Cllr Jane Kenyon
“THE MULBERRY BUSH”
By Nigel Ward
Further to my article on Councillor Jane Margaret Kenyon recently – and I am much heartened by the unprecedented public endorsement (800+ FaceBook ‘Likes’) – describing my attempts to have both elected representatives and paid public servants held to account, I hope readers will be interested in some of the background details.
Readers of my first article on this subject will recall that I conclude by calling upon Councillor Kenyon to openly and transparently address the following question:
- “How can it be that the Chair of a British Police Authority can also be the Chief Financial Officer of a Corporation suspended for non-payment of debts who has concealed this and other interests and abused a position of trust to effectively censor legitimate scrutiny – yet remain Chair of the North Yorkshire Police Authority, Chair of the NYPA Management Board, Director of the Association of Police Authorities Ltd., and Scarborough Borough Councillor Portfolio Holder for Finance, Procurement and Legal?
Or to resign . . .
I have, of course, meanwhile addressed that question to Councillor Kenyon through the auspices of the Senior Solicitor at SBC and Ms Kenyon’s Personal Assistant in her rôle as Chair of the NYPA.
I have received neither acknowledgement nor response from either.
Entirely resulting from an examination of hundreds of documents (Registers of Interests, Minutes of Meetings, correspondence, Companies House reports, Court summonses and submissions, etc), the following concerns have become clear:
- that Councillor Kenyon is presently an Officer of a still extant bankrupt corporation in the United States – Belvedere Computers Inc. (BCI) – which information she has for three decades wittingly to declare in her Register of Interests. Why?
- that her life-partner, former elected member for NYCC, NYMNPA and SBC, Thomas William “Bill” Miller, is also presently an Officer of a still extant bankrupt corporation in the United States (BCI), which he himself also wittingly failed to declare in his Register of Interests – nor did either of them declare their respective life-partner’s status as an Officer of a still extant bankrupt corporation (BCI). Why?
- that Councillor Kenyon was Company Secretary of Dales Timber Limited (DTL), a company that went bankrupt for circa £200,000, which information she has also wittingly withheld from declaring in her Register of Interests
- that, as Company Secretary of DTL – a company enjoying a trading relationship with Ryedale District Council, the NYMNPA and NYCC – Councillor Kenyon failed to declare that conflict of interests. (There presents itself, therefore, the obvious suspicion that Councillor Kenyon’s failure to declare (and former Councillor ‘Bill’ Miller’s failure to declare) may have been motivated by a desire to benefit from the trading relationship between DTL and the three local authorities).
- that Councillor Kenyon’s life-partner “Bill” Miller was a Director of Dales Timber Limited (DTL) and also failed to declare his interest or to separately declare his interest in a company that enjoyed a trading relationship with two authorities for which he was an elected member – and, as noted above, Councillor Kenyon similarly withheld that information, too; she had a duty to declare her relationship with ‘Bill’, and his interest in DTL (as well as, and separately to, her own), just as with BCI.
- that in response to an entirely lawful question concerning these matters at a NYPA public meeting, Councillor Kenyon abused her position as Chair of that authority, making no response to the question (she should, of course, have ensured that the question was minuted, placed on the record her reasons for disregarding it, and moved on with the meeting) – instead of which, she evaded public scrutiny by having the questioner removed from the meeting by the police, on pain of arrest.
- that the Minutes of that meeting do not record the form of words of the question (and are therefore not a true record) and that Councillor Kenyon, as Chair of the meeting, bears full responsibility for that deception by omission.
Let us be very clear, for the avoidance of any doubt whatsoever, that these concerns are in no sense frivolous and they are very far from trivial. They stand at the root of integrity in public life.
Councillor Kenyon’s political and administrative experience spans four decades (the Poulson affairs – about which, more I due course – was in 1972) ; she has without any shadow of a doubt played a leading rôle in the decision-making processes of several local authorities (and is, at this moment, and amongst other positions of responsibility, the Chair of the NYPA, the NYPA Management Board, Director of the Association of Police Authorities Ltd., and Portfolio Holder for Finance, Procurement & Legal at SBC) that have each disbursed, over the years quite literally millions and millions of pounds from the public purse, yet the record indicates that she has been fundamentally dishonest for at least the last thirty years. And she cannot plausibly claim ignorance – which, in any case, forms no defence in law.