The Whitby Gazette – Why ??

The following is a letter from Aislaby resident John McEachen, initially sent to The Whitby Gazette several weeks ago. At the time of us publishing on August 2nd 2012, The Gazette had not given column space to this letter. Real Whitby wonders why ??

Whitby Gazette

I am at a loss as to how and why The Whitby Gazette, our major source of news and views for our town, has managed to be scooped on a serious local issue by a publication based in London.

I refer to the Private Eye Article, “Wooden Excuse”, (Eye 1318 13 July 2012) about two local politicians, Cllr Kenyon and her partner Cllr Millar. What was being called into question, using public sources such as Companies House according to Private Eye, involved their various “dealings” with Scarborough Borough Council, North Yorkshire County Council, North Yorkshire Police Authority, Ryedale District Council and North Yorks Moors National Park Authority. This should have tweak the interest of any local newspaper worthy of its name.

The Gazette has an honest Editor and a number of keen and talented young reporters, who, let run with this story, could have done their careers no harm at all. The information must have been known to the Gazette for some time before it was published in a national publication.

The only explanation I can think of, given that this is not an insignificant local story, is that the Editor must have been pressurised from on high to spike it.

It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to draw conclusions from the facts that, the councillors involved represent and have for many years represented The Conservative Party in the Whitby area, that this party holds sway on all of the above authorities, and that the Gazette owners Johnston Press PLC have been financial contributers to the Conservative Party

John McEachen

13 Responses to "The Whitby Gazette – Why ??"

  1. Real Whitby  August 2, 2012 at 8:30 pm

    Is The Whitby Gazette in the hands of The Conservative party ? Does the editor drink in the Con Club ?

  2. Ian Efc Detute  August 2, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    Dark forces at work perhaps.

  3. Nigel Ward  August 2, 2012 at 10:25 pm

    I will tolerate no speculation regarding the Pope’s activities in the woods . . .

  4. David Clark  August 3, 2012 at 10:18 am

    It was interesting to read John McEachens letter to the Whitby Gazette,the Gazette certainly are aware of the details as expressed in the Private Eye article they have copies of Documents relating to that and similar items going back to the 1980s. California Corporation Belvedere Computers Inc. How do I know, I gave them to the Gazette. It is 30 years next week since Belvedere Computers Inc. was suspended from trading by order of the Franchise Tax Board of California ca.usa. It is of further interest to note that Johnston Press owners of the Gazette were listed as creditors of Dales Timber Ltd. another company recently liquidated, among the directors of the company were, T.W.Miller, and J.M. Kenyon. Secretary.

  5. Jon Stokoe  August 3, 2012 at 11:33 am

    Is the Whitby Gazette in the hands of the Conservative Party? No. Does Johnston Press tell the editor and its staff what to write every week. No. Does the editor drink in the Con Club? Yes, occasionally. Socially (great snooker tables) and for work purposes including meetings regarding Whitby Hospital. The editor and reporters also drop in to the other clubs around the town, it is where some of our best contacts are.

    • Craig Natress  August 3, 2012 at 2:54 pm

      The Gazette doth protest too much, methinks.,_methinks.

    • Tim Thorne  August 3, 2012 at 3:26 pm

      Do members of Scarborough Borough Council tell you what you can print or are you keeping quiet on the advice of your solicitors?

    • Nigel Ward  August 3, 2012 at 10:42 pm

      Then I wish you would explain, Jon, just how solid the evidence has to be – given that the Public Record apparently does not suffice for the Gazette.

      Here we have contemporaneous documentary evidence from an impeccable source – the hand that rocks the cradle, so to say:

      I look forward to next friday’s issue . . .

    • Stakesby Legs  August 4, 2012 at 10:07 pm

      Very good letter from Johnny Mac. If you want to scotch the rumours Mr Stokoe, you need to print it come Friday. And what about the draft letter from her lady ship?

  6. Nigel Ward  August 3, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    For those who could not get hold of a copy:


    Tuesday 8th July 2012


    THE WAGONS have been drawn in a tight circle in North Yorkshire as the powers-that-be do their utmost to ignore awkward questions besetting prominent Conservative Jane Kenyon, who is chair of the North Yorkshire police authority, a member of both North Yorkshire county and Scarborough borough councils and chair of the Scarborough & Whitby Conservative Association.

    Earlier this year Real Whitby, a local news website, revealed that Cllr Kenyon and her partner Cllr Bill Miller are directors of Belvedere Computers Inc, a firm which was suspended in California in the 1980s for non-payment of substantial debts. Much more recently she was a director and company secretary of wood products company Dales Timber Limited (DTL), which went bust in 2009 owing £225,000 to local businesses and individuals. Cllr Miller was a director of the same company.

    Neither councillor declared their interest in their registers of interests – nor that DTL was a supplier to the county council, Ryedale district council and the North Yorkshire moors national park authority. When a complaint was made, including evidence in the form of Companies House documents registering her appointment as company secretary and bearing Cllr Kenyon’s signature, she claimed it had been forged. At first North Yorkshire council’s monitoring officer Carole Dunn said, bizarrely, that Kenyon was “unaware” she had been company secretary of DTL. But then Kenyon retrospectively added that fact to her NYCC register after all.

    Cllr Kenyon’s DTL directorship is currently “redacted” from her North Yorks register as “historical.., sensitive information”. But the same information is declared on the SBC register. The section of the North Yorkshire register concerning contracts with NYCC states “none known”.

    PS: It is to be hoped that Cllr Kenyon’s registers of interests really are now all complete and up to date. Since 1 July, under the new Localism Act, failure to keep a proper record has been a criminal offence, punishable by a £5,000 fine and disqualification from office for up to five years.

    Historical note:

    Cllr Kenyon’s father was Sir Bernard Kenyon, one-time clerk (chief executive) of the former West Riding county council. He made a number of appearances in the “Eye” in the 1970s for his part in the Poulson corruption scandal. In 1966 he became chairman of Open System Building and two other companies owned by the corrupt architect, only retiring from WRCC in 1968 after being exposed by the “Yorkshire Post” for, er, failing to declare such a blatant conflict of interest!

  7. Neil Tristram  August 5, 2012 at 4:25 pm

    I think the Whitby Gazette may well be sensitive to the publication of material which might prove embarrassing to councillors, the local establishment or a large section of its readers. Similarly, whilst giving extensive coverage throughout to the Runswick Bay Nimby Campaign against the provision of affordable housing, they apparently fail to mention in their columns the fact that planning permission has now been granted for 8 family homes. Bearing in mind that a few weeks ago they published editorial about opposition to an application for a simple home extension at the House on the Wall in Runswick this does not make sense. Working families in Hinderwell parish need to be made aware that these homes will soon be available for rent or shared ownership and get their names down on Broadacres Housing Association’s books. I don’t think they will get much help from the local parish council who opposed our application, pathetic when these local politicians have done so little to satisfy the demand since the village housing survey was completed in 2005. They seem to be little more than the puppets of the local establishment!

  8. Bucko  August 21, 2012 at 10:41 am

    Well worthy of column space????

  9. Just 66 votes  September 26, 2012 at 3:39 pm

    There’s probably only one way to put the brakes on the influence of the Tories and that is to vote them out. We’ll get our chance at the County Council elections next May when we can begin to repair the damage to and wilful neglect of this beautiful part of the world and its residents. In the meantime, make sure you are on the electoral role and get out to vote, hail, rain, wind or shine. Exercise your democratic right and create the solution.


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