Filey Town Filings

Your Town -  Your investment, Your future

In Councillor Haxby's latest statement to the meeting of Filey's Town Council on 14th  July 2010, he once again demonstrated his ability to cut to the heart of the matter regarding the question of the lack of funding provided to Filey. The debate that followed was to the usual high standard that this Council achieves.  In this debate, full recognition must also go to Councillor and Deputy Mayor, David Murton. David is another long serving elected member who brought his considerable knowledge and experience to bear in a statesmanlike, well balanced and informative response. To those who are long in the tooth and remember such things  - Councillor Arthur Stephenson was in the room that evening.

With John's permission, his latest landmark statement is published here in full and certainly forms the basis for a move towards Filey's independence from the Borough.

   "Filey has been sadly betrayed and sold down the river by our Borough Councillors. I refer, of course, to the recent Borough Council decision to plough yet more scant Borough funds into the white elephant known as Scarborough Spa, following the holding back of £800000 by Yorkshire Forward.

    I do, however, applaud Cllr. Sam Cross for having the courage of his convictions to vote against the proposal. I challenge any Borough Councillor to find a majority of, if any, Filonians who support this doomed extra spending, at the cost of anything being spent in Filey for the next decade at least.

    Councillor Colin Haddington is quoted as saying ‘The Council will face criticism if it lets this historic, iconic, building to fall to bits’. This just shows how out of touch he is with the project as SBC figures state the £800000 would be spent on mainly air-conditioning for the building – nothing to do with the structural integrity, and certainly nothing that would cause the building to ‘fall to bits’ if the work  were not done.

    I find it incredulous that SBC have managed to find £500000 in the contingency fund and have an under spend of £211000 in the 2009/2010 budget, which just about equals the £800000 shortfall. This stretches coincidence to the limit.

    There is no doubt that Yorkshire Forward’s days are numbered and it will cease to exist in the very near future. If I was a gambling man I certainly would not bet on Scarborough ever seeing a penny of the withdrawn money. One extremely large gamble has been taken with our money. However, any sane person would have ensured the money was in the bank prior to embarking on such an expensive project. But typical of SBC and of all it’s capital projects, nothing goes right.

    The Spa never has, and never will, make a profit. If it is the Iconic building, the magnet for visitors, the bringer of millions of pounds to the Borough, why do we, as council tax payers, pay one of the highest rates in the country? We should be reaping the benefits and have reduced council taxes. The truth is it benefits a small minority at the expense of a very large majority.

   As I understand it, the Contingency Fund is now empty. But, can any normal person regard the spending of nearly £500000 on air conditioning, furnishings, and bar refurbishment work etc. as a reason to strip the contingency fund, a fund I would regard as being there for emergencies and unforeseen circumstances such as flood, plague and pestilence, not for such routine expenditure. What happens now if such an emergency arises ?

    Yet, Cllr. Fox is promising more projects for Scarborough such as the Sports Complex on Weaponess ( incidentally supported by one of our Ward Councillors who obviously does not appreciate the difficulties many in the southern part of the Borough have travelling to Scarborough in the evening ), the marina toilets and shower block proposal to benefit the few "yachties" who use or visit Scarborough harbour, the West Pier improvements, etc. etc.

    Filey and its council tax payers have been raped and pillaged for years to fund these Scarborough schemes. For at least 26 years, to my knowledge, we have been begging for community facilities within the southern area of the Borough. Survey after survey, poll after poll, town plan after town plan, has identified community facilities as the number one priority. Where does this priority feature in any SBC plans and actions – nowhere. We have been told to make a case such that it can be prioritised, scored and ranked – why. SBC automatically looks after Scarborough Town, as it is not parished, why should we, therefore, have to make our own case.

    We have been told that no money exists for any capital project for the next two to three years at the earliest. What is the point in us wasting time and effort proposing a scheme we know has no chance of ever coming to fruition. The time for begging is over. We have tried talking, reasoning and debating to no avail. I believe the time has come for home rule for Filey. We need to take our case, through our MP, to London. We need to question why a large town such as Scarborough can be so dominant over a relatively small town such as Filey. Surely a young person in any part of the Borough has the right to reasonable access to sports and leisure facilities. Surely our relatively large proportion of retired persons have a right to reasonable access to community facilities, surely the normal working man and council tax payer in Filey has the right to access exactly the same facilities as one in Scarborough. After all, they are paying the same, if not more, council tax.

    We are being treated like Pavlov's dogs. Throw them a scrap now and then and they will keep quiet. A few pounds for the play areas, a few quid for the bloom group, a bit for the sports field, and they will roll over, do their tricks, and be eternally grateful. My recently produced figures show just how much Filey has lost out and is still losing out and these should form the basis of our case to London".



All the material on this page is in the copyright of A Green and John Haxby July 2010. 

The Free Whitby Movement