NYCC Extended Schools Me Too Vouchers Part 2.

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NYCC Extended Schools Me Too Vouchers Part 2.

‘Extended Profits’ – Part 2 (of 4) First Published – 3rd April 2011

Following hard on the heels of Friday’s revelations about abuses of the Extended Schools ‘Me TOO’ voucher system – intended to provide extra-curricular opportunities for deprived children – hitherto ‘secret’ information has been oozing out of the woodwork, driven by the urgent need felt by many prominent local ‘representatives of the people’ to dissociate themselves from a scandal which is bound to hit the national press.

One reader has drawn attention to an open letter written by a local head-teacher and published on the web-site of East Whitby Community Primary, dated January 21st, 2011. Real-Whitby is happy to run A Mok’s letter here:

Me Too Vouchers

21st January 2011

Dear Parent/Carer

Re: Me Too Vouchers

It took some considerable effort and persuading to convince the authority that all pupils/families at East Whitby should be eligible for Me Too vouchers. I am sure that you appreciate having them and the obvious benefits of being able to access the activities available free of charge. The cost of all our families having the vouchers is considerable.

It has come to my notice that pupils/families not from East Whitby have somehow obtained East Whitby School vouchers and are using them fraudulently. Not only is this illegal but it reflects very badly on us as a school, as people will automatically assume the worst, and accuse East Whitby parents of passing the vouchers on.

If you lose your vouchers, please let me know immediately so I can warn the providers and please do not pass on vouchers to anyone else. They are for your child’s use only. Abuse of the system could easily result in the vouchers being withdrawn.

Thank you to the vast majority for your co-operation. Please let me know if you have any more information regarding this matter.

Yours sincerely

A Mok

Real-Whitby readers will be shocked to learn that, in an email to Free Whitby campaigner Nigel Ward, North Yorkshire County Councillor Joe Plant (Conservative), who is standing for re-election as a Scarborough Borough Councillor on May 5th, has confirmed that he informed NYCC some time ago  that some providers were waiting for payment and that he had concerns about the whole system.

Councillor Plant asserts that he told NYCC that “I am really concerned how the ME TOO voucher scheme is being run in Whitby. 

The scheme is aimed for families on free school meals and benefits, it started off very well, now it is really really silly.  Families on big wages get them, and this is how silly it is, a millionaire lottery winner gets them. 

Vouchers are photo copied, forged and even sold on to other people. This info is from people on the street how true it is, I do not know.  But I know that the whole scheme has lost its meaning. 

The losers are and will be the families that need them” . Real Whitby has been unable to find any mention of this in any minutes on the NYCC web-site.

Nor does the NYCC web-site mention any concerns about abuses of the ‘Me TOO’ voucher system on pages dealing with Extra-Curricular Activities:

http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=11062

Nevertheless, the abuse appears to be widespread. Another County (and Borough) Councillor has confirmed that he is presently investigating the ‘Me TOO’ voucher system in the Eastfield area of Scarborough. He describes the system as ‘flawed from the start’ and ‘not administered properly’.

More on all this in the next exciting episode of ‘Extended Profits’.

Meanwhile, what do readers think about Joe Plant’s involvement?

Should he stay or should he go?

By |2013-03-24T18:34:36+00:00March 24th, 2013|Categories: Featured, Letters, News|Tags: , , |26 Comments

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26 Comments

  1. Nigel Ward April 3, 2011 at 4:19 pm - Reply

    Nothing back from Cllr Herbert TINDALL or Cllr Helen SWIERS yet. But Cllr Jane KENYON has been very helpful, though she has no new information to impart.

    Cllr Joe PLANT has had the good grace to venture some sort of an explanation.

    Here is our first email exchange (second to follow):

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Cllr.Joe Plant
    To: Nigel
    Cc: Cllr.Helen Swiers
    Sent: Saturday, April 02, 2011 10:29 PM
    Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire
    ** High Priority **

    Nigel

    Thank you for the email.

    I helped to promote the ME TOO pilot scheme and this was published in the Whitby Gazette.

    I had no influence at all in choosing any of the providers this was down to the people who were running it. Extended Schools. It was them who had to see if the providers were suitable for the scheme not me. Like I said I helped to promote the scheme. I am a member of the children and young people scrutiny committee. Also attend and Chair the Childrens Centre’s group in Whitby which represents all of the Northern Area. So I knew how important it was to promote the scheme for the underprivileged children as we have many.

    The headteachers of the schools run the scheme with support from Officers from NYCC. Whitby Community College are the administrators and so all the bills go there and I have no influence over payment of the
    bills.

    I do have a son who is married into one of the providers family and must state that he has no control over the business whatsoever. On the advise of the NYCC legal officer I did declare a personal interest when I brought concerns about the scheme to the council’s attention. I said the following, I am really concerned how the ME TOO voucher scheme is being run in Whitby. The scheme is aimed for families on free school
    meals and benefits, it started off very well, now it is really really silly. Families on big wages get them, and this is how silly it is, a millionaire lottery winner gets them. Vouchers are photo copied, forged and even sold on to other people. This info is from people on the street how true it is, i do not know. But I know that the whole scheme has lost its meaning. The losers are and will be the families that need
    them.

    I also brought to the attention of the council that some providers were not being paid as the rumour was there was not enough money in the pot, one of which was the provider that my son is married into the family.
    This is because all of the providers knew I helped to promote the scheme. The advice I got from an officer was to tell providers who had problems to get in touch with the college as they are the administrators.

    As I understand now the scheme will start up again after the audit. The reason for the audit was because of the concerns I raised from what I was hearing from the street and providers.

    I hope this helps.

    Please note that this has being copied into the Legal Officer of the County Council and any further emails on this matter will be passed on and I will reply in the same manner.

    Regards

    Joe Plant

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: Councillor Joe Plant
    Cc: carole.dunn@northyorks.gov.uk
    Sent: Sunday, April 03, 2011 12:29 AM
    Subject: Re: The burgeoning scandal surrounding the alleged abuse of the ‘Extended Schools’ initiative in N Yorkshire

    Cllr Joe PLANT – for Whitby West Cliff – NYCC

    Joe,

    Thank you for your email.

    I am grateful for the information that you have done me the kindness of sharing. I do feel, though, that it would have been no bad decision had you taken a little more time to provide a response that answered more questions than it raises.

    To address your points more clearly, I will deal with them on a paragraph-by-paragraph basis, numbering as I go, for ease of reference.

    1) I am aware that you helped to promote the ME TOO initiative. I believe that it would be helpful to elucidate, for the public, in what capacity you were acting, and on what authority.

    2) I take your point that you had no influence in the selection or approval of ‘providers’ and that such was the responsibility of ‘the people who were running it’. It would have been helpful to identify who they actually were. Please do so.

    Would you please provide me with the criteria used to determine the ‘suitability of providers – or, if you are unable to do so, to direct me to the proper person to provide that information?

    Thank you for the information that you are a member of the Children and Young People Scrutiny Committee, and that you Chair and attend the Children’s Centre group in Whitby, representing all of the Northern Area.

    3) Thank you for the information that the scheme is run by the headteachers of the schools. It would be very helpful if you would be so good as to identify the Schools involved, together with the names and contact details of their respective headteachers. Please do so.

    Thank you, too, for the information that the administrator(s) of the scheme is/are Whitby Community College. I believe I am correct in stating that the WCC headteacher is Mr Keith Prytherch, with whom I am personally acquainted. If I interpret you correctly, you are stating that all the bills (invoices) are/were submitted by the providers to the Whitby Community College. Is that correct? I take your point that you have no direct influence in the payment procedures. Your use of the term ‘administrators’ implies that WCC was in charge of the disbursement of payments to providers, in settlement of invoices, on behalf of another party. It would have been helpful had you disclosed the identity of that other party. Please do so.

    4) The information that you have a son who is married to a member of a provider’s family is appreciated, as is your assurance that he holds no influence over the conduct of the provider’s business.

    Thank you for the information that, on the advice of the NYCC legal officer, you did declare a personal interest when you brought concerns about the conduct of the scheme to the Council’s attention. When was that?

    It would have been helpful had you identified the NYCC legal officer. Please do so.

    For clarity, may I take it that the declaration to which you refer is on the record? Would you please be so good as to direct me to that record? Thank you.

    It would also have been helpful had you identified to whom at the Council you reported your concerns, and indeed to have outlined the nature of those concerns. Please do so.

    I am deeply troubled by your alleged statement to the NYCC legal officer that (here, I quote you verbatim) “I am really concerned how the ME TOO voucher scheme is being run in Whitby. The scheme is aimed for families on free school meals and benefits, it started off very well, now it is really really silly. Families on big wages get them, and this is how silly it is, a millionaire lottery winner gets them. Vouchers are photo copied, forged and even sold on to other people. This info is from people on the street how true it is, i do not know. But I know that the whole scheme has lost its meaning. The losers are and will be the families that need them.” Do these words form the content, or part of the content of a letter or email? If so, to whom and of what date?

    It is astonishing to me that allegations such as you state you made at that time to the NYCC legal officer could conceivably have been made unless you were in no doubt whatsoever as to their veracity. The suggestion that ‘a millionaire lottery winner’ was involved in any inappropriate application of the system stands in perilous jeopardy of being tantamount to a libel, since millionaire lottery winners are few and far between in Whitby – to the tune, perhaps, of just the one.

    That aside, on what basis did you determine that the scandalous abuses of the system that you have described could conceivably be justifiably withheld from the public knowledge?

    You have identified most clearly the losers in this disgraceful episode. The issue now is to identify the ‘winners’ – if one may even begin to apply such a characterization to people who have knowingly diverted funds intended for the needy to their own greed and avarice.

    I sincerely hope that your son’s wife and in-laws are not implicated. If that were to prove the case, it is my humble opinion that your own position would be utterly untenable, if for no other reason than that your silence could all too easily be interpreted as (at best) a knowledge of guilt, and (at worst) complicity.

    5) I thank you for the information that you brought to the Council’s attention the rumours that some providers were not being paid as there remained insufficient funds ‘in the pot’. When was that, Joe, if you would be so good? To whom did you make that known. The information that amongst those providers was the one to whom your son holds a relationship by marriage gives rise to concerns that you were, in effect, lobbying for payment on their behalf. Surely, the officer or Councillor to whom you made that information known must have cautioned you on the inappropriateness of such conduct? Given that you had expressed concerns regarding the legitimacy of the practices involved – including the alleged photocopying and/or forgery of vouchers and the selling-on of same – it was surely your duty to report the matter post haste to the Monitoring Officer and the Audit Committee. Why did you not do so? Did you not have a duty to the public? Should the matter not have been declared openly in the public domain, perhaps by way of the media?

    Your remark “This is because all of the providers knew I helped to promote the scheme” seems to me to be a non sequitur. Would you mind, please, explaining what you intended by that remark? Thank you.

    Would you please identify the officer who advised you to tell the as-yet-unpaid providers to contact the College, as they were the administrators? When was that?

    6) Thank you for the information that the scheme will start up again after ‘the audit’. It would have been helpful had you referred earlier to an audit. When was that audit instigated? On whose authority?

    7) Your email has been of help, Joe, though not as exhaustively as I had hoped. I look forward to you clarifying all the points that I have raised.

    8) I must confess to being at a complete loss to interpret your closing remark “Please note that this has being copied into the Legal Officer of the County Council and any further emails on this matter will be passed on and I will reply in the same manner.” Would you be so good as to explain what you had in mind? Thank you.

    Please note that I have Cc:’d Ms Carole Dunn into this email. In the interest of transparency and accountability I reserve the right to publish such correspondence as I believe best serves the public interest into the public domain.

    By your own admission, Joe, there appears to have been an astonishing abuse of public funds. It is my information that other County Councillors, in other areas, are also deeply concerned. The entire fiasco appears to have been contained ‘behind closed doors’. I conclude, for now, by reminding you (and Ms Dunn) of the word’s of Mr Cameron on 12th September 2010:

    “For too long those in power made decisions behind closed doors, released information behind a veil of jargon and denied people the power to hold them to account. This coalition is driving a wrecking ball through that culture – and it’s called transparency.”

    On that unequivocal note, I bid you goodnight.

    Regards,

    Nigel

  2. Tom April 3, 2011 at 8:43 pm - Reply

    Joe Plant has done a lot for our community. Seems to me that the problems lie further up the ladder than a local councillor. Perhaps he has done us a favour by bringing this flaw out into the open. I think we need to know the whole truth instead of speculating about things that we don’t know anything about. We all know what Whitby is like!! I thought this site had more integrity than that!!! Or is this just another cheap site set up to slag local people off! Why not dig around a bit more and get to the root of the problem instead of trying to pin the blame on a guy that has done so much for Whitby. Don’t forget, you said it yourself, Me Too – introduced by LABOUR!!! Says it all really, doesn’t it.

    • Al Roberts April 4, 2011 at 9:11 am - Reply

      I do not doubt that Joe Plant has done a lot for the community, isn’t that why he offered himself for election?
      I do not doubt that the problem lies further up the ladder than Joe, and if that is the case then he must climb that ladder to find the person on the top rung.
      Im not sure that Joe has done us the favour of bringing this flaw into the open, chronologically that accolade, apparently, goes to Mr Mok on 21st Jan 2011.
      Since that time the issue appears to have lain “dormant” and probably would have been conveniently ignored had not Nigel Ward tried to prise open the secret cupboard at NYCC/SBC.
      We do need to know the whole truth and, it appears so far, that Joe is unable to provide that quality. Nigel is asking the questions that, perhaps, Joe should have done long ago.
      Why not dig around a bit more and get to the root of the problem? you ask. I think that is exactly what Nigel is doing, and is in fact what the SBC/NYCC officers should have been doing from the moment Joe told us he brought the matter to their attention.
      Already the officers will be closing ranks at SBC and NYCC, and rolling out the tried and tested defence of ambiguity and evasion of the facts, via a long drawn out dialogue with whomsoever they wish to be labelled as “vexatious”.
      The perfect example of that strategy is to be found here

      http://dl.dropbox.com/u/20492001/%27Golden_Ball%27_Diary_of_Non-Transparency.pdf

      As for pinning the blame on someone only when there has been a proper debate can anyone be expected to shoulder any blame, if indeed there is any blame to be carried.
      I do hope that this site will continue to give the ordinary people the chance to air their opinions in a truly democratic and apolitical manner, if only because “We all know what Whitby (and Scarborough) is like”.

      This is a golden opportunity for those at SBC to emerge from their culture of Secrecy, Dishonesty and Opacity, enter into the world of Open-ness, Honesty and Transparency.
      Lets hope that they grab it!

  3. Daryl Smiler April 4, 2011 at 1:41 pm - Reply

    Why drag SBC inti this?

    • Nigel Ward April 4, 2011 at 4:00 pm - Reply

      Perhaps because an SBC Councillor has just confirmed to me that just one of the SBC venues invoiced over £30,000 on the ME TOO scheme. That is one helluva lot of swimming!

      Entrepreneurial private sector abuse of a sloppy scheme is one thing – institutionalised local government exploitation is quite another.

      That’s why Private Eye and the BBC have got involved. Of course, I am Mr Bad Guy – for daring to ask the questions. What a travesty.

  4. admin April 4, 2011 at 4:49 pm - Reply

    Will Private eye and the BBC be linking into this article Nigel ?

  5. Frank L. Chalmers April 4, 2011 at 5:28 pm - Reply

    A scheme introduced by a Labour Government. Abused by the private sector… I’d like to know which Police Constables have been in touch with you, Nigel, to launch a fraud investigation.
    I have to say that it is my opinion that the tax payer has been defrauded here, and that clearly Constables should be investigating.

    I would also want to know why the elected members are so silent. We have Councillors passing the buck (‘refering the matter to the Head of Legal Services’ – Kenyon), and remaining silent.

    If these people don’t want us thinking they are liars, or hiding something, why are they so quiet and evasive when asked a few simple questions?

  6. admin April 4, 2011 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    My daughter told me she had bought goggles with her vouchers at the Swimming Pool. Were the vouchers for item purchases too ?

  7. Daryl Smiler April 4, 2011 at 5:49 pm - Reply

    Do can’t be serious Nigel! I for one daint believe dat enybody at t council (SBC officers dat is) could be accused of filling dare boots. Dare is no incentive for it. Dare is a possibility dat sum bugger in t private sector has been at it doe.

    Its intersetin dat do seems to have loads of info but doos only prepared to attack the Council by name. Wot about de udders?

    I think dat doos showin di true culors and blind prejudice. Its loosin do all credibility.

  8. Carmen A Sturdy April 4, 2011 at 6:56 pm - Reply

    In this case there are just 6 simple and relevant questions.

    1. Who was entitled to use the vouchers?
    2. What services were they entitled to claim?
    3. Did service providers stick to these limits?
    4. Who determined what the answers to the above questions were?
    5. Can anyone identify persons or organisations that fraudulently ignored questions 1 or 2.
    6. Did the person or persons who decided who should receive the vouchers and what services they could be exchanged for, do so properly?

    A voucher user was entitled to receive what the voucher was worth in terms of service. A service provider, private or public, was entitled to receive the value of the service they properly provided under the scheme.

    It does seem to be true that the vouchers were poorly targeted with inadequate use or value limits set. Just as human nature determines, some people took things to the limit. The big question is does anyone know for certain who went above the limits.

    As far as direct criticism of SBC is concerned for providing the alleged £30000 of services, all I would say is, can you imagine the fuss if some poor SBC worker had refused to provide a service that a voucher holder was perfectly entitled to receive in return for a voucher.

    We now seem to be seeking to apportion blame and there is an obvious move to try and make as much muck as possible stick to SBC.

    It’s a sad fact that most of the electorate haven’t a clue about which services are provided by which of the three (or four if you count the National Park) local authorities that serve Whitby and its environs.

    I believe, however, that a few people cynically use this gap in the general knowledge of the public to launch attacks knowing that, in ignorance, the blame will be attributed in almost every case to SBC.

    Put simply, there are a one or two people who seek to blame SBC for everything and anything. I read that Daryl seems to be on to this.

    I am no lover of SBC (far from it) but from a moral point of view it is deplorable to attack Officials as has happened frequently in the past. These people are unable to publicly defend themselves by engaging in public slanging matches.

    More importantly, from a strategic point of view, people who continuously snipe become associated with an entrenched position and lose credibility and support. If in doubt look at Mary Whitehouse.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 4, 2011 at 7:16 pm - Reply

      “it is deplorable to attack Officials as has happened frequently in the past”

      You are joking aren’t you?

      Some officials at SBC missed a £20million overspend. Do you think that was an accident?

      Some officials at SBC don’t put “penalty clauses” into contracts, which then suspiciously cost a lot more than they should. Do you think this is an accident?

      Perhaps they are just incompetent down at SBC. I don’t think they are.

      Some officials at SBC suggested that there was no dredging going on, and that the collapse of the harbour wall was just something that happened, all by itself. No suggestion that the collapse was because the dredger had removed most of the river bed next to it.

      There are the lies, the obvious corruption, and so on.

      An associate of mine suggests there are missing artworks from the Town Hall. We are still paying insurance premiums on them. Now who do you think we should ask about this? Perhaps we could ask the Pope. He might know. Or better, perhaps we should ask the “Officials”. But, they don’t answer when they are asked. Are you able to suggest why that is? Could they be hiding something, or are they only able to speak Urdu?

      As for it being just SBC, you are wrong. It seems to be SBC, NYCC, UK.Gov, and so on. Anything public sector, and anything private sector, preying on Public Sector.

      That’s my two cents.

    • Nigel Ward April 4, 2011 at 7:43 pm - Reply

      Many contributors seem to be missing the point here. The ‘Related Reading’ links, below the main story, answer most of your questions. The scheme offered one hour’s activity per voucher (no fixed monetary value) – http://www.northyorks.gov.uk/index.aspx?articleid=15886 – *The purpose of the scheme was to widen access to community activities and Liz Dent, one of the Extended Services in Schools coordinators has received many reports from families praising the scheme. “Families have reported that their children have taken part in sports and arts activities, adventure games, swimming, golf, soccer, horse riding, cooking and dance,” said Liz.*

      That is all very commendable, but the point is that vouchers were accepted not only for activities, but for GOODS. School governors have confirmed that these included expensive items (in the £100 range). Glenn can confirm his own daughter’s experience. A personal friend of mine stood next-in-line and watched a £90 ceramic pot being urged upon an unaccompanied child, with assurances that it was absolutely okay. Tony Mok has stated “It has come to my notice that pupils/families not from East Whitby have somehow obtained East Whitby School vouchers and are using them fraudulently.” Talk to the kids. It is widely known that photocopied vouchers have been ‘traded’ and that goods have been sold on eBay.

      You have framed the questions, Carmen, while I have been hunting down the answers. And you can see for yourself the evasion I come up against, time and time again. The truth is that the design of the system was astonishingly insecure. Some of my sources are suggesting that that was deliberate – is, in fact, a commonplace when huge sums are involved. (Perhaps you remember the 2005 Highpoint Rendel fiasco?) Highly-trained people on those kind of salaries are just not that incompetent. Fortunately (for them) very few people are paying any attention.

      It is particularly suspicious when businesses very close to the ‘inside-track’ have gone overboard on ‘filling their boots’. You need to dig a little deeper.

  9. Tom April 4, 2011 at 6:58 pm - Reply

    Hmmm.

  10. Cliff Street April 4, 2011 at 8:03 pm - Reply

    Frank

    As a point of interest do you know anything about penalty clauses in contracts and in particular that impact they have on costs.

    Companies price penalty clauses into contracts, and its not cheap, its common practice. Do you believe that they come for free.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 5, 2011 at 11:30 pm - Reply

      As a matter of fact I do.

      I used to review contracts for my old employer.

      The penalty clauses I was refering to, are the ones that are strangely absent from any and all SBC contracts to do with large amounts of public money. Take the Sea Wall defences contract in Scarborough for example. No penalty clause, and a £20+million overspend that John Riby “missed”…

      Obviously, he was busy having a coffee break when he missed that one.

  11. MeToo April 5, 2011 at 11:53 am - Reply

    The vouchers were available to anyone that applied. This wasn’t the case when they were first intorduced, back then they were only for those entitled to free school meals. The system has been completely abused. I note the case mentioend above of the large vase and I am aware of parents that have taken children to paint pottery every week and chosen the largest, most expensive item on the list, simply because they could. At first you could book a whole block of swimming lessons with one voucher, that’s over £40 worth!! And then half of them weren’t turning up for the lessons! There is no way that the scheme could keep running like that. People were greedy but who wouldn’t be, nowadays I can’t afford to send my children horse riding, swimming etc every week and I have a decent wage coming in.

  12. angela April 5, 2011 at 12:53 pm - Reply

    ‘Put simply, there are a one or two people who seek to blame SBC for everything and anything. I read that Daryl seems to be on to this.
    I am no lover of SBC (far from it) but from a moral point of view it is deplorable to attack Officials as has happened frequently in the past. These people are unable to publicly defend themselves by engaging in public slanging matches.
    More importantly, from a strategic point of view, people who continuously snipe become associated with an entrenched position and lose credibility and support. If in doubt look at Mary Whitehouse. ‘

    I couldnt agree with you more! But then, we all know deep down SBC are to blame for everything ~ahem~ although I have yet to see any concrete evidence for any of it.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 5, 2011 at 11:33 pm - Reply

      If you weren’t so involved with them, then you might have a sense of objectivity. Allegedly.

      “More importantly, from a strategic point of view, people who continuously snipe become associated with an entrenched position and lose credibility and support”

      Isn’t this just what you are doing? You’re sniping from the comfort and “anonimity” of a computer screen. Except it’s not hard to work out who you really are….

  13. Cliff Street April 6, 2011 at 8:18 am - Reply

    Frank,

    I think you show that you don’t understand penalty contracts by what you say about overspends.

    Do you know about managing risk and about pricing for risk? Well, contractors if faced with penalty clauses, evaluate the risk and then put a cost on it. This invariably inflates the cost.

    Any contract involving tides, weather and unknown issues such as the contracts you refer to would contain massive risk and would have attracted a much larger estimate and thus a much larger overspend.

    Penalty clauses cannot control overspend.

    • Frank L. Chalmers April 6, 2011 at 8:02 pm - Reply

      So, Cliff, you are a contractual expert are you?

      Please share with us your credentials. They wouldn’t have been obtained prior, or during your tenure at a Local Authority would they?

  14. angela April 7, 2011 at 10:29 pm - Reply

    Frank

    I have nothing to do with SBC…I live so far away from Whitby I couldnt conceiveably work there!

    I do have contractual expertise though and the contracts that SBC issue to contractors should have spending limits on them and could/should not be allowed to be changed without SBC’s say so.

    The internet is full of anonymity..everyone knows that and it cannot be avoided..personally I like to keep my international woman of mystery status in tact LOL 😉

  15. Judith Dennett April 11, 2011 at 1:02 pm - Reply

    Public service or public power
    Scarborough Borough Council’s election seems to be bringing out the worst in Whitby people. People clinging to power because it gives them their raison d’etre, people jockeying for power because they believe everyone else is incompetent and people eschewing power because they won’t accept the responsibility. So where is the public service in all of this? Is it just a myth – or is it all about Me Too?

  16. Bob Turner April 11, 2011 at 6:30 pm - Reply

    In my opinion public service would increasingly be better described as disservice, and not just in Scarborough/Whitby. Unfortunately there appears to exist a common mindset throughout Local Government across the UK where ‘management knows best’, and the higher the management the worse their attitude. As for Central Government, the least said the better.
    Question nothing, or become ostracised/victimised/bullied by the very people that are allegedly accountable.
    The proliferation of Blogs and Websites that highlight the constant shortcomings of self-serving ‘public servants’ is to be welcomed. How else do we mere mortals expose their all too frequent failings?

  17. Ian Victa April 12, 2011 at 1:31 pm - Reply

    @Bob Turner
    ” Unfortunately there appears to exist a common mindset throughout Local Government across the UK where ‘management knows best’, and the higher the management the worse their attitude.”
    That is precisely why we need a new broom to sweep through the Town Hall and to clear out some of the council officers sitting on enormous salaries and getting consultants in to do their jobs.
    I fail to understand how councillors can consider they are doing their civic duty correctly when they allow such squalid overspending. Or does some of the overspend flow back?

  18. débauchée bukkake May 15, 2014 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Bon poste, j’en discuterai dans la journée avec mes collègues

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.

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This Sliding Bar can be switched on or off in theme options, and can take any widget you throw at it or even fill it with your custom HTML Code. Its perfect for grabbing the attention of your viewers. Choose between 1, 2, 3 or 4 columns, set the background color, widget divider color, activate transparency, a top border or fully disable it on desktop and mobile.