Sunday 19th May 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

Broken Promises #5 – Cllr Paul Riley

“Broken Promises” is a series of articles looking at the election promises of councillors who were elected to Scarborough Borough Council in May 2019 and their actions as your Borough Council representatives since.

Fifth on the list is Cllr Paul Riley who represents Hunmanby ward and spoke at the last Council meeting.

The “shadowy group” from Whitby Cllr Riley speaks about is the North Yorks Enquirer, which is based across the Borough, not just in Whitby. Riley didn’t appear to have any concerns about communicating with this “shadowy group” when he wanted to get his election address in front of the eyes of voters.

You’ll notice from Cllr Riley’s election statement published on the Enquirer he claims to be Secretary of the Scarborough Civic Society and concerned by the neglect of our conservation areas by the Tory-controlled council .

As Secretary of the Scarborough Civic Society, I have been concerned by the neglect of our conservation areas by our Conservative-controlled council.

You’ll notice from the graphic below that the then Conservative-controlled Scarborough Borough Council redrew the Scarborough conservation area to exclude the Futurist site. In his position as Secretary of the Scarborough Civic Society he didn’t feel the need speak out about the sneaky boundary move by the Tories.

Cllr Riley’s election statement also makes the point he is a truly independent councillor who abhors party politics.

I have also seen how too many of our Borough Councillors put party politics above the people who elect them.

Cllr Riley’s first action as an independent councillor was to join an Independent political group on the council. He jumped straight into bed with local party politics.

On the Friday 12th July 2019 Cllr Riley attended a full council meeting and voted in favour of spending £22million of Borough taxpayer’s money to demolish the old Argos building and redevelop the site, along with his fellow Independent group members. Only three councillors out of forty-six voted against it.

Information provided by SBC to councillors and the public estimated the new building would be worth £7.5million on the open market, some £14.5million less than the borrowing Cllr Riley signed the Borough taxpayer up for.

The £22million of additional debt Cllr Riley signed the ratepayers of Scarborough Borough Council up to will see an extra £300 debt added per registered elector giving a total debt per head of £650.

The project carries significant financial risk for the Borough taxpayer. In fact, the high level of risk is mentioned a number of times within the reports published in Not For Publication.

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