Party Politics 1:0 Safeguarding (HT)
- an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, in the form of an Open Letter to Mr Mike GREENE, who is the Head of Paid Service (CEO) at Scarborough Borough Council, inviting him to urge the Leader to address the current Safeguarding crisis.
Mr Mike GREENE – Head of Paid Service (CEO) – Scarborough Borough Council
Cc: Robert GOODWILL MP (Scarborough & Whitby)
Cc: Kevin HOLLINRAKE MP (Filey & Malton)
IN THE PUBLIC INTEREST
Once again I am obliged to address you in the public domain, in direct consequence of your insistence on subjecting my correspondence to your unlawful policy of intercepting/deleting my communications. Scarborough Borough Council is NOT an “interception authority” and stands, therefore, in breach of legislation.
It is incredible that you practice the interception of emails on the grounds that the Council’s Duty of Care to staff requires that they must be protected against an arrangement of pixels on a screen, yet offer no protection to staff or members against threats and harassment in the real world.
You will, I hope, discern that there is a massive proportionality issue here.
I wish to contest the statement that you directed to elected members on Wednesday 3rd November 2021 at 16:24 GMT.
I wish to contest your disregard of the mandatory NOLAN Principles of Public Life, to which you are bound to adhere. To remind you:
In my view, in respect of your contribution to the ferocious contention over the matter of the murder threats, you stand in breach of Article 1: you have not acted “solely in the public interest”;
You have acted in such a way as to appear to protect the interests of the incumbent Leadership at the risk of the health, wellbeing and lives of elected members and members of the public. The Leadership may have failed to give you adequate direction but that does not absolve you from the requirements of the NOLAN Principles.
In my view, you stand in breach of Article 3: you have not acted “impartially, fairly and on merit, using the best evidence and without discrimination or bias”;
You have acted on the advice of proven liars, in disregard of the best evidence, and with manifest discrimination and bias. You have not interviewed the victims, nor sought to discover whether or not there may be more, perhaps in the private sector. You have not arranged adequate Safeguarding procedures, as Councillor GOODBERRY has attested.
In my view, you stand in breach of Article 5: you have not acted “in an open and transparent manner”;
You have addressed your email to yourself, Cc:-ing your Monitoring Officer, but concealing from members the other recipients of your email by addressing them Bcc: (i.e. as ‘blind’ recipients). This is not “an open and transparent manner”. Councillors cannot know whether or not they have been singled out. Thus have you isolated them, each from the others. (And please explain why elected members’ contact details have been deleted from the Council website. How do you propose that their electors may contact them?).
In my view, you stand in breach of Article 6; you have not acted in such a way as to be “truthful”.
You have acted in such a way as to actively conceal the truth, which abounds in the form of witnessed, documented, recorded evidence, subject to interrogation.
In my view, you stand in breach of Article 7; you have not evinced “leadership”;
You have not “actively promote(d) and robustly support(ed) the principles and challenge(d) poor behaviour wherever it occurs”. You have witnessed terrifying conduct – and challenged none of it.
I direct you to lodge a Formal Corporate Complaint against yourself, the Head of Paid Service (CEO), Mr Mike GREENE, on the above grounds and others. I insist on a rigorusly diligent examination of ALL available evidence. I am willing and able to provide further evidence, as are others, at the request of the Investigating Officer(s) and, since I am unable to do so via the Council’s ITC system, I will be glad to ask the editor of the North Yorks Enquirer to make all such evidence available online, on request or otherwise.
In further clarification of my Formal Corporate Complaint, I now seek to assist the Investigating Officer(s) by deconstructing your deeply disingenuous email of Wednesday 3rd November 2021, interpolating my considered opinion by way of paragraph-by-paragraph commentary, indented and in red type between your text (in blue type):
Date: 3 November 2021 at 16:24:11 GMT
To: Mike Greene <Mike.Greene@scarborough.gov.uk>
Cc: Lisa Dixon <Lisa.Dixon@scarborough.gov.uk>
Subject: Recent emails
These so-called “rumours” are reiterations of the factual reports of first-hand witnesses (fellow victims), substantiated by documentary evidence as well as audio evidence already in the public domain. To characterise this evidence as “rumours” is disingenuous, indeed wittingly deceptive.
It is self-evident that such steps as you may have taken (if any) have been woefully inadequate and ineffectual. Members are afraid to traverse the Council car park or answer their own doors. One member’s spouse has gone to stay with family, out of harms way. Your predecessor ‘locked down’ the Town Hall for 6 months (arguably, without statutory authority) to secure members’ safety, but you have done nothing to prevent members, Officers or members of the public entering the Spa, for the last several Full Council meetings, in possession (for all we may know) of concealed knives or other weapons of violent assault. Only last week, you sat immobile during a vitriolic and entirely inappropriate rant that, for all you knew, may have ended in violent injury or death – while the Mayor, to his lasting shame, can be heard to chuckle, in the background.
Councillors have indicated that they do not have confidence in your assurances that the Council – or the Leadership – has this situation under adequate control. Your own Officers may be at risk, and indeed have been. Did you, to protect your staff, report the matters referred to you within the rubric of violent conduct in the workplace to the Health & Safety Executive, which takes a strong line on such conduct?
Under the terms of the FOIA, I would like you provide me with a list, beginning on 1st January 2016, of all of the occasions on which the Council has reported these or related matters to the Police, the HSE or any other authority (please indicate which, and on what dates).Please acknowledge this FOIA Request in the required manner. Thank you.
As stated above, attending last Monday’s meeting of Full Council, I observed (as did my illustrious companion), no evidence of security measures such as would prevent a deadly weapon being introduced clandestinely into the meeting. There was nothing to prevent a fatal attack like that on Sir David AMESS MP, or that on Jo COX MP. Consider, too, the aide of Nigel JONES MP [LibDem], who was stabbed to death defending his MP.
I would also draw your attention to the case of Allerdale Councillor Peter LITTLE, jailed for sending a threatening email to Allerdale Council CEO, Andrew SEEKINGS and Mark JENKISON MP [Con.] (Worthington). A man has been arrested for threatening to murder Rhonda Valley MP Chris BRYANT [Lab.]. Over the weekend, a man has been arrested in Cork for sending life-threatening emails to a UK MP.
Within my FOIA Request, please provide copies, in e-format, of all of the Council’s Risk Assessments in the wider context of the Safeguarding, safety and security of elected members, staff and members of the public. Thank you.
Acts of manic outbursts, violences and threats of injury and death have formed part of the perpetrator’s conduct since, at latest, September 2016 and have recurred in Council, in public, in the workplace, in emails, letters, cards and social media, at irregular intervals since that time. Convictions have been secured. You are fully aware, as I demonstrated in a recent article, that serious threats were also issued and received during your own tenure as Head of Paid Service and, indeed, within the past twelve months.According to members of every stripe, and the Council’s minutes, these matters were never set before the Standards Committee. Speaking of which, I learn that Councillors are now the subject of clearly retaliatory Formal Complaints by the perpetrator, simply for voicing their opinions, naming no-one. This is a blatant abuse of process and an unnecessary drain on the Council’s (i.e. the ratepayers’) resources.
Councillors have provided evidence of threats and the assurance of sworn testimony to the Council and to the Police – all disregarded. Sharing it with you has served no purposeother than to inform you of the extent of evidence it would be necessary for the Council to ‘bury’. Thus, again your assurances are worthless.
As I have demonstrated, above, you are in no position to remind members, with credibility, to be mindful of the NOLAN Principles. I have explained how, in my view, you have flouted many of them.Attempting to extinguish discourse between members is undemocratic and unforgiveable. You appear to be relying on the terms of a Report brought to Council – and rejected. Would you have it that our elected members be no longer free to converse amongst themselves, establish the facts, and form and express opinions? What are Councillors elected to do if not form and express opinions? It is not within your remit to stifle debate.
I repeat what you already well know; hard evidence has been shared with the Council and the North Yorkshire Police, whose advice to me was that, in order to protect myself, my wife and my animals, I should “stay home – lock my doors and windows”. The Council has offered no advice – except that members should not converse.
Be clear: I DO feel at risk; I am in my mid-seventies, with poor and failing sight and general health. Clearly, neither your advice nor that of the North Yorkshire Police suffices for me and my family to go about our daily round without fear of a malicious and violent assault.
I was interested to note, by the way (and please forgive this illustrative reference to something relatively inconsequential), that at last week’s Council meeting, such was your confidence in the “security” to which you refer above, that you and your Officers chose to avoid the reserved (but fully exposed) parking spaces adjacent to the main public entrance to the meeting (on the promenade), perhaps not wishing to step out of the relative safety of your cars in such an unprotected environment, and entering the building discreetly by a ‘safer’ and more private entrance. Quelle courage!
Clearly, lesser mortals could take their chances out in the open, but not masters of the universe – is that it? Or is it that only the “security” of Officers and the Leader of the present administration merits the full application of the Council’s Duty of Care?We arrive at the point, Mike, where you have dug yourself in deeper with each ill-considered utterance.
——– Original Message ——–
|Subject:||Party Politics 1:0 Safeguarding (HT)|
|Date:||Tue, 9 Nov 2021 23:47:39 +0000 (GMT)|
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