Friday 22nd January 2021,
North Yorks Enquirer

Open Letter to MIKE GREENE

Open Letter to MIKE GREENE

by NIGEL WARD

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Mr Mike GREENE – CEO and Head of Paid Service – Scarborough Borough Council

IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST

Mike,

Good day to you.

I deduce from your apparent refusal, in response to my many invitations to you (via email, voice mail, post and SMS text message), to engage with me in private dialogue, that it is your preference for me to make my representations to you in the public domain. It is, of course, possible that you have not been permitted to read or listen to my messages.

I know you are aware that members of the Council and members of the public have spent the Christmas and New Year break under virtual house arrest, on the advice of the North Yorkshire Police (“Lock your doors and windows!”), for their own safety.

I accept that the Council finds itself between a rock and a hard place when it comes (as it repeatedly does) to matters of Safeguarding – not, I might add, on a point of compassion, but rather from the desire to evade legal action and/or ‘reputational damage’. Nevertheless, it is nothing short of bizarre for an Officer of Paid Service – a public servant without mandate – to attempt to prevent elected members from learning what was already in the public domain on social media before Monday’s meeting opened. E.g.:

When Councillor Bill CHATT [C.I.M.] attempted to raise this extremely grave issue, your Monitoring Officer, Mrs DIXON, interceded, stating:

  • “We will not be permitting this question”.

Who is “We”? And on what, or whose, authority has this question been stifled – or, if you prefer a more blunt form of words – “covered up”?

Councillor CHATT’s connection was then muted.

In passing, I note that Mrs DIXON was contradicted by the Mayor, Councillor Hazel LYNSKEY [Con.], who stated:

  • “Councillors can say anything they like.”

As a matter of fact, I strenuously disagree with the Mayor. The Council surely cannot condone a Councillor (I am told it was Councillor Subash SHARMA [Lab.]) using the F-word in Full Council (now redacted from the ‘official’ video on the Council’s YouTube Channel) and I rely on you to process my Formal Complaint against the Councillor in question in accordance with the Council’s Standards Procedure. Thank you.

Councillor Subash Sharma [Labour]

Like all public servants, Mike, you are bound by Lord NOLAN’s Seven Principles of Public Life. It is with respect that I remind you of Article 7 – the Article which you, in virtue of your position, must surely have afforded the closest consideration:

1.7 Leadership

Holders of public office should exhibit these principles in their own behaviour. They should actively promote and robustly support the principles and be willing to challenge poor behaviour wherever it occurs.

(You will note that I have emphasised Lord NOLAN’s final – and most important – words on the subject, in bold type).

So I am calling upon you now, in the public domain – of your own choosing – to challenge poor behaviour.

Specifically, I wish to present you with proof positive that – in addition to the totally unacceptable conduct of an elected member, highlighted in my article “Resignations, Coercion & Censure” (pub. 4th January 2021) – a member of Paid Service has committed a criminal act.

Whether or not I present this proof to you in private discourse or in the public domain I leave entirely to you.

As cited above, Lord NOLAN’s Seventh Principle requires you to act – as does good conscience.

I await your decision.

For the avoidance of any doubt, I desire – as you must desire – the best local Council in this Borough that can possibly be achieved; this present instantiation – on your watch – is far from that.

Very kind regards and best wishes to you and your family,

Nigel

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