Wednesday 21st February 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

“A Christmas Cavil”

An Open Letter to SBC Leader Councillor Derek Bastiman (Con) by NYE crime correspondent TIM HICKS, wishing him a Happy Christmas amongst the snowflakes.


From: Timothy Hicks
Sent: 19 December 2018 21:20
To: ‘Cllr.Derek Bastiman’
Subject: FW: Hi

Dearest Derek,

I hope you do not mind me using your first name or the salutation “Dearest“, but we have been corresponding for so long now over the issue of RIPA and the vexatious complainants list, that I feel I have come to know you as a friend and correspondent.

I read with great sadness and concern the comments below to Yorkshire Coast Radio from dear Lisa Dixon that Council employees have been reduced to tears by some of the e mail correspondence they have received.

Download the PDF file YCR_SBC_EMAILS.

I think that SBC Councillors are a fairly competent and robust group of people and are able to deal with critical e mails. This is part of life as a Councillor. I hope you are not affected in this way by my correspondence. The thought of you going into Lisa Dixon’s office in tears whenever you receive an e mail from me has caused me a lot of sadness.  I am glad that Lisa is providing you with emotional and moral support, and that you are able to go to her for tea, sympathy and a cuddle, to help you get over my criticism of SBC policy on surveillance and misuse of Council powers under RIPA. However, such is the regard I hold you in that if my e mails truly cause you or anyone else in SBC anguish or severe emotional trauma, then do please let me know and I will of course stop writing.

I was also saddened at the thought of Council employees being reduced to tears by abusive e mails and recognise the need to protect them from being abused. However, this does not apply to my correspondence, which has all been published openly and is completely courteous. In my view it is wrong to apply the treatment properly applied to correspondents that are abusive, to local journalists who are asking questions that are albeit inconvenient, but which are nevertheless posed in scrupulously reasonable terms. Particularly as the correspondence is in accordance with their duty to hold public bodies to account.

On a personal note, I have got my Christmas card to you away in good time. It is an RNLI card, so it supports Scarborough lifeboat. A lot of my friends including some SBC Councillors now send e mail cards to me. However, I have noticed that recently they have been delayed. Please can you let Lisa know I would like to receive all my cards before Christmas Eve and ask her to send them on as soon as she has finished reading them.

I recognise that being a Councillor is not an easy role, they have to work long hours for the public good, put up with party politics and sometimes accept public criticism, for scant reward. So I would like to take this opportunity of finishing on a positive note by wishing you and all of your fellow Councillors a Merry Christmas and a prosperous new year. I hope your Christmas cards are in the post, your Christmas shopping is complete and you have done your list for Santa, so you can relax and have a wonderful Christmas.

With all best wishes for the festive season to you and all your colleagues in SBC.




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