Whitby Harbour Board Labels Town Councilors As Rude And Threatening After Expelling Them From Board Meeting

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Whitby Harbour Board Labels Town Councilors As Rude And Threatening After Expelling Them From Board Meeting

Further Reading

In a series of letters on Scarborough Borough Council headed paper, members of the harbour board have labelled Whitby town councilors as rude and threatening. Real Whitby learned of the letters after town Councillors Havelock and  Collins were evicted from a private, behind closed doors meeting of the towns harbour board.

Real Whitby has now been sent copies of the letters to share with our readers. We are sure that, like ourselves, you will be shocked at the accusations levelled at 2 very polite, respected and well known members of the local town council.


Extra Letters Added 21st Sept 2011

Our resident satirical artist Codhead has made the following contribution to this story. Enjoy !!


Whitby Harbour Board

Whitby Harbour Board Says Local Councillors And Harbour Users Are Not Welcome At Their Meetings

By |2011-10-28T23:46:32+00:00October 21st, 2011|Categories: Featured, Letters, The New Bridgender|Tags: , |20 Comments

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  1. Francis L. Chalmers September 19, 2011 at 8:32 pm - Reply

    Whitby Harbour Board – On SBC letterheaded paper? Who’s pulling the purse-strings?

    It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to work out that this has nothing but the interests of a few unelected civil servants and their buddies all over it. At least, that’s my assessment of the situation.

  2. Nigel Ward September 19, 2011 at 8:55 pm - Reply

    Another secret meeting, tomorrow (20th September) @ 4:00pm, between Whitby Town (Parish) Council and Whitby Harbour Board. No mention of the Piers, Extensions, Bridges or Lighthouses. Do you think they will NOT be discussed?

    From: Whitby Town Council
    Date: 2 September 2011 10:00
    Subject: Harbour meeting 20th September 2011 4pm
    To: Lesley Dale (Whitby Harbour Board)

    Morning Lesley

    I have just received a letter from Mr Hornigold requesting items for the agenda for the meeting of the Harbour Board and Whitby Town Council’s Harbour Committee to be held on the 20th September.

    The following are items my members would like to discuss: The priority is the safety of vessels, crafts, harbour users and members of the public – are their any risk assessments for the harbour?

    Have the Harbour Board got a maintenance programme for the next 5 years – what is their budget, and what is in the Articles of Memorandum?

    Request the maintenance figures for 2012-1213 and the budget available for maintenance and the replacement of commercial berths.

    What action is taken for the responsibility of dredging practices – are policies available to view?

    Is there a defined dredging map (where to dredge and where not to dredge)? Landscaping of the new marina block – members were made aware that plans were drawn up for this work to be carried out.

    Toilets on the East Side of the town.

    The Spa ladder.

    Any queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.



    Deputy Town Clerk Whitby Town Council ________________________________________________

    Only one issue needs to be discussed:


    Let me ask you a question. Why do you think that elected members and paid public servants keep leaking so-called ‘secret’ correspondence and documents to me and to my colleagues?

    I’ll tell you why. It’s because they KNOW that all this secrecy is hiding CORRUPT practices.

  3. Francis L. Chalmers September 19, 2011 at 8:57 pm - Reply

    Corrupt practices! You’re dead right there. Any casual observer can see the corruption.

    Just look at the bungs taken for the building of Knipe Point.

    I can tell you for a fact that a former planning officer that Town Hall Scarborough used to “look the other way” for a nice case of whiskey. Just imagine what they want these days in order to “look the other way” !!!

  4. Cliff Street September 20, 2011 at 7:18 am - Reply

    Far too much use of the word corrupt and corruption on this site without solid evidence. It seems that one or two people continuously devalue the words by their over liberal use. I’m not suggesting that any particular one of the dozens of uses of the word was wrong merely that it is incredible that crops up so frequently.

    I’m certainly against corruption but do not like to see the word carelessly bandied about. If there is corruption and you know about it and have evidence, take it to the appropriate authority.

    All that seems to be achieved is that people see the comments as just another uncontrolled rant and dismiss them. This then blunts the instrument.

    Its a bit like the boy who cried wolf.

    • Nigel Ward September 20, 2011 at 8:18 am - Reply


      “I’m certainly against corruption but do not like to see the word carelessly bandied about. If there is corruption and you know about it and have evidence, take it to the appropriate authority.”

      The biggest frustration is that I (and a number of others) have taken compelling evidence to “the appropriate authority” on many, many occasions – including to the Electoral Commission, the North Yorks Police, the ICO, the LGO, the PHSO, the HMIC – only to result in months of evasive and procrastinatory correspondence, and no tangible action whatsoever.

      What do you suggest the little boy should cry when the wolf comes by for the hundredth time – and still “the appropriate authority” closes ranks and plays the “vexatious” card? That’s not a rhetorical question. I am serious. You seem like a bright lad – if you believe you have a more effective strategy, get stuck in!

  5. Richard Ineson September 20, 2011 at 7:27 am - Reply

    This is just another fine example of the sham democracy that allows a small cabal of people to control what happens in this area. So called ‘consultative groups’ are put in place, usually chaired by some prominent local politician who then proceeds to select other tame/suppine/illiterate/ill educated/sycophantic, ‘place persons’ who can be relied upon not to rock the boat, to sit on these council officer dominated. ‘steering groups’ geared to progress/rubber stamp, decisions, already made, behind closed doors.

    These groups also attempt to discredit anyone of integrity, such as Ken Graham, who, will not go along with their questionable procedures and who have been appointed, as members of these groups, by outside bodies such as Whitby Town Council, over whom, these people, much to their frustration and alarm, have no control.

    In recent times, the public have woken up to these pernicious practices, which have been going on for years; council officers, and other people who have been manipulating the democratic process, for their own ends, and getting away with it, have finally been rumbled.

    The pathetic posturing of the Harbour Board, evidenced in the phrases “further action is being considered in regard to this incident and further liason with Mr.Havelock” and “please be reminded that the forthcoming meeting ——- to be held on the 20th September—- will not be a public meeting either”

    Such arrogance.

    Just who do these people think that they are?

    It is obvious that they imagined that they could, as so many of these groups have done in the past, do exactly as they wished, without any interference from the people whom they are supposed to be representing.

    There is a wind of change blowing throughout the U.K. in relation to how this country is governed, and even the Whitby Harbour Board must take account of it, or be swept away, as is happening to the North Yorkshire Police Authority.

  6. Richard Ineson September 20, 2011 at 9:00 am - Reply

    I was asked,in 2010, by a senior member of staff at SBC, to consider becoming a member of the Harbour Board myself. This is what I sent in response to that request,

    “Everything to do with the group (Harbour Board) must be open, transparent and accountable – membership, minutes of meetings, agenda, time, date and venue of all meetings ( venue must be accessible to all) to be advertised in the Whitby Gazette and Borough News and posters to be displayed in the libraries and other public buildings.

    Members of the public must be welcome to attend the meetings as observers, requests for information as to the activities of the group must be freely available without the public having recourse to the FOIA.

    The remit of the group to be clearly stated – pupose, aims, targets, powers, affiliations, sponsors, shelf life, budget (if any).”

    I declined the invitation, not because these conditions were unacceptable to SBC, but because I did not consider myself to have the necessary expertise to undertake the task successfully.

    I did hope that the persons who were appointed to the Harbour Board, might have similar standards of integrity to my own.

  7. Nigel Ward September 20, 2011 at 11:19 am - Reply

    I can now disclose that the seemingly unlawfully convened meeting between Whitby Harbour Board (a sub-committee of SBC) and the Harbour Committee of WTC, scheduled for 4:00pm this afternoon at the Harbour Office has been CANCELLED – on the purported grounds that the Chair of the WHB (Cllr Mike Cockerill) has been taken ill. There is a Vice-Chair; Mr Laurie Farmer.

    In my view, the true reason is that it is not lawful to have specified the exclusion of press and public.

    Councils (and Committee’s thereof) are required by the Local Government Act 1972 to meet in public, with the exception of Agenda Items addressing private and confidential details pertaining to employees and/or matters of commercial confidentiality (relating, for example, to tenders).

    In my view, Mr Edwin Black’s attempts to exclude press and public from a joint meeting of Committees of two Council is not lawful. His remarks about the conduct of Cllr Havelock and Cllr Graham are unacceptable – the more so since Mr Black himself has no electoral mandate.


  8. Richard Ineson September 20, 2011 at 11:56 am - Reply

    These people have got away with making their own rules up for so long that they think that they are fireproof, present them with the actual legislation and they collapse like a pricked balloon.

    The Harbour Board, through their arrogance, got off to a bad start, and have now little chance of retrieving the situation, a very unfortunate set of circumstances and a clear example of everything that is wrong with local government in this area.

    90% of the problems experienced by any organisation revolve around poor, or non existent communication, this is a prime example, just where is the management expertise which should have avoided this public relations cock up?

    • Francis L. Chalmers September 20, 2011 at 9:26 pm - Reply


      It strikes me that not only are the 90% of problems revolving around the communication aspects, but that is used as the catalyst for the other 10% of problems – corruption and outright theft of public assets.

      But then, this is just an allegation.

      It’s not like there are dozens of missing works of art in the Town Hall in Scarborough, nor are there claims of having paintings that don’t exist.

      Nor have there ever been huge sums spent on building projects that didn’t cost half as much as claimed….

      And so on and so forth – as the saying goes.

  9. admin September 20, 2011 at 4:46 pm - Reply

    Is there any chance we can get a clarification on what is meant by the term “Behavior” in relation to comments in the letters relating to Ian Havelock ? Having spoken to Ian quite a lot recently and through observing his “Behavior” at Whitby town council meetings I would be shocked to learn that Ian’s “Behavior” was anything other than polite, courteous and professional in manner. I wait to be corrected.

    • Nigel Ward September 20, 2011 at 5:09 pm - Reply

      You could try asking Edwin Black and/or Brian Bennett. I’m still waiting for a reply from Jon Whitton. Word at Dock End is that Jon’s fed up and thinking of packing it in. I would not blame him. I do not mean to be cycnical, and I sincerely would not wish any misfortune on Mike Cockerill, but it has to be said that his absence/sick-leave might well be interpreted as ‘pig sick’ leave!

      We all know Ian as a mild-mannered man, the epitome of reasonableness. Similarly, you will be hard-pressed to find a more affable chap than Dennis. And I do not know a Councillor who speaks his mind in more measured terms than Ken, who is not a natural public-speaker and takes particular care to express himself with precision and wit.

      It is standard procedure by the incumbents attempt to discredit dissenting voices with complaints of ‘vexatiousness’. It is, in a word, all bullshit.

  10. admin September 20, 2011 at 5:16 pm - Reply

    John Whitton will leave the harbour board unless they get serious about culling seals. Hes obsessed with them.

  11. Jack Corner September 21, 2011 at 1:49 pm - Reply

    Mr Black’s days are numbered.
    I honestly thought that when Mr Black, at one point, began to explain his inexperience of council meetings etc that he was going to offer an apology and explain his actions by being over protective.
    A real shame he did not, because all concerned would have been very understanding.
    You then proceeded to read another four pages of Mr Blacks extreme selfishness, with a grandiose view of his own talents and his craving for admiration, big headed about his personality, he is clearly displaying all the signs of a Narcissist.
    But that’s for someone from the medical profession to decide.
    Mr Black, the paper you write on belongs to the public, the chairs you sit on, the rooms you sit in, all except the air you breath belongs to the public.
    You are nothing but a passive Bully Mr Black.
    Who knows what’s coming next, but unless Mr Black is careful then he will fall victim of the mirrored behavior he displays and writes about.
    It sounds like it’s all in Mr Blacks head and that’s not someone who should have anything to do with any public property belonging to the residents of the Borough.

  12. Nigel Ward September 22, 2011 at 6:45 pm - Reply

    I take it you think Mr Black should resign, Jack? I most certainly do. I know exactly what went down and it bears no resemble to the drivel above.

    But wait till you see Tony Hornigold’s even more offensive letter to Mayor John Freeman. John would prefer not to have it in the public domain until after the WTC Harbour Committee emergency Meeting – but I gather there are copies circulating. It should go up on this site, in the public domain. I hope it will.

    But I am very glad that the other extraneous WHB member at the WHCG meeting is anxious not to repeat the mistakes made on the night and has therefore very wisely refrained from making any further comment.

    What that demonstrates to me is that the elected are obliged to have some respect for the public – they better, or they don’t get re-elected. The appointed are not. That is why they are such arrogant little martinets.

  13. TWG September 22, 2011 at 7:35 pm - Reply




    Just a few words to describe these not so lovely people.

    Sack ’em. Sack ’em all.

  14. DKP September 23, 2011 at 9:33 am - Reply

    Doing the rounds this morning is this copy of the latest NW email to the Mayor.

    —– Original Message —–
    From: Nigel
    To: John Freeman
    Sent: Thursday, September 22, 2011 9:47 PM
    Subject: Present (and past) concerns

    Mr John FREEMAN – Town Mayor – Whitby Town (Parish) Council


    I know you have a lot on your plate at present, but I need to remind you of some of the outstanding matters that are once again in danger of slipping off the radar.

    1) The Stakesby vacancies

    2) The un-actioned Resolutions

    3) The allotment invoices (did you know that a Council may not charge rent on allotments without a piped water supply? Allotments Act 1925 and amendments thereto)

    4) The BAKS banking arrangements

    All of these may pale into relative insignificance in comparison to the extraordinary (and false) allegations being levelled against certain WTC Councillors. I am as horrified by the remarks made by Mr Black and Mr Hornigold as I am by the silence maintained by Mr Whitton.

    The significant observation here – which seems to have escaped the attention of many – is that the Terms of Reference of the WHCG clearly state three salient points.

    Firstly, the meeting is not open to the public. (We may wish to take issue with that).

    Secondly, only one representative is invited (and permitted) from Whitby Town (Parish) Council.

    Thirdly, only one representative is invited (and permitted) from the Whitby Harbour Board.

    It follows that Cllr Graham was the only WTC representative permitted to attend. Under the ToR, Cllrs Havelock and Collins were not permitted to attend.

    It is not clear which of the three WHB members was the only representative permitted to attend, or how it was that the other two (extraneous) members were permitted to remain after Cllrs Havelock and Collins had been banished.

    And it is certainly not clear on what (or whose) authority Mssrs Bennett and Black took it upon themselves to act as bouncers.

    I can report that feeling is running high in the town. Your Council, which has often been the butt of much ribaldry, is for the moment enjoying an unprecedented wave of public sympathy. I would urge you to capitalise on this long-awaited opportunity to embrace the Whitby public by publishing all of the flagrantly offensive letters that have come into your possession in the aftermath of this deplorable incident. As one of the gang said to me today;

    “Now we will see what sort of stuff this Mayor is made of”.

    I am sure we will. It would do no harm to see your name appear on the on-line e-petition to save our Harbour, Piers, Pier Extensions, Bridges and Lighthouses.

    Kind regards, John. And good luck.


  15. Nigel Ward September 23, 2011 at 9:43 am - Reply

    It seems like the Mayor may have responded to my appeal.

    I have just heard that Mr Black and Mr Hornigold have (quite rightly) been stood down from making any further inflammatory comments.

    Whitby Harbour Board Chair Councillor Mike Cockerill (SBC – Independent Group) is personally taking charge – back from being taken ill and thereby necessitating the abandonment of the scheduled ‘behind closed doors’ Meeting between the WHB and WTC’s Harbour Committee the other day.

  16. Dr Elaine Edmunds September 23, 2011 at 10:13 am - Reply

    Getting drains at back of Esk Terrace sorted out after months of faecal material running out onto streets needed public health involvement and a reminder of obligations as to the potential risk to public health….. so not impressed as to communication between statutory agencies… best to be proacative tho accurate… By the way I have met Councellor Havelock…a mild mannered man if ever there was ..projection and defensiveness are not conducive to constructive debate … secrecy also gives an unfortunate impression …

  17. rhajibuhga September 23, 2011 at 11:42 am - Reply

    Does anyone know who Edwin Black is, seems a bit of mystery man to me.
    Is he a Whitby man? What connections does he have with the town? Who elected him to our Harbour Board. Does he have any qualifications sit on the WHITBY Harbour Board. By what authority does take it upon himself to eject ELECTED Whitby councilors from a Whitby Harbour Board or Whitby Harbour Liaison Group meeting. Which bit of the woodwork did he pop out from.

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