Thursday 18th July 2024,
North Yorks Enquirer

WTC: The Vipers’ Nest

September 20, 2023 Whitby Town

WTC: The Vipers’ Nest

  • – an “In My View” by NIGEL WARD, reporting on a barely credible turn of events. Apparently, every Whitby elector who supported the Call for Poll to speak out for Whitby has aided and abetted a trivial pursuit. Give me strength!


In my fourteen years of scrutinising the practices and policies of local authorities, I have seldom encountered much to make me smile.

But I laughed like a drain when I had sight of the pettiest, silliest example of Kindergartenpolitik imaginable. Actually, I must apologise for that. It is not funny at all; it is sad and rather pathetic. It is local government at its most redundant.

Consider the malicious thrust of Councillor WILSON’s Motion, seconded by Councillor WILD. It seems to have escaped their notice that they signed up to a Civility & Respect Pledge earlier in the year.

Setting aside the fact that a Motion to an Extraordinary Meeting of Full Council is hardly an appropriate vehicle for the venting of spleen, they “condemn” and thereby accuse (but only by inference) fellow members (who they lack the transparency – or courage?) to name, of – what, exactly?

“Pointless and irrelevant motions”

It was Councillor WILD who recently proposed a Motion to employ an extra member of staff for 10 hours per week (at £7K-£8K per annum) to process FOIA requests for which nothing was set aside in the Budget (and would therefore be an unlawful expenditure) – but could not tell members how many FOIAs the Council has actually received. (Apparently, there have been four this year – but if the Council maintained an FOIA Disclosure Log, we would know).

They do not come much more irrelevant than that.

One cannot educate pork.

“Calling for Town Assemblies and Town Polls for trivial reasons”

This ludicrous Motion from the two ladies perfectly illustrates why this totally unelected Council needs to be completely reformed. They represent only their own continued membership of the Council if they believe for one millisecond that petitioning the DLUHC to re-examine two of the most despised projects ever to have been foisted on the people of Whitby – the the desecration of the Market Place and the pointless Maritime Training Hub – amount to “trivial reasons”.

Both of these projects were opposed virtually unanimously at the Town Meeting/Assembly – but these two ostriches could not know that – because they did not attend. Perhaps avoiding the public is what they really mean by “true engagement”.

“Every pointless meeting and childish request”

Are these ladies so completely out of touch that they cannot grasp how pointless it would be to burden any meeting of Full Council with such trivial and malicious drivel as their own Motion? It is nothing more than a spiteful swipe at their betters – people who are striving to drag this Council into a worthy state.

“Lead by example and secure public confidence”

What an example we see before us. An example of malice, envy, spite and self-interest. The public would likely have more confidence in the Witches of Eastwick.

“Effective and co-operative working”

These two ladies have done their utmost to hog all the most influential positions on the Council for years, Chairing the two most ‘powerful’ Committees – the Human Resources Committee and the Finance, Development & General Purposes Committee – plus the Mayoralty. A power game in a teacup.

“Resign and clear the way”

If ever the people of Whitby needed a pointer as to who should “resign and clear the way, we now have it.

Now wait for it – wait for it . . .


Calling meetings for trivial reasons? Cop for this!

That is not even a valid Motion. What happens if it carries? Absolutely nothing. A complete non-event utterly devoid of purpose.

But roll up, roll up! The circus is coming to town! Mark it on your calendar! Tuesday 26th September at 6:00pm – in a venue that has already been deemed in breach of the Equality Act 2010 because no-one can hear a word.

As one Councillor (Heather COUGHLAN) recently yelled out in Full Council (in the Normanby Room – not the Art Gallery):

“If you don’t like Whitby Town Council – go play somewhere else!”

If only they would.

But sadly, I am hearing that it is one of the better Councillors who has decided to resign.Who can blame him? If only the duffers would follow suit.

Bring on the by-election! Imagine that? A Whitby Town Councillor with a mandate!

Councillor Noreen WILSON perhaps imagines that she has at long last ‘lived down’ her disgraceful conduct in Full Council back in 2014, when she told a press photographer:

She then resigned and flounced out. Somehow, she crept back in.

Memorably, it gave rise to an unforgettable Enquirer Photoon that reminds me so much of William HOGARTH’s political satire of the eighteenth century – which is the appropriate milieu for antiquated attitudes and a haughty sense of entitlement:

Funnily enough (and it really is funny) there is a new Photoon in the pipeline that, in my estimation, nails it even better.

Apparently there was a bit of a fracas in the Market Place recently and self-importance was very much in evidence:

Ah, satire. The final word . . .

Comments are closed.