Sunday, January 28, 2007

More information from people who have come forward from the council

How many people know that next Tuesday for between five and seven days,an independent inspector is coming up to Redcar and Cleveland and that a public inquiry into the councils new LDF consultation (local development framework) which puts forward what this council hope to do for the next 15 -20 years is taking place? More importantly,how many of you knew that you had a right to put forward your views to the inspector through your ward councillor? How many of you were told this by your ward councillor? The LDF consultation was an absolute sham.When the meeting was held for Redcar in Redcar library the council told members of the public who wanted to come in to ask questions that the room was full.When an independent journalist and a 74 year old ex-squadron leader and MBE gained access to the 'consultation' meeting,both were physically removed by council employed doormen,for counting 48 empty chairs in a room where there were only eight members of the public in attendance. The 74 year old veteran had an angina attack as a result.

In Eston,at the Eston meeting,the room had the same number of people in attendance.When two local ward councillors tried to get in they were stopped.After arguing the case that they were ward councillors and that they should be able to enter, they were allowed in but werent allowed to ask any questions.

Is it any wonder then that members of the public and community groups who submitted evidence and statements have had them knocked back? The reason? The councils newly appointed programme officer,John Harbour,who in actual fact was a long term council employee that had retired but had been brought back specifically to oversee the running of the inquiry and the advising of all those involved,informed the independent councillors who were gathering the relevant information that they had until the 16th of January to submit all evidence and answer all the councils counter claims that were made in response to the independent councillors initial submission which had to be in by the 2nd January 2007.

In reality though,strangely? Coincidentally? after the programme officer had gladly accepted all the paperwork that had been put together and submitted on the 16th January and passed it on to senior council officers for their inspection before being passed onto the independent inspector, (the evidence by the way contained two letters from the MP speaking out about the councils lack of consultation,a copy of the Informer which showed pictures of the 74 year old squadron leader being man handled at the library in 2005,letters from myself,a barrister,a school teacher, and residents from south bank and Eston), the newly appointed programme officer then claimed he had got his dates wrong and stated that it should have all been submitted on the 2nd January? All the evidence submitted by members of the public was turned down by the inspector as a result. Since the news was broken last Wednesday,the newly appointed, for a short time only,programme officer has failed to respond to emails from an independent councillor that asked him how to appeal against this appaling decision because they have emails from the programme officer which clearly state that they had until the 16th January to answer the councils claims and produce any further evidence. He has tried to withold information from the same councillor and told another independent councillor who managed to get hold of him on the phone, that he would not speak to them on the councils phone and that he would prefer to speakon his mobile phone.When this phone call took place he informed the independent councillor that he wouldnt even be at the meeting on Tuesday so if they wanted to complain about his conduct he wouldnt take it personally. He also told the councillor that the council had put together a big team together to make sure that this LDF went through at all costs.

If anyone in the council has information to expose and stop this corruption and maladministration,please come forward and give it to us.Your anonymity is assured.


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