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

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.

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

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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EU visit for SBC councillors

IMG_1939Last week two of our councillors Eric Broadbent and Gerald Dennett joined a group of 48 Labour Party members from Yorkshire and Humber region on a trip to visit the EU led by Councillor Elizabeth Nash from Leeds. There they had the opportunity to observe EU members debating the EU budget and were delighted to see the decision made to cease subsidies to bull fighting in Spain. They later enjoyed the hospitality of the Mayor of Strasbourg’s office at a reception where they presented gifts for the mayor in the form of a shield of SBC and an engraved notepad from NYCC.

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