“Thats Democracy – Whitby Town Council Style”

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“Thats Democracy – Whitby Town Council Style”

Bye-election in Whitby’s West Cliff Ward


Mike Ward Stands Down And Sparks A Bye-election

Following the dramatic ‘on-the-spot’ resignation of Whitby Town Councillor Mike Ward, during a ‘behind closed’ doors session at the Extraordinary Meeting of Tuesday 26th October, WTC Town Clerk Pam Dobson issued an erroneous Notice of Vacancy the following day.

The Notice was erroneous insofar as it stated that unless “TEN ELECTORS for the PARISH” made a written request to the Returning Officer (SBC’s Jim Dillon), no bye-election would take place, and the Council would be free to co-opt.

Co-option is the process by which existing Councillors may select a new member without reference to the electorate. What the Notice of Vacancy should have stated was “TEN ELECTORS for the WARD” – ie: electors living within the West Cliff boundaries.

Acting on that erroneous information, 36 electors of the Parish signed a request for bye-election. This was (quite correctly) rejected. A complaint has been made to the Mayor regarding the Clerk’s error. No acknowledgement or response has been forthcoming. This is just the latest in a long series of errors by the Town Clerk.

Meanwhile, 13 electors of West Cliff Ward (including Whitby Town Councillor Dennis Collins) have since signed a new request for bye-election. SBC’s Sue Bedford (Election Team Leader) has now confirmed that the new document is valid.

A bye-election will therefore now take place on Thursday 16th December 2010.

Would-be candidates for the West Cliff seat should contact Sue Bedford (Tel: 01723-232309, or Email: Sue.Bedford@scarborough.gov.uk) to apply for nomination papers. Each candidate will require two signatures (proposer and seconder) of electors of West Cliff Ward.

Dan Johnson

No Bye-Election For Dan Johnsons Seat

When a vacancy occurs within six months of the full-term of the Council (5th May 2011) no bye-election can be called. So today’s (expected) resignation of Abbey Ward Councillor Dan Johnson will not result in a bye-election.

Four more Councillors are reported to be preparing letters of resignation for delivery at the next Council Meeting.

However, the Council may, if it wishes, fill the vacancies by co-option. If there is only one candidate for the West Cliff vacancy, he (or she) will be declared “Elected Unopposed” and no election will take place.

Of the remaining 17 Councillors (at the time of writing), only 8 have been elected at the ballot-box. The remainder were either elected unopposed or co-opted, without a single vote being cast.

That’s democracy – Whitby Town Council style.

Related Reading

Article kindly by submitted by Nigel ward

By |2011-06-13T16:15:37+00:00June 12th, 2011|Categories: Featured, News, Whitby Town Council|Tags: , , , |12 Comments

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  1. admin November 10, 2010 at 9:19 am - Reply

    Can anyone shine anymore light on the unrest in the council chambers. Why are people resigning and when can we expect more resignations to be made public.

  2. Tom November 12, 2010 at 1:32 pm - Reply

    I believe, though I stand to be corrected, Dan Johnson resigned for personal reasons and that there are no further resignations. Lets wait and see?

    As for the political unrest, silly secret meetings regards unrealistic proposals, thankfully they are proposals more business minded councillors can see through, proposals that should all be discussed in the open, proposals that should never reach any extraordinary meetings let alone meetings in seeeeecrrrret, proposals given two calculations on any calculator show expenditure and costs that make it absolutely clear that they are absurd ideas, not in the public interest and should not even merit a proposal.

    Should Whitby Town Council become part of the National Park, and only when it is a done deal, completed, sealed signed and delivered then perhaps ideas could be proposed, if need be, only if need be, even money raised or made available, European grants………

    The site WTC bid on is a building site that is for sale along with an old Magistrates Court that needs demolishing before building commences.

    I wish WTC would stop and think about the outcome of such ideas, the public perception……………………… do councillors never discuss anything with people on the street between full town council meetings?

    As for Cllr Carson bleating on about Standards Board, WTC should all be up before the Standards Board.

    £230,000 and after almost a full term in office your latter meetings are about finger pointing and Standards Boards…………….. what a bloody waste.

    WTC needs to have a board of Governor's like a school to keep it in line, made up of a good cross section of society, beginning with an accountant and a solicitor, shop keeper, fisherman, harbour users………………..parents, teachers, builders, labourers, people seeking homes, seeking work…..

    There has got to be a more effective and productive way of blowing quarter of a million pounds each year, yes almost A MILLION POUNDS OF WHITBY ELECTORS MONEY THIS COUNCIL TERM!

    For what, no councillors email addresses on WTC website and WTC possibly taking over monitoring the public seats in the town, that's if they have time between attending Standards Board meetings at £10,000 a time.

    Give me strength.


  3. admin November 12, 2010 at 1:40 pm - Reply

    Press Release



    NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN pursuant to Section 87 (2) of

    the Local Government Act 1972 that a casual vacancy

    exists in the office of Town Councillor for the West Cliff

    Ward in the Parish of Whitby.

    If, within 14 days (not counting Saturday, Sundays or

    Bank Holidays) after the date of this notice, a request

    for an election to fill the vacancy is made in writing to

    the Returning Officer of the Scarborough Borough

    Council by TEN ELECTORS for the Parish, an election

    will be held to fill the vacancy; otherwise the Town

    Council will fill the vacancy by


    The address of the Returning Officer of the Borough of

    Scarborough is :-

    Town Hall

    St. Nicholas Street


    YO11 2HG

    Dated 27th October 2010

    Pam Dobson Town Clerk

    Whitby Town Council

  4. admin November 12, 2010 at 1:44 pm - Reply

    I sat next to 3 ladies at the photography group last night. I overheard them talking about how both councils run Whitby, very badly in their eyes. The general consensus amongst them appeared to be that a lot of councillors never consult the public at all, and second to that, most councillors only have their own interests at heart. Made for interesting listening

  5. Nigel Ward November 12, 2010 at 4:20 pm - Reply

    WTC Town Clerk Pam Dobson has once again demonstrated her incompetence.

    The quoted "TEN ELECTORS for the Parish" is a whopping blunder. In fact, it requires a request from TEN ELECTORS FOR THE WARD (in this case, West Cliff Ward).

    This has been accomplished and a bye-election has now been scheduled for Thursday 16th December.

    YUet to be confirmed, but the word is that there will be at least three candidates.

    Ex WTC Councillor Mike Ward (whose resignation on grouinds of no confidence in the Council's competence, as well as his strenuous objection to the 'veil of secrecy' mind-set) tells that the core cadre of the Council is desperately trying to rustle up a 'crony' candidate – one of whom told Mike, "I wouldn't touch 'em with a barge-pole".

    At the last Poll of 'no confidence' (back in June 2010), only 32 electors (out of an electorate numbering 10,700) supported the Council – the Councillors and their spouses!

    What rhymes with 'golden anchors'?

  6. Nigel Ward November 21, 2010 at 12:58 pm - Reply

    Two candidates confirmed for the WHITBY West Cliff Ward bye-election on Thusday 16th December 2010. (Voting 7:00am to 10pm at the Leisure Centre).

    Sean Anthony RIXHAM-SMITH

    Peter Andrew BUDD

    Both candidates represent local pro-Whitby values and local decision-making, and neither is a ‘stooge’ or ‘crony’ or ‘patsy’ of the old guard. A win/win election!!!

  7. The Man In The White suit November 21, 2010 at 2:03 pm - Reply

    Oh my god!

  8. peter anderson November 21, 2010 at 3:06 pm - Reply

    well done pete&shaun.we all hope that whitby will now regain DEMOCERY

  9. The Man In The White suit November 21, 2010 at 4:41 pm - Reply

    Your spelling is as bad as mine!

  10. Jon Risdon November 22, 2010 at 11:30 am - Reply

    Two men who both have Whitby's best interests at heart are standing; well done to both of them, and I hope people turn out in large numbers to vote for them.

  11. jgh June 28, 2011 at 1:51 am - Reply

    ‘Old on, you can’t call a by-election if the seat is due to be up for election anyway within six months – the “six month rule”. Within 14 days of 27th October 2010 takes you past 5th November – six months before the normal election day. Was the by-election actually called before 5th November? Aren’t Parish Clerks supposed to know this information?

  12. Nigel Ward June 28, 2011 at 7:32 am - Reply

    @jgh – Ten of us did indeed call the bye-election before Bonfire Night; and, yes, Parish Clerks are supposed to know this information, but we have to make do with Pam Dobson, whose ineptitude knows no bounds. Cheer up, though – things are improving; at least we now have a Mayor (chair, that is) who can do joined-up writing, and will thus be allowed to sign the cheques!

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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.