Whitby Harbour Board Behind Closed Doors

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Whitby Harbour Board Behind Closed Doors

Article kindly submitted by a site reader. Name and address withheld at authors request.

“For too long those in power made decisions behind closed doors, released information behind a veil of jargon and denied people the power to hold them to account. This coalition is driving a wrecking ball through that culture – and it’s called transparency.” – [David Cameron – September 2010]
Last Saturday (24th September 2011), information was ‘leaked’ by a member of the (pilot) Whitby Harbour Board to a local campaigner; apparently, a ‘behind closed doors’ meeting of the Board had been called for today, Thursday 29th September – time and location undisclosed.
On Monday 26th September, our local campaigner emailed another (elected) member of the Board and asked outright if it was true that a closed meeting was to take place. The response made clear that it was, and that the meeting had been called in order to clarify issues (some of which you told me last week) so the whole of the board know exactly what is going on”.
Meanwhile, another local campaigner, having received the ‘leak’ from another source, emailed SBC, innocently asking when the next Whitby Harbour Board meeting would take place. The prompt reply stated that the next meeting was on “Monday 3rd October at 2:00pm at Sneaton Castle”. This is the scheduled quarterly meeting of the Whitby Harbour Board.
On Tuesday 27th September, a Whitby Town (Parish) Councillor emailed the Whitby Town Clerk, confirming that WHB Chair Cllr Mike Cockerill had indeed alluded to a meeting called for Thursday 29th October.
Somebody was being less than truthful. But why?
So on Wednesday morning, our local campaigner sent a series of emails to SBC’s Head of Legal & Support Services, Ian Anderson, seeking clarification of these differing versions of when and where the WHB would next meet.
Mr Anderson’s responses make interesting reading:
[11:32am] – “I am somewhat confused by your email. The meeting of the Whitby Harbour Board is on 3 October at 2pm. The papers and details are on the web-site. There is no formal meeting of the Whitby harbour Board prior to 2pm on 3 October”.
Hmmm. “There is no ‘formal’ meeting”. Keep your eye on that word ‘formal’.
Our local campaigner tried again, making it explicitly clear that it was not the ‘formal’ meeting that was in question, but the secret ones. But Mr Anderson was conceding nothing:
[11:52am] – “There is no secrecy. I have advised you when the formal meeting is”.
Hmmm. That ‘formal’ meeting trick again. But why not answer the question? Undaunted, our campaigner tried yet again, being even more explicit. Mr Anderson found a new line of escape:
[01:59pm] – “The Whitby Harbour Board are not meeting tomorrow or on Monday as a committee”.
“As a committee”, eh? This is confusing. Does he mean that the scheduled meeting at 2:00pm on Monday at Sneaton Castle has been cancelled? Surely not.
He means, more likely (though he avoids stating it explicitly), that the meetings this Thursday and earlier on Monday are (conveniently) not to be regarded as ‘official’ Committee meetings.
Why would he do that?
Is it because the Local Government Act 1972 – backed up by the Public Bodies (Admission to Meetings Act 1960) – prohibits the convening of Council or Committee Meetings ‘behind closed doors’; the press and public may only be excluded for individual Agenda Items relating to staff rights under the Data Protection Act 1998, or commercially sensitive matters, such as tender submissions.
So on Wednesday evening, our intrepid local campaigner emailed directly to WHB Chair Cllr Mike Cockerill on his private email address (willingly given by Mike to our local campaigner – who has been illegally prohibited by SBC from contacting Councillors or Officers and had his emails blocked – in breach of the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000), asking for a frank disclosure of what was really happening. Mike’s reply also makes interesting reading:
[07:07pm] – “The gathering tomorrow is NOT a decision taking meeting, it is an opportunity for me to brief WHB members and to receive comments and ask questions on various matters relating to the Harbour. There is no gathering on Monday morning, it is over lunchtime”.
Hmmm. Not a “decision taking meeting”, eh? But the Local Government Act does not permit the exclusion of press and public just as long as the meeting is ‘not a decision taking meeting’. It states clearly that press and public MUST be allowed to attend ALL meetings.
The two stated reasons for the meetings:
1) “in order to clarify issues (some of which you told me last week) so the whole of the board know exactly what is going on”.
and
2) “it is an opportunity for me to brief WHB members and to receive comments and ask questions on various matters relating to the Harbour”
do not fall into the two categories of exemption of press and public, as specified by law.
Still. At least it has been established that two closed meetings are going ahead, irrespective of what the law has to say about it.
But there is a hidden irony here. Back in April 2010, our local campaigner had occasion to email Whitby Town (Parish) Council Clerk Mrs Pam Dobson, lodging a complaint against the Clerk’s refusal to comply with the law and answer a number of requests for information under the terms of the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and various other serious breaches of statute. He copied in Mike Cockerill, who at that time was best known for having himself been the subject of a complaint to the SBC Standards Committee, in respect of his attempts to forewarn Whitby Town (Parish) Council regarding their intention to appoint Mrs Dobson as Clerk, despite her appalling record of gross misconduct at her former position as Clerk to Marlborough Town Council. Mike seemed like one of the good guys.
Cllr Cockerill responded with the following words:
“Pleased to see youn[sic] continue to enjoy yourself attempting to get WTC to abide by the law. Keep up the good work. Cheers – Mike”.

With the benefit of hindsight, these words look a tad hypocritical, don’t they? Back then, Mike clearly thought that WTC should abide by the law. But times have changed. Mike has moved up in the world. He is now Chair of the very important Whitby Harbour Board.

Now we are left to ponder just what it is that MUST, even at the cost of breaking the law, be kept from the press and the public at these ‘behind closed doors’ meetings.
Could it have something to do with the fact that the WHB has committed 40% of its sorely inadequate budget to providing new pontoons for the leisure-craft community (well-represented on the Board), when there is little the matter with the existing facilities.
Perhaps the Board fears that the press and public will believe that the money should have been better  spent on maintaining the footbridges to the Extensions?
And the lesson from all this?
Beware of bull.
And don’t feed the moose.
By | 2011-09-29T13:19:37+00:00 September 29th, 2011|Categories: Events, Meetings Etc, Featured, Letters|Tags: , |38 Comments

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38 Comments

  1. Tom Brown September 29, 2011 at 4:53 pm - Reply

    Some time ago a Whitby man tried to promote a ‘Free Whitby’ campaign. He did this by placing a huge picture of a whale in his shop window.

    Chronologically this is what happened.

    1) The powers that be managed to persuade the North Yorkshire Police to charge him with a firearms offence. There were no firearms but a model cannon. Nevertheless he was charged .
    2) Every time he put his head above the parapet the police knocked him down
    and is still doing it
    3) The same powers decided to try and have him sectioned by calling him insane but decent people within Scarborough Borough Council refused to have anything to do with it so that failed
    4) So much for ‘FREE WHITBY’ however like Dracula ‘FREE WHITBY’ is the undead

    I seriously hope that any other Whitby person who seeks to expose SBCs atrocities is not given the same treatment.

  2. Andrew Bowman September 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm - Reply

    Far to complex for the man in the street to understand.

  3. Richard Ineson September 30, 2011 at 8:34 am - Reply

    That is exactly for what they are hoping.

    Local government has become ever more complicated, without any need for it to do so.

    Local goverment should be about providing services to the citizens, as cheaply and efficiently as possible. Instead, it has become a expansionist free for all, where the nmbers of Council staff earning more than £50,000 per annum, has doubled in ten years.

    The profligate waste of public money, at the same time, especially in this area, has become legendary – the £28,000 shower, the £250,000 Irton tree, the £330,000 expended on the park and ride scheme, the only tangible evidence for which is ‘the bollard which never rises’ on St. Anne’s Staithe, etc. etc.

    The democratic process, whereby the electorate vote into power, people who represent their views, has been increasingly usurped – political parties now sometimes use local government as a ‘proving ground’ for potential Parliamentary candidates, and select people for election who are merely party supporters, and have no interest in the views of the electorate.

    Then we have people who, once elected, enjoy manipulating the democratic process, for their own ends; they dispense favours to their friends and supporters, all done semi legally, by holding meetings in secret, excluding the public, keeping no minutes of meetings, preventing the public from knowing who has been asked to join these secret groups of people etc. who actually make the decisions involving the provision of services and the spending of millions of pounds worth of public money.

    These groups of people, known by various descriptions – Stakeholder Steering Groups, is a favourite, but their are others – Focus Groups etc. they are anonymous, are unelected, are unaccountable, and have no mandate.

    They are one of the most insidious aspects of local government and should be outlawed.

    It is extremely difficut to find out who are the members of these groups but it can be done, and when they are discovered it is usually/always the same faces who are always found to have vested interests, which do not have to be declared, as would be required of a Councillor because they claim to be merely advisory groups and have no decision making powers.

    Incidentally, some Councillors have now discovered a loop hole which allows them to keep their interests hidden from the public.

    The reality is, that these groups make all of the major decisions and their decisions are ‘rubber stamped’ by the relevant commitees/Councils.

    A rotten system which is controlled by a few people whom I call the ‘local Mafia’, this area is not alone in suffering from this malignancy, it is widespread and self perpetuating and needs dealing with, as a matter of urgency.

  4. rhajibuhga September 30, 2011 at 8:37 am - Reply

    Its easy Andrew, SBC are the bad guys, Free Whitby the good guys, just remember that and you cant go wrong.

  5. Tom Brown September 30, 2011 at 9:11 am - Reply

    There is a market hall in Scarborough, no not that one near Boyes I mean the one in St Nicholas Street.
    In that hall are stall holders running little (and big) businesses selling land, favours, rubbish recycling etc. These businesses can’t fail because they are bankrolled by the council tax payer.
    A truly entrepreneurial Borough Council indeed.

  6. Nigel Ward September 30, 2011 at 10:22 am - Reply

    And whose decision was it that this Scarborough Evening News story should NOT feature a ‘Comments’ section? I think Mr Anderson does not want the world to find out what a secretive operation he is running:

    http://www.scarborougheveningnews.co.uk/news/local/council_ordered_to_release_cuts_report_1_3824999

    How timely that the Information Commissioner has ruled that Scarborough Borough Council MUST reveal to the public hitherto PRIVATE reports about savage public spending cuts in Scarborough.

    Just read how Ian Anderson wriggles and squirms.

    Plus:

    “Scarborough Council was also found to be in procedural breach of the Freedom of Information Act as it did not answer the request, first made on September 20 last year, within 20 working days.”

    Same story, again and again.

  7. Real Whitby September 30, 2011 at 12:37 pm - Reply

    Lots of hits on this story today, Fishing school paying a lot of notice to Harbour Board topics.

  8. Richard Ineson September 30, 2011 at 12:55 pm - Reply

    Anybody any idea who runs the fishing school? Anybody in particular on the board etc.?

  9. Nigel Ward September 30, 2011 at 2:17 pm - Reply

    @ Real Whitby:

    You surprise me [:)]. I know they were all over the Whitby Town Council web-site this morning – particularly the Harbour Committee page. Digging for dirt, no doubt.

    @ Richard:

    Naughty, naughty! You know perfectly well that the names Hornigold, Kenyon and Winspear feature amongst the directors. And you know that three individual FOIA requests for the Register of Interests of the members of the Whitby Harbour Board have been totally ingnored.

    http://www.whitbyfishingschool.co.uk/profile/index.html

    Not that anyone is suggesting that there are any vested interests to consider, despite the fact that the Schools is now offering ‘windfarm’ courses – and Tony Hornigold runs off at the mouth about the mythical windfarm future at every opportunity.

    The future looks black . I have news from yesterday that I am saving for Sunday’s TV coverage.

  10. Chris Winspear September 30, 2011 at 2:54 pm - Reply

    At least Mike Cockerill is now record saying that the meetings are definitely public.

    http://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/521467/scarborough-borough-council-answers-questions-on-whitbys-piers/

    • Nigel Ward September 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm - Reply

      The quarterly WHB meetings have always been public, Chris – though out at Sneaton Castle on work-days does not work well for many people. The issue has been about the meetings BEHIND CLOSED DOORS called for yesterday and Monday, prior to the ‘official’ meeting. This is prohibited by Act of Parliament.

      The Whitby Harbour Consultative Group is another matter. That is a forum for ‘interest groups’ and does not come under the Local Government Act or the Public Bodies (Attendance of Meetings) Act.

      My position is that ALL meetings that bring influence to bear on public facilities/amenities/services/etc should be open to public scrutiny – especially when undeclared vested interests may be involved. And I believe that people who handle the public purse must BE, and BE SEEN TO BE, acting in the public interest and not their own or their friends/family/etc.

      Apparently, Mr Ian Anderson does not share my view. Why might that be?

      • Richard Ineson September 30, 2011 at 5:55 pm - Reply

        Nigel,

        Can we be absolutely clear on this please?

        The Harbour Board meetings are open to the public, they have a published agenda and the time, date and venue of the meetings of the Harbour Board are advertised in advance; they have minuted meetings and these minutes are available for the public to see on the SBC website, or in hard copy form at the SBC offices?

        The Harbour Users Group meetings are not open to the public, the membership of this group is by invitation; only the members know who is on the Harbour Users Group, and only the members know who decides who is on this group? They have no published agenda, their meetings are secret and they keep no publicly available minutes of their meetings?

        The Harbour Consultative Group is also a secret group of people selected by another secret person or group of people? This Consultative Group also holds secret meetings to which the public are not allowed access? They publish no agenda, and the time and the venue of their meetings are kept secret, and they keep no publicly available minutes of their meetings?

        Are there any other unelected, unaccountable and unmandated secret groups of people involved with the Harbour?

        See my comments above, posted at 8.34 am. this all sounds very familiar. Do we perhaps, know of the identity of any of the members of the Harbour Users Group or the Harbour Consultative Group? I think that we should be told.

  11. Jack Corner September 30, 2011 at 3:12 pm - Reply

    How can a man with a business, ie a fishing school be on the Harbour Board. And how can Jane Kenyon be listed as a director of Mr Hornigolds business when she’s a Scarborough Borough Councillor representing Whitby.
    A Conservative councillor who has known all about the dilapidation and under investment in Whitby’s infrastructure, especially the Harbour and Piers!
    Surely this is not allowed as they both have vested interests?
    Why is this allowed to happen.

  12. Jack Corner September 30, 2011 at 3:20 pm - Reply

    So all meetings have taken place. They all have their answers at the ready. The meeting on the 3rd October is nothing but a sham, for no other reason but to appease the public.
    This is surely wrong, illegal, without morals or a fiber of honesty and true accountability.
    Why is it that it’s exactly the same people over and over again, Conservative Councillors who have allowed Whitby to rot.
    WHY WHY WHY.
    And yet not a single Councillor amongst them will represent the people who elected them properly, not one of them will come out and address the public properly.
    Is that because Robert Goodwill pulls their strings.
    A bunch of Conservative puppets, strings in MP Robert Goodwill’s tightly clenched fists.
    This is terrible, really terrible.

  13. Tom Brown September 30, 2011 at 3:58 pm - Reply

    Once upon a time there was a wind farm:- er what’s next

  14. Chris Winspear September 30, 2011 at 3:59 pm - Reply

    Nigel asked for this bit of the interview to be transcribed on the Facebook page, but may be useful here, too.

    ‎@6:47
    K : Is the board meeting on Monday a formal meeting
    C : The board meeting on the third of October at two-oclock is a formal meeting and is open to the public
    K : That answers the second part of the question; is the meeting open to the press and public, so we’ll move onto the next one.

    K moves on to Glenn’s question.

  15. Paul Cooper September 30, 2011 at 5:34 pm - Reply

    Andrew Bowman

    You need a haircut mate

  16. Francis L. Chalmers September 30, 2011 at 9:44 pm - Reply

    The solution to this is very simple.

    Any and all meetings, formal or informal should be recorded and made public.

    These people are hiding something.

    Aren’t these the very same sor that say “if you’ve got nothing to hide you’ve got nothing to fear”? Aren’t they also the same people that say “if you aren’t with us you’re with the terrorists”?

    Well, even if they aren’t the same sort of people, they sure are starting to look that way to me.

    It stinks to high heaven.

  17. Jon Risdon October 1, 2011 at 1:28 pm - Reply

    I fear I cannot improve on the comments and assessments by the above correspondents, and it is difficult to see how a way can be found to replace these self-serving and secretive bureaucrats [who would do Stalin proud] by public servants with integrity, who do just that, serve the public, the source of their huge salaries; because it is apparent that the rot goes all the way to the top, for all the pontification on wrecking balls and accountability & transparency: we are the great unwashed, the ‘sans-culottes’, mere sheep to be herded. It ruffles feathers and rocks the boat when we question their ‘authority’, because “they don’t like it up’em”, but if we don’t keep pushing for the truth, the apparatchiks will successfully complete the construction of their bastion of control which has been growing insidiously, year on year.

  18. Richard Ineson October 1, 2011 at 3:35 pm - Reply

    The main thing is to inform people about what is the reality of local government, not just in this area, although we do seem to have magnificent examples of everything that is rotten about the system.

    There can be no meaningful consultation, only a sham democracy whilst ever we allow the democratic process to be usurped and dominated by ‘Stakeholder Steering Groups’ ‘Focus Groups’ Consultative Groups’ etc. whose memberships are secret, who keep no minutes of meetings, who publish no agenda, who do not publicise their meetings and who refuse to allow the public to attend their secret meetings.

    These groups make all the decisions, despite the occasional protests, almost comic in their absurdity, to the contrary, whenever one of their number breaks cover/is exposed.

    It is a complete indictment of our elected representatives that they allow this to continue, without protest, surely, there must be one or two amongst them who do not agree with this state of affairs?

  19. Nigel Ward October 2, 2011 at 7:35 am - Reply

    On Friday 30th September, a member of the public emailed an Freedom of Information request to Whitby Harbour Board Chair Cllr Mike Cockerill, asking for any notes, minutes or audio-recordings of the meeting (previously confirmed by two WHB members) on Thursday 29th September.

    Cllr Cockerill replied:

    “No meeting of the Whitby Harbour Board took place on 29 September, consequently there are no Minutes.”

    The member of the public, having formed a clear impression of how evasive the WHB set-up is, followed up with a more specific request, asking Cllr Cockerill to confirm that there would be no other meeting before the scheduled meeting at 2:00pm on Monday 3rd October at Sneaton Castle.

    Cllr Cockerill came back late last night with this:

    “No formal meeting of WHB is scheduled to take place before 2.00pm on 3 October.”

    Well, whaddya know. Here we are again with the “No formal meeting” trick.

    Cllr Cockerill so desperately wants to avoid telling the LIE that NO MEETING OF ANY KIND will take place.

    Because getting caught LYING would discredit him and the Standards Board would kick his ass.

    When I emailed another WHB member yesterday asking for confirmation of the date and time of the next meeting, thus:

    “However, apropos the ‘next meeting’, it is unclear whether you refer to the lawfully convened meeting at 2:00pm on Monday at Sneaton Castle – or some other, less formal, meeting on Monday, prior to the 2:00pm meeting.”

    The reply came this morning, thus:

    “The 2.00pm meeting at Sneaton Castle”.

    So here we have one of two results;

    Either:

    1) The WHB has had to cancel its plans to hold UNLAWFUL meetings

    or

    2) They will meet secretly, ‘behind closed doors’ – perhaps disguising it as an ‘informal business lunch’ prior to the official meeting – which, however it is dressed up, is UNLAWFUL.

    And these are the people who SERVE the public? What? Behind our backs?

    And one last point. Why was the announcement about the £200,000 Marina development in Friday’s Yorkshire Post not mentioned in Cllr Cockerill’s cock-and-bull interview on Yorkshire Coast Radio? Was it because he did not want to tell the Save Our Piers Campaigners that there was money for the toff boasting fraternity, but none for fixing the EAST PIER BRIDGE?

    You decide.

    • Nigel Ward October 2, 2011 at 6:59 pm - Reply

      Just when your thought the secret meetings had been stamped out, here comes a new twist to this saga of sneakiness.

      A member of the public last night asked Councillor Cockerill:

      “Dear cllr cockerill
      Can you assure me that there will be no meeting formal or informal of the WHB prior to the meeting at 2pm on the 3rd of october. So no meeting in secret will take place ?”

      and now we finally come to the truth. Here is Cllr Cockerill’s reply:

      “I will be having a brief informal gathering with officers prior to the formal meeting. This is normal practice as it allows the Chairman, i.e. me, to be made fully aware of any last minute information so that I can ensure it is brought out in the meeting at the most appropriate and beneficial point.
      This update allows me to give consideration as to any deviation from my planned conduct of the formal meeting based on any new information, e.g the order in which I might invite officers to speak on a certain agenda item.
      Other members of WHB are entitled to attend but no decisions are taken. The sole reason for the gathering is to ensure that I, as Chairman, am in possession of the very latest information and can ensure, to the best of my ability, that the formal meeting is held in an open and efficient manner with all relevant and up to date information being provided to the members of the Whitby Harbour Board to allow them to take informed decisions. Of course this ensures that members of the public attending the formal meeting also hear the same information.

      I hope this clarifies matters for you.

      Regards Mike Cockerill”

      So there will be a meeting out of sight and ear-shot of the public (which is unlawful), so why could not SBC Head of Legal Ian Anderson admit that fact a week ago?

      And can anyone explain that cryptic last line?

      ” Of course this ensures that members of the public attending the formal meeting also hear the same information.”

      It reads to me like he could have added, “because by then we will all have had chance to get our stories straight”.

      So we can now eagerly await Mike’s explanation as to why three members of the WHB were permitted to attend the WHCG meeting (at which only one representative should have been present) – and why two Whitby Town (Parish) Councillors were so rudely evicted.

      I wonder if Mike has seen the transcript yet?

  20. Al Roberts October 2, 2011 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Thank you Nigel, for drawing attention to an interesting article, was it published in paper version of the Whitby Gazette too?

    http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/around-yorkshire/local-stories/major_new_plans_for_whitby_s_historic_harbour_are_unveiled_1_3824675

  21. Francis L. Chalmers October 2, 2011 at 9:04 am - Reply

    It certainly seems like there are a growing number of our ELECTED REPRESENTATIVES who are willing to play games with words in order to deny various things – including meetings.

    I have said it before and I will say it again: If they’ve got nothing to hide, they’ve got nothing to fear.

    Why all the need for secrecy and word play. Are they going to answer us or what?

  22. Paul Cooper October 2, 2011 at 9:34 am - Reply

    Monday the 3rd at 2.00pm,,

    surely everyone is work anyway?????

    Arnt you?????

    • Richard Ineson October 2, 2011 at 7:17 pm - Reply

      That is another ploy, which has been used for centuries – when the public are finally admitted to meetings, the venue and time at which the meeting is held, is arranged so that it is impossible for the public, in most cases, to attend.

      This was one of the causes of the American War of Independence, so you can see how long this particular manouevre has been in use, no doubt those classical scholars amongst us, will probalby tell us that it was invented by the Persians or the Romans.

  23. Richard Ineson October 2, 2011 at 7:27 pm - Reply

    I forgot to mention that I will not be able to attend the Harbour Board meeting tommorrow, much to my chagrin and disappointmenr – I have been attmepting to gain admittance to what has hitherto, been another secret meeting known as the Scarborough Transport Forum.
    This group hold four meetings per annum, Nigel Ward and I went to the last meeting, after much discussion with John Riby, who obviously thought that the sky would fall in, if members of the public were to be allowed to enter the ‘house of secrets’where this meeting is held.
    We were asked who we were representing and we told them, ‘the electorate’.
    Tommorrow, I am going along as the representative of the Upper Church Street and New Way Ghaut Residents’ Stakeholder Steering Group, Focus and Consultative Action Alliance. This organisation will surely go on record as having the longest title of any Steering/Focus/Consultative Group, in the history of Western civilisation.

  24. Chris Winspear October 2, 2011 at 7:44 pm - Reply

    In the paragraph

    ** The member of the public, having formed a clear impression of how evasive the WHB set-up is, followed up with a more specific request, asking Cllr Cockerill to confirm that there would be no other meeting before the scheduled meeting at 2:00pm on Monday 3rd October at Sneaton Castle.

    would it be possible to actually see what was written in the request? Just that if they actually asked ‘is there a formal meeting’ then it could explain why he used the word ‘formal’ again in reply?

  25. Paul Cooper October 2, 2011 at 8:31 pm - Reply

    Hi Richard, what was you take on todays protest? please be honest,

    i thought the turn out was pathetic………again

    • Richard Ineson October 3, 2011 at 7:14 am - Reply

      It was a good turn out considering the nation wide lack of interest in/apathy towards, local government it was also good natured and we got our point across. I was good to see local Councillors Graham, Plant, Freeman and Turner in attendance and in general, in my opinion, everything went well.

      The campaign against the neglect of the piers has also drawn the attention of a wider public to the other serious issues affecting how local government actually operates in this area, let us hope that this interest can be maintained, unlike the piers.

      • Richard Ineson October 7, 2011 at 9:45 am - Reply

        The Royal Rotherham Mounted Sanitary Inspectors Banjo Band, didn’t make it – they decided to ride all the way to give the horses a bit of exercise, but they only got as far as ‘The Grapes’ at Dalton Brook where they fell prey to their vice – drink.

        A great disappointment, as they would certainly have created a lot of media interest, I well remember when they appeared before, well known banjo fan, Madame Amelita Galli-Gurci in 1962, the year before her death, the occasion when the Savoy Hotel caught fire, when they played a very spirited version of the ‘William Tell’ overture.

  26. Chris Winspear October 2, 2011 at 10:11 pm - Reply

    My apologies, Nigel, but I must have scrolled past your post of of “October 2, 2011 – 6:59 pm”

  27. Nigel Ward October 3, 2011 at 10:38 am - Reply

    From my SBC ‘insider’ – I sincerely hope that this is spot-on:

    The WHITBY HARBOUR BOARD will be issuing an unreserved PUBLIC APOLOGY to the three Whitby Town Councillors who were made unwelcome at the recent WHITBY HARBOUR CONSULTATIVE GROUP meeting. It is also expected that the WHCG will be amending its Terms of Reference to permit the attendance of PRESS and PUBLIC.

    Slowly but surely, we are teaching them the meaning of DEMOCRACY.

    We will have TRANSPARENCY and we will have ACCOUNTABILITY – just like that Cameron chap said:

    “For too long those in power made decisions behind closed doors, released information behind a veil of jargon and denied people the power to hold them to account. This coalition is driving a wrecking ball through that culture – and it’s called transparency.” – [David Cameron – September 2010]

    • Richard Ineson October 3, 2011 at 2:50 pm - Reply

      If it’s true then I am pleased that our message is getting through, a very surprising development.

      I have been to the Scarborough Transport Forum in Filey, today, where, amongst other things, I mentioned the secret anonymous, unelected, unmandated, membership, of the Whitby Traffic Partnership (this greeted by much huffing and puffing from Viv Wright) and the three secret Stakeholder Steering Groups who carved up the parking in Whitby in connection with the proposed park and ride – hotels and boarding houses 700, the entire east side of Whitby, excluding The Ropery, 63.
      Much protestation from Nick West etc.
      Too exhausted to tell all but I will gather myself tommorrow.

      • Nigel Ward October 3, 2011 at 3:25 pm - Reply

        It seems to have been premature, Richard. We may know more tonight.

        Sadly, it looks like it turns out to be something of an exageration.

        On the plus side, Ian Anderson finally admitted that over-dredging took place between the YC pontoon and the Harbour Wall behind Sandgate. It will not happen again. That’s alright, then is it?

        And John Whitton (Chair of WHCG) rather disingenuously reported to WHB that there had been no input whatsoever from WTC for the last 3 meetings of the WHCG – which is true, but disregards the fact that at the first of those three, the WTC delegate was not invited; at the second, WTC had no delegate because it was election-bound; and last time was when Black and Bennett threw out Ian Havelock and Dennis Collins – and Ken Graham walked out in protest!

        What’s your WHCG motto, Jon? “We serve by twisting the truth”?

  28. Richard Ineson October 3, 2011 at 3:00 pm - Reply

    Forgot to mention, I insisted that they listed me as representing

    The Upper Church Street and New Way Ghaut Residents’ Focus Consultative Stakeholder Steering Group Action Alliance Partnership

    This a newly formed pressure group which will not be holding secret meetings, all meetings will be open to anyone, minutes of the meeting will be kept, anyone can have access to any records of the Partnership, anyone can call on me to discuss anything at any time, if you are a resident of upper Church Street or the New Way Ghaut and you want to join us, let me know.

  29. Paul Cooper October 3, 2011 at 8:52 pm - Reply

    Who is Tom Brown talking about in his first post?

    • Richard Ineson October 4, 2011 at 7:02 am - Reply

      Sounds suspiciously like the treatment given to Pete Budd, so it could be him, Tom doesn’t mention the famous, farcical (if it hadn’t cost so much money) court case involving Mr. Budd and SBC,(on which, they spent £12000) , but, when I have 5 minutes to spare ……………

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