Sunday 17th December 2017,
North Yorks Enquirer

OPEN LETTER: JIM DILLON, LISA DIXON AND COUNCILLORS

A Open Letter to Mr Jim DILLON, CEO and Head of Paid Service, Mrs Lisa DIXON, Director of Legal & Democratic Services and Monitoring, and all Councillors of the Scarborough Borough Council.

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OPEN LETTER TO JIM DILLON, LISA DIXON AND COUNCILLORS

28th April, 2017.

Dear Mr Dillon,

You might recall that I wrote an open letter to you to be read out at the full council meeting on 3rd March concerning statements made by Cllr. Helen Mallory at the full council meeting on 9th January.

Helen stated that the maintenance payments that the Council had paid for the Futurist Theatre were separate to the £1.6m the council had spent over 20 years.  She also asked members to take this into consideration when voting on the £4m Futurist demolition/cliff works.

I challenged this statement in my open letter to you, read out by Cllr. Norman Murphy at the 3rd March meeting.  Cllr. Helen Mallory said she would give a written response.

Despite assurances from Lisa Dixon regarding Cllr. Mallory in her email to me on 29th March:

‘Unfortunately, due to pressure of work, she has, as yet, been unable to meet with the Council’s Director, Mr Edwards, to review the figures. They are hoping to meet shortly and she will respond further following that meeting.‘

It is now over 2 months and I have not yet received this written response.

I would like this letter to be read out at the start of the forthcoming full council meeting on 8th May please.

I have attached my original letter for your reference.

Regards,

Ali Wilkins


[ATTACHED LETTER]

Open Letter to Mr. Dillon Scarborough Borough Council

24nd February, 2017

Dear Mr. Dillon,

During the Full Council Meeting on 9th January 2017, item 8b) in her first statement Helen Mallory said:

‘It is only right to inform you that during the last 20 years we have paid subsidies to the operators of the Futurist Theatre in the region of £1.6m, this fig does not include maintenance costs which we have also paid. So if members are minded to vote against this recommendation before them I think that I should clarify what the implications are, from a financial point of view, to this council.’

I wrote to her and queried this statement. I received the following reply:

From: Cllr.Helen Mallory <Cllr.Helen.Mallory@scarborough.gov.uk>
Sent: 08 February 2017 16:58
To: Ali wilkins
Subject: Re: Futurist

Ali

Thank you for your email.

To be clear, the £1,600,000 did not include maintenance.

I do not have the total figures spent on maintenance.

Best wishes

Helen

Councillor Helen Mallory

Member for Seamer, Crossgates and Irton.

Cabinet Member for Finance, Legal and Procurement.

Telephone 07836 704142

Sent from my Scarborough Borough Council email account

Helen Mallory’s statement to the Full Council Meeting on 9th January 2017 concerning the money spent on the Futurist over the last 20 years was untrue and this has been verified by Neil Hughes. The maintenance was included in the figure of £1.6m.

She made the small amount of money spent on the Futurist over this period look larger than it actually was and specifically asked members to take this cost to the council into consideration when making their decision.

I say small amount as it is relatively small in comparison to the £3.8m the council has given to the Stephen Joseph Theatre over the same period and which continues.

In her position as Cabinet Member for Finance, Legal and Procurement members will look to her for factual statements concerning figures relevant to any debate which in turn should enable them to make an informed decision. By stating this amount, and making a point of clarifying the implications from a financial point of view to members if they vote against, she gave out false information at a crucial meeting and misled members. Mr. Nick Edwards who was also present did not correct her.

I therefore feel that the outcome of the vote was based on false and misleading statements by this Councillor and should be reviewed.

I request that this letter be read out at the full council meeting on 3rd March 2017, taken into consideration and included in the minutes of the next full council meeting.

Regards,

Ali Wilkins


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