Cllr. Chris RIDDOLLS addresses his Electors
Whitby Town Councillor CHRIS RIDDOLLS (White Leys Ward) has written an Open Letter to his electors explaining his stance on the Town/Parish Poll. Electors of Whitby have their chance to voice their opinions at their respective Polling Stations on Friday 6th October, between 4:00pm and 9:00pm.
To: The residents of the White Leys Ward of Whitby Town Council
For those of you who don’t already know me, I am Chris Riddolls your local Whitby Town Councillor for the White Leys ward.
Like many of us, I welcomed the start-up of the Whitby Community Network (see whitbycommunitynetwork.org) which aims to help all local residents to ‘have their say’ about local issues.
I strongly supported the need for the Town Poll, called in 2022 to draw to the attention of the ‘outside authorities’ that we wanted to all new housing to be reserved for local resident occupation only, in perpetuity. The authorities seemed to take no action at first, but are now moving slowly in the right direction.
My reason for writing to you now is to urge you to go out and vote at this year’s Town Poll which will take place this Friday, 6 th October. (Full details are given on the accompanying leaflet.) Again, I strongly support the right of local residents to be properly consulted and allowed to have their say.
The first question on the ballot paper is obviously controversial for me, as a town councillor. (It asks all current town councillors to resign and stand for fresh election.) But that was one of the questions chosen by local electors and I will always defend their democratic rights. I was very happy to help to organise the Poll, to allow everyone to vote, regardless of my own views on the topics.
I will however pin my colours to the mast on this year’s Poll questions about the two proposed Town Deal projects. I must say that the Town Council as a whole has been given absolutely minimal information about these proposals.
Most Councillors are very upset with how the whole matter has been handled. If Whitby votes this Friday to call for a halt to the planned desecration of our historic Old Town Hall and Market Place – and to halt the building of a monstrosity on Endeavour Wharf – then I will “Endeavour” to do everything in my power to help to get these projects stopped until the Town has been consulted properly.
The Whitby Community Network group have made great progress in helping Whitby to make its voice heard and I will support them as much as I can as a local elector.
The Community Network have recently moved their monthly meetings to the Rugby Club, which sounds like a good idea to me so, starting from Sunday, 20 th October 2023, I will be holding weekly surgeries at the Rugby Club each Sunday, between 10.30am and noon, if you would like to come along and talk to me in person.
With my best wishes,
PS. A bit of background about me and my motivation:
My family have lived in Whitby for many generations. My mother was a doctor looking after the children at local schools and my father farmed near Sleights.
When he retired, I took over running the family farm. Now, I actually live on Mayfield Road, since we converted the farmhouse into holiday cottages in 1978.
I later sold some of the farmland for a social housing development, on condition that it was reserved for local occupation only.
I am passionate about wanting to see Whitby thrive as a community – not just as a hugely popular tourist destination, however important that is for our local economy. We all need to work together, to achieve a far better balance than we have now.
I believe that, with your help, Whitby could look forward to a great future. One of the objectives of the new unitary North Yorkshire Council is to encourage local town and parish councils to take over the management of far more Council services at a local level, in order to better match up with the particular needs and wishes of their local communities.
from NYC confirming that by-elections will NOT be charged to the Town Council – and thus will not impact the 2023/24 Precept.
Whitby Precept-payers will NOT be forced to pay for the election of a brand new Council.