Your Responses To Threat Of Legal Action By Scarborough Borough Council

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Your Responses To Threat Of Legal Action By Scarborough Borough Council

real whitby silenced by scarborough borough council

Scarborough Borough Council have written to the domain registry company for asking them to close the site down.

In the event of Scarborough Borough Council being sucessful and having our site removed, we will aim to communicate with you through the following channels :

Lisa Dixon of Scarborough Borough Council says the site contains articles in breach of civil law and is therefore asking Nominet and 123 reg to remove our website from the internet.

Lisa Dixon refuses to give specific information on which specific articles or comments the council finds offensive. Without this specific information Real Whitby is unable to work with them in rectifying the issue.

There are Lots of responses coming in now on our facebook page here, thankyou for your continued support and we will endevour to keep you all informed even if Scarborough Borough Council have the site closed.

Comments from Facebook.

Gp Taylor scandal!
Jon Risdon says Pathetic intimidation.
Paul Philip Verity I would be taking this story to the national dailies.
Linda Havelock If you don’t come up against obsticals, you’re not moving forwards. Thanks for all the good work you do.
Filey Bay Welcome to Soviet Britain
Stan Cogan democracy and free speech,ha thats a least it shows you are getting to them,they must be really
Rich Hebden Can you get Ian Hislop to comment on this on have I got news for you ? I would love to here him having a pop at our council
David Cook This is outrageous. The council have been properly criticised in a democratic manner, but not libelled.
Brian Dodds This definitely should be sent to the national press, it,s tantamount to censorship of the free press and abuse of public office by trying to suppress our basic right of free speech.
Cliff Miller How dare they…I live in Scarborough and was born here. I am ashamed to call myself a Scarborian. I read the “Real Whitby” site to find out the truth about the actions of this corrupt council. Please don’t tar the residents of Scarborough with the same brush as the council…..we are on your side. This action by the council stinks !
Tracey Jackson There is only one reason for Scarborough to even think of doing that….. they know too well they have things to hide! Your domain isn’t going to close you down [I hope!] because they know how many followers you have in Whitby & in Yorkshire

First Published March 2013

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.


  1. Ian Detute March 31, 2013 at 1:56 pm - Reply

    Freedom of speach my arse not in this borough.

    • Hugo April 1, 2013 at 10:56 am - Reply

      Freedom of speech has its limitations. You cannot scream fire in a crowded cinema, nor can you accuse people of corruption unless you have evidence. Not unless you have very deep pockets and are prepared to lose your house.

  2. Brian Dodds March 31, 2013 at 2:09 pm - Reply

    The council will sqander untold thousands of pounds from the public purse to conceal the fact that they regularly break the rules for their own benefit. I have seen this personally, they knew they were guilty as hell but just threw money at it to protect themselves, they don,t care it isn,t their money, they must be pretty scared to go this far.

  3. Ian Dewar March 31, 2013 at 2:55 pm - Reply

    Quite frankly Lisa Dixon is an exemplorary ‘jobsworth’ ! Get a life girl!

  4. Jamie March 31, 2013 at 3:36 pm - Reply

    Absolutely disgusting that they are trying to silence you rather than investigate and deal with the corruption, host your website offshore somewhere!

    • Hugo April 1, 2013 at 10:57 am - Reply

      If they have evidence of corruption we all want to hear it; so no doubt do the police. But they don’t. All they do is try to imply there’s corruption with no evidence.

  5. Nomine Deus March 31, 2013 at 3:54 pm - Reply

    Take you to court for defamation?…I think not, first off they would have to be innocent of such charges as have been levelled and secondly they would be required to PROVE it, or disprove you…methinks that would be HARD to do…
    Keep up the good work people…am loving every post you make…

  6. admin March 31, 2013 at 5:03 pm - Reply

    Our site is hosted in America, its the domain they are after.

    • Hugo April 1, 2013 at 10:58 am - Reply

      No there no after the domain. They are after the people who write accusations they cannot justify. I hope you don’t own a house Glen.

  7. Longbones March 31, 2013 at 6:29 pm - Reply

    Ok, enough is enough now. This has gone far enough

    First – In Posting here I make the clear distinction between the ordinary front line SBC employee who has been demoralised by the crass incompetence of the Officer class, and those of that Officer class. (Invariably these lower levels of staff are responsible for propping up this less than able overpaid level of nonentity) In my experience, the Articles and Posts on Real Whitby contain more foresight and intelligence than displayed by some of the numb-heads and jobsworths at the helm of the “Centre of Excellence” in St Nicholas Street. Certainly it is my considered opinion that most of them at St Nicholas Street are actually unemployable in the outside world. Not for nothing is the term “Clown Hall” used on the internet.

    Local Authority Employees are by definition – Public Servants, yes – Servants of the Public. They may not like this, but this is a fact. As such, they administer Services on behalf of the public, and are accountable to them (US).

    They do not act as a mini State, or set up some sort of exclusive and secretive quasi Diplomatic Mission for the privileged and incapable. Nor do they side with, or protect the favoured Political Group of the day. They certainly do not try and supress or hide information, mistakes and wrong doings either by themselves or by Elected Members. Neither do they manipulate the ‘system’ for themselves or their favoured clique. They do not wag the tail of the dog. And one thing they certainly do not is interfere with the great system of Democracy OR Free Speech – and this has to be the most dangerous thing that is being attempted now.

    Prior to any Autocratic Dictator taking over a country it has to supress its culture and its press, and this is the trend you see now. If they get away with talking the RW site down it will be a travesty and one more step to their control and manipulation of information. Just look how our Rights are being eroded across the land and see how this lot would flex their authority in the future over anyone they chose to. Who is wagging the tail of the dog?

    In the absence of any investigative journalism by the Local Press, Real Whitby Magazine represents an outpost in an indifferent world (a beacon if you will) – and they know this. If they can silence RW and control intellectual journalism and debate, then they will move against anyone else who does not toe the line – YOU.

    In a message to the Press and in particular Private Eye – where are you now?

    To those outside of this country who see this, and in particular, those who have restored some of their democracy in the last few years – read this (as you do) and see how England is sliding towards what you have left behind. This is no joke. We must fight against the suppression of Real Whitby.

    I have no connection or vested interest in Real Whitby Magazine and I am therefore an independent free thinking individual.

  8. Vanda Inman March 31, 2013 at 6:46 pm - Reply

    Is this part of a Bastiman and Kenyon coup?

    • Hugo April 1, 2013 at 11:00 am - Reply

      And you Vanda. You are a lovely person, but you are saying things in private and in writing which could be actionable.

  9. Colin March 31, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    Any legal action would have to be preceded by pre-action protocol, which would probably start with a request for any offending material to be removed. It would also have to be identified for this to take place and an opportunity would have to be given to remove and or apologize for the comments etc. That’s before a case would even be accepted. The LA would have to seek councils advice before doing anything in any case. I think they are just full of Hot Air and very naieve. I have just finished a case with NYCC which cost them something like £750.000 and took over 5 years to see out. It was a case for £10,000 they owed us. Keep up the good work

  10. J Chapman March 31, 2013 at 7:29 pm - Reply

    I don’t read everything on this website but I have read all the potash articles and all the recent “corruption-busting” articles and based on those, I am sure that SBC makes valid points when it says:

    “you are under the same obligations as the rest of the media to ensure that:
    1. the sources of your information are verified;
    2. comment is sought from those being criticised before the article is published; and
    3. the article is fair, balanced and even-handed
    You (and others) have consistently failed to take the steps outlined above. As a result, the website contains malicious, untrue and defamatory material in relation to which the subjects of the statements made have been denied the right to comment until after publication, if at all.”

    The editorial style here is ‘publish and be damned’ when any balanced and responsible journalist will name sources and obtain a comment from their targets before rushing into print.

    I have commented on several occasions that articles by your correspondents were inaccurate and misleading – but you seem happy to pay the price of small-print comments after the event; and I assume that the more outrageous your columnists are, the more visitors you get to your site.

    If you pay the ultimate price for your cavalier editorial style then you only have yourself to blame. You commit the cardinal sin of appointing yourself judge, jury and executioner even though you must know that your “evidence” is so flimsy that it wouldn’t stand up in a court of law.

    Hopefully you will get your chance to defend yourself in an impartial arena — which is a lot more than your targets get.

    • Frank Chalmers March 31, 2013 at 11:42 pm - Reply

      Are you on the payroll of SBC?

      I’ve been coming to this site now for some time, and whilst I don’t agree with all the articles and comments on here, I do have a lot of sympathy with Nigel and his colleagues.

      It was quite clear to me, long before I started reading Real Whitby, that one or more individuals at SBC (and other organisations), are up to no good.

      Take the fact that a supposedly competent John Riby “missed” (???) a £12.1 MILLION overspend.

      When I overspend by ten bucks, I notice. SBC it seems don’t care about rules, regulations, or our money unless it’s in their pockets.

      This is blatantly obvious to the man and woman in the street… how is it that you are able to defend them so vigorously without taking this into account.

      I have also noticed a number of articles here where comment has been sought on a particular subject, and it has been mentioned in the report, but not comment is forthcoming – ever.

      I wonder why….

      SBC are a laughing stock, and if it takes Nigel and his colleagues to force change, then I for one, am all for it.

      Long may Real Whitby continue to expose these people for who they are!

      All this, of course, is just my opinion.

      • J Chapman April 1, 2013 at 9:40 am - Reply

        No, I am not on SBC’s payroll, nor anyone else’s. Nor do I know how good/bad, efficient/inefficient, competent/incompetent or honest/dishonest SBC is.

        But I have been a journalist and I understand the rules of engagement.

        I have seen how some correspondents here invent or twist facts to suit their agenda and I assume that SBC have enough evidence to prove defamation. You seem to be implying that a council which allegedly “missed” an overspend must therefore be individually and corporately corrupt. But there are clear lines between charges of inefficiency/incompetence and accusations of illegal behaviour.

        If this organ or its contributors *think* they have evidence of illegal behaviour then they should take it to the proper authorities. But shooting from the hip by publishing such accusations before charges are brought is asking for trouble.

        However inefficient/incompetent SBC may be, they have every right to defend themselves from libel and defamation.

        “Corruption busting” requires hard evidence. Too often, some of the columnists here rely on innuendo, invention and circumstantial evidence which, as presented, would never stand up in court.

        Due diligence needs to be performed before making public accusations of corruption or deception. In the Real World, the editor would take responsibility for ensuring that charges would stand up in court; but here it seems that the correspondents are given free rein to publish what they like, however flimsy their research. There is an obvious political bias and an unsavoury lynch mob mentality.

        These days, the hanging tree has been replaced by a court of law. No crime has been committed until a judge and jury deliver their verdict. What is more, the same courtesies will be extended to Real Whitby.

        • Frank Chalmers April 1, 2013 at 9:21 pm - Reply

          Where us your proof? You say you were a journalist… for whom?

          You say you don’t know “how good/bad, efficient/inefficient, competent/incompetent or honest/dishonest SBC is”. Where is your proof?

          Why haven’t you done your homework before jump to their defence?

          I am fascinated…. by all means entertain me.

    • Richard Adams February 13, 2014 at 11:49 pm - Reply

      My Apologies for having to comment, but after reading your comment regarding defamation and inaccuracies, I feel I have to.
      On many occassions, the Authors have had threats, both personal and Site related, demanding the withdrawal of the claimed Inacuracies etc, but when the question is returned so as to comply, they are met with Silence. Please tell me, if someone distributed an untruth about you, and you issued a cease & desist, would you not give specifics of the request? does that seam fair?
      I am fed up to the back teeth of people that get elevated to a position of trust, to look after the best interest of those that put them there, only for them to show their true colours and start filling their own pockets whilst trying to gag those that attempt to expose the truth.
      As for your public declaration of being a Journalist, then why are you not going about digging into the truths/untruths of the claims, not only the claims but if there is more to discover?
      RW have never claimed to be pro Journalists, but they have been forced into action due to the Inaction of the actual Journalistic world.

  11. Vanda Inman March 31, 2013 at 7:35 pm - Reply

    “which is a lot more than your targets get”

    Targets? Who do you mean exactly?

  12. Derek Robinson March 31, 2013 at 7:49 pm - Reply

    The lady is in over her depth obviously been told to do it by her bosses…..someone is running scared as its election time wonders what party they belong to. Get rid of party politics in local government put people in who will speak their minds. Proper real independent candidates. Make 2nd of May Independent day.

  13. Stephen N McCabe April 1, 2013 at 3:49 am - Reply

    I know my comment doesn’t amount to much as I live in Australia but I’m Whitby born & bred. I still have family in the Whitby area who regularly tell me of how Scarborough Borough Council don’t give a damn about Whitby.
    Since the Whitby Gazette no longer has a local editor the only way people can express their outrage with this Council is through Real Whitby.
    How dare these little tin gods threaten the freedom of Real Whitby to report on their various indiscretions & mismanagement?
    Three cheers for Real Whitby & your efforts to keep the bastards honest!

    Stephen N McCabe

  14. Colin Brittain April 1, 2013 at 9:42 am - Reply

    I like the way this thread is going, it is creating a mini Tsunami of its won for sure. Mr McCabe, it matters not that you are based in Australia, the last time I looked we live in a democratic state and I for one welcome your input.
    There are some long posts, too many suggestions to answer, however, I feel that SBC is waving its dictators arms at the wrong culprit. The RW website is informative and it leaves SBC with some questions to be answered which I doubt they will. This action is yet another attempt to silence anyone who raises questions that ought to be answered.
    SBC has long placed Scarborough before our beautiful town and seem hell bent on squeezing ever last drop of money for its own gain.
    I truly hope that they do not succeed in closing the website down, long live the REAL WHITBY website…

  15. admin April 1, 2013 at 2:49 pm - Reply
  16. admin April 1, 2013 at 3:02 pm - Reply

    I just want to make it clear that the site has never refused to work with Scarborough Borough Council, indeed we publish all their press releases. I would happily give them right to respond on every article prior to publishing, it really is not a problem to us, however SBC have in the past boasted publically about filtering out emails and correspondence from some of the people who submit articles to the site, infact they have banned Tom Brodrick from ever corresponding with them at any time in the future and I know they seldom reply to anything Nigels writes to them about. So Im struggling to understand how they can complain they aren’t asked, when history tells us they have refused to reply on so many things we ask of them and even banned people from contacting them. Secondly to that, as one of several moderators of the site I will happily look at content and comments and moderate where appropriate, however to date I have never received a single specific request from Scarborough Borough Council to moderate a single specific article or comment. This site is home to some 1300 articles and 6400 comments (growing daily), if the council wants us to look at content or remove anything then they must be specific, otherwise its not possible to do anything other than close the site down, which unless forced to do so, I am unwilling to do.

  17. Tom April 1, 2013 at 6:55 pm - Reply

    She will find it hard to get this site pulled down. There are so many sites that speak the truth and open cans of worms, this is no different.
    SBC waste of time call them selves a council, more like corruption!
    You should send this to Alex Jones at, if he likes it, will make mince meet out of it as he does with so many corrupt agendas.
    Failing that get your self your own server to host this site 🙂

    • Hugo April 1, 2013 at 7:20 pm - Reply

      It has little to do with the site being taken down. They know the publisher of the site and Nigel Ward has accepted he wrote the articles to which they object. IF they have a case they can target Ward and the publisher directly. If you think they can’t, then look at the way George Monbiert of the Guardian kacked his pants when he got the letters from Lord McAlpine’s lawyers. However, we will see whether they have the case to take to court. If they haven’t they look silly; if they have, West had better have very deep pockets. If West believes he’s correct being taken to court will be a disaster for the council.

  18. andyb28m April 2, 2013 at 8:36 am - Reply

    I fail to see why most people here are so upset. If an investigative journalist is expecting the highest standards of elected councillors and council officers, likewise the investigative journalist should conform to the highest standards of their own profession. Lisa Dixon’s letter questions whether some “real” Whitby articles have conformed to the highest standards of journalism.

    It is now up to “real” Whitby to get its act in order. I quote from her letter: “Should you continue to publish untrue and defamatory statements (whether on the website referred to above or elsewhere) then it is likely that Scarborough Borough Council will initiate legal proceedings against you. If this is the case then this letter would be put before the court to demonstrate that you are aware of your obligations, as detailed above”.

    Clearly she is prepared to draw a line under what HAS happened. But from now on the message is quite simple. Check your facts, check your sources, be responsible for what you publish. Be as critical of yourself as you are of others. Attempts at eliciting sympathy from personal health issues are quite frankly pathetic.

    Best wishes.

  19. pete budd April 4, 2013 at 6:48 pm - Reply

    I was wondering if I could do a series of short articles in your news paper about the bishop question?

  20. Dave April 7, 2013 at 8:08 pm - Reply

    As a Whitby resident and voter I think Lisa Dixon should be asked for her qualifications. I would suspect they are not top flight and if they are not should she hold her current position? And the wage that goes along with it?


  21. Stephen N McCabe April 8, 2013 at 4:45 am - Reply

    It appears to me sitting here in Melbourne a long way from my dear old home town that Scarborough Borough Council has put “the frightners” on the Whitby Gazette’s new Scarborough editor. I am reliably informed that letters to the Gazette criticizing the SBC will not be published. What happened to democracy? Oh brave new world that has such creatures in it! Bring back Jon Stokoe.

    • In the know! October 20, 2013 at 9:13 am - Reply

      It’s no secret that the “editor” (controller) of the local what is now really a weekly compendium of un-newsworthy items and ads is hand in glove with the Fox cabal. Johnson Press contribute also to the Tory party so it’s all in safe hands there too.

  22. graham April 9, 2013 at 7:58 am - Reply

    It would be outrageous for SBC to take down the only voice left for Whitby to speak out against the many injustices (real and imaginary) visited on the Town by the ‘Local’ Authority.
    It seems very clear to me from the text of the letter by Lisa Dixon she lacks the calibre of her predecessor, I can’t believe Ian would have needed to state the completely unnecessary and obvious ‘I am a solicitor’ nor written the letter in the first place. But then he was his own Man.
    To ensure I can still sit on the fence, I do have to ask Nigel and the the other contributors whether they think some of the hostility from SBC senior and actually not so senior officers is a direct product of the snow-storm of FoIA requests fired at the council by you (individual and collective)? Do any of you realise how much time and resources are required to process and action these requests? Do you really think its the people who you targeted that had to undertake the work instead of their real job? No. its people like my partner who have to (expected) to work extra hours by virtue of still having their day jobs to do to meet your numerous mischevious demands.
    All this being said FoIA requests are a vital part of holding public bodies to account but misuse undermines their value and effect. Having worked in the voluntary sector for many years I know there is nothing that ‘frightens’ a public servant more than a well informed community activist and nothing more obstructive than becoming an enemy of the very people you need to work with – no matter how much fun it seems at the time.

    • admin April 9, 2013 at 11:45 pm - Reply

      Answering FOI’s is actually part of their real job, thats why the government introduced the freedom of information act. Its not like anyone is doing anything illegal by asking for information to which they are perfectly well entitled. The fact the SBC seem to want to block people and deny then access to information is actually part of the reason why the site is here. Had they acted politely and helped people in thier quest for knowledege and transparency it is highly likley the site would never have taken the route it has. Thhey have only their selves to blaim. They should be publishing all information into the public domain instead of everything having to be a secret.

  23. Al Roberts April 10, 2013 at 12:57 pm - Reply

    Graham, the comments made by admin are absolutely correct.

    On FOIA, Richard Inneseon makes this point in his open letter published on this site.
    “Conversion of legitimate and non FOIA requests for information into FOIA requests without my permission, this is obviously done so that they can claim that I make frequent FOIA requests, which is not true.”

    On secrecy, as a typical example, let me point you to the Harbour Users Groups at both ports, and the lack of information available to the users.
    Both groups hold their meetings in private.
    SBC have this dedicated page on the SBC website.
    The latest information available to the harbour users at both ports is dated 3rd Sept 2012, some 8 months ago.
    Similarly the latest Harbourmasters quarterly reports available are dated August 2012.
    I suggest that the effort required to make up to date information available is literally as simple as clicking the mouse.

    I suggest that many FOIA requests would be avoided if this quite basic information was made available via the procedures already in place but ignored, in this instance, by the Harbour Master.
    There are probably other departments at SBC equally as neglectful in their duties as the Harbour departments.

  24. Grant April 29, 2014 at 4:28 pm - Reply

    The nasty 3rd rate bastards, have been getting away with theft and corruption my whole life. They are still trying to cover up the corrupt police and councillors. Will the victims of these foul sub humans ever have justice?

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