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.
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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 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after speaking to the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Helen Mallory that she agreed with the Labour Group and has withdrawn the agenda item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”

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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.

BWAFU £10 and A Union Campaign in Scarborough

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We have been supporting the Bakers Food and Allied Workers Union in their £10 and a union campaign. We’d like to let local labour members know about their Day of Action demonstration in Scarborough Town Centre on the 14th at 5pm. For more information contact visit their Facebook page. Subscribe to their email list here

 We’ve asked them to provide a brief summary of their campaign for local labour members;

“On the 14th April at 5pm in Scarborough town centre, we will be having our own demonstration in solidarity with all the workers in the American “FIGHT FOR $15” who will be on strike this day as part of a global day of action. The aim of this will be to bring awareness of our campaign amongst food and retail workers in the town centre and to bring these workers into political activism and trade unionism. We want this campaign in Scarborough to be a cross-union, cross-party campaign because a £10 an hour minimum wage would improve the lives of all of us and only by all of us uniting can we win. If you want to get involved with us then please join us on the 14th of April for our day of action. We plan to do some in-workplace petitioning and leafletting with a demonstration outside the workplaces to show to the workers that the public do care about these workers and they are not a forgotten and trodden-on part of our society, they work hard in often quite dangerous conditions with no guarantee of hours and having to rely on working tax credits in order to top up their wages to a living wage. We believe that the companies that employ these workers ought to pay them a full living wage of at least £10 an hour and we believe that we will win!

For further information on how to get involved or if you are already in a trade union branch that would like to get involved and support our campaign then please contact BFAWU Steve on 07540599170”

As well as networking workers and getting them clued up on their rights, BFAWU are also delivering a national petition to government – so far collecting thousands of signatures in Glasgow, London, Cambridge, Sheffield, Wakefield, Manchester and several hundred from Scarborough.

How you can help and stay up to date:

1. Come to the day of action demonstration in town on the 14th at 5pm.
2. Get involved on social media https://www.facebook.com/10-and-a-Union-Scarborough-1148760945156253/ and help spread the word about the campaign.
4. Talk to your fellow employees and friends about the campaign, and let us know what you find.
5. Contact steve.p.day@googlemail.com / 07540599170 about your workplace issues and getting involved in our network of activists – it’s a social thing too!
3. Go to here to sign up for email updates. http://bfawu.us13.list-manage.com/subscribe?u=d6404d901702add4ead6ea9c7&id=fa147993bb

As much as we can set up good worker’s rights, the current protections for workers are not enforced – for an alarming number of jobs in Scarborough working conditions have rolled back to the 1930s, with people regularly having less than only a handful of hours between night and morning shifts as opposed to the 11 hours which the law guarantees, being clocked out by the employer when it’s quiet, and not being paid past opening and closing times, even though it takes an hour to open or close the business. The trend setters in this exploitation are the multi-national businesses, not necessarily small local businesses. This is why it’s absolutely vital that we as a party support groups like BWAFU that are actually going out and educating workers.

BFAWU also supports us, Jeremy Corbyn came to their yearly conference in Scarborough in February – and many of them are card carrying labour members who want to use this campaign as an opportunity to build a platform for a Scarborough Labour victory in a few years time.

We are already actively supporting their campaign, and we have been present at their stalls. The BFAWU campaigners have fantastic energy and are a joy to be around. They are looking for labour members to take the message into their workplaces and the wider community, and of course they are happy to discuss work place issues members may be having. They need all the support they can get, so if you have any skills and time that you can offer them, do contact steve.p.day@googlemail.com

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Honorary Alderman, Buggin’s Turn or a reward for failure? It’s not just “a bit of gold paint”

civic insigniaOn Friday 23 October at a special meeting of Scarborough Borough Council two gentlemen are to be admitted to be Honorary Freemen of the Borough and five people will have the title of Honorary Alderman of the Borough conferred upon them. I don’t know the two who are to become honorary freemen, but I understand that the honour recognises the work they have done for the benefit of others. To my mind, the honorary aldermen are a different kettle of fish and I shall vote against the title being conferred. There are several reasons for this, which I shall set out below. But, first of all, I must insist that this is not about personality. In the spirit of Labour’s new leader Jeremy Corbyn, this is a question of principle, not persons. I served as a school governor with one of the five candidates, but I have never even spoken to any of the other four. More

Ryan Downes – Labour’s Future

RDownes Ryan Downes, Scarborough and Whitby Labour Party’s youngest member, may have just turned 15 but at an age when many boys’ heroes are performing on the football pitch his eyes are firmly fixed on our politicians and he’s already made his mind up about what is important to him.

“I’m for equality and fairness”, says Ryan, “and this Conservative Government doesn’t care about young people like me. I’d like to go to university but the thought of ending up with £60,000 of debt at the end is unbelievable. How would I ever pay for this?” He fears the Lib/Dems are just too ‘wishy-washy’ to be effective so Labour is his only hope. More

SCARBOROUGH RAIL TRAVELLERS BEWARE

PROFITS BEFORE PASSENGERS.

Northern Rail and Transpennine Express Trains put profits before passengers!

Scarborough and Whitby Constituency Labour Party members are incensed over the lies and hype around George Osborne’s “Northern Powerhouse” claims.

Following the cancellation of rail electrification plans in the North, there is even more bad news for passengers and Transpennine Employees travelling from Scarborough over the Pennines. A threat to both jobs and to passenger safety comes in the form of proposals for the new Northern and Transpennine Express Rail Franchises due to start on 1st April. The franchises will be jointly managed by a new body “Rail North” – chaired by Sir Richard Leese – and comprising representatives of 29 Northern Councils / combined authorities and the Department for Transport.

Train Guards will be axed from rail services to and from Scarborough by Transpennine Express resulting in “Driver Only Trains”.

At present railway regulations guarantee that passengers in the North always have a Guard / Conductor on their train. In addition to the driver, passengers to and from our seaside resort know there will always be a highly trained guard to protect the safe operation of the train and deal with emergencies, such as fire, derailments and driver incapacity. The Guard also provides general assurance to passengers, ticket and travel advice and revenue protection. ASTONISHINGLY, THE PROPOSED RAIL FRANCHISE AGREEMENTS MEAN PASSENGERS WILL NO LONGER HAVE THIS PROTECTION.

There is also no guarantee that current ticket offices and station staffing will be retained on the new franchise. More