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.
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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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Jeremy Corbyn’s 10 pledges to transform Britain

We can build a Britain that works for all of us

Labour’s aim is to rebuild and transform Britain, for the many not the few. These ten pledges set out the framework for what Labour will campaign for – and what a Labour government will do. You can help us to shape policies in these areas, and more.

Pledge 1 — Full employment

We will create a million good quality jobs across our regions and nations, and guarantee a decent job for all. By investing £500 billion in infrastructure and industry, backed up by a publicly-owned National Investment Bank and regional banks, we will build a high skilled, high tech, low carbon economy to ensure that no one and no community is left behind.

We will invest in the high speed broadband, energy, transport and homes that our country needs and allow good businesses to thrive,
and support a new generation of co-operative enterprises.

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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

NHS Day of Action in Scarborough and Whitby

Labour Party members were out on the streets of Scarborough and Whitby on March 4th, supporting Unite the union’s NHS Day of Action.

Plenty of enthusiasm from the public. People really do appreciate the NHS and what our doctors and nurses do for us. Many people signed a petition in Whitby, which is still a town uncertain as to the future of its hospital. Local people of all ages were delighted to show their support, as were our visitors, including Ric Sanders, violinist in the legendary band, Fairport Convention. He and his band had had a very successful and extremely well-received gig in the Pavilion on Friday night.

Scarborough Branch’s day of action presence in the town centre was no less successful. Their straw poll asking “Is the NHS safe with this government?” produced an overwhelming No vote.
Many shoppers took the time to chat with our members, expressing their own hopes that the Labour Party would manage to defend the NHS against cuts and creeping privatisation.

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.

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

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‘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