Double Standards?

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Double Standards?

Double Standards?

  • a report by TIM THORNE on the less than impartial enforcement of the Scarborough Borough Council Members’ Code of Conduct requirement to treat others with respect. Councillor Geoff Evans has been singled out for harsher treatment over his conduct as an Eastfield Parish Councillor than have other Councillors in respect of their conduct as Scarborough Borough Councillors – Councillors who, unlike Councillor Geoff Evans, have not blown the whistle on the Council in respect of its shameful evasion of the JACONELLI affair.

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The Standards Committee of Scarborough Borough Council has openly criticised the conduct of the now former Scarborough Borough Councillor Geoff Evans, over an event that took place back in 2012.

In 2012, Councillor Evans was telephoned at his home as an elected member of Eastfield Parish Council. The caller was unhappy with the rise in the local precept and allegedly went on to make personal remarks about Councillor Evans. Councillor Evans apparently let the insults get the better of him and responded in a similar fashion.

The caller then made a complaint to Scarborough Borough Council about Cllr Evans behaviour, which was brought before the SBC Standards Committee on the 18th October 2012. The SBC Standards Committee considered the evidence (which Councillor Evans was not allowed to contribute to) and made the following resolutions:

“Councillor Evans is required to submit an apology to Mrs Lister in a form to be specified by the Standards Committee and that Councillor Evans undertakes such training as the Standards Committee requires.”

“The Standards Committee are concerned at the conduct shown by Councillor Evans to an officer of this Council and requests that Councillor Evans provides a written apology to the Investigating Officer.”

Nearly a year has passed since the Standards Committee meeting and Councillor Evans has not made the required apologies, so the Standards Committee held Councillor Evans in contempt. This was publicised on the front page of the SBC website on the 2nd October and also made its way to the BBC, on the 3rd October.

However, Councillor Evans made the decision to resign from the Borough Council on health grounds some time ago. He would effectively step down from the Borough Council on the 30th September. Not much point holding Councillor Evans in contempt given he is no longer an elected member, is there?

It should be noted that former Councillor Evans had requested that the name of former Conservative Mayor of Scarborough, Peter Jaconelli, be removed from the list of Honorary Aldermen of the Borough due to multiple allegations of child sex abuse.

Due to the changes in the way that Standards Complaints are dealt with by Councils, publicly castigating elected members for their conduct is the only effective route left open to curtail their behaviour. It also gives the public a chance to see what really went on.

Let us take a look at a couple of other Standards Complaints and how SBC have dealt with them in the recent past.

MUGSHOT_Bill_CHATT

Councillor Bill Chatt:

In 2012, then North Yorkshire County Councillor and Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member Councillor Bill Chatt responded to an email from Real Whitby’s Tim Hicks. Tim was asking questions as to why so many elected members were receiving Broadband allowances from both North Yorkshire County and Scarborough Borough Councils.

Part of Councillor Chatt’s response, using the SBC email servers, was thus:

I have waited to responded to somebody for a long time I would ask was it breast feeding that was the problem when you were a child?”

“Was it that you was the kid with glasses on at school who every body picked on, Did you not have a Lego set”

The Standards Committee resolved that Councillor Chatt should undergo training to help him deal with members of the public.

At no point was Councillor Chatt ordered by the Standards Committee to apologise to the member of the public he insulted over email.

Mug-shot_BS

Councillor Brian Simpson:

In 2012, then North Yorkshire County Councillor, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member and Eastfield Parish Councillor, Brian Simpson, referred to fellow Eastfield Parish Councillor Carole Gerada as the ‘Dell Troll’.

Like Councillor Evans before him, Councillor Simpson was also under pressure from a resident of Eastfield regarding the 111% increase in the precept and also the fact Councillor Simpson had been receiving a Broadband allowance from both North Yorkshire County and Scarborough Borough Councils. This was done in full public glare on the Scarborough News website.

Councillor Simpson queried whether the Eastfield resident was married, when the reply came back ‘No’, Simpson responded with ‘No wonder you are a Miss’. Meow. Very respectful.

A Standards Complaint followed and the determination of the Standards Committee was that they didn’t believe that Councillor Brian Simpson was referring to Councillor Carole Gerada as the ‘Dell Troll’.  Nor did they believe that cattily querying the marital status of the Eastfield resident concerned had broken the Code, therefore Councillor Simpson had not failed to treat people with respect. A whitewash, it seems.

MUGSHOT_D_BASTIMAN

Councillor Derek Bastiman:

There is an impending complaint regarding the conduct of Councillor Derek Bastiman. The now North Yorkshire County Councillor, Scarborough Borough Council Cabinet Member and Newby & Scalby Parish Councillor, as someone standing in the elections, attended the count for the May 2013 County Council Elections at Scarborough Spa.

During the count, several members of the public heard Councillor Bastiman say ‘You can f*ck off for a start’, directed at a candidate for the Streonshalh ward by-election in Whitby. I’m sure most people would agree that this was conduct most unbecoming to an elected member. Councillor Bastiman is also the leader of the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Party. One wonders if the party will retain Councillor Bastiman’s services in the present capacity after such an outburst.

It will be most interesting to see how the Standards Committee responds to a complaint about Councillor Bastiman. If the Standards Committee want to be seen to be a body that is fair in their decisions and widely respected, then surely Councillor Bastiman will be required to undertake training and be forced to apologise for his unpleasant behaviour.

If the Standards Committee doesn’t require Councillor Bastiman to undertake training and apologise, then we can only conclude they are a body unfit for purpose and the real reason for Councillor Evans’ treatment was politically motivated. That may also bring into question the political impartiality of the Borough Council and their role in the matter.

cllr_geoff_evans

Other SBC Articles:

SBC: OAT Losses Exposed

Information Commissioner Slams SBC

SBC ‘Spook’ Censors Mundane Planning Doc

Yorkshire Councils Pipped For National Award

Double Dippers Make Private Eye

About the Author:

Website Admin for the Real Whitby Website. All authors of the Real Whitby Website have access to publish on the website. Individual authors will usually sign off their articles with their own names.

12 Comments

  1. Ian Detute October 5, 2013 at 8:40 pm - Reply

    Sounds to me like they are going after ex cllr Evans because he dared to speak out.Typical of the no morals spineless b;;tards.

  2. Steve Old October 6, 2013 at 6:41 am - Reply

    My vote goes for Cllr Geoff Evans every time a man willing to sacrifice everything to seek the truth and clear the air as its quite obvious to everyone that something is just not right!By putting your head in the sand does not mean that this whole thing will just go away more and more people are becoming involved more people are reading article they may not wish or even dare to comment but they are making the numbers up. New information is slowly finding its way forward some very sensitive!
    I have nothing personal against any Councillor to my knowledge neither of them have done any wrong doing directly focused to me with exception of Cllr Penny Marsden who blatantly keeps ignoring my emails but that is just a broadband issue yet I still wish to receive a plain transparent answer!
    The people of Scarborough need more Councillors like Cllr Geoff Evens with Courage and Integrity.
    Good will outwit evil in the end!

  3. James Miller October 6, 2013 at 8:33 am - Reply

    Geoff Evans is well known for speaking his mind Ian. When he first stood for SBC at Eastfield, back in the days when the Lie-Dems were the blue eyed boys of the electorate in that ward, a friend of mine who was, at that time, prominent in the local Lib. party, told me that Mr Evans was (I paraphrase) ‘honest but would never fit in with politics locally because his approach was too blunt’. I’m afraid my friend was right. He (G.E.) did not suffer fools, liked to tell the truth as he saw it and, unlike Brians O’Flynn and Simpson was never going to join in the game of ‘voter deception’ for long.

    I am certainly no Lib-Dem and believe that they, institutionally, possibly tell even more porkies than the other parties, but I was actually considering voting for Geoff Evans in 2014 for one simple reason. Yes, he was that rare thing round here, honest. Which is, of course, why the mandarins at the Clown Hall (also known internally as Ferkham Hall) will not like him.

    • JGHarston October 6, 2013 at 11:50 pm - Reply

      2014? The next local election’s in 2015.

      • James Miller October 7, 2013 at 4:44 am - Reply

        May 22nd 2014 to coincide with next European elections.

        • James Miller October 7, 2013 at 7:15 am - Reply

          Sorry. Just woken up. Scarborough is not in that tranche. You are right. May 2015. Probably to coincide with UK Parliament election.

          • JGHarston October 10, 2013 at 7:15 pm - Reply

            Local elections follow their own timetable, they have nothing to do with Parliamentary elections. It is just coincidence that the fixed 4-year borough council cycle coincides with the new fixed 5-year parliamentary cycle in 2015. The next time that will happen will be 2035 (2025 for county elections).
            If the fixed local election cycle coincides with the fixed 5-year European cycle then the two sets of elections are moved to the same day, as in 2004, 2009 and 2014.

  4. Tim Hicks October 6, 2013 at 9:04 am - Reply

    I was very sorry to read that Geoff Evans had stood down as a Councillor. I thought it took considerable courage and integrity to speak out about the sexual offences committed by Conservative Mayor Peter Jaconelli and the acquiescence of North Yorkshire Police in Scarborough with his offending.

    Given that he stood down on the 3oth of September, there was no need to release that he was held in contempt and ensure it went to the BBC on the 2nd of October, which I consider to be vindictive.

  5. rod mathers October 6, 2013 at 9:23 am - Reply

    I assume this comments section exists so that readers can share their opinions. Mine is as follows. Chatt is a thug and an imbecile. Simpson is a turncoat and a parasite. Bastiman is a chancer and a bully. As for Geoff Evans, he is twice a victim. Once of a depraved Tory Councillor and now of a bunch of spineless sycophants who blindly follow wherever a rogue cop leads. Geoff Evans is worth a thousand of this shower added together.

  6. Nigel October 6, 2013 at 10:31 am - Reply

    On Friday 13th September 2013, County & Borough Councillor Derek BASTIMAN featured in a BBC Radio York interview covering the prospects for Scarborough contingent upon the Dogger Bank wind-farm proposals.

    [ https://dl.dropboxusercontent.com/u/20492001/Radio%20interview%2C%20Derick%20Bastiman.MP3 ]

    Given the BASTIMAN Portfolio, it is not entirely clear why he should have been the man to tell the BBC that:

    • “Scarborough Harbour can boast of having 24/7 access to its Harbour”

    That interview should more properly have been conducted with (ousted County) Councillor Mike COCKERILL, whose Cabinet Portfolio is for Harbours, Assets and Coastal & Flood Protection.

    In any event, County Councillor Derek BASTIMAN contrived to avoid any mention of the three recent cases of vessels running aground in Scarborough’s harbour mouth; the passenger vessel Coronia (owned by Robert GOODWILL MP [Con]) ran aground on 25th August 2013 (“Abandon Ship!” was called and adults and children were photographed in the water without the regulation life-jackets); and just a few days later, two private yachts ran aground in the harbour mouth – all of which rather gives the lie to County Councillor Derek BASTIMAN’s boasts to the BBC.

    So much for 24/7 access to Scarborough Harbour.

    I leave the reader to form an opinion as to what it is that Councillor Derek BASTIMAN is full of – they tell me it’s good for the roses.

    • James Miller October 6, 2013 at 11:12 am - Reply

      Aw, come off it Nigel. You’ll be saying that Scarborough has low tide approx twice a day and that access to the harbour is limited at those times to the point of being zero.

      Is it true that Cllr. Bastiman was hit by a speed boat when out for a Sunday afternoon walk?

  7. Nigel October 12, 2013 at 10:41 am - Reply

    County & Borough Councillor Derek BASTIMAN, again:

    http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/councillor-did-not-break-code-1-4506987

    ” . . . it was noted that, while the statistics he had quoted may have been incorrect, he had not been deceitful if he reasonably believed these statistics to be correct.”

    In simple language, it does not matter if County & Borough Councillor Derek BASTIMAN spouts total drivel in his public utterances, as long as he claims to believe the drivel he spouts.

    But does he really believe that Scarborough Harbour is accessible 24/7? In my view, County & Borough Councillor Derek BASTIMAN as a resident MUST have been aware of the grounding incidents and the widely-known fact that the Harbour is most definitely NOT accessible 24/7. In the view of the SBC Standards Committee, that would mean that he has been deceitful – and that constitutes a clear breach of the Code of Conduct.

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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.