Letter: Explain your strategy for Whitby

5th October 2011.
Whitby Profile.
Pictured a view of Whitby from the West Cliff with a dredger in the harbour
Picture by Gerard Binks.
5th October 2011. Whitby Profile. Pictured a view of Whitby from the West Cliff with a dredger in the harbour Picture by Gerard Binks.

Open letter to Cllr Derek Bastiman, leader of Scarborough Borough Council:

As a concerned resident, I would welcome your comments and responses to the following observations and queries ...

The town of Whitby continues to be, justifiably, in receipt of considerable praise from residents, visitors and celebrities alike.

It also continues to rank highly in national polls of exceptional tourist destinations.

I, therefore, regard it as shameful that the very town that serves Scarborough Borough Council so well by swelling its coffers, is constantly under threat.

Local residents are left struggling and campaigning for necessary and appropriate investment and some kind of imaginative vision.

Below is a selection of some of the current issues that are a huge bone of contention and that continue to frustrate and enrage residents:

• Ongoing dispute regarding revenue from the harbour • Apparent prevarication regarding essential maintenance work to the piers, with obvious consequences

• Failure to repair the dredger, also with obvious consequences

• Closure of the wonderfully situated Tourist Information Centre and relocation to relative obscurity

• Apparent patching up of the Old Town Hall, as opposed to proper renovation befitting a listed building

• The ill-conceived erection of unsightly kiosks along Pier Road that were clearly designed to make a quick buck irrespective of aesthetic impact.

My questions to you, the council officers and cabinet members therefore follow on from these observations and concern the council’s vision for Whitby.

What are the short term and long term strategic plans for Whitby and how are they prioritised?

Who is responsible for carrying them out?

How will the success rate be assessed?

How will this be clearly disseminated to residents?

Above all, we residents need to be informed of the correlation between what Scarborough Borough Council has prioritised as being necessary and what has actually been achieved.

In the current climate of transparency and accountability, the borough council does not appear to have a very good track record.

When tribunal judgements found against the council use the term “whitewash” it should be understandable that residents/constituents are naturally cynical and suspicious.

Whitby residents are vocal because they care passionately about this wonderful town. Is it too much to expect the same of the council?

There must come a time when the necessity of managing infrastructure and heritage appropriately, and planning for short and long term investment far outweighs the knee-jerk, unimaginative, short-term approach that appears to exist at present.

Ms Heather Relf

Esk Terrace

Whitby