Police called in on potash planner TIM LAWN
- An update by Nigel Ward and Tim Thorne on the fall-out from the Real Whitby coverage of exposure of the undeclared interests of then-Chair of the North York Moors National Park Authority Planning Committee, former Scarborough Borough Councillor Tim LAWN
The Yorkshire Post has this morning – at one midnight past midnight (i.e. as soon as Polling Day was over – published a report entitled “Councillor probed on ‘failure to register company”.
The salient points of the article are:
- POLICE have been called in to investigate the actions of a senior councillor who set up a minerals company in the wake of a planning application for a huge £1bn potash mine in North Yorkshire.
- He (Tim LAWN) registered Hollybush Minerals with Companies House on October 5 but his financial interest in the company was not registered with the national park authority until March 12. Six days later Mr Lawn resigned from Scarborough Council which meant his membership of the national park authority – as a council nominee – also lapsed.
- Lisa Dixon, Scarborough Council’s legal director, said: “The investigation into former borough councillor, Tim Lawn, relates to the failure to disclose a pecuniary interest. Although a member of the public referred this to us as a complaint, we were already taking steps in relation to the matter. However, the investigation has now been referred to North Yorkshire Police and we are unable to comment any further at this time.”
Nowhere in the article is it mentioned that Tim LAWN was a Conservative Councillor.
Real Whitby reported on the Hollybush Minerals Ltd formation on 2nd April 2013 in his article entitled “From Scarborough Town Hall, With Anger”.
And yet here we are, ONE MINUTE into the day AFTER the election (when bad publicity for the Conservatives is no longer critical) and the region’s leading newspaper – the Yorkshire Post – is finally spilling the beans on a story that Real Whitby has been pursuing for months.
And regular readers of Real Whitby will immediately recognise that this same Lisa DIXON, quoted in the Yorkshire Post article above, threatened legal action (civil and criminal) against Real Whitby and the Corruption Busters on 28th March 2013, claiming defamation of elected representatives and paid public servants at Scarborough Borough Council.
It is interesting to note that at an SBC Cabinet Meeting on 23rd April – almost one month after Lisa DIXON’s threats of legal action against Real Whitby and the Corruption Busters – she told the Cabinet in relation to the threat of legal action that, “It was important that the work was undertaken thoroughly and not rushed”.
In other words, the threat of legal action was rushed, and subsequent events are proving that Real Whitby has been way ahead of the Monitoring Officer throughout. Fears expressed by several Councillors that Lisa DIXON was appointed prematurely to a position beyond her competence are looking increasingly well-founded.
In our view, that is fair comment.