Saturday 02nd March 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer


September 21, 2015 Scarborough Borough Council

Open Letter To Jim DILLON – SBC CEO

——– Original Message ——–

Subject: Open Letter To Jim DILLON – SBC CEO
Date: Mon, 21 Sep 2015 23:16:04 +0100
From: Nigel

Mr Jim DILLON – Chief Executive Officer and Head of Paid Service – Scarborough Borough Council



Having conferred with Councillors of Parish, Town, Borough, District and County level, I write to you in the (regrettably) forlorn hope of receiving a coherent response, and with the specific request that you raise this correspondence in full Council, as your Constitution demands.

You will be aware that I have played a part in the exposure of former Alderman of the Borough, Peter JACONELLI, having exposed him as a prolific paedophile since November 2012.

Following the BBC ‘Inside Out’ documentary broadcast on 19th February 2014:

which fully vindicated allegations raised by myself and North Yorks Enquirer co-contributor Tim HICKS, the North Yorkshire Police instigated Operation Hibiscus which, in due course, confirmed the veracity of our allegations (18th December 2014).

Subsequently, on 14th May 2014, the York Press carried a report indicating that Scarborough Borough Council had ‘stripped’ Peter JACONELLI of his civic honours. I quote:

  • “Council leader Tom Fox said Jaconelli’s name would be taken off of the honours boards at the town hall and that he should not be referred to as a former mayor.”

The York Press article was referring to the Council Meeting of 12th May 2014, specifically, Agenda Item 10, from which I quote:


  1. The Council considered the following motion which was proposed by Councillor Fox and seconded by Councillor Derek Bastiman:

That the Council moves the following for immediate and permanent resolution in respect of Peter Jaconelli –

That the honour of ‘Alderman’ be removed forthwith;

That the honour of the title ‘Mayor’ be removed forthwith;

That all reference to Peter Jaconelli as ‘former Mayor’ cease:

  • To include the permanent removal of his name from the honours board for the Alderman of the Borough and Mayor of the Borough;

  • This Council and successor Councils respect the resolution to include no endorsing or supporting matters brought forward in his name such as memorials, street and/or property naming or other high recognition, office or award in his memory.

The motion was carried – though not unanimously; Councillor Bill CHATT – also a former Mayor of Scarborough (2009/10), who enjoyed a close personal relationship with JACONELLI, voted against the motion.

Interestingly, Peter JACONELLI’s name still appears on the SBC web-site list of former Mayors.

So much for Tom FOX’s motion – seconded by another former Mayor (2005/06), the incumbent leader Councillor Derek BASTIMAN [Con.], carried – but incompletely actioned.

Let me be clear that I fully support the revocation of Peter JACONELLI’s status of Honorary Alderman – a status lawfully conferred under the will of a two-thirds majority of the Council, following the conclusion of a minimum of 16 years service as a Councillor, in precise accordance with the statutory requirements.


The salient passage from the legislation is this:

  • “persons who have, in the opinion of the council, rendered eminent services to the council”

Clearly, on 12th May 2014, a majority of Councillors exceeding two-thirds, having reflected on the criminal activities of Peter JACONELLI, quite rightly reached a revised “opinion” regarding the “eminence” of Peter JACONELLI’s “services to the Council” and voted to withdraw the honour which at least 34 of their predecessors had seen fit to bestow.

This is all as it should be.

However, the revocation of Peter JACONELLI’s status as a former Mayor must be considered in another light.

The position of Mayor is not conferred by the resolution of a two-thirds majority of Councillors; anything more than half will suffice. The title ‘Mayor’ is a name by which the Chairman of the Council is styled, and by which s/he may style her/himself. The Chairmanship, whether or not it is styled as the Mayoralty, is a statutory function – not an arbitrary civic honour.

The Local Government Act 1972 s.3 defines the position thus:

3 Chairman.

(1) The chairman of a principal council shall be elected annually by the council from among the councillors.

[F4 (1A)A member of the executive of a principal council may not be elected as the chairman of the council.]

(2) The chairman shall, unless he resigns or becomes disqualified, continue in office until his successor becomes entitled to act as chairman.

(3) During his term of office the chairman shall continue to be a member of the council notwithstanding the provisions of this Act relating to the retirement of councillors.

(4) The chairman of a district council shall have precedence in the district, but not so as prejudicially to affect Her Majesty’s royal prerogative.

[F5 (4A) Subsection (4) above shall have effect in relation to a district council which are operating executive arrangements which involve a mayor and cabinet executive F6. . . as if it provided for the elected mayor of the council to have precedence in the district, but this subsection shall not apply if the executive arrangements provide for it not to apply.]

(5) A principal council may pay the chairman for the purpose of enabling him to meet the expenses of his office such allowance as the council think reasonable.

Peter JACONELLI was Mayor (i.e. Chairman of the Councillor) in the Council year 1971/72 – that is to say before the Local Government Act 1972 came into force (on 1st April 1974),although there was no substantive amendment to earlier legislation in respect of the democratic process relating to the election of a Chairman of a principle Council, so styled as ‘Mayor’; as you know, the first item of business of each successive new Council is to elect a Chairman.

Thus, it is clear (or should be) that the position of Mayor is not an honorary accolade in the same sense that Alderman and Freeman are honorary accolades, which fall within the gift of the Council to confer and to revoke, as the Council sees fit. I repeat; it is a statutory function.

To be Mayor is to occupy the position of Chairman of the Council, elected by the Councillors from amongst their own number.

To have been Mayor of Scarborough is a historical fact, authorised by Parliament under one or other of the Local Government Acts – most recently that of 1972.

It is true to state that Peter JACONELLI was an Alderman of Scarborough (from 1996 until 2014) – and it is also true to state that he is no longer an Alderman, that honour having been formally and lawfully revoked.

It is also true to state that Peter JACONELLI was a Mayor of Scarborough (from 1971 until 1972).

But it is not true to state that he is no longer a Mayor of Scarborough, because it is not within the gift of Scarborough Borough Council to re-write history and decree that Peter JACONELLI was never a Mayor of Scarborough. Of course he was. That is immutable.

Former Mayor of Scarborough Peter Jaconelli

In my view, Peter JACONELLI should never have been elected Mayor; his paedophile activities were already widely known in Scarborough – and beyond.

It is significant that the Crown Prosecution Service has disclosed, in a Freedom of Information response, that:

“CPS does hold limited information regarding a record of cases received by the former DPP’s Office. This was transferred to the CPS upon formation in 1986. Our records show that a case file relating to Alderman Peter Jaconelli, charged with indecent assault, was sent to the DPP’s Office in 1972.”

1972 – the very year that Peter JACONELLI was Mayor.

Were the Councillors who elected Peter JACONELLI to the Mayoralty made aware of the charges against ? (Come to that, was Tom FOX aware? Were the two-thirds of the Councillors who voted to bestow Alderman status on Peter JACONELLI made aware of the charges against him? Or is it that Scarborough Town Hall is widely known as “The House of Secrets” for good reason?).

So, in fact, it is the Councillors of the 1971/72 Council year who must bear the responsibility for electing a prolific paedophile to the Mayoralty – and it is the Councillors of the 2015/16 Council year who have inherited that responsibility. An apology is due for that – let alone the apology to Peter JACOINELLI’s innumerable victims, which remains outstanding.

Peter JACONELLI was, and remains, the Scarborough Councillor who was elected to the Chairmanship of the Council of 1971/72, by a majority of Councillors who, like him, were themselves duly elected to office through a statutorily authorised democratic electoral process.

This is to state a historical fact of the same order as “the Battle of Hastings took place in 1066”, or “the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima on 6th August 1945”, or “Queen Elizabeth II acceded to the throne on 6th February 1952”.

This latter example provides a useful analogy:

It may, in the future, come to pass that this country ceases to be a constitutional monarchy – that what we now know as the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland may, in future, come to be known as the United Republic of Great Britain and Northern Ireland. But it will never fall within the gift of Scarborough Borough Council to re-write history and assert that Elizabeth WINDSOR was never Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and strike her summarily from the record.

Similarly, I would contend that it does not fall within the gift of Scarborough Borough Council to re-write history and assert, as former Leader Councillor Tom FOX asserted, that Peter JACONELLI “should not be referred to as a former mayor”.

Of course Peter JACONELLI is a former Mayor – and will continue to be a former Mayor, irrespective of the absurd pronunciamenti of Tom FOX – in all perpetuity.

Just as he is,  and will forever remain, a dead paedophile.

So my contention is that although Scarborough Borough Council may well enjoy the statutory authorisation to revoke Alderman status, it does not have the necessary statutory authority to expurgate or re-write history by denying Peter JACONELLI’s (or any other person’s) incumbency in the position of Mayor (Chairman) of the Council of 1971/72.

Aldermen may be here today and gone tomorrow, but Mayors are forever – because to revoke Peter JACONELLI’s Mayoralty – his statutory authority to act as Chairman of the Council – would be to assert that every motion passed by the Council of 1971/72 was resolved unlawfully, since no meeting is lawful if it is conducted without a Chairman.

So, in my view, whether we like it or not – and I most certainly do not – the motion of the former Leader Councillor Tom FOX:

  • That the honour of the title ‘Mayor’ be removed forthwith; 
  • That all reference to Peter Jaconelli as ‘former Mayor’ cease:

is not a legal action of the Council and is therefore null and void. Peter JACONELLI is, and remains, a former Mayor of Scarborough – and may correctly be referred to as such.

To be clear; I most strenuously support the revocation of Peter JACONELLI’s Alderman status; what I emphatically do not support is Scarborough Borough Council acting beyond its authority in service of a cheap and belated PR exercise.

This leads me, by a commodius vicus of recirculation, to the question that I now put to you.


In your rôle as Chief Executive Officer and Head of Paid Service of Scarborough Borough Council, please point me to the statutory authority that authorised the former Leader Councillor Tom FOX (who is and will remain a former Leader – just as he will, in due course, become and remain a former Mayor) to strike Peter JACONELLI from the list of former Mayors.

You will, I know, have it at the forefront of your mind that a Council may perform only such actions as are authorised by Parliament, whereas a citizen (or denizen) may perform any action not prohibited by statute. For example, there exists no prohibition against a citizen (for instance, me) asking the CEO/HoPS to justify his actions. But Scarborough Borough Council needs statutory authorisation for its actions.

I would like to see that authorisation, please, Jim.

In simple terms, if you can cite no statutory authorisation, then it follows inexorably that the Council has acted ultra vires – beyond its authority. On your watch. A commonplace, I know, but one which I would like to see firmly on the record.

Like it or not (and I emphatically do not), without the necessary statutory authorisation, Petrer JACONELLI’s name will have to go back on the board.

I look forward, without bating my breath, to your reasoned response.

And I would appreciate it, too, if you would instruct your Director of Legal & Democratic Services Mrs Lisa DIXON to provide an open, transparent and comprehensive response to my email of 15th September 2015 in regard to the widely-circulated and highly incriminatory audio-recording; on which topic, more in due course.

Yours, with very kind regards,


Councillor David Jeffels and Peter Jaconelli.

Councillor David Jeffels and Peter Jaconelli.

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