Friday 19th July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

An Open Letter to the National Park CEO Andy WILSON

An Open Letter to the National Park CEO Andy WILSON

Mr Andy WILSON – Chief Executive Officer – North York Moors National Park Authority


As you are aware, I emailed you on 8th March 2013 (followed by a brief addendum the following morning, 9th March 2013), expressing my concerns regarding the extraordinary managerial ineptitude that has had taken place, allowing the NYMNPA Planning Committee to convene short-handed to consider the most significant Planning Application in the Authority’s history.

I refer, of course, to the declarable personal prejudicial interests of the then-Chair of the Planning Committee, former SBC Councillor Tim LAWN.

Having received no response on the matters raised, I subsequently emailed you once more, on 12th March 2013, lodging a Formal Complaint against the Chair of the Planning Committee, former SBC Councillor Tim LAWN, as I believed him to stand in breach of Article 5 of the Members’ Code of Conduct, which, under the terms of the Localism Act 2005, may constitute a criminal offence:

  • “5. You must not use or attempt to use your position as a member improperly to confer on or secure for yourself or any other person any advantage or disadvantage.”

I also asked you to draw the matter to the attention of the Major Fraud Investigation Team of the North Yorkshire Police. Please confirm that you have done so.

And I drew your attention to the national publicity (in Private Eye – see below) surrounding the circumstances of the Planning Application process.

On 13th March 2013, I received the following one-line response from you:

  • “I acknowledge this and your previous two e-mails.  We will reply in due course.”

I have heard nothing since. That is rather unhelpful.

However, the following PDF document has now appeared on the NYMNPA website:

Entitled 25 March 2013 Arrangements for Consideration of the York Potash Planning Application by Members”, the document was created, I note with some interest, on 14th March 2013, at 3:48pm, by one V. TAYLOR.

This gives rise to the supposition that steps had been taken since my emails of 8th, 9th and 12th March 2013, to implement new arrangements for the Planning Application Meeting scheduled for 25th March 2013; specifically, to install Mr Jim BAILEY as Chair, and for a new Deputy Chair to be appointed.

Am I to believe that this information was unknown to you at 10:46am on 13th March 2013, when you sent your one-line prevaricative email to me?

Would you please explain to me your justification for withholding that information from me?

Moving on:

On Monday 18th March 2013, Scarborough Borough Council accepted the resignation of (until then) Councillor Tim LAWN.

Please correct me if I am mistaken in my interpretation that Mr Tim LAWN ceased to be a Member of the NYMNPA at the same moment that he ceased to be a Councillor; my expectation being that Mr Tim LAWN’s positions as a Member of NYMNPA and Chair of the NYMNPA Planning Committee, being contingent upon his delegation to NYMNPA on behalf of Scarborough Borough Council, now stand vacant. Could you confirm my expectation, please?

The foregoing chronologically delineated sequence of events gives support to the information that I have received this morning that Mr Tim LAWN may not be the only NYMNPA Member, or member of staff, to hold a declarable personal prejudicial interest in York Potash Ltd, by dint either of share-holdings or land-holdings (and, therefore, mineral rights), or some other cause.

Would you please provide me with an exhaustive list of those NYMNPA members and/or members of staff who fall into that category?

I am sure you will agree that now, perhaps more than at any time in the history of NYMNPA, the highest possible standards of ethical rectitude and transparency must be maintained – and be seen to have been maintained.

I look forward to your exhaustive response to my concerns, raised in the best interests of NYMNPA and of the inhabitants of the entire region.

Yours, with very kind regards,




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