Sunday 23rd June 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

“Questions for Council”

Questions for Council
  • – from Councillor Michelle DONOHUE-MONCRIEFF [Ind.Ind] (Hertford).
As the Portfolio Holder and other Councillors will no doubt be aware, I have been prevented from attending today’s Council meeting by the Chief Executive on the grounds that I am a danger to others in the Council.

Indeed, whatever others may think of me as an individual there is no justification for residents of Hertford Ward being treated as second-class citizens in this Borough.

Does the Portfolio Holder think that the residents of Hertford Ward should be subject to taxation without representation?

The Chief Executive has written to me claiming that I have failed to comply with the Section 85(1) of the Local Government Act 1972 due to my enforced absence. On the contrary, I have been advised by the LGA Independent Group that my attendance at Parish Council meetings in my capacity as Borough Councillor also counts towards attendance.

Can the Portfolio Holder provide me with the materials shown to the Independent Person by Council Officers when this matter was discussed?

Can he also arrange for myself to meet with the Independent Person to discuss my case?

In six months the Council has refused to provide me with full details as to why I pose a risk to others in the Town Hall. Among the issues that have been communicated to me are that I spoke to the Yorkshire Post in September 2016 and I have been suicidal.

Can the Portfolio Holder for HR advise me of how many members of staff have been disciplined or dismissed for expressing suicidal thoughts or attempting to take their own lives?

Can the Portfolio Holder for Governance identify any other incidents in England and Wales where suicidal Councillors were prevented from carrying out their duties?

Could the Portfolio Holder for Governance explain why speaking to the Yorkshire Post is considered to grounds for excluding a Councillor? Is this not a breach of Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights?

At the end of September, the Council intends to review the situation and I believe disqualify me as Councillor unless I comply with the Chief Executive’s requirements.

Does the Portfolio Holder for Governance really believe that reasonable adjustments could not have been made to facilitate my attendance at meetings?

Does the Portfolio for Governance share my concern that the taxpayer is being forced into unnecessary expense on a by-election in Hertford Ward only months before the 2019 SBC elections?

Could the Portfolio Holder explain who, except for the Conservative Party, could stand to gain from such a by-election?

Finally, if, as I suspect, the prospect of a by-election is inevitable, I will resign as Councillor for Hertford Ward and submit myself to the only people a Councillor serves – the electorate.  I will place before the electorate the evidence relating to my recent experience as a Councillor and will make the campaign a referendum on the actions of the Council Leadership.

When faced with the evidence that their vote has been devalued by Scarborough Borough Council’s attempt to overturn a democratic mandate, whose side does the Portfolio Holder for Governance think the voters will take?


Cllr. Michelle Donohue-Moncrieff
Hertford Ward Representative

Not one of these questions was addressed in today’s meeting of Full Council (Monday 3rd September 2018).

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