Friday 20th July 2018,
North Yorks Enquirer

On-going Correspondence with Cllr Derek Bastiman

February 25, 2018 Letters

In the interests of openness and transparency, NYE contributor TIM HICKS has offered his on-going correspondence with Scarborough Borough Council Leader Councillor Derek BASTIMAN [Con.] for publication here on the Enquirer:

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On-going Correspondence with Cllr Derek Bastiman

From: Timothy Hicks
Sent: Thursday, February 22, 2018 11:58 AM
To: ‘Cllr.Derek Bastiman’
Cc: ‘Cllr.Mark Vesey’; ‘Cllr.Janet Jefferson’; ‘Cllr.Tony Randerson’
Subject: SBC policy on designating Citizen Journalists as “vexatious”

Dear Councillor Bastiman,

SBC Policy on designating Citizen Journalists as “vexatious”

Our correspondence has been posted on the NYE website now and can be accessed below.

I would welcome any comment you may have.

Whilst you have helpfully confirmed that I am not designated as “vexatious” within the meaning of SBC policy on these things, I have nevertheless had this policy applied to me. SBC Officers have followed a policy of declining to provide information requested in Freedom of Information (FOI) Requests from some NYE contributors on the basis that they have designated me as “vexatious”. This decision is usually notified anonymously in an unsigned mail.  Similarly, SBC Officers have also followed a policy of ignoring correspondence from some NYE contributors for the same reason.

In response to my request for my case to be reviewed, I have received the e mail below from you signed “Scarborough Borough Council”:

Dear Mr Hicks

The Council acknowledges your email requesting a review of the response to your request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, however it will not be undertaking a review and you should apply directly to the Information Commissioner’s Office as stated previously. The Information Commissioner can be contacted at: The Information Commissioner’s Office, Wycliffe House, Water Lane, Wilmslow, Cheshire, SK9 5AF | Tel: 01625 545745 | Fax: 01625 524510 | Web: www.ico.org.uk |

Yours sincerely 

Scarborough Borough Council

This confirms that you have refused to review the application of these policies to me. My request was in four parts and I would make the following observations:

The Peter Jaconelli Scandal

In my e mail I alleged that these policies had been applied to me because I had a major role in exposing former Conservative Councillor and Mayor of Scarborough – Peter Jaconelli – as a rapist and a paedophile. This was common knowledge in Scarborough and must certainly have been well known by many Councillors and SBC Officers. Police confirmation of Jaconelli’s offending is here.

Scarborough and Whitby Conservative Association has never issued an apology for the offending of Councillor Jaconelli. Recently Councillor John Nock made remarks denying he was a paedophile. I would urge you to issue a statement accepting the findings of the police investigation and apologising to Jaconelli’s victims on behalf of the Conservative Association, so this can be closed.

I also alleged that the policy SBC has adopted towards me is devoid of any rational basis, other than a determination to supress lawful scrutiny of the Council and its actions, by local citizen journalists.

You do not deny this, or address these issues, although you have a duty to do so.

I would repeat my request that you respond in full to these concerns.

Refusal of SBC to respond to FOI requests

I have not asked for a review of the response to my request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. I have asked for a review of the policy that SBC applies of not responding to any FOI request from me, because it alleges (falsely) that I am a member of a pressure group that is trying to prevent SBC from providing services and whose stated aim is to cause nuisance and disruption.

I would therefore repeat my request that you review this policy, or alternatively if you would confirm why you have decided not to review this policy.

Refusal of Council Officers to acknowledge or respond to correspondence from me

Clearly the Information Commissioner cannot rule on this. It has nothing to do with FOI requests and relates to a general policy of SBC Officers.

I would therefore repeat my request that you review this policy, or alternatively if you would confirm why you have decided not to review this policy.

Refusal of Council Officers to sign correspondence to me

Clearly the Information Commissioner cannot rule on this. It has nothing to do with FOI requests and relates to a general policy applied by SBC Officers.

I would therefore repeat my request that you review this policy, or alternatively if you would confirm why you have decided not to review this policy.

Please can you also confirm why you have suddenly decided to respond to my correspondence describing yourself as “Scarborough Borough Council” instead of as “Councillor Derek Bastiman” in the usual way. I consider this is inappropriate for a Councillor responding to correspondence.

On a personal note, I hope all is well with you and thank you in anticipation of a comprehensive response to my e mail, which I would like to publish.

Yours sincerely,

Tim Hicks

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