Former Worthing mayor quits over NCP row secrecy

The Argus: Former Worthing mayor quits over NCP row secrecy Former Worthing mayor quits over NCP row secrecy

Former Worthing mayor Tom Wye has quit the council entirely in protest at ongoing secrecy over its parking dispute with NCP.

Councillor Tom Wye resigned from Worthing Borough Council yesterday following the conclusion of a row between the authority and parking firm NCP.

Town hall bosses ended a decade-long parking agreement with the company over concerns that charges in Worthing's multi-storey car parks were detrimental to the town's economy.

As a result the council was set to meet NCP in London's High Court today over an alleged breach of contract. However an out-of-court settlement was agreed on Tuesday.

But the council refused to confirm the figure, believed to be around £700,000.

Former Worthing mayor Mr Wye, 72, has been a councillor for 11 years and was instrumental in the Keep Worthing and Southlands Hospitals (KWASH) campaign, which saved Worthing's accident and emergency department.

He said: “I could not live with the gagging order imposed on members by the council and NCP. “It is a huge amount of public money. It is not the council's money, it is taxpayers' money and it is being offloaded to a third party company. “What the order is saying is that Worthing residents don't deserve to know. I told them that if any settlement is reached with an order attached I would resign and unfortunately that is what it's come to.

“I'm very disappointed it has come to this but it is time for a younger person to come in. On April 1 when NCP no longer has a contract in this town, there should be a massive party to celebrate. “It will be the best news for Worthing since it was announced Worthing A&E would be saved.”

Mr Wye, who was a cabinet member for health and wellbeing when he resigned, said he hoped plans to make Worthing a “dementia friendly” town would be pushed through despite his resignation. Mr Wye had been working closely with current mayor Bob Smytherman on proposals.

Councillor Smytherman said: “I'm hoping to find allies now because it's important that Worthing becomes a dementia friendly town. I think there's a far greater need for the elderly demographic here.

“With regard to Tom it is sad news. He's given a long and dedicated service to the town as councillor and mayor and he'll be missed. It's sad he felt he had no alternative when he was only a few months away from standing down anyway. But I fully respect his decision. You can only admire the courage and principal of the man.”

Comments (4)

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7:35am Thu 27 Feb 14

Indigatio says...

I thought we lived in a democracy?
This should be in the Public Domain.
I also appreciate that, sometimes, it is better to settle out of court as to lose would have cost the Council a vast sum of money and the outcome of court cases are never 100% certain.
However, the sheer fact that the out of court settlement has been reach should put the whole thing in the Public Domain. If it had gone to ourt the dirty washing would have been aired. So is the reason for the settlement to keep the dirty washing in the cupboard?
I spent 19 years working in the Parking Industry. Its a dirty business with mountainous profits involved for the Private Companies involved and any contract are always skewered in their favour. The other issue is that Council Officers involved in the contract know how much more that can earn working for the other side and, whilst I would not accuse anyone of corruption, they like to keep their options open for a change of boss if the need arises.
I thought we lived in a democracy? This should be in the Public Domain. I also appreciate that, sometimes, it is better to settle out of court as to lose would have cost the Council a vast sum of money and the outcome of court cases are never 100% certain. However, the sheer fact that the out of court settlement has been reach should put the whole thing in the Public Domain. If it had gone to ourt the dirty washing would have been aired. So is the reason for the settlement to keep the dirty washing in the cupboard? I spent 19 years working in the Parking Industry. Its a dirty business with mountainous profits involved for the Private Companies involved and any contract are always skewered in their favour. The other issue is that Council Officers involved in the contract know how much more that can earn working for the other side and, whilst I would not accuse anyone of corruption, they like to keep their options open for a change of boss if the need arises. Indigatio

8:30am Thu 27 Feb 14

Chieftain11 says...

This has a distinctly nasty pong running right through it. Tom Wye has shown genuine integrity by distancing himself from such rubbish. More to the point, we the ordinary public would never have known anything about this had Tom not stood up for open honesty. in public office.

There needs to be a full enquiry or allegations of corruption will stick for years. UKIP and Lib-Dems will love this come the May.elections.
This has a distinctly nasty pong running right through it. Tom Wye has shown genuine integrity by distancing himself from such rubbish. More to the point, we the ordinary public would never have known anything about this had Tom not stood up for open honesty. in public office. There needs to be a full enquiry or allegations of corruption will stick for years. UKIP and Lib-Dems will love this come the May.elections. Chieftain11

12:37pm Thu 27 Feb 14

adam666 says...

Definitely detrimental I would say. I was over in Worthing yesterday and on street parking around the center was £2.40 for 2 hours, I had no change and in the end parked in the NCP car park in the center there. I was 2hrs and 2 mins before returning to pay(according to payment machine) the cost was £5!!!
If i had been 3 mins early It would have been £3.40.
A fiver for Worthing? Call the police i have been robbed!
Definitely detrimental I would say. I was over in Worthing yesterday and on street parking around the center was £2.40 for 2 hours, I had no change and in the end parked in the NCP car park in the center there. I was 2hrs and 2 mins before returning to pay(according to payment machine) the cost was £5!!! If i had been 3 mins early It would have been £3.40. A fiver for Worthing? Call the police i have been robbed! adam666

2:57pm Thu 27 Feb 14

Richada says...

Nice to see one local politician standing by the strength of his convictions.

Sadly he appears to be one of the last of a dying breed.
Nice to see one local politician standing by the strength of his convictions. Sadly he appears to be one of the last of a dying breed. Richada

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