Letter: Where is the democracy and respect for the public?

Open letter to council
Open letter to council

An open letter to the Opposition party leaders of Scarborough Borough Council:

Remember Cllr Mallory’s error about Futurist expenditure? According to Lisa Dixon, Helen’s email to another councillor why she could not discuss it in council - is my written response!

Not quite what I expected for the wrong figures.

In light of this, when regarding the Vote of No Confidence in Cllr Bastiman and Portfolio Holders meeting last June, I followed protocol.

I put three complaints about errors in procedure/conduct to the Standards Committee - six months later I received notification that the Monitoring Officer and an “Independent” person deemed there was no case.

So I know why Standards meetings are as rare as hen’s teeth.

I was annoyed because for me the whole meeting was engineered.

For the uninitiated public - it kicked off with special dispensations - allowing Cllr Bastiman and Portfolio Holders to debate, sanctioned by an undocumented phone call Lisa Dixon had with a firm of solicitors.

Later she confirmed they could also vote.

Cllr Cross’ move to go straight to the vote was ignored.

The mayor seemed to have little idea of procedure unless prompted by Whispering Jim Dillon, who in my opinion via this method chairs most full council meetings.

Occasionally the mayor slipped his strings. Despite being told twice they could film in the gallery, he loudly ordered a person filming to be removed – later he declared the meeting closed - before the vote was taken!

The mayor did not allow others to debate. The gallery clapping, not unheard of, was a timely excuse to halt proceedings.

The Local Government Ombudsman cannot investigate unless I have suffered substantial personal injustice.

I felt that I had, as the debate was one-sided I was not represented.

But for me, not allowing fair debate or following rules results in poor decisions which affect most or all of the community.

Meetings would be fairer if rules were followed and if perhaps the Monitoring Officer did a bit of monitoring.

Testament to disregard of the code of conduct is Cllr Bastiman – who is devoid of respect for the public.

He also recently gave out misleading information over the death of a much-respected Scarborough citizen.

No-one should be above rules and regulations.

I am asking the leaders of the Opposition parties for their scrutiny of this flawed system.

I am hoping they will unite for the good of the town.

Ali Wilkins

Londesborough Park