Labour walk out of Council meeting over row on democracy

4 July 2017
Some members of the Labour Group walked out of the full Council meeting on 3 July in protest over the lack of democracy and free speech following the Vote of No Confidence meeting the previous week (26 June) in which most councillors were denied the opportunity to speak in the debate.
More

Town Hall farce over no confidence vote

Scarborough, 26 June 2017
Just as we had all expected, today’s extraordinary meeting to vote on a motion of no confidence in the Leader and Cabinet of Scarborough Borough Council turned out to be a complete waste of everyone’s time and your Council Tax money. Not surprisingly, given that the Leader and Cabinet had obtained dispensations to vote on their own fate, the motion was lost. But not until we had experienced more shenanigans and grandstanding by members with too high an opinion of themselves.
More

Labour Leader Steve Siddons Vows to Continue to Campaign Against the Loo Blues

“A Council that can spend £millions supporting private vanity developments but can’t spend a penny when it is needed is not putting its residents first”
Scarborough Borough Labour Group Leader, Steve Siddons, has vowed to fight on to keep all essential public conveniences open More

Labour’s plans for North Yorkshire

The elections to North Yorkshire County Council are coming up on Thursday 4th May. The Labour Party is fighting on a strong manifesto entitled “Rebuilding Community Trust” focussing on education, health and social care and economic regeneration.
A newly elected Labour Group would subscribe to the principles set out by the Cooperative Councils Network:

  • Principle 1: the Council as a strong community leader
  • Principle 2: providing services at the appropriate level, personalised and community-based
  • Principle 3: citizens and communities empowered to design and deliver services and to play an active role in their local community
  • Principle 4: public services enabling residents to engage in civil society through employment opportunities
  • Principle 5: a settlement between public services, our communities and the citizen (this is what we provide, this is what you do for yourself) underpinned by our desire for justice, fairness and responsibility
  • Principle 6: taking responsibility for services – regardless of where they are accessed or which agency delivers them
  • Principle 7: simple, joined-up and easy access to services – location and transaction; “one place to do it all”, “one form, one time to do it all” – providing visible value for money

Read more about what this means, and the rest of our manifesto here: Labour Manifesto for NYCC 2017

Labour forces postponement of Council decision

Following a demand from the Labour Group, the Conservative administration has removed the Budget papers from the meeting agenda at Full Council on Friday.
Labour Group Leader, Steve Siddons explained. ‘Members of the Council and the Public have only just been provided with the papers despite their importance. Debating this budget with less than the statutory 5 days provision of the detail of the budget is unacceptable. The Council could have found itself in the position of potentially being challenged about the legality of setting the Budget.
I am pleased to note that, after speaking to the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Helen Mallory that she agreed with the Labour Group and has withdrawn the agenda item
This provides the public and Councillors with more time to scrutinise the detail and is in the interest of the Council conducting business in an open and transparent manner which is a fundamental principle for the Labour Group”

Labour Group “has no confidence in SBC Leader and Cabinet


Cllr Steve Siddons, Labour leader, Scarborough Borough Council

The Labour Group has no confidence that the Scarborough Cabinet is running the Borough in the best interest of local residents.

Labour Leader, Steve Siddons said, “Following the Whexit and Fexit votes at Whitby and Filey Town councils, and the Public petition, we’d welcome a real change of Leader and Cabinet, but not another ‘Buggin’s turn’ Leader from the Conservative Caucus continuing ‘business as usual’.”

Local residents have been let down with a series of failings and blunders by the Conservative-led Council over recent years. The list is endless but includes poor spending decisions, lack of vision for the development of the Borough and its people, Benchmark, the Futurist, Town Centre Cinema, Tourist Information Centres, Harbour Management, Whitby Piers, Whistleblower cover up and the scandal of the illegal Marine Drive fiasco but most of all, a complete lack of transparency and open governance.
Past votes of ‘No Confidence’ have been ineffective because of the loyalty of Conservative councillors to their own. Embattled Leaders have stayed in place and later have been replaced from the same Conservative inner circle.

The Opposition dilemma is that the Council majority is held by twenty five Conservative councillors plus the two independent councillors the Leader has put on the Cabinet payroll to ensure their loyalty, ie total 27. The opposition Groups’ councillor total, even if they vote together, is a maximum of 23.

Until enough members of the Conservative Group INDICATE THAT THEY are willing to vote against their Caucus and support a Leader that will take the Borough in a new better direction any move of ‘No Confidence’ is premature and an empty gesture.

What the people of the Borough need is for Tory party councillors to be led by their consciences and do what’s best for the Borough.

Select a new Leader and Cabinet for a fresh approach that puts accountability and transparency at the heart of the council.

Only then will the residents of this Borough get a Council they deserve.

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

jump-the-gun
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.

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 ‘