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after speaking to the Deputy Leader of the Council, Cllr Helen Mallory that she agreed with the Labour Group and has withdrawn the agenda item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

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

Being a Councillor – three months and still standing

It’s now almost three months since I stood on the stage at the Scarborough Spa trying not to give away my emotions at having been elected to Scarborough Borough Council. And what a time I have had. Obviously, the first thing to sort out was the perks about which the Councils’ critics love to tell us: would I get a new iPad? (no, it’s a second-hand one snatched from the hands of a defeated councillor). Will I get a car park pass? (yes, but only for use on Council business, and there are no car parks in Mayfield anyway). How much do I get paid? (well below minimum wage is the outcome so far).

My next concern: What does a Councillor actually do? More

How is it for you? What matters most?

!!!Good news!!!
The Labour Party in Scarborough and Whitby bucked the national trend at the election on 7 May.
Whitby Branch wants to  build on this success. Click below to fill in this short questionnaire and let us know what you feel matters most in Whitby and its villages. (Your responses will not be passed on to anyone else.)
www.surveymonkey.com/r/L2R86DD

On 7 May we reduced Robert Goodwill’s (Conservative) majority by 2,000 and got two Whitby councillors elected to Scarborough Borough Council to represent Mayfield (Gerald Dennett) and Streonshalh (Rob Barnett) and a further 12 in the Scarborough area . We have also gained many new members and supporters.

Rob Barnett

Rob Barnett

Gerald Dennett

Gerald Dennett

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scarborough Labour Group Challenges Cabinet Refusal To Allow North Street Cinema Development

“Using innovative design would enable the development of a Cinema and still allow the Council to keep their Car Park on the same site”

Scarborough Labour Leader Steve Siddons is hoping to bring together Opposition Groups to challenge the Cabinet decision, and the grounds used, to stimy a multi-screen cinema development on Scarborough’s North Street; a development that was given planning permission seven years ago in 2008.
Councillor Siddons poured scorn on the ‘Best Value’ grounds Members of the Cabinet gave for stopping progress on a North Street cinema.  More

Siddons — “We now have a Council with no effective oversight at all”

Labour Leader Cllr SiddonsLabour Party councillors and members of other opposition parties in Scarborough reacted with disbelief as new Scarborough Council Leader Derek Bastiman chose to have his Cabinet’s decisions checked by Overview and Scrutiny committees chaired exclusively by members of his own Conservative Party (See yesterday’s post).

Scarborough Labour Leader Steve Siddons told the Council

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Scarborough Conservatives turn their back on democracy

scrutiny challenge
Today, Scarborough Borough Council appointed members to its various committees and partnership committees. Click here to view Labour Leader Steve Siddons’s speech. I shall not go into the details here, you can find those on the Council’s website. Suffice it to say that the Conservative group, which upped its representation in the recent elections by a single seat, decided to place its people in practically every position available. The Tories even thought it appropriate to select the member for Hertford, who lives nearly 30 miles from Whitby, over Whitby Labour Councillor Gerald Dennett to represent the council on the Esk Valley Railway Development Company. What is more, it has also decided to take the chairs and vice-chairs of every single scrutiny commmittee.
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