WTC: “Animal Farm”
- – an “In My View” article by NIGEL WARD, responding to reader-feedback on the Enquirer’s coverage of Whitby Town Council’s Extraordinary Meeting on Tuesday 26th September 2023, where, despite a packed public gallery, members proceeded to verbally abuse each other and members of the public, without restraint – clearly having forgotten their legally-binding commitment to the Councillors’ Code of Conduct and the NALC Civility & Respect Pledge. All in all, a PR catastrophe of spectacular proportions.
Readers unable to attend the meeting have requested sight of the widely-applauded speech given by former Councillor Amanda SMITH. Her resonant dismissal of Councillor Noreen “You can shove your camera up your arse!” WILSON’s absurd ‘non-Motion’, seconded by former Mayor, Councillor Linda “Don’t you know who I am?” WILD, and carried by the present Mayor’s spurious casting vote, is one to remember – though it flew way over the heads of those in most need of its message.
But first, a reminder of that ‘non-Motion’ which, in the hands of an unbiased and diligent Clerk, should never have seen the light of day, much less made it onto the Agenda of a government institution Meeting – unless, of course, its purpose was to exacerbate the present toxicity:
“A political system that allows the citizens to participate in political decision‐making, or to elect representatives to government bodies.”
And yet here you are suggesting that to consult the voters of Whitby be it through a Motion, a Town Meeting or even a Town Poll is disruptive to the business of a Council.
We should be applauding those Councillors who are going the extra mile to support debate – thanking those members who are actively seeking the opinions of the electorate. Instead, you appear to be asking them to resign. This surely is the first step to the demise of democracy.
Not only does this Motion endanger our democratic governance, it also endangers our Human Rights.
Article 10.1 of the Human Rights Act states that:
1. Everyone has the right to freedom of expression. This right shall include the freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without interference by public authority and regardless of frontiers.
That anyone thought this a suitable motion for an Extraordinary Meeting of Council astounds me!
Once again, please support Democracy. Please support Freedom of Expression.
Also of interest is the following social media comment from a member of the public present at the meeting:
North Yorkshire Council Electoral Services has kindly provided the following street-by-street guide to Polling Stations for the forthcoming Parish Poll, to be held on:
Friday 6th October 2023, 4:00pm – 9:00pm.
No postal votes. No proxy votes. Don’t forget to bring your Photo ID.
Or DOWNLOAD the list here.
A Map of the Catchment Areas of each of the 8 Polling Stations can be found here.