“Council Leader Bastiman Has ‘Jumped the Gun’ on Futurist Demolition”

says the Labour Group on Scarborough Borough Council

The Labour Group has accused the Conservative Council Leader of taking the Council for granted and being premature with his statement saying “there’s an agreement that the Futurist will be demolished”.

The Labour Group has also reminded the Leader of his promise that before a ‘crunch’ January decision, councillors would have enough information and time to allow them and their constituents to fully consider the Futurist site redevelopment proposals.

There has been no Council decision to demolish the Futurist- there was a decision to budget ‘£4 million for the Futurist redevelopment’.
Councillor Bastiman can’t take January’s Council or its vote for granted. Like most people in the Borough, the Labour Group is not clear what is best or achievable. We need to see the full proposal for this redevelopment and what else it leads to, and fully scrutinise it before we decide to support or oppose it. As important as the demolition decision is, there are even bigger implications. Scarborough taxpayers need assurance that their investment is not just the start of another expensive project that brings little return to the Borough or its people.

Futurist Theatre, then and now
Futurist Theatre, then and now. But what does the future hold?


Key Council funding from central government is disappearing over the next four years. Without pertinent questioning of every spending decision together with innovative thinking about future projects, the Borough and the council taxpayer will suffer. The old methods won’t work, we can’t afford any mistakes.
Scarborough, Whitby and Filey’s coast, their Town Centres and their Harbours are our key assets. Decision making on their future, at the last minute and after eleventh hour proposals, a common Scarborough Borough practice, is now unacceptable, as is bluster and coercion.
I suggested to the Council Leader at the last Council that the public’s confidence in this project depends on openness, timely information and proper scrutiny of this proposal. Despite his assurance then, his new statement suggests a return to old, closed and unacceptable decision making.
We warn, without timely and full open information and debate, the Labour Group will not be in a position to support a proposal. Last February the £4m budget for redevelopment was only supported by the Conservatives and their two supporting “independent” Cabinet members, the rest of the Council voted against. We understand several Conservative Group members share our concerns about the decision we have to take on January 9th.

Keeping in touch with potash developments

(c) Sirius Minerals

(c) Sirius Minerals

Yesterday I attended the first meeting of the York Potash Liaison Group Forum in my role as a Mayfield councillor. Establishment of the group was one of the conditions of planning permission. The group is made up of your local borough and county councillors, representatives of the various Parish Councils concerned, representatives of the Park Authority, and of course, representatives of Sirius Minerals. The meetings are public and you will be given the opportunity to speak if you wish. The next meeting will be in March. Keep coming back here or go to Your Whitby on Facebook, and I’ll let you know when the date is fixed.


EU referendum

In politics, as in life, you are sometimes the dog and sometimes the tree. My fear is that some of those who have voted to leave the EU in order to give the elite establishment a bloody nose may end up being the tree.

The UK’s electorate has been sold a pup. The Leave campaign has already gone back on two of the three main planks of its campaign: Nigel Farage has said that the statement that we will have £350 million to spend on the NHS each week “was a mistake”. Daniel Hannan now says that leaving the EU will not lead to dramatic cuts in immigration, and we are yet to hear which of the laws ‘imposed on us from Brussels’ are going to be torn up.
The economic case for Leave has consisted of deceptions and assertions based on no evidence whatsoever. The £350m per week figure is simply a lie as it ignores the rebate. Who thinks that Europe will continue to give us that £90m per week? There is no reason to believe that the UK can negotiate a better trade deal with the USA, especially since President Obama has said that we will have to go to the back of the queue. In any event, Canada’s deal is the same as that being negotiated with the EU. We are also being hoodwinked over a potential deal with Europe. There is no reason to believe that the EU will afford the UK all the benefits of access to the single market without asking us to bear some of the cost.
So, a post-EU Britain will have control over our seas, just like Norway does over its 200 mile zone. But, in fact, Norway still negotiates with the EU over quotas, and faces an import duty on its sales into Europe. Will this mean that the shellfish Whitby’s fishermen exports to Europe will also face a punitive and damaging tariff, making it more expensive and difficult to sell?
There is a grave danger of another recession, and I fear that jobs in Whitby will be vulnerable. Unfortunately, if you lose your job, Scarborough JobMatch and Scarborough EnterpriseMatch will probably no longer be able to help you, as they depend on European money to survive and have so far already benefitted to the tune of £1.5m
We are fortunate enough to live in an area of outstandingly beautiful countryside, managed by our farmers who benefit from £4bn a year of EU payments. Can we be sure that this will continue? Or will farmers feel the strain and have to give up on their environmental stewardship of our landscape?
The European Union is not a perfect institution by a long way. Jeremy Corbyn’s assessment that it scores maybe 7 1/2 out of ten seems quite reasonable to me. But is walking away from a problem the British way? Is abandoning the largest market in the world the way to protect our future? I very much doubt it and I certainly do not believe that men (and it is mostly men leading the Leave side) like Boris Johnson, Michael Gove and Nigel Farage, with their absence of any coherent plan, are the best choice to lead us into this uncertain future.

EU Referendum discussion in Scarborough

On Saturday 28 May, Richard Corbett, one of our MEPs, is coming to Scarborough for an Open Forum Discussion on the EU Referendum, which will be held at the Alexandra Park Bowls Club from 13.00 until 15.00.

Admission is free and open to both Labour Party members and to the general public, and everyone is encouraged to attend. If you or anyone you know is confused about the issues or just hasn’t made their mind up as to how they will be voting on 23 June, then do come along for what should be a lively discussion!

Please share this message with your Facebook friends.

The Fire Brigade Union is coming to town tomorrow!

This FRIDAY the Fire Brigade’s Union and Steve Howley will be bringing up their famous fire engine to run a stall in town. Steve is running as our North Yorkshire PCC in opposition to the flawed austerity plans to gut the fire and emergency services across our region.

The Engine will be on display and Steve’s helpers will be  giving out PPC election leaflets from 11am till approx 3pm

they plan to be outside Poundland , subject to permission.

All  party members are welcome to help.

please contact Eric Broadbent on  07538316317



The EU

The Labour Group has submitted the following resolution for debate at the Scarborough Borough Council meeting on Monday May 9th

Liz Colling will propose the motion which will be seconded by Gerald Dennett , many labour councillors hope to speak in support of this and draw residents attention to the successful E U funded developments in the Borough including Woodland Creative Workspace, Scarborough Business Park and Green Lane Neighbourhood centre .

‘This council believes that our country’s membership of the European Union has delivered very real benefits for the Borough’s residents.

These benefits include millions of pounds in E U funding, supporting economic growth and regeneration locally.

E U membership has given vital rights to British workers and the E U’s rules provide important protection to consumers, workers and the environment. Rights to equal pay, paid holidays, maternity and paternity leave, equal rights for part-time workers and health and safety regulations, quality of our bathing waters are all protected under E U law.

Leaving the E U would seriously undermine further regeneration and weaken our ability to attract investment and jobs to the Borough.

Scarborough Borough Council therefore believes it is in the best interests of residents, business and the whole of the Borough for the UK to remain a member of the European Union ‘


The decision by North Yorkshire County Council’s portfolio holder with responsibility for schools, Arthur Barker; to “pause” and “take stock” in respect of a decision to amalgamate Eskdale and Caedmon Schools in Whitby was the correct thing to do.


In fact I’m not surprised given the introduction of the Government White Paper “Educational Excellence Everywhere” and the decision by Brayton School governors in Selby to join a Multi Academy Trust; thus derailing proposals to amalgamate/merge with Selby High School.

In view of this decision I would urge all parents, school governors and teaching staff in North Yorkshire to do as Cllr Barker suggests, “pause and take stock”.

Rushing to acadamisation without taking the time to carefully consider the implications for education, not just in the Borough of Scarborough or the wider school community in North Yorkshire, but throughout the country, could have disastrous consequences for all of us.

Schools do not become successful simply as a result of becoming an academy; strong schools deliver educational excellence by working in partnership with other local schools, the local community and yes local councils to improve standards ensuring the needs of young people are met and exceeded.

When a school is struggling, action must be taken – but converting every school to an academy, without giving parents a say, is not the answer, especially when there is not a shred of evidence that it will help improve education standards.

It is quite wrong for the Government to put at risk some of the excellent work done by schools and the Local Authority in North Yorkshire by introducing these reckless ideological plans to force all schools to become academies.

However is not to late to resist these proposals which, we must remember, are by no means certain to happen. The Government’s declared ambition, is just that, an ambition.

The Government needs to listen to the concerns of parents, teachers, unions, local representatives from across the political divide and experts and rethink their proposals; however as Arthur Barker points out: “Guidance from the Department for Education states clearly that decision makers must have regard to the academy requirement and indeed play an enabling role in the growth of multi-academy trusts. The local authority must, as a result, ensure that these requirements are both met but also positively explored for their potential to address current concerns.”

With that in mind governing bodies need to arm themselves with the information they need to make informed choices should the need arise.

John Ritchie

Labour Group Spokesman, Children & Young People Services, North Yorkshire County Council.

Originally from John Ritchie’s site https://labourcouncillor.wordpress.com/

What I Learned From Johnny Bevan – New show in Scarborough

We’ve had members getting in touch to ask us to let other members know about an exciting new play which is coming to Scarborough next month. It’s apparently very political, and features the labour party – we hope it goes easy on us!

A show which ‘strikes at the heart of British politics, questioning the middle class value system that encouraged the rise of New Labour and David Cameron’s brand of Conservatism’ comes to the Stephen Joseph Theatre next month after being seen by MPs at the Houses of Parliament.

Performance poet Luke Wright’s What I Learned from Johnny Bevan took the Edinburgh Fringe by storm and then sold out three weeks at London’s Soho Theatre. Wright received a Stage Award for Acting Excellence for his hurricane performance and the show received a Fringe First for the quality of the writing. The London run added a nomination for the 2017 Off West End Awards and Luke will stage the show for politicians the Houses of Parliament on 27 April, at the invitation of the Labour MP for Norwich South and Shadow Minister for Energy and Climate Change, Clive Lewis.

Now, as part of an extensive national tour, local audiences can see what all the fuss is about when it visits the Stephen Joseph Theatre on Thursday 26 May.

What I Learned from Johnny Bevan is a compelling, politically charged story encompassing shattered friendships, class and social ceilings, and The Labour Party’s battle for its soul.

At university the whip-smart, mercurial Johnny Bevan saves Nick, smashing his comfortable middle class bubble and firing him up about politics, music and literature. Twenty years later, as their youthful dreams disintegrate alongside the social justice they hoped for, can Nick, now a jaded music journalist, save Johnny from himself?

Luke Wright delivers an impassioned, spellbinding performance of his razor sharp script that is infused with humour, humanity and wit. What I Learned from Johnny Bevan strikes at the heart of British politics, questioning the middle class value system that encouraged the rise of New Labour and David Cameron’s brand of Conservatism, and saw both parties abandon the working class. This gripping story is a modern fable that reflects today’s political polarisation and resonates with the disillusionment felt by many. See a 360° video here www.bit.ly/1nxINhS

Luke Wright tours the world each year with his unique brand of poetry and can often be seen opening for John Cooper Clarke. His verse documentaries on Channel 4 have been enjoyed by millions of viewers and his poems can often be heard on BBC Radios 3 & 4, sometimes further afield. He is a regular contributor to Sony Award-winning Saturday Live and has numerous main channel TV appearances under his belt. He curates the spoken word line-ups at The Latitude Festival, Festival Number 6 and The Edinburgh International Book Festival.

Tickets for What I Learned from Johnny Bevan are £10-£12.50, with tickets for under-30s available at just £6 each, and are available from the box office on 01723 370541 or www.sjt.uk.com

‘A pulsating piece of poetic storytelling’ ★★★★ Lyn Gardner, Guardian


‘Stirring eloquence and resonant delivery heighten the drama and clarify the emotional impact’ ★★★★ The Stage

‘An evocative, poetic monologue… anyone familiar with Wright’s work will recognise his deft hand’ ★★★★ Time Out

‘An astonishing, thought-provoking and original tour-de-force’ ★★★★★ London Theatre1

‘It’s like an episode of This Is England, delivered by one man. Brilliant’ ★★★★ Daily Record

Fight to Save Eskdale School wins postponement of decision to close this much loved school


Students and parents are jubilant that NYCC has decided to postpone the decision to close Eskdale School. Watch the video to see the strength of feeling throughout the town as children, parents and supporters take to the streets of Whitby .The fight goes on!

Click through to the Whitby Gazette for the full story so far….