Third councillor steps down

ANOTHER vacancy has arisen on Whitby Town Council after Ken Graham became the third councillor to resign within a matter of weeks.

It means there are two vacancies in the Abbey ward as Tom Brown stepped down last month over the council’s involvement with a national organisation and Walter Jones gave up his West Cliff ward seat due to ill health.

Mr Graham, who was elected last year, said the decision was due to work commitments and apologised to his constituents.

He is the skipper of commercial fishing boat Libby and told the Gazette the nature of his job meant he had had to miss meetings.

Since he joined the town council Mr Graham, of the Ropery, has brought issues surrounding the fishing industry to the council’s attention and had campaigned for a better working relationship between the town council and Scarborough Borough Council’s Whitby Harbour Board.

He said: “I have not had time to go to meetings with work commitments and with Tom Brown’s vacancy I thought I would resign while the time is good.

“You have to be fully committed, there is that much to read up on – it is not a working man’s thing.

“I like to represent people and I am sorry for the 300 people who voted for me that I couldn’t fulfil the commitment I made but someone else will.”

He also said he had become frustrated with the political process and the poor relations between the electorate, the town council and the borough council.

Mr Graham added: “Sometimes I don’t think the political system works properly.

“My understanding was that people brought issues to the council to take forward and what the people wanted the council would address but it seems the other way around as if officers have the ideas and present them to council.”

He said that despite the work of him and Coun Ian Havelock leading to a better sewer system, rows between the town council and the borough council’s harbour board had not helped progress with other matters.

Mr Graham added: “I would have liked it even more if local people had a bit more say in the decision-making rather than people from outside the town.

“I would have thought the harbour board would have been a great opportunity but it never turned out like that.”