Open Letter (SBC and RIPA:)
Regular readers will be aware of the ongoing controversies over:
- Allegations of misuse of Scarborough Borough Council’s (SBC) misuse of its surveillance powers under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act (RIPA).
- SBC’s policy of designating anyone that writes anything for the NYE as being guilty of collectively causing nuisance and distress to SBC Councillors and employees.
Seven SBC Councillors who have contributed to the NYE from across all party groupings who SBC Officers
allege are collectively harassing SBC Councillors and Officers.
The Labour Party Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Scarborough & Whitby, Mr Hugo Fearnley, is also an Enquirer contributor.
NYE contributor Tim Hicks has been doggedly investigating this issue and has corresponded with SBC and Conservative Leader of the Council, Councillor Derek Bastiman, to try and obtain greater clarity on these two important issues.
His latest letter to Councillor Bastiman is reproduced below.
Open Letter to Councillor Derek Bastiman from NYE Crime Correspondent Tim Hicks
Dear Councillor Bastiman,
I hope this email finds you in good health. Please see below a link to an article I have published in the NYE, concerning my concerns about the potential for abuse of SBC’s powers under RIPA.
I would respectfully request that you:
- Comment on the refusal of Council Officers to acknowledge or respond to correspondence from persons writing for the NYE. Contrary to what you state in your email of the 20th March 2018, I have not had any comment from you on this.
- Comment on the refusal of Council Officers to sign correspondence. Contrary to what you state in your email of the 20th of March 2018, I have not had any comment from you on this.
- Comment on the allegation that SBC has alleged that the purpose of all NYE contributors is to collectively harass Councillors and Council employees because the NYE played a leading role in exposing your former colleague Conservative Councillor Peter Jaconelli as a rapist and a child abuser. Contrary to what you state in your email of the 20th of March 2018, I have not had any comment from you on this. On this issue I would further comment that former Councillor Mike Ward and NYE editor Tim Thorne have also expressed similar concerns.
- Comment on the allegation made elsewhere that, contrary to the assurances given to full Council by Mr Kitson, the interception of Councillor’s emails is not in fact lawful.
- Address my concern in my unanswered FOI request that SBC has used its surveillance powers under RIPA on me. After all, if the answer to this question is “NO”, all you have to do is respond to the FOI request and say that. Your continuing silence on this matter only gives further credence to the concern that SBC has abused its powers under RIPA to place myself and other NYE contributors under surveillance, and is refusing to respond to my FOI request to evade admitting this.
On a personal note, I am sorry we are at issue over this and look forward to hearing from you in due course.
North Yorks Enquirer
The Enquirer will publish any response that Tim receives.