Scarborough Bully Council – abuse of entrusted power?

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Scarborough Bully Council – abuse of entrusted power?

Scarborough Bully Council – abuse of entrusted power?

  • an ‘In My View’ article by Nigel Ward, reporting on the increasingly authoritarian mind-set informing the actions of a Council desperate to conceal endemic corruption defined as “The abuse of entrusted power for private gain” (Transparency International).

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Now that the North Yorkshire County Council elections are behind us and THREE of SBC Leader Councillor Tom FOX’s seven Cabinet Portfolio-Holders (all double-dippers) have seen the sharp end of public opinion, what can we expect next from this Cabinet, seven of whose present composition have suffered severe criticism in the national and local press over their double-dipping of Allowances and thereby lost the confidence of the electorate i.e. those who finance them?

And let us not forget that, in the Northstead division, former Portfolio-Holder (and another double-dipper) Cllr Peter POPPLE turned a 63-vote majority into a 179-vote defeat to UKIP’s anti-corruption candidate Graham TAYLOR – a 242-vote turnaround that must surely have been influenced by his exposure as a double-dipper).

But before analysing future prospects, let us have a closer look at what has befallen four of Cllr Tom FOX’s present Cabinet since their 2009 NYCC election victories.

In the Mayfield-cum-Mulgrave division, double-dipper Cllr Jane KENYON stepped down from the County Council, citing health issues.

In the Eastfield & Osgodby division, double-dipper Cllr Brian SIMPSON turned a 262-vote majority into a 148-vote crashing defeat – a 410-vote turnaround that was surely influenced by his exposure as a double-dipper.

In the Woodlands division, double-dipper Cllr Bill CHATT lost his tenuous grip on his seat (a majority of 4 votes) into a crashing 105-vote defeat (third place) – and that, too, surely had plenty to do with Bill CHATT’s unrepentant double-dipping, as well as his astonishing bullying tirade against Corruption Buster Tim HICKS.

In the Filey division, double-dipper Cllr Mike COCKERILL turned a 100-vote majority into a 118-vote defeat – a 218-vote turnaround that again must have been influenced by public feeling over double dipping. His arrogant attitude and general ignorance of the special-interest areas of his Portfolio may perhaps also have had a hand in his downfall; although the Resolution passed by Whitby Town (Parish) Council at a Meeting of Full Council on 5th February 2013 seems to have gone largely unnoticed by the general public.

  • Resolved that this Council requests that Borough Councillor Cockerill employs a more informed, resourceful and diplomatic response to the many critical issues which confront  him in our Town in his dual role as Portfolio Holder for Harbours, Assets, Coast and Flood Protection and Chairman of Whitby Harbour Board” – (Ten votes for, one vote against and two abstentions).

So three of SBC Leader Cllr Tom FOX’s hand-picked Cabinet (eight strong – the Leader, plus seven Portfolio-Holders) have rather emphatically been given the order of the boot from their County Council seats and another decided not to stand, citing health issues (which are apparently not so grave as to prevent her from performing her rôle as SBC’s Portfolio-Holder for Finance, Procurement & Legal)  – thus leaving the Cabinet’s credibility in complete tatters, and the Leader’s along with it.

But that brings us, conveniently, to the Borough Council’s latest bully-boy attempt to silence criticism.

On 15th April 2013, SBC’s David KITSON – whose position is now described as ‘the Solicitor’ (presumably to obviate the embarrassment caused by his previous title – ‘the Senior Solicitor’ – often ironically abbreviated to ‘the SS’) – sent a letter to the Clerk of Whitby Town (Parish) Council intimating that, by passing the Resolution quoted above, ALL of its elected members could be in breach of three articles of the Code of Conduct. And he contemptuously insinuates that Whitby Town (Parish) Council has conducted itself like a “talking shop” – which the FreeDictionary defines thus:

  • “a group or committee that has discussions that never result in action”.

He also instructs that any future criticism of Scarborough Borough Councillors be made via a Formal Complaint to the Monitoring Officer – Lisa DIXON – under the terms of the Code of Conduct, based on the seven Nolan Principles. In other words, he is using implied threats to inhibit the Town Council’s right to criticize SBC, in exactly the same way that Lisa DIXON tried to prohibit free speech in the form of further criticism of SBC on Real Whitby.

Revised_Nolan_Principles

 

David KITSON is Lisa DIXON’s Deputy Monitoring Officer. In addition to being Monitoring Officer, Lisa DIXON is also SBC’s Director (formerly Head) of Legal & Support Services. It was Lisa DIXON who approved those “solicitor’s letters” attempting to close down Real Whitby and threatening its main contributors with civil and criminal legal action.

I have lodged a Formal Complaint against the SBC Solicitor David KITSON. I have also FOIA’d for his authorisation to write and send the letter. I believe his letter breaches the Code of Conduct in precisely the same ways that he himself has cited against the Whitby Town (Parish) Councillors.  .

It would appear that institutionalised bullying is now the first choice of action for the SBC Legal team.

Notwithstanding Lisa DIXON’s attempts, six weeks ago, to close down Real Whitby unless every single reference to Scarborough Borough Council was removed from the site within seven days, as well as threatening civil and criminal legal action against the site’s owner and three main contributors, we now know (from the Minutes of the SBC Cabinet Meeting of Tuesday 23rd April 2013) that, by her own admission, she was jumping the gun:

  • “The Chairman reported that Agenda Item 17 on this meeting’s agenda (and Item 5 in the Forward Plan under the Finance, Procurement and Legal portfolio) had been deferred at the request of the Council’s lawyers. The reason for this was that progress continued to be made but there were a substantial amount of items to be considered in this context. It was important that the work was undertaken thoroughly and not rushed.  Members were asked to bear with the team while it continued its investigations and analysis.”

Shoot first – ask questions later.

Charles Arnold-Baker, in his seminal work “Local Council Administration” – universally recognised as the Councils’ “Bible” – has this to say on the subject of defamation:

“Fair comment on a matter of public interest is not actionable. The acts and proceedings of a local council are matters of public interest, and a local council or other local authority as such cannot maintain an action for defamation if it is criticised[66] even if such criticism is intemperately expressed[67]. Criticism must, however, be fair and if it is so worded that it can reasonably be held to impute unworthy or corrupt motives to particular members they would, as individuals, be entitled to take action”.
[66] Purcell v Sowler (1887) 2 CPD 215; Hampshire Co Council v Times Newspapers (1992) 90 GR 221.
[67] Local Government Act 1972 Sch 12 paras 13(2) and 29(2)

“They would, as individuals, be entitled to take action”. Paid for by themselves – and initiated through their own solicitor(s) under their own names, not anonymously through the Council’s solicitor, paid for by the public purse.

In my view, we are here confronted by a Cabinet and/or Council seeking to use its own Legal Services department as a tool to silence public criticism – whether by Real Whitby investigative-journalists or by Whitby’s own elected representatives, the Whitby Town (Parish) Council – in an effort to conceal from the wider public knowledge of double-dipping of Allowances and other serious breaches of the public trust, at the public’s expense!

Clearly, the Council as a whole is deeply embarrassed by its decision to reward former Councillor,  Mayor and Jimmy SAVILE associate Peter JACONELLI with ‘Honorary Alderman of the Borough’ status (proposed by former SBC Leader Councillor Mavis DON OBE and seconded by Councillor Tom FOX’s immediate predecessor as Leader, Councillor Eileen BOSOMWORTH, of Highpoint-Rendell fame).

We know this because Councillor Tom FOX continues to evade my question of 18th of February 2013:

  • What is the intention of the Leader in respect of the many serious allegations, every bit as horrific as those against Jimmy SAVILE, against former Councillor and Mayor Peter JACONELLI, in respect of his status as Alderman of the Borough. Is there a process in train for the Council to adopt the same approach as in the SAVILE case?” 

Readers will remember that it was only days later, on 22nd February 2013, that Councillor Geoff EVANS came forward to the Scarborough News (“Ex-Mayor was a sex pest”), and in Real Whitby (“Savile Associate Jaconelli Finally Exposed As Paedophile”), confirming that he himself was a victim of Peter JACONELLI and that:

  • “Authorities, including the police and council, were aware of the issue but did not take any action.”

This statement entirely corroborated an earlier statement by Trevor HARRINGTON:

  • “I can confirm from personal experience that all of the allegations published about this man are entirely correct and he was a predatory paedophile, who preyed on local children.”

Meanwhile, the list of people confirming that the Council and the Police were fully aware of JACONELLI’s sexual exploitation of young boys continues to grow. Councillor Tom FOX spent around thirty years with the NYP, retiring as (acting) Chief of the Scarborough Police. His continuing failure to concede that JACONELLI was honoured as Alderman in flagrant disregard of his well-known and  illegal proclivity for abusing minors  is eroding Cllr Tom FOX’s own personal credibility to the point of farce.

But to return to the present; WTC Town Clerk Mrs Pam DOBSON’s letter to Lisa DIXON of 16th April seems to suggest that the Town Clerk has been sufficiently cowed by SBC Solicitor David KITSON’s letter as to abbreviate the full form of words of the Council’s Resolution of Tuesday 9th April, which was not (as she states) “this Council deplores the use of Scarborough Borough Council’s legal and Support Services to try to suppress freedom of speech”.

In full, it reads:

MOVED by Cllr Ian HAVELOCK, seconded by Cllr Amanda SMITH

RESOLVED that

This Council deplores the use of Scarborough Borough Council Legal and Support Services in order to:

  • Restrict the right of individual electors and residents to freedom of speech
  • Restrict the right of individual electors and residents to publish both opinions and comment concerning the business of SBC

A recorded vote was requested.

FOR THE MOTION AGAINST THE MOTION ABSTENSIONS
Cllr Amanda SMITH Cllr John FREEMAN (Chair) Cllr John DICKINSON
Cllr Steve SMITH   Cllr Susan CLOUGH*
Cllr Dennis COLLINS   Cllr Mike MURPHY
Cllr Terry JENNISON   Cllr Niall CARSON
Cllr Ian HAVELOCK   Cllr Joyce STANGOE
    Cllr Noreen WILSON
    Cllr Simon PARKES
    Cllr Heather COUGHLAN

* (Cllr Susan CLOUGH has since resigned from the Council)

It is interesting to note that, in sharp contrast with the rest of his Council, only the Chair (Mayor) Cllr John FREEMAN was not in principle opposed to SBC’s attempts to restrict free speech and public criticism.

The Clerk perhaps anticipated that if David KITSON (“the SS”) could wax so aggressive over a richly-deserved criticism of Cllr Mike COCKERILL, then Lisa DIXON may well blow a gasket when on learning that Whitby Town (Parish) Council actually DEPLORES Scarborough Borough Council’s attempts to restrict freedom of speech and restrict the right of individuals to criticise Scarborough Borough Council, even though Cllr Ian HAVELOCK had this to say:

  • “The [Lisa DIXON] letter was extremely threatening. It has clearly touched a nerve and there is a lot of things I feel they [Real Whitby] were justified in bringing to the attention of the public.”

“Justified in bringing to the attention of the public”.

Indeed. All our efforts are in the public interest. The puzzle is, why would an administration guilty of no wrongdoing and confident that it was acting in the public interest be so aggressively hostile to scrutiny and comment by anyone, if the allegations of misconduct leveled against it were unfounded?

But we now learn, in an FOIA response, that Lisa DIXON takes sole responsibility for her threatening letter (though it was drafted by ‘a member of the Council’s legal team’):

  • “I can confirm that the letter to which you refer was drafted by a member of the Council’s legal team to be sent by Lisa Dixon. Lisa Dixon approved the letter. The authority delegated to Lisa Dixon is contained in the Council’s Constitution, a copy of which can be found on the Council’s web site at www.scarborough.gov.uk”.

Although the delegated authority mentioned in the Constitution [7.(v)] does seem to extend to firing off threatening solicitor’s letters, it does not authorise personally motivated attacks in reaction to the criticism of Lisa DIXON performance as Monitoring Officer published on Real Whitby and in Private Eye – or actions contrary to the Constitution.

The following matters are also excluded from Lisa DIXON’s delegated authority:

(i)         Claims or legal proceedings involving Members;

(ii)        Claims or legal proceedings which, in the Head of Legal and Support Services’ view, are non-routine or have policy, high profile or significant financial implications.

This would appear to confirm that Lisa DIXON cannot act on behalf of elected members, and she cannot claim that the present issues are anything other than “non-routine or have policy, high profile or significant financial implications”.

Ergo, she needed the authority of the Council to threaten Real Whitby with closure – and its three main contributors with civil and criminal legal action. It appears that she had no such authority; in fact, she would appear to have abused her position and gone beyond her delegated authority – i.e. acted ultra vires.

After all, if Lisa DIXON’s action in writing to Real Whitby’s Internet Service Provider demanding that it terminate the Real Whitby website was authorised and justifiable in law, why did she approve a Press Release to Whitby Town (Parish) Council and the Whitby Gazette denying that she had written the letter that we now know she had personally approved?

And why will she not specify what it is that she alleges Real Whitby has published that is (allegedly) defamatory?

The Constitution of Scarborough Borough Council also tells us this (my highlights, in bold):

Purpose of the Constitution

The purpose of this Constitution is to provide a framework which will enable the Council to provide clear leadership to the local community and efficient, effective, transparent and accountable decision-making by:

(i) supporting the active involvement of local people in the process of local authority decision-making;

(ii) helping Councillors represent their constituents more effectively;

(iii) enabling decisions to be taken efficiently and effectively;

(iv) creating a powerful and effective means of holding decision-makers to public account;

(v) ensuring that no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved;

(vi) ensuring that those responsible for decision making are clearly identifiable to local people and that they explain the reasons for decisions; and

(vii) providing a means of improving the delivery of services to the community.

(viii) ensuring that the work of the Council promotes its vision and aims, which are

as follows:-

Our Vision is:

‘to achieve the renaissance of the North Yorkshire Coast by 2020’

Our Mission is:

‘to be the best’

That was the aspiration.

The reality is different – we have an autocratic Leader surrounded by a nucleus of increasingly unsupported Councillors who think nothing of accepting double and even triple their Allowance money, and will not even come clean and pay it back when challenged.

On 23rd May 2013, the individual Cabinet Portfolio-Holders will decide whether or not to use Council resources (i.e. the public purse) to silence the very people that their Constitution promises will be “actively supported” in “holding them to account”. In doing so, the Cabinet is at risk of breaching Items (i), (iv), (v) and (vi) of the Council’s own Constitution.

Particularly disturbing to me is no one will review or scrutinise a decision in which they were directly involved”, because six of the eight Councillors who comprise the Cabinet are directly involved in this absurd threat of legal action against Real Whitby and its main contributors – as double-dippers, three of whom have lost out badly in the County elections, clearly they had something to lose personally by the continuing double-dipping scandal – their County seats – worth a minimum of £8,994 per annum (and that is only the NYCC Basic Allowance – there are other Allowances to be enjoyed).

Only County Councillors David CHANCE and Derek BASTIMAN amongst the Cabinet Membership are not double-dippers, having been elected to the County Council at last week’s elections. The Cabinet cannot take any action whatsoever with only two Portfolio-Holders present. Presumably, we should now expect a ‘Cabinet re-shuffle’!

Remind me. Where are we living? Under what sort of a regime?

The former USSR? The People’s Republic of China? North Korea?

No.

We live in that part of North Yorkshire where ‘strong’ Leader Cllr Tom FOX presides over Scarborough Bully Council – operating in flagrant disregard of its own Constitution.

Hypocrisy + Autocracy = Lunacy

Scarborough_BULLY_Council

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.

22 Comments

  1. Jon Risdon May 8, 2013 at 10:08 am - Reply

    This gets more comical by the day [almost by the hour!]. Viva Ruritania!

  2. kathleen parker May 8, 2013 at 10:54 am - Reply

    I see Tom Fox has surrounded himself with the backscratching brigade! They’ll have “meetings” before meetings! It will all crumble one day.

  3. Richard Ineson May 8, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

    Hitler, Franco and Mussolini, amongst other despots, started their reigns of terror with the suppression of free speech, it’s what is known as , ‘ the bunker mentality’ unfortunately, the age of the internet is here and the only real chance of escaping criticism for our Councils, is to not provide the material which is the subject of such criticism, or at least not in such abundance as pertains at present. The only people they are deluding into believing that everything in the garden is lovely, are themselves and their snivelling, sycophantic, acolytes.’ Fiddling whilst Rome burns’ seems a very apt quotation on this occasion. We need strong leadership, someone who will instil the need for civic pride ,conscientious attention to duty and integrity into our Councillors and Council officers, someone who has the balls to get rid of the rubbish and get things back on track.

  4. Nigel Ward May 8, 2013 at 1:33 pm - Reply

    *** CORRECTION ***

    I have mistakenly reported that the NYCC Northstead seat went to Graham TAYLOR (UKIP). In fact, the seat was won by Cllr Eric BROADBENT (LAB) – who was a double-dipper the last time he held a County seat – and the turnaround against Cllr Peter POPPLE was more like 293, who was beaten into third place.

    Sincere apologies to you, Graham. Sorry.

  5. Brian Dodds May 8, 2013 at 1:36 pm - Reply

    Well the county council elections should have sent a message to the remaining few that people are not accepting their idea that they are above criticism and they had better sort their act out or they will be held accountable. The writing is on the wall, and a lot more people are waking up to the corruption that is so firmly entrenched in our present system,all those in elected office who have been shown to be corrupt had better take note, the people have spoken.

  6. Carole Gerada May 8, 2013 at 6:47 pm - Reply

    I read with interest the comments made on this site and am equally horrified at the power which SBC officers and certain elected councillors wield over the general public. I am appalled at the blatant lack of accountability and information governance within NYCC, SBC and local government throughout North Yorkshire.

    Recent events in Eastfield have been supported by North Yorkshire police, SBC officers including Lisa Dixon and her monitoring officers and legal team, and interestingly, a rather spurious email from Robert Goodwill MP supporting racism in Eastfield in agreeing that Eastfield Parish Council can be referred to as a White English Council, which leaves me personally feeling extremely uncomfortable by such a blatantly racist comment.

    How do we get members of the public to become aware of this and other extremely questionable activities within the offices of local government which appear to be supported by Government?

    I have tried to gain the interest of the press and have provided evidence to them. But instead of hearing back from them, I have been sent threatening emails supposedly from Robert Goodwill MP advising me to remain quiet.

    I am now in fear of reprisals against me and that is why I am posting this comment on this site. The only response I have received is from Lisa Dixon stating that SBC do not support racism. However she stated there is nothing wrong with EPC being a White English Council!

    • Vanda May 10, 2013 at 10:53 am - Reply

      Hi Carol, trust you are well. Meanwhile: “email from Robert Goodwill MP supporting racism in Eastfield in agreeing that Eastfield Parish Council can be referred to as a White English Council, which leaves me personally feeling extremely uncomfortable by such a blatantly racist comment.” please would you forward me any/all of your correspondence with Robert Goodwill to my email address. Many thanks.

      • James Miller May 11, 2013 at 4:33 pm - Reply

        I’m afraid I don’t fully understand this. If Eastfield Parish (soon to be Town) Council is acting in a racist, or even neo-racist, way then it is the first time ever (but still illegal and immoral). The first Chair of EPC was Alex Abiola, a man from Nigeria, and although he got a house change to Scalby, on the grounds that he was abused by some yobs, in fact those same yobs were shown to have hurled insults (and threats) at at least six white people and he certainly was never racially abused at EPC or by the voters of Eastfield. The last (only?) time a BNP candidate stood for Council at Eastfield they put up a miserable showing in the polls.

        Are you saying that the EPC current clique are deliberately playing the race card because, if enough people could be tempted to stand against them, they would be given the bums’ rush en mass (Carole, I think, excluded).

        Please tell us more about this situation.

  7. Ian Detute May 8, 2013 at 10:13 pm - Reply

    Great stuff N

  8. Jacob Rumpelstiltskin May 9, 2013 at 9:05 am - Reply

    The doudle-dippers who are also bullies should be thrown out of office and be banned from holding a public office for life. They are only looking after one thing and that is lining their own pockets without any care for the public. That goes for any appointments whether Local or National.

  9. rod mathers May 9, 2013 at 1:08 pm - Reply

    The question of authorisation is moot; neither the cabinet nor the council can lawfully authorise officers to do something illegal. The press release is both defamatory and poses a threat. If Dixon approved it (with or without authorisation) she is possibly personally liable. Similarly Readman. Time foir a humble apology.

  10. JD May 9, 2013 at 6:11 pm - Reply

    One is tempted to worry about Ms Dixon’s ability to do the job of Head of Legal Services. On the SBC site officers page she is alone in appearing to have no qualifications at all.

  11. Carole Gerada May 11, 2013 at 9:13 pm - Reply

    I know what happened to Cllr Abiola. Unfortunately he is dead now so don’t really want to remind you that he attended a tribunal in London and won an appeal against EPC for what they accused him of.

    In my case, I was the only resident who was asked if they had a British Passport at a co-option interview for EPC. I was also the only resident who applied for co-option when there were 3 vacancies on EPC, but the council chose not to offer me an interview and re-run the advert. That is when Cllr Geoff Evans and I applied, got interviewed and Geoff was appointed leaving 2 vacancies unfilled – I was rejected. However residents elected me in the May 2011 elections. Since my election I have ensured residents have received information about what affects them regarding public information, elections rather than co-options take place and continue to question EPC’s lack of information governance and financial accountability.

    Working within a council which NYCc police, SBC council and others accept as a White English Council is intolerable to me. That is why I stupidly took the advice of the police, YLCA officers and SBC officers and lodged a civil claim against 4 councillors who committed libel against me following a conference.

    I stupidly believed that because racism is a crime justice would be served. Now I realise that the judge is a local boy of similar age to councillors and instead of allowing a hearing to be heard by an independent judge, he utilised his position of power to not even hear the case.

    I feel very uncomfortable because I can no longer encourage residents to become councillors knowing that the council supports and defends racists, bullies and liars.

    I now have to try and decide whether to continue my commitment to residents in supporting them despite the continuing libel, slander and bullying against me because the chairman of EPC has a position of power and some kind of hold over SBC monitoring team – or cut my losses and leave the council which means residents will no longer receive important information about their community.

    My health has failed since I joined the council and because of libel, slander and bullying against me based on my origins. However I have to live with my conscience so need to work through this very difficult time and try and survive it.

    I have no idea how to resolve any of the issues. Cllr Simpson is gloating that District judge Neaves ordered me to pay their costs of £6,000 by 15 May, which is ridiculous because the case, despite evidence against the councillors, was not even heard.

    I also have still not heard from Robert Goodwill MP confirming that he never wrote threatening emails against me, when hours before, I received a very supportive email from him. If I was aware someone was sending spurious messages in my name I certainly would take measures to expose them. But it appears that Lisa Dixon and Robert Goodwill MP have no concerns although they have not verified that he wrote the threatening ones.

    What would you do in my shoes?

  12. Rupert Ferguson May 13, 2013 at 6:10 am - Reply

    This whole thing is about fear, harassment, bullying and intimidation: and involves a situation in which anyone who dares to make a lawful complaint is subjected to a campaign of organized ‘beasting’ aimed at silencing any voice of dissent!

  13. James Miller May 13, 2013 at 7:04 am - Reply

    Do you mean this one?

    2. Decision:

    The Sub-Committee noted that since the

    complaint was received Councillor Abiola

    has sent a written apology to Councillor

    Eileen Vickers and accepted that some of

    his comments were inappropriate. The

    Sub-Committee considered that as this

    apology had been made and accepted. It was

    decided that the complaint had effectively

    already been resolved and that no further

    action would be taken.

    Or this one?

    Cllr Brian Simpson, who worked with Mr Abiola for a number of years on the council said he was a committed man who made a big difference to Eastfield.

    He said: “I knew Alex quite well and he was one of the founder members of the council alongside myself and the late Cllr Brian O’Flynn.

    “Alex Abiola was a name synonymous with Eastfield and was a well known character to a lot of people.

    “He was instrumental with the tenants and residents association and the Echo Centre community facility and was a very knowledgeable and intelligent character.

    “He did a lot of work for the Eastfield community and will be missed by a lot of people.

    People have such short memories. The driving force behind the setting up of EPC was the old Eastfield Community Help Organisation (ECHO) and pushing for it was the trio of, the late Grattan Lockley, Alex Abiola and Peter Marx. All now deceased. The first Chair of EPC was Alex and the first Chair of Finance was John Turner. Brian Simpson’s only contribution to EPC was to become Chair, many years later and increase the Parish Tax by 111%, probably one of the reasons why he did so badly in the recent County elections. When he gave the above quoted statement to the old SEN at the time of Alex’s death whilst living in Scalby, he was telling porkies again, but he has had a lot of practice at that. Brian O’Flynn was a local councillor who also had no real hand in EPC until he was co-opted some 2 years after it’s foundation. He lived on the Garlands, also called millionaires row, in Weaponness Ward and although almost certainly, the hardest working of the three Borough Councillors for Eastfield, and working closely with Alex during the latter’s year as Chair of EPC, he was elected to SBC on the promise of getting the Middle Deepdale Development cancelled but within a couple of months of being elected had agreed that he couldn’t. He then joined the Tory administration’s town hall working party to plan for it. He was at least pragmatic, unlike Grattan Lockley and Alex Abiola who continued, in vain, to campaign against it. The first houses started to go up in March of this year after a delay of funding.

    I’m afraid I can find no record of any complaints of racism from EPC, either corporately or individually, by Alex, just a complaint by the Chair, who succeeded him, against him. This was settled when he apologised.

  14. Carole Gerada May 13, 2013 at 8:29 am - Reply

    Thank you for this information which is something I requested from SBC but they refused to give me. Did all this take place at the court appeal which Cllr Abiola attended? If so, please send me the link. Or are you saying the information SBC told me about the application hearing did not happen? Seems like I may have been intentionally misled again in another attempt to try and silence me.

  15. James Miller May 13, 2013 at 9:06 am - Reply

    That is exactly what I am telling you. There are, as far as I or any of the older residents of Eastfield, know, any records of a court appearance by Alex Abiola for this particular type of complaint. He was a few times reported by individuals for abusive behaviour but he was a man of a quick temper and it usually ended with his apologising when he calmed down. This sort of complaint is usually handled by the SBC complaints procedure and not by litigation.

  16. Nigel Ward May 13, 2013 at 2:35 pm - Reply

    Hello!

    Derek Robinson has started the petition “The Prime Minister: Regulate expenses to local authority councillors outlawing duplicate claims” (i.e. ‘double-dipping’ of Allowances/Expenses) and we need your help to get it off the ground.

    Will you take 30 seconds to sign it right now? Here’s the link:

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-prime-minister-regulate-expenses-to-local-authority-councillors-outlawing-duplicate-claims

    Here’s why it’s important:

    This is important because it is an abuse of taxpayers monies and in these times of austerity (as David Cameron says) “We are all in this together”, only some of us seem to be in it more than others and the expenses system IS being abused by a very large number of Councillors

    You can sign Derek’s petition by clicking here.

    http://www.change.org/petitions/the-prime-minister-regulate-expenses-to-local-authority-councillors-outlawing-duplicate-claims?share_id=eCXWtVWmNl&utm_campaign=friend_inviter_chat&utm_medium=facebook&utm_source=share_petition&utm_term=permissions_dialog_true

    PLEASE SHARE! SHARE! SHARE!

  17. Gerald. May 15, 2013 at 12:34 pm - Reply

    http://www.lawsociety.org.uk/get-in-touch/complaints/
    Information about the Law Society’s complaints process. … Complaints about solicitors are handled by the Solicitors Regulation Authority

    Maybe its time for someone to check the Law Societies rules covering solicitors, seniors, juniors, unskilled or semi skilled etc, working for councils. An enquiry may be in order. Professional incompetence, can lead to a solicitor losing licence to practice.
    The Law Society is always happy to hear about their members.
    ………
    Though now the main question arising from the elections, is how will the new councillors comport themselves ??? Same as the last ? Immediately take the ‘soft’ option of being ‘conservative’, raise no comments – toe the line – eat from the trough ? or will they want new standards of conduct ? … how will they respond to criticism of some prior councillors conduct ?

  18. Master David June 1, 2013 at 7:36 pm - Reply

    It is my increasing experience that more and more councils if not all are corrupt, it is not only evident from the local town council level but goes right up through the chain of command to the Prime-ministers office itself. The so called Charity COMMON PURPOSE or their trained agents are involved in most cases and have influence in the police, judicial system, local and central government, the press, main stream media and other governmental and private regulating bodies, is it little wonder then that we see less and less justice – truth and openness and are getting more and more corruption, lies and propaganda. Unless we the people in conjunction with the real true FREE PRESS like Real Whitby and others make a stand then we shall soon be living in a police state where truth seekers will be hounded out and rounded up for committal to secret prisons by secret courts without any representation or justice. Well done Real Whitby in your campaign for the truth. Regards, Master Dave.

  19. Carole Gerada June 2, 2013 at 10:01 am - Reply

    Sorry for my delay in responding, James. No I was not referring to either of the 2 issues you mentioned, but the fact that EPC tried to oust Cllr Abiola as a councillor for non attendance at Meetings. They are very clever and Cllr Abiola was more clever than me – he won his appeal.

    EPC councillors lawyers have directed District Judge Neaves every step of the way in my claim against them, which has been confirmed is discrimination. However the discrimination lawyer I spoke to via Legal Aid advised me that because it is political, I can never win. In addition, DJ Neaves knows one of the councillors when they worked together at McCains.

    They are now threatening me because I do not receive benefits although my income is less than £10,000 per annum. I have no idea how to deal with this right now especially as I currently sit around a table at Parish meetings with them.

    If anyone, including Vanda, would like to contact me directly I can provide some very interesting emails purporting to be from Robert Goodwill MP regarding this matter. One in support and of me dated 3 May 2013, and two which the recent letter from the Cllrs lawyers echo! I have sent all 3 emails to Lisa Dixon, Robert Goodwill MP and the NY police, but only Lisa has responded stating that she has not discriminated against me and neither has SBC, when I asked about the possibility of the emails sent from Robert Goodwill dated 4 May 2013 being from someone other than him in relation to the fact that there is nothing wrong with EPC being referred to as a White English Council.

  20. Norman Leeder January 17, 2014 at 4:21 pm - Reply

    DJ Neaves couldn’t make a good decision without having some one with their arm up his back working the controls.

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