The No Confidence vote was held recently and the webcam can be viewed on the SBC website. A viewer writes: ‘I watched with appalled fascination, the Scarborough Borough Council meeting held to consider a Vote of No Confidence in the Leader and Cabinet.
‘How is it possible that the Leader and the Cabinet members were each given a ‘special dispensation’ to speak and vote at the meeting? Each of them had declared a personal and prejudicial interest in the subject under discussion ie they stood to gain financially from the outcome of the vote. They could hardly say otherwise, since each receives a generous allowance, courtesy of the rate-payers.
‘Town and Parish councillors receive no such allowance. They work for free. But they are not allowed to be present, let alone vote on any matter where they stand to benefit financially.
‘The SBC meeting was advised that the legal basis for the special dispensation was in order to ‘maintain the political proportionality of the meeting’.
‘I’m not a lawyer, but I do know right from wrong. The motion of No Confidence was to decide whether or not their fellow councillors considered that this Cabinet was doing its job properly. Whitby and Filey Town Councils do not think so. But the SBC meeting allowed the people in the dock to vote, alongside the people on the jury. During all my years in business I have never witnessed anything like this. It flies in the face of logic and natural justice.
‘The SBC Accounts for 2015/16 have not yet been signed off by the auditor, although the 2016/17 Accounts are now due. The Environment Agency is asking why SBC have not yet used the £4.8million grant offered 5 years ago, for urgently needed repairs to the main Whitby Piers. If SBC were to lose this grant because of their delays and failure to plan for the rest of the money needed, it would be a disaster for the town of Whitby. How can the SBC Leader and Cabinet even attempt to defend their failure to repair Whitby’s Piers? This is a Health and Safety issue, about which they have had repeated warnings since 2002. They are collectively guilty and party to indefensible mismanagement.
‘As I watched the SBC Leader and Cabinet on the webcam, I did not see one vestige of humility, contrition nor apology. All I saw was posturing defiance, arrogance and vindictiveness. They made no attempt to defend their own record, instead they just launched personal attacks on the councillor who dared to propose the motion questioning their competence. The public gallery was ordered to be cleared because the public had the temerity to give round of applause to a speaker, not once but twice. SBC has clearly spawned an unfortunate culture problem.
‘The Vote of No Confidence was defeated by 25 votes to 19 – but only because those 8 in the dock were allowed to vote to keep themselves in their jobs. Call that Democracy?