The Wall Of Silence RE: The Affairs of Selby Area Internal Drainage Board

Paul Crooks made this Freedom of Information request to North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel

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Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Dear North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel,

I address this in FOI form to all relevant authorities, and also to every person in power who can, if they will, bring about the end of the “Wall of silence” which prevents the affairs of Selby Area Internal Drainage Board from being investigated. The basis of my concerns is as follows. A simple calculation will prove that the Board’s full time piece workers were denied the “Staff” wage award for nineteen years, and continue to have their wage rates “Pegged” to those of the 1980s. When I complained of this, Board officers asked me to “Claim” against the Board but refused to tell me what party had authorised this “Claim” and why.

There are only two possibilities here re long term piece worker treatment.

1/ That Board members voted, every year from 1984 to the present date, to pauperise their hardest workers, in which case, no matter how unreasonable the treatment, it is indeed an “Employment issue,” a civil matter between workers and Board alone.

2/ That the Board never voted in this way, (As is indeed confirmed by twelve individual Board members) in which case I ask all relevant authorities to tell me how this can come about without serious criminal misconduct having taken place.

Here I refer you to just one of many items of evidence ie: the Board’s Clerk’s “View” of the Board’s minutes 82 to 03, as at (1) which shows complete omission of piece worker treatment during this time. As the minutes are evidence in law, the Board, as a legal entity, knew nothing of piece worker treatment between 84 and 03.

Yet, in contradiction of all of this, all insist that this is an “Employment issue” alone. To be able to say this, there must exist more compelling evidence yet to prove that the Board did indeed vote to pauperise its best workers over some nineteen years, and to, for the next fifteen years, vote to “Peg” piece worker wage rates to those of the 1980s. In the context of good mens’ rights being buried by a mere assertion, such evidence must exist in written form, as no hearsay or verbal assurance will serve to contradict the Board’s Clerk’s minutes “View, “ which was, indeed, prepared for the District Auditor.

I ask, then, for the Police, DEFRA, the District Auditor, Nigel Adams MP, the Police and Crime Commissioner, the NY Police and Crime Panel, the Local Government Ombudsman, Selby District Council and the Home Office, to publish proper written evidence to show why you all insist, as if as one, that Board members have voted to pauperise their workers for thirty four years and that this is, in consequence, a civil, “Employment issue.”

Thus far all those listed above refuse to comment, let alone to publish such evidence. This means that every one of those with the power to insist that proper investigation of all of this be made, refuse to do so on the grounds of a mere assertion which is unable to be substantiated by being reduced to written form. In order to remedy this glaring obfuscation I enclose a list of questions which, if answered, will tell all just what party made the vital decisions here, and so bring the truth to light.

We ask, then, to be allowed to know what party made the following decisions. All references to evidence may be found at https://theselbysecret,weebly,com

1/ To deny the piece workers the “Staff” wage award in 1984, and to substitute the randomised procedure as shown by the District Auditor in his letter of 25th November 03, and as shown at (4).

2/ To deny the piece workers any annual wage award whatsoever at fourteen annual wage reviews between 84 and 03.

3/ To deny the piece workers any explanation, apology or compensation for the fact that they were put from their work from August 03 and re-instated in May 04.

4/ To continue to base piece worker wage rates on those of the 1980s.

5/ To ask me, in writing, as at (2) and (7) to “Claim” against the Board.

6/ To reject Clr Price’s submission of a document, as at (8) asking for justice and compensation for the piece workers.

7/ To place all of this matter “In the hands of the Board’s solicitor” where it remains to this day.

8/ To take solicitor’s advice “To not respond to me” as at (9).

As aforesaid, Board members and management have always refused even to comment on these questions, let alone to allow them to be placed before the full Board. This “Wall of silence” has been compounded by the fact that all those with the power to initiate any investigation of this inertia see nothing unusual here, and, by saying that this is a “Civil matter” between workers and Board alone, insist that the Board knows of all its business.

Equally amazing, no person in power, no politician or newspaper sees anything unusual in the fact that, for two years, I was asked, by the Board’s officers, to “Claim” against the Board, but not allowed to know what party authorised this “Claim,” or even to what it referred.

“Just a civil matter, not our business,” is all I get. I am, by such means, forced to address any complaint to those whose inaction I now must seek to question. I can well understand why the Board’s management and members refuse to act, but must ask here what item of evidence (Which, as above, must be written to be credible) informs all you others in power that this is a “Civil matter” and so prevents you from acting in any way?

I ask all in power to agree that there must, in the circumstances as outlined above, be some very good reason as to why any investigation of such a blatant matter is refused by all.

Yours faithfully,

Paul Crooks

North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel

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Dear Mr Crooks
Thank you for your further request for information and request for
internal review. As has been previously stated, North Yorkshire Police and
Crime Panel do not hold any information for this request. The Panel and
the Office of the Police and Crime commissioner would have no reason to
hold this information as it is not within their remit.  As such I have
reviewed the response given and uphold the original response given, and
again assert that North Yorkshire Police and Crime Panel do not hold any
information for this request. I understand that you have previously been
signposted to DEFRA as the central government department and this would
remain the case here.
If you feel that your requests have not been dealt with appropriately, you
have the right to contact the Information Commissioner's Office for
further advice or assistance, via:
Tel: 0303 123 1113 (helpline)
In writing to:
Information Commissioner's Office
Wycliffe House
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Online form:
I am sorry that the Panel is unable to assist you further on this matter
but I hope the above information is helpful.
For Robert Beane
Information Governance Manager

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