Who’s Complaining Now ? – ‘Slanging Match At Whitby Town Council Committee Meeting’

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Who’s Complaining Now ? – ‘Slanging Match At Whitby Town Council Committee Meeting’

Admin: The following report is a direct ‘real-time’ follow-up to our “Who’s Complaining?” article – second in the series of weekly columns by tranparency activist Nigel Ward. Readers can find that article here: http://www.real-whitby.co.uk/whos-complaining

‘SLANGING MATCH’ AT WHITBY TOWN COUNCIL COMMITTEE MEETING

As luck would have it, a real ‘live’ example of the SBC Complaints Procedure has just begun that informed readers will find fascinating.

My eye-witness source tells me that the Meeting of the Whitby Town (Parish) Council Policy & Development Committee on Thursday 15th March 2012 – regettably not attended by the Whitby Gazette Council Reporter Karl Hansell – ended in a ‘slanging match’ between Councillors and the Clerk, in a flagrant breach of the terms of the Councillors’ Code of Conduct.

My source reports that, to their great credit, Councillors Dennis Collins, Sean Rixham-Smith and Mrs Amanda Smith left the Meeting, in that order, thus leaving the Committee inquorate – though, inexplicably, the Meeting seems to have continued in disregard of the rules (see Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, Paragraphs 12, 28 and 45).

A Council or Committee is normally termed inquorate (ie lacking a quorum) if less than three or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, is present. The Policy & Development Committee has eight members.

Eight dividede by three equals 2.66. Fractional divisions must be ’rounded up’ to the next whole number; therefore, the Committee would normally be quorate with three members present.

But Whitby Town (Parish) Council’s own Terms of Reference for the Policy & Development Committee state that the number for quoracy is five.

Details of the present membership of the Committee are not available on the WTC web-site ( http://www.whitbytowncouncil.gov.uk ), though here is Thursday’s attendance record:

  • Cllr Niall Carson (Chair) – absent
  • Cllr Dennis Collins -present – WITHDREW
  • Cllr Terry Jennison (absent)
  • Cllr Walter Jones (Vice-Chair) – present (Chaired this meeting)
  • Cllr Mrs Wynne Jones -present
  • Cllr Sean Rixham-Smith – present – WITHDREW
  • Cllr Mrs Amanda SAmith – present – WITHDREW
  • Cllr PhilipTrumper – present.

Since only three Councillors remained (after the departure of Councillors Dennis Collins, Sean Rixham-Smith and Mrs Amanda Smith), the Committee was therefore rendered inquorate and the Clerk had a duty to close the Meeting. This did not happen.

I await written confirmation, but I am assured that Formal Complaints to the SBC Standards Committee have since been lodged by both the Town Clerk and by Cllr Mrs Amanda Smith against two Whitby Town (Parish) Councillors; Cllr Walter (who, in Cllr Carson’s absence, was acting Chair of the Meeting) and Cllr Mrs Wynne Jones, who are reported to have repeatedly shouted “Shut up!” across the floor of the Chamber and behaved in a generaally abusive and hectoring manner.

I will be scrutinizing developments very careful.

It will be particularly interesting to note how Councillor Walter Jones comes out of this. Here follows the text of my Complaint of December 2009 against Councillor Walter Jones after a similar outburst. That Complaint resulted in Councillor Jones being found to have breached the Code of Conduct.

His ‘sentence’ was to endure fifteen minutes mediation/training with the then Monitoring Officer, Ian Anderson. If that mediation/retraining ever took place, it certtainly failed in iots objectives.

Can Councillor WalterJones remain in office – an office he holds without a single vote from a Whitby elector – after this second Formal Complaint?

On top of that, I am also informed that Cllr Walter Jones is now in dispute with English Heritage in respect of a £12K grant funding a report by Cllr Jones on the Listed buildings of Baxtergate – a Report which English Heritage apparently regard as woefully and unacceptably inadequate, listing two-and-a-half pages of A4’s worth of failings.

You are wondering where the £12K ended up. Me too!

Here lies the folly of election of Un-Opposed candidates and election by Co-Option. It is often said that the public, if dissatisfied by the performance or integrity of an elected member, can only seek remedy at the next election – vote ’em out!.

That is of no value if they are safely returned to office through the connivance of their cronies or the disillusionment of the electorate.

Two Councillors have approached me for my advice on whether or not the Council has powers to remove the Cllrs Jones from office. I fear not.

Even a Parish Poll asking the people of Whitby if they have confidence in the Cllrs Jones carries no power or legal force.

In my view, if the Councillors concerned had the remotest scrap of human decency, their resignations would already be lying on the Clerk’s desk.

Article By Nigel Ward

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.

35 Comments

  1. Jon Risdon March 17, 2012 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    Oh dear, oh dear: if this is the state of ‘democracy’ in Whitby, what hope do we have?

    • Jane Swales March 18, 2012 at 9:41 am - Reply

      We have the hope these insufferable grant-diggers will be shamed out of the council.

  2. Vanda Inman March 17, 2012 at 7:22 pm - Reply

    Sounds better than a Pantomime – can anyone go along? Me too?… I’m gonna make it my resolution to attend every Parish Meeting in this Borough before the years out with a score sheet. Perhaps they should all be held at the OAT.

  3. J.G.Harston March 17, 2012 at 8:35 pm - Reply

    A quorum doesn’t matter until somebody asks “chair, are we quorate?” So, as long as everybody keeps quiet….

    Though, it would be a valid complaint to ask why nobody asked if the meeting was quorate.

  4. Nigel Ward March 18, 2012 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Whitby Town (Parish) Council costs residents £230,000 per year. Here is a list of its powers and duties (compiled by CPALC – http://www.cpalc.org.uk/parish-council-powers ).

    Have your say on whether or not you think Whitby Town (Parish) Council is delivering.

    PARISH COUNCIL POWERS

    Following list is taken from the Good Councilors Guide published by the Countryside Agency,
    The list is indicative and not comprehensive,
    The reference to the relevant acts have been omitted from this summary,

    POWERS & DUTIES

    ALLOTMENTS

    Powers to provide allotments,

    Duty to consider providing allotment gardens if demand unsatisfied,

    BATHS & WASH-HOUSES
    Power to provide

    BURIAL GROUNDS, CEMETERIES & CREMATORIA

    Power to acquire, provide and maintain shelters,

    Power to agree to maintain monuments & memorials,

    Power to contribute towards expenses of cemeteries,

    BUS SHELTERS

    Power to provide & maintain shelters,

    BYE LAWS

    Powers to provide bye laws for:

    Pleasure grounds

    Cycle parks

    Baths & wash houses

    Open spaces & burial grounds

    CHARITIES

    Duties regarding parochial charities

    CHRISTMAS LIGHTS

    Power to provide to attract visitors

    CITIZENS ADVICE BUREAU

    Power to support

    CLOCKS

    Power to provide public clocks

    CLOSED CHURCHYARDS

    Powers to maintain

    COMMONS & COMMON PASTURES

    Powers in relation to enclosure, regulation and management, providing common pasture.

    CONFERENCE FACILITIES

    Power to provide and encourage use of facilities

    COMMUNITY CENTRES

    Power to provide and equip community buildings

    Power to provide buildings for use of clubs having athletic, social or educational objectives

    CRIME PREVENTION

    Powers to spend money on various crime prevention measures

    DRAINAGE

    Power to deal with ponds & ditches

    ENTERTAINMENT & THE ARTS

    Provision of entertainment and support of the arts including festivals and celebrations

    GIFTS

    Power to accept

    HIGHWAYS

    Power to repair and maintain public footpaths & bridle-ways

    Power to light roads & public places

    Power to provide parking places for vehicles, bicycles and motor cycles

    Power to enter into agreement as to dedication and widening

    Power to provide roadside seats & shelters

    Power to complain to district councils regarding protection of rights of way and roadside wastes

    Power to provide traffic signs and other notices

    Power to plant trees etc. and to maintain roadside verges

    INVESTMENTS

    Power to participate in schemes of collective investment

    LAND

    Power to acquire by agreement, to appropriate, to dispose of land

    Power to accept gifts of land

    LITTER

    Provision of receptacles

    LOTTERIES

    Powers to promote

    MORTUARIES & POST MORTEM ROOMS

    Powers to provide mortuaries and post mortem rooms

    NEWSLETTERS

    Power to provide information relating to matters affecting local government

    NUISANCES

    Power to deal with offensive ditches

    OPEN SPACES

    Power to acquire land & maintain

    PARISH PROPERTY & DOCUMENTS

    Powers to direct as to their custody

    POSTAL & TELECOMMUNICATION FACILITIES

    Power to pay public telecommunications operators any loss sustained providing post or telegraph office or telecommunication facilities

    PUBLIC BUILDING & VILLAGE HALL

    Power to provide buildings for offices and for public meetings and assemblies

    PUBLIC CONVENIENCES

    Power to provide

    PARKS & PLEASURE GROUNDS

    Power to acquire land or to provide recreation grounds, public walks, pleasure grounds and open spaces and to manage and control them

    RECREATION

    Power to provide a wide range of recreational facilities

    Provision of boating pools

    TOWN * COUNTRY PLANNING

    Right to be notified of planning applications

    TOURISM

    Power to contribute to organisations encouraging tourism

    TRAFFIC CALMING

    Powers to contribute financially to traffic calming schemes

    TRANSPORT

    Powers to spend money on community transport schemes

    VILLAGE SIGNS

    Power to use decorative signs to inform visitors

    WAR MEMORIALS

    Power to maintain, repairs, protect and adapt war memorials

    WATER SUPPLY

    Power to use well spring or stream and to provide facilities for obtaining water therefrom

  5. Nick March 19, 2012 at 5:14 am - Reply

    Amazing…. everyone has the right to disagree from time-to-time, but this is unbelieveable. Elected councillors shouting at each other in such a manner leaves me thinking we’ve really reached a sorry place.
    Will Whitby ever see anyone who actually cares about something other than power and status? I have a suspicion that there are a couple of councillors who already do, but that the vast majority don’t….

  6. Nigel Ward March 19, 2012 at 4:06 pm - Reply

    ———- Forwarded message ———-
    From: Whitby Town Council
    Date: 16 March 2012 09:45
    Subject: Policy and Development 2.3.12
    To: Wynne Jones , WTC , W JONES , Tom Brown , Terry Jennison , Steve Smith , “Sean Rixham.Smith” , Phillip Trumper , Nial Carson , Mike Murphy , Ken Graham , Joyce Stangoe , John Freeman , J DICKINSON , ian havelock , heather coughlan , Dennis Collins , Amanda Smith , Amanda Smith , Noreen Wilson , Simon Parkes

    Dear Councillors

    Following last nights Policy and Development, it appears that the meeting became inquorate part of the way through going against Local Government Law, therefore please find attached an agenda for another meeting of the Policy and Development to take place next Thursday 29th March 2012 at 4.30pm, to complete the remainder of the items which were discussed but unfortunately are not valid due being inquorate and need to be considered again.

    Any queries please contact the office.

    Regards

    Anne

  7. peter anderson March 20, 2012 at 6:17 pm - Reply

    when will wtc know how to conduct a lawful meeting??? it appears that the clerk does not know the first thing about her job. time after time over and over again,there are major blunders.

  8. Nick March 20, 2012 at 6:57 pm - Reply

    Amazing… simply amazing.

    Whilst it might seem appropriate to ask someone to do the job they are paid to do, there seems to be a long history of people within the borough doing jobs to a very poor standard.

    I can’t help but ask, ‘why?’.

  9. Colin Winspear March 21, 2012 at 5:57 pm - Reply

    Am I the only one concerned that an email with the intent of being only for the listed recipients, is published on a public forum? More so by someone not on that list of recipients, or attached in any official way to the Council?

  10. ThePedantsAreRevolting March 21, 2012 at 7:51 pm - Reply

    God, I hope so! Why would anyone want it kept secret?

  11. Finger Bob March 21, 2012 at 9:39 pm - Reply

    Looks like Colin likes secrets. Maybe he should get himself onto the Whitby Harbour Group Stakepyeeaters, supporters, followers, advocates, sponsors, proponents, sympathizers, friends of , exponents, adherents group. They could all then sit in the dark and eat cheese or whatever they do at the secret society they hold.

  12. Colin Winspear March 22, 2012 at 11:38 am - Reply

    Yet another group, Whitby Harbour Group Stakepyeeaters, who are they? Even in local government there is a need for confidentiality, which has been breached by a member of the council leaking the email. So who in this case is the guilty party, the councillor for the leak, or this site for publishing it? That was in effect a private email sent to members of the council, is this a breach of that privacy? As for liking secrets, there is a need for them which protects us all, I fail to see why respecting that is seen as a bad thing to be hung drawn and quartered for. If you are so against secrets of any kind Finger Bob, publish yours for us all to read.

  13. Jane Swales March 22, 2012 at 2:29 pm - Reply

    Council matters are public domain. Nobody could credibly defend the desirability of keeping the atrocious behaviour of two councillors or the incompetence of the clerk secret.

  14. Andrea Smith March 22, 2012 at 2:33 pm - Reply

    “Council matters are public domain. Nobody could credibly defend the desirability of keeping the atrocious behaviour of two councillors or the incompetence of the clerk secret. ”

    – With the exception of Colin Winspear of course.

  15. Finger Bob March 22, 2012 at 2:37 pm - Reply

    I dont have many secrets Col, but below is a little bit of info for you about me. Whilst Im here ill find out the number of the FBI for you so that you can talk to them about this very serious crime that has been committed here.

    Fingerbobs was a British children’s television programme made by the BBC in 1972. The first episode was broadcast on 14 February 1972 on BBC1 as part of Watch with Mother. The show was created by Joanne and Michael Cole, who also created Bod. Only thirteen episodes were ever made.

    Presented by mime artist “Yoffy” (played by Canadian actor Rick Jones), each ten-minute episode told a story centred around a paper finger puppet animal, and usually involved collecting various items (such as pebbles or feathers) to make up another object at the end. The finger puppets, each of whom had their own song, included:

    Fingermouse – a mouse, consisting of a grey paper cone head with paper ears and whiskers with a grey glove for the body (“Fingermouse, Fingermouse/I am a sort of wondermouse”). Fingermouse later got his own show, with a new puppeteer, called “The Music Man”. The Music Man would tell stories involving Fingermouse, using musical instruments.

    Gulliver – a seagull made from a white ping-pong ball (head) placed over a thumb and white gloves forming the body with outstretched fingers as the wings. (“I spread my wings.”)
    Scampi – several scampi were made using purple gloves with red heads on each finger
    Flash – a tortoise, with a paper shell. (“Slowly, steadily, I move at my own pace/They call me Flash though I won’t dash/Who wants to run a race?”)

    Fingermouse gained his own series in 1985. In this series, the focus was more on musical instruments. One series was made of thirteen programmes.

    The memorable theme tune went “Yoffy lifts a finger, and a mouse is there/Puts his hands together, and a seagull takes the air/Yoffy lifts a finger, and a scampi darts about/Yoffy bends another, and a tortoise head peeps out/These hands were made for making, and making they must do.”

    At the end of the series Jones was so sick of making the show that he destroyed the finger puppets while the camera was still rollin

  16. Colin Winspear March 22, 2012 at 6:14 pm - Reply

    Very entertaining Finger Bob, pretty much as I expected really. However, please do not refer to me as Col, this would infer familiarity, but as you are hiding behind a pseudonym, that is hardly likely. Council matters may be in the public domain as you say Miss Smith, I have no quarrel with that, I merely stated my discomfort at essentially private internal emails are leaked and published.

  17. Harold Locker March 22, 2012 at 7:32 pm - Reply

    May I first start by saying that I do agree that the whole slanging match is completely ridiculous and a shame to the town.

    BUT – I believe I understand where Colin is coming from.

    I would HOPE that all Council communications are sent under some ‘In Confidence’ heading (could Nigel or someone confirm?) – so IF they are, then someone has obviously leaked them in breach of their own policies. Keeping SBC to keep to their own policies is something I understand Real Whitby actively supports and would support the carpeting of any councillor that breaches that policy.

    Secondly – don’t forget that something in the future it could well be an email about YOUR personal circumstances that has been leaked to Real Whitby. Would you want that? I doubt it.

    Leaking email is a difficult area – it can be a force for good or for ill – but to lambast somebody for even asking? Ridiculous. Especially on a site that would appear to pride itself on digging and asking the awkward questions.

  18. Steve Wheat March 22, 2012 at 7:33 pm - Reply

    I have read this article and would like to point out a fundamental arithmetic error.

    The normal number of coucillors should be eight. There was originally six people at the meeting, three withdrew leaving three. So…

    6 out of 8 = 6/8 or 0.75 (75%)
    Three left leaving three remaining…
    3 out of 8 = 3/8 or 0.375 (37.5%)

    3/8 = 0.375 which greater than .33 (33%) and NOT 8/3 as reported above which would be 2.66 or 266%

    There were three eigthts of the coucillors present, NOT eight thirds.

    The omission of the multiplyer of 100(simple mathematics from school)makes it appear less, therefore inferring an inquorate council, when in actual fact, based upon the rules (see Local Government Act 1972, Schedule 12, Paragraphs 12, 28 and 45). – A Council or Committee is normally termed inquorate (ie lacking a quorum) if less than three or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, is present.

    The Clerk was correct to carry on the meeting as there was a quorum of greater than one third of the total membership.

    Benjamin Disraeli – “There are three types of Lies… Lies, Damned lies and Statistics”. Me: “Especially when the statistics that are mathematically incorrect”.

    • Millicent March 23, 2012 at 6:47 pm - Reply

      Step outside and get a life

      • Colin Winspear March 24, 2012 at 2:39 pm - Reply

        I find it interesting that a comment such as yours Millicent, is made to someone who has spent some time researching and clarifying his post. Is made due to its’ opposite opinion to someone else who has spent time researching and clarifying his post but came to a different conclusion. Should not Mr Ward “step outside and get a life” as being the originator, or is his conclusion the only one we should accept? This is meant to be a democratic debate after all.

      • Steve Wheat March 24, 2012 at 6:48 pm - Reply

        @ Millicent

        Your suggestion has been noted and may be taken under advice. In the between time, I’m sure I will be suitably occupied in my employ counting beans for HMRC and in my leisure time collecting telegraph pole numbers… (or I could just be actually having a few glasses of red with good friends)…

        It is odd I find, how when a simple arithmetic error is pointed out, how some people seem to think that having an education which included maths, means a life less interesting. Oh well, we can’t all live life in the fastlane…

  19. Nigel Ward March 22, 2012 at 9:00 pm - Reply

    @ Steve Wheat:

    This is not a matter of statistics. Nor is it mathematically incorrect.

    “A Council or Committee is normally termed inquorate (ie lacking a quorum) if less than three or one-third of the total membership, whichever is the greater, is present.”

    The important element here is “whichever is the greater”.

    One third of eight is 2.666 – which is less than three. So, in this case, it is three that is the greater, and it is therefore three that would normally be applicable.

    However, as I pointed out in the article, the Council resolved to adopt a quorum of five for this committee, countermanding the usual formula.

    It is therefore the case that, with only three Councillors still present, the Committee was indeed inquorate (since, by the Council’s own resolution, the quorum is five) and the Clerk was indeed in error allowing the meeting to continue.

    Clearly, the Council concurs with my view, since the Clerk has convened “another meeting of the Policy and Development to take place next Thursday 29th March 2012 at 4.30pm, to complete the remainder of the items which were discussed but unfortunately are not valid due being inquorate and need to be considered again.”

    If you believe that I am mistaken – and the Clerk, too – you may wish to inform the Clerk of the perceived error, thus preventing the rather puzzling eventuality of (what you hold to be valid) resolutions being reconsidered (which in itself is unlawful within a period of six months), or (which may be even more puzzling) of the Committee arriving at different resolutions the second time around. There would then be the issue of determining which of each pair of resolutions would end up being lawful. Quite a mess. Especially as the Agenda is out and the new meeting lawfully convened.

    As a matter of interest, that would not be the first time that the Clerk had unlawfully convened a meeting, having done so in the past on several occasions, by failing to publish Notice and Agenda in compliance within the requisite period of ‘three clear days’ notice (ie: not including the day of publication or the day of the meeting).

  20. Steve Wheat March 23, 2012 at 9:26 am - Reply

    @ Nigel Ward

    If 2.66 is one third of eight (26.6%), then three has to be greater as 37.5% is greater than 26.6%

    I do not, or would ever dispute the regulations on what is a quorum, as these are set down, refer to a majority and generally are an odd number (for voting purposes and without going into the whole of Robert’s Rules)

    I am not arguing with anyone on this matter, attacking or defending any persons who have already commented, as everyone is entitled to their view point, be that considered right or wrong. What I am trying to demosnstrate is that, the regulations state that if a simple quorum of five is not available, the chairman or clerk may fall back upon the proviso/caveat allowing a simple percentile majority and in this case, 3 persons out of eight persons is 37.5% which is greater than the one third (33.3%) and certainly greater than 26.6% (one third of eight)

    As I suggested, statistics can be employed in many ways to sensationalise a story (and I am not inferring in any way this was the intention) and are used by the media all the time. I was trying to show that 2.66 is one third of eight but that 3/8 or three parts of eight is 37.5 and therfore greater than 33.3 minimum required.

    My opinion of politicians (local or otherwise) is that they are all there for their own benefit anyway, and the only person who entered Parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes. So, no love lost between me and our political animals.

    I have no intention of defending or supporting anyone from the council or contributors to this article, beyond the mathematical interpretation of the numbers as published above, and if anyone wishes to actually check the math, there are a number of web sites where this can be done, and I stick to my point 3 divided by eight is 37.5% (three people out of eight people)- a percentage greater than the one third minimum of 33.3%

    And bluster,hammering the point with a very large mallet, or talking around the subject will never change that.

  21. Nigel Ward March 23, 2012 at 10:02 am - Reply

    @ Steve:

    Nor am I arguing with you. As you rightly say, 3 is indeed 37.5% of 8, and thus is indeed greater than 26.66% of 8.

    However, there is no such thing as 2.66 Councillors, which is why the rule rounds up to the next integer – 3.

    I did state that normally 3 of 8 would satisfy the quoracy. I do not know why WTC resolved to set the quorum at 5 – or indeed whether or not it is lawful for them to have done so. The fact remains that they did.

    Therefore, until such time as that resolution is repealed (ie: after at least six months) or declared null and void, the quorum of the Committee stands at 5.

    The Committee was therefore not quorate, and the Clerk is (at least pro tem) correct to convene a new meeting.

    The Clerk’s shortcomings are well documented.

    Let us consider the matter settled for the moment, by agreeing on your well-stated premise:

    “My opinion of politicians (local or otherwise) is that they are all there for their own benefit anyway, and the only person who entered Parliament with honest intentions was Guy Fawkes. So, no love lost between me and our political animals.”

    Have a nice day.

  22. Harold Locker March 23, 2012 at 4:17 pm - Reply

    It would seem to me that Mr Wheat is in the right on this issue. As he suggested I ran the same figures and came to the same conclusion.

    ADMIN – If I’m still under moderation I hope you take the following in the confrontation manner in which it is intended.

    At the risk of being accused of going off-topic for a second – Aren’t ‘Finger Bobs’ comments about TV series seriously off topic? I appreciate that views can vary widely on issues such as this, but there does seem to be a bit of variable rule on who can go off topic on comments.

    And doesn’t the site normally discourage people hiding behind pseudonyms?

    • Colin Winspear March 24, 2012 at 2:41 pm - Reply

      Finger Bobs’ comments were a direct jibe at me Mr Locker, which is acceptable on this site for as long as Mr G Kilpatrick is in charge.

      • admin March 24, 2012 at 5:53 pm - Reply

        I do worry about you Colin, you seem to get overly stressed by the simplest of things. Can I suggest you grow a thicker skin. If you don’t like whats on the site you could stop reading and try the gazette for your online news, or if you don’t like the way our site is run perhaps you could set up your own to publish the things you want to publish in the way you want them published (This is something you will never achieve at Real Whitby as I pay the hosting and domain bills which puts me in charge and not you).

        • Colin Winspear March 24, 2012 at 7:35 pm - Reply

          you know it to be true though, yet again though you have proven that you ignore your own rules, and choose who they apply to.

          • admin March 24, 2012 at 7:38 pm - Reply

            Site owners prerogative Col

            • Colin Winspear March 24, 2012 at 8:36 pm - Reply

              Really? I think you may find that not only have you breached your own rules on this page, but that of the ISP service you use, who will be informed of this breach at the earliest opportunity. There will be no need for you to edit the pages in your favour as screen shots have been taken in support of the complaint. By that simple sentence, you have admitted to allowing people to make personal adverse comments towards me. In short Mr G Kilpatrick, you are nothing short of a spoilt schoolyard bully who is under the delusion of power.

        • Steve Wheat March 24, 2012 at 7:55 pm - Reply

          Wherever possible I try when commenting to make balanced remarks (if possible, but if it’s right or wrong, I also say so – math is math), as I believe that we cannot make good judgement or critique if we allow ourselves a prejudice or bias.

          The origins of this site ‘Real Whitby’ are probably of an altruistic nature, being the concern for Whitby and its citizens, which is admirable and should be applauded.

          My concern though, is by declaring ownership of this site and explaining that whilst you are responsible for the expenditure for its upkeep, you therefore have the unalienable right to publish or not, comments from obvious devotee that may be perceived as derogatory to another who may not agree with or adhere to the party line.

          Rupert Murdoch for years has employed this philosophy, and so has Richard Desmond, the Barclay Brothers etc., and to the extremes, so did Pravda and Der Sturmer,and I believe this is not what your intentions ever were.

          Therefore, personal attacks, inuendo etc., only devalue the true intent of the material published, and any editor/admin with a balanced and honest intent, would either request that such comments be removed, tempered or an apology made, and if not, then take action on behalf of the person who feels injured, and not suggest they need to have a ‘thicker skin’. Would we say such things to children at school who were being chastised or bullied? No, we would confront the bully and hopefully convince them of the error of their ways.

          From a personal point of view, I take the view it is my duty to confront bullying and prejudice in all forms, because if I do not make a stand along with people who do have the power to do something, what example are we setting as so called wiser older people to our more impressionable youngsters?

          • Steve Wheat March 25, 2012 at 3:04 pm - Reply

            I would admit to being one of the first people to follow the philosophy of Voltaire’s quote “I do not agree with what you have to say, but I’ll defend to the death your right to say it”, and openly accept that people do not always agree, after all, we are not automatons and nor do we inhabit the realm of 1984’S Oceania (yet! and thankfully).

            However, I am a little confused, if somewhat disturbed that intelligent people choose to ‘dislike’ (a perogative they are enitiled to), a reply that;

            a) disapproves of the outdated practice of employing disposable and ill thought out comments such as growing/getting a thicker skin to deal with Bullying

            b)an individuals personal feelings towards prejudice and bullying and

            c)references to historical and empirical knowledge and records, showing that bias and prejudice leads to far more intolerance in society than any of us would wish to return to.

            Are we to presume that the people who disliked my reply actually condone(accept and allow) bullying, bias, prejudice ?

            It is interesting to see the immaturity of the people who choose to support prejudice, bias and bullying by the fact they have not responded, only ‘ticked’ an anonomous dislike button.

            Are they afraid that people may read the comment and all will see their true colours? Or are they the archetype bullies too in real life and when against it, actually cowards?

            Bravery is not measure by ticking forms 100 miles behind the lines, or ticking dislike buttons in the knowledge and safety of anonymity. Maturity and intelligence is illustrated by providing an account of thier displeasue without reverting to personal attacks.

            The opportunity to reply is yours…

        • Steve Wheat March 25, 2012 at 3:52 pm - Reply

          Just a observation.

          Mr G Kilpatrick and admin may [sic] “pay the hosting and domain bills which puts me in charge and not you”

          However, M Kilpatrick and Admin omit to admit that they recieve an income from all of the site advertisements, which generally like most media publications actually pays for the overheads of running the business and provides a good income for the owners (see Rupert Murdoch et al).

          Revenue from readers is minimal and tends not to cover the cost of publications, hence why readership is only important in so much as how many people an advertisement can reach, not readership participation.

          But please, do not just take my word for it… Google ‘Newspaper/Magazine incomes’ … and see what you find

  23. Harold Locker March 23, 2012 at 6:28 pm - Reply

    Had rather hoped an unfortunate typo would have been corrected before my comment was posted.

    My Admin note, above, should have read ‘NON-Confrotntational’ – slightly embarrassing that my spell-checker decided to remove the ‘NON-‘ part.

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