Sunday, December 18, 2011

Democracy prevails in Gilberdyke - but at what cost?

I don't normally allow posts by others on my blog, but Gilberdyke Parish Council Chairman Nick Norris (pictured) has asked me to post the following on his behalf regarding this past week's Gilberdyke Parish Council by-election.

Congratulations to Chris Newsome on winning the Gilberdyke Parish Council by-election and I look forward to working with him in the future.

Needless to say Gilberdyke taxpayers have had to stump up some £3,000 to pay for this by-election, an election called by just 10 Council tax payers as is the minimum required. The 10 in this case were family and neighbours of Mike Whitley, the losing candidate of the two who stood for the election and someone who has form when it comes to using £1,000’s of taxpayer’s money to further his own agenda.

The Gilberdyke Parish Councillors were democratically elected in May of this year; Mr Whitley failed in his quest to be elected by a considerable margin at that election. Due to one of the Councillors having to step down on health grounds a vacancy arose, and the decision of the 10 in calling the by-election after just 7 months means the taxpayer is saddled with having to pay for two elections in the one year.

I fully agree with the democratic process and everyone’s right to call for an election, and for anyone to put their name forward and be able to lay their case before the electorate. What I do not condone is the actions of a person, whose family and friends calling an election which resulted in that person receiving so little support - namely 83 votes out of a possible 2,557* and much, much fewer then he polled in the May election. This, when Chris Newsome was prepared to be co-opted onto the Parish Council at no cost to the taxpayer before the election was called.

I also have real problems with Mr Whitley when in his by-election literature it states that those Gilberdyke Parish Councillors elected in May, had somehow prevented a fair election at that time. I am tempted to ask for this disingenuous and offensive statement to be investigated, but to what end? For him to be reprimanded or censured after a lengthy investigation, costing and ultimately wasting even more taxpayer’s money.

I take the view that this by-election result shows conclusively that the Gilberdyke electorate has seen through Mr Whitley’s wild accusations, and seen his actions in delaying the flood relief work for what they were – the pursuit of a personal agenda that has resulted in increased costs and wasted time. They have also seen through his frivolous vexatious complaints about Parish Councillors, and particularly our ward Councillor Paul Robinson to the ERYC Standards Committee, they’ve seen through his threats, his complaints to the police, his letters in the press and statements on his website.

The Parish Council now has the opportunity to move forward on many important projects, and hopefully will not have to spend time on defending itself against the constant barrage of complaint and question from Mr Whitley as it as in the past. But unfortunately he will not be totally absent from our thoughts as we have to find some £3,000 from next year’s budget to pay for this by-election, so we will not be able to do as much as we’d planned.

The only reason that I have taken the time to compose this letter is that prior to the election result even being announced, Mr Whitley while standing alongside me actually said to another person present, ‘To be honest I didn’t think I had a chance of winning’. This admittance only confirmed to me that he was well aware that every single person within the Parish of Gilberdyke would have to pay for this election however he didn’t really care about the result.

Finally I would like to thank the people of Gilberdyke for sending out a clear message to Mr Whitley that enough is enough.

*Number of Gilberdyke voters at 1st December 2010

Nick Norris

Chairman, Gilberdyke Parish Council

No comments: