately?

You go on to say :-

“I hope the campaign can now stop and that Councillor Kenyon can be allowed to get on with her work for the remaining weeks of the Police Authorities existence and as a Cabinet Member on Scarborough Borough Council.”

Over that I have of course no say. I think all the issues as reported are reflecting badly on all public officials which is neither right or fair. I cannot see how it will go away especially if more material comes to light.

Public Officials like yourself hold the key to resolving this matter. I can see no other way forward other than by asking for a full and thorough independent enquiry into all the alleged offences. Simply branding those with complaints and those reporting the complaints as vindictive & vexatious is not helpful.

An official enquiry can only be beneficial to all parties at this time.

Thanks,

Mike Ward

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13 Comments

  1. Richard Ineson August 24, 2012 at 9:01 am - Reply

    Mike Ward asks,

    “Would I employ a financial advisor with a background of failed companies ? I would have to say it would be extremely doubtful ?”

    Me too.

    Unfortunately, our view is not shared by the North Yorkshire Police Authority or the North Yorkshire Police Authority Management Board, where Miss Kenyon, although not a financial advisor, has been the Chair of both bodies for some years and has presided over what can only be described as a financial debacle which has resulted in the squandering of many millions of pounds of public money.

    Please read this if you want any detail about these matters.

    http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/north-yorkshire-police-authority-rip

    Likewise with Scarborough Borough Council where Miss Kenyon is, miraculously/unbelievably/inexplicably, in view of the financial mismanangement of NYPA under her Chairship, the portfolio holder for Finance, Procurement and Legal!

    Of course there are other concerns about the influence of Miss Kenyon on local government in this area, for instance, I read that there is to be a consultation about the impending changes to the benefits system in relation to Council Tax, there is a reference, in the SBC minutes, to consulting ‘TRUSTED STAKEHOLDERS’ I wonder who these could be? What does this phrase ‘TRUSTED STAKEHOLDERS’ mean? I think that we should be told.

  2. Nigel Ward August 24, 2012 at 9:23 am - Reply

    Readers attention is also directed to the Letters page of today’s (Friday 24th August 2012) edition of the Whitby Gazette:

    “Honesty and answers now”

    Our Council Officers and Councillors are failing to address complaints especially in light of the growing criticism in the local media, on social networking sites and in Private Eye.

    Why do NYCC and SBC appear so nervous of any complaint and criticism?

    Yes, at times most of us are guilty of not giving praise when it is due and yes it is far easier to criticise.

    Praise for a great and economically sensible decision not to move the Town Hall as we would have had an expensive white elephant for OUR money.
    However why was it even considered in the first place and who provided the figures?

    Complaints should be welcomed as they give an opportunity either to put the record straight or, if justified, to apologise, learning from any mistakes that may have been made.

    Broadband double claims are now being investigated but I hope this investigation will go back before 2009 when there was certainly no excuse for a double claim as that expense was itemised on the pay slip (not so since 2009).

    Will the Standards Committee also look at double claims from the same household as well as any Councillor who possibly double claimed from a Council and another Authority?

    Just targetting those Councillors mentioned so far is going to fall far short of a proper and thorough investigation.

    On the other reported issues has there been conflict of interest?

    Has any local party, business or Council suffered because of the alleged offences?

    Have signatures been forged?

    Has anything been done to put the integrity of those involved into question?

    Is there any truth in the allegations being made?

    Do other Councillors and Officers have concerns?

    Are the Councils concerned about public opinion?

    Are both Councils and all Councillors allowing themselves to be brought into disrepute?

    The reported statement by a local vicar’s widow is disturbing and needs urgent investigation.

    Those in public positions need to examine all their actions since taking up office to see if they have been in line with Nolan’s 7 Principles of Public Life:

    Selflessness, Integrity, Objectivity, Accountability, Openness, Honesty and Leadership.

    Councillors in general do their best to ensure they are acting in the interest of those who put them in that position.

    However all these allegations, like the expenses scandal surrounding MPs, is reflecting badly on everyone.

    Are the recent complaints true or false?

    If there are no answers or a response of any kind conclusions are bound to be drawn.

    Denial or acceptance of the facts is the least one might expect.

    Why not say there is no truth in any of the allegations or yes most/everything is factually correct and offer an apology for what has occurred.
    It is never a crime to say sorry.

    The selflessness and integrity of ALL public officials is being called into question. This is not ideal or right.

    We need openness, honesty, transparency and ANSWERS now.

    Mike Ward, Newholme, Whitby.

  3. Jane Swales August 24, 2012 at 12:02 pm - Reply

    Robert Goodwill’s letter betrays a determination to bale the Tory’s leaking ship, evidence notwithstanding. One can only hope that when her ladyship sinks, so will he.

  4. Tim Thorne August 24, 2012 at 12:04 pm - Reply

    Interesting article about the harbour on the Gazette today. Apparently Whitby Town Council are making enquiries about taking over management of the harbour under the asset transfer clauses of the 2011 Localism Act. This was looked at for the Futurist Theatre in Scarborough, but it couldn’t be done for sites that are currently ‘under development’.

    There is one other organisation in Whitby that might try and grab the harbour from the Council under this legislation, Whitby Regatta Ltd. The articles of association are already replete with statements that indicate they have more than a passing interest in running the harbour. All they need to do is sort out the charitable status and they fulfil all the requirements to apply to transfer the asset.

    If Whitby Regatta Limited have got advanced plans to take over the harbour then they are likely months in front of the Town Council to be able to do this. Looks like Jane Kenyon may be running the harbour in the near future.

  5. Craig Natress August 24, 2012 at 12:31 pm - Reply

    I am somewhat perplexed at MP Goodwill’s claim that Dave Clark is “Harassing” Jane Kenyon. Surely if this were to be true, Mrs Kenyon is in a position to have it stopped and the perpetrator dealt with by the police or through personal action in a court room. I know if someone was harassing me I would want it dealt with asap. So come on Robert Goodwill and Jane Kenyon, lets have these people brought before a court or served cease and desist orders through a solicitor. As Ive stated elsewhere, if Mrs Kenyon continues to keep quiet and relies on the Mp to fight her battles, then you can’t blaim the general public in Whitby from assuming there is no smoke without fire. Maybe shes scared the whole truth will come out in a very public way ?? Maybe she is scared the Vickers wife will turn up in court ?

  6. Norman Taylor August 24, 2012 at 12:41 pm - Reply

    quote mike ward – “Simply branding those with complaints and those reporting the complaints as vindictive & vexatious is not helpful.”

    Well said Mike Ward. This is Mr Goodwill’s policy to anyone he finds has questions that are difficult for him to answer. Mr Goodwill has past history of claiming people who use the Real Whitby website are “The Loony Left”. Now he calls them vindictive and vexatious because they dare to highlight the shortcomings of a fellow conservative. All I can say Mike is watch your back because he will find some way to belittle or undermine you too Mike. Its all he knows how to do. Keep up the good work by the way, its nice to read reasoned argument of this nature, well done.

  7. Richard Ineson August 24, 2012 at 2:22 pm - Reply

    Mr.Taylor is right, Robert Goodwill not only does he seem to rely on claims that any critics of him, his government or Miss Kenyon,are ‘vindictive and vexatious’ he also, more seriously, in my view, sometimes claims that such people are insane. Is this perhaps, because he cannot defend his stance with logical and well founded argument? He once included me in a group which he labelled ‘the barmy army’, I wrote to him and asked him for an explanation/substantiation of his derogatory comments,,and he was good enough to admit that I wasn’t, as he had claimed, ‘barmy’ so I am officially in the clear, on that point. Local government is often pretty grubby even when compared with the antics of the members of the Houses of Parliament. All of these matters involving Miss Kenyon, need to be investigated and the air cleared, once and for all. The public have a right to be informed as to whether of not, the standards we are entitled to expect of our elected representatives have been infringed. Whilst ever these allegations of misconduct are being circulated, it is impossible for Cllr. Kenyon to retain the confidence of the electorate in her probity. It is in her own interests to insist upon a full investigation of any matters which impinge upon her reputation, and in the meantime, she should stand down from her positions on the many public bodies of which she is a member, and which, by her silence, she is now bringing into disrepute. This is the only way that she can be fair to herself, to the people whom she represents, and to the people employed in the public service. As Winston Churchill once remarked, ‘the best disinfectant is daylight’.

    • Nigel Ward August 24, 2012 at 6:27 pm - Reply

      A glorious ‘thread’ of emails has recently come into my possession – a ’round-robin’.

      I promise to publish – at the best possible time.

    • Nephi September 26, 2012 at 2:09 am - Reply

      That’s an inventive answer to an interesntig question

  8. Just 66 votes August 24, 2012 at 3:31 pm - Reply

    So true Richard. If there is nothing to worry about then JK should come out into the open and answer the claims made against her. And, while she’s are at it, perhaps she could publish the regatta accounts to demonstrate transparently that all is well. It would silence the ‘vexatious’ at a stroke!

    Mind you, Mr Goodwill’s ‘3 blind monkey’s act’ is laughable to say the least. Any politician worth his salt would want to put some clear blue water between him and the lady he is so keen to defend. The man’s incompetence appears to know no bounds.

  9. admin August 24, 2012 at 10:21 pm - Reply

    Lots more information on its way in the post from Skegness of all places. It will be passed on to Nigel when it arrives.

  10. Nigel Ward August 25, 2012 at 1:09 pm - Reply

    Is there no end to it?

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: Moira Beighton
    Cc: Carole Dunn
    Sent: Saturday, August 25, 2012 1:55 PM
    Subject: JPAC enquiry [1]

    Ms Moira BEIGHTON – Senior Lawyer (Governance) – NYCC

    IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

    Moira,

    With reference to the Register of Interests of Councillor Jane Margaret KENYON, as updated on 2nd July 2012 (displayed on the NYCC website here: http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=6013&p=0 ), there appears to be no entry declaring membership (and, in fact, Vice-Chairship) of the Yorkshire & Humber Joint Police Authorities Committee (JPAC).

    In my view, JPAC falls within the ambit of Section (ii) of the Declaration, namely ‘Other Public Authorities/Bodies’.

    Would you please clarify for me, by return, whether or not membership of JPAC is declarable under the terms of the Code of Conduct, as defined within the Localism Act 2011.

    Should it prove that such is the case, then you will oblige me by moving directly to recording a complaint against Councillor Jane Margaret KENYON in respect of her breach of the Code. Thank you.

    However, if it should prove the case that membership of JPAC is not declarable under the terms of the Code of Conduct, as defined within the Localism Act 2011, then a complaint will not be necessary. It is not my purpose to unnecessarily burden the administration and the public purse. I trust that is clear.

    Thanking you in anticipation of a speedy clarification on this point, I remain

    Yours, with very kind regards,

    Nigel

    http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=6013&p=0

    http://www.policingyorkshireandthehumber.co.uk/governance

  11. sw August 25, 2012 at 4:30 pm - Reply

    my recent letter from steve read nyp clsimed a number of officers investigated the nhs!
    can the police provide the evidence?no ,denied internal review!off back to the ipcc.
    abuse continues to vunerable adults.

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