Labour Concern about Whitby Piers’ Repair

‘10 years too late & now local taxpayers are being asked to pay Robert Goodwill’s bill’

Scarborough Borough Labour Group is concerned not only that the Whitby Piers have been left almost 10 years since repairs were recommended but also that Borough and County taxpayers look likely to pick up a £3m+ Government shortfall for the £8m+ bill.

Whitby Labour councillor Gerald Dennett sought assurance at the March Council meeting that local taxpayers would not be left with a major bill to make up a grant shortfall, he also asked about contributions from repair “beneficiaries” who the government planned would make up the £3m difference.
Scarborough Cabinet member with harbour responsibilities, Cllr Mike Cockerill, indicated that BT had declined to contribute, and that gas, water and electricity providers had not replied to his request.
Rather than assure Cllr Dennett and local taxpayers, Cllr Cockerill confirmed that local County Council taxpayers in addition to Borough taxpayers were being asked to make up the shortfall.

Labour Group Leader Steve Siddons reminded councillors at the annual Council Budget meeting that Coastal Protection was a government duty.
“The Whitby Piers should have been repaired 10 years ago.
If they had been repaired then, Gordon Brown’s government would have paid 100% of the bill.

Instead today we are left with more than a £3m shortfall. This is Robert Goodwill’s bill not local Council Taxpayers’. The government has shamelessly abdicated their duty and the Scarborough Cabinet have meekly accepted it.

It has been the government’s job since 1949 to ensure Whitby, Scarborough and Filey don’t fall into the sea. Local councils have never had the resources for Coastal Protection and could end up bankrupt if they have to find them now.”

The Labour Group plans a follow up once the Borough Council has had a reply from local MP Robert Goodwill who was hoping to meet Under Secretary of State Therese Coffey the Minister responsible.

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 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”