At a full meeting of the Scarborough Borough Council on Monday (Jan 7), the extension of the seasonal dog ban area on Whitby West Beach was unanimously rejected and returned to its 2017 boundary.
I would like to thank the 1,200 Whitby residents and tourists for their participation in the re-consultation that was carried out last summer, whichever side you supported – this was a shining example of local politics at work.
The council should note that this is how these things should be done, with clear and unbiased questions, effective outreach into all parts of the community and then a truthful analysis of the results.
Several recent examples suggest it may have forgotten this.
At the meeting, one councillor dismissed the summer’s widespread protest against the unannounced changes to the Whitby dog ban area as “a storm in a teacup”.
Instead it was a clear sign that the community is no longer prepared to be taken for mugs.
The public consultation process is not there as a means for any council to engineer apparent endorsement of its own agenda.
Our own councillors and the executive should be aware that many hundreds of their Whitby constituents are now much more aware of the public consultation process and will be scrutinising future ones with greater care and involvement.
Martin Smith MBE