Friday, February 16, 2007

An e-mail that many might not want you too see

Have you ever wondered just what do we have elections for?A Lazenby Steering Group was "set-up" and as you will see from this e-mail the Democratic process was ignored, even Scrutiny Committee was put out to pasture!
The contempt that elected and unelected officers have used in this Borough appears to be well sited in the decision making progress used historically and continues at a pace with ongoing treatment of major issues close to all of our hearts. Shameful.


Also in the ammended plans article there was both a glaring contradiction and an admission, that unless you knew the facts of this development,you wouldn't have seen.
The Contradiction? That Persimmon homes are going to provide a mixture of houses and leisure facilities which will include two swimming pools and a visitor centre.Then in the next sentence it states that the ammended plans show that the dance floor and performance area,both integral parts of the VISITORS CENTRE,will now be part of the LEISURE CENTRE?
The admission? That the visitors centre just isnt going to happen.If the main parts of it are going to be housed in the leisure centre then what is there going to be left to put in the visitors centre to attract visitors? Vera Moody stated in her glossy leaflet last August,that there had never been a firm commitment to delivering the visitors centre even though the council had been telling the public in the press for two years that it was always going to happen.Now,even more ridiculously,they are telling people in the press that its going to happen when the main parts of it are now supposed to be moving over to the leisure centre? It is plain to see that it isnt going to happen.We have said it,the MP has said it on radio and a letter to the whole town,and now they have practically said it themselves in this article.The hysterical thing is they are still trying to make people believe that they're still going to be getting a visitors centre in the same article where they're telling people the main parts of it are being accomodated elsewhere!
Who writes their press releases? Reeves and Mortimer?

The most important thing to note in all of this is that any money coming from English Partnerships,which Glynnis Abbott stated on Redcar.Net last year wouldnt be forthcoming for the Coatham scheme because all money was being directed towards the London Olympics, depended on the Coatham Enclosure development being something which would be of regional significance,something that would attract people from outside the area into it.Thats why the Visitors centre has always featured.English Partnerships had already questioned the lack of accomodation for visitors to the town to stay in,now theres going to be no visitors centre,so obviously theres going to be no money from EP.

Its like weve said before,since when was a 359 home housing estate,with estate creche,estate shops,estate pub (which they cant find anyone interested enough to take on) a bingo hall (which hysterically is now going to include the bowling alley that was going to go in the space in the leisure centre where the dance floor and performance space are now going?) roads,roundabouts, a 5GP surgery with dentists and opticians and pharmacy (also included in the leisure centre) and a normal 25 metre pool, ever considered to be a visitor attraction? Never mind one of regional importance.Thats right,they arent.This scheme has only ever been about creating a self contained,exclusive coastal housing estate,nothing more.

This council and their preferred developer have done everything they possibly can to dupe the public and make them think otherwise.

Hey,Ive just noticed! In the article it mentions two swimming pools and the visitors centre,which we obviously arent going to get,but it dosent mention the extreme sports centre,something else which has been spoon fed to people to get them to go along with this housing estate.It dosent even get mentioned now? Thats how much its going to happen.Well.....when the council are in talks with English Nature or Natural England as they are called now to restrict the use of Coatham beach by horse users and the people who engage in those extreme sports,I dont suppose theres much call for one is there?

The Persimmon Ammended plans article in the press

Today,coincidentally on the same day that we recieved letters from the council telling us of ammendments to Persimmons plans,an article appeared on the front pages of the East Cleveland Advertiser reiterating what had been stated in the councils letter.It also stated that the three statutory bodies that had objected to the plan had now lifted their objections.Whilst we didnt know about two of the three,we did know about the most important objector,The Environment Agency,lifting their holding objection.We have known since November last year.But I have been waiting until the council announced this,which they have today,before I released the copy of the Email from the EA below which was sent back end of last year.

I have done this to see if the council and in turn the press,reported the full facts.When you read the Email you will see that once again they have not.Because in the article they dont once mention SEVEN MAJOR CONDITIONS which have to be met before the objection is lifted properly. One of the seven conditions is that the extension to the sea wall ties in with the flood alleviation scheme which clearly states that any extension to the sea wall has to be tied into solid ground.The sea wall has to be extended to the west.Where is the solid ground under those sand dunes? How far would they have to dig down before they found it.More than that the EA have informed us that although the objection on the grounds of flooding may be lifted if the conditions to stop flooding are met,the fact that extending the sea wall would encroach on SSSI protected sand dunes would then produce an objection from the ecological/bio diversity department of the EA.

So once again,only half a story is put out to try and put an "all is well" glossy veneer on what is a fundamentally and virtually impossible to achieve housing scheme in order to brainwash the public that its all due to go through.Its about time the council told the public the FULL facts dont you think?
Here's the Email.

>> Malcolm/Chris here is our reponse to the revised Flood Risk Assessment.>>> The developers have stated that they intend to provide tidal flood> defences to protect the development area, and that those defences will> be constructed to the standard proposed by the Environment Agency and> local authority for the new Redcar flood alleviation scheme to the east.> On the basis of this, and providing the design of the development> incorporates the findings of the flood risk assessment ref 6235/FRA1/1> (including JBA annex dated 9th November 2006), the Environment Agency is> prepared to lift its flood risk objection to the principle of the> development.>> However we must emphasise that lifting the objection is conditional on> the developer being able to provide appropriate flood protection, and> there is a great deal of detail yet to be finalised and agreed with> regard to the extent and design of the proposed sea wall. Therefore if> planning permission is to be granted the following conditions should be> included:>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until the design and extent of the> proposed sea wall has been agreed in writing with the LPA. The principle> of the sea wall will be in accordance with the details shown in the FRA> and annex.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding>> CONDITION>> The design of the proposed sea wall shall take account of the findings> of the Shoreline Management Plan with regard to the transition from SMP> policy unit 13.7 to 14.1.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding and ensure long term protection of> Coatham sands>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until details of any works undertaken to> validate the proposed sea wall crest level have been agreed in writing> with the LPA.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until details of the long term> maintenance responsibilities for the proposed sea wall have been agreed> in writing with the LPA.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until details of finished floor levels,> incorporating the recommendations of PPG25/PPS25 regarding development> behind defences, has been agreed in writing with the LPA.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until details of the proposed surface> water drainage scheme has been agreed in writing with the LPA.>> Reason>> To ensure an appropriate means of surface water disposal and to reduce> the risk from flooding>> CONDITION>> No development shall proceed until details of emergency evacuation> routes have been agreed with the LPA.>> Reason>> To reduce the risk from flooding>>>>>>>> Rachel Glossop> Development Control Team Leader> Environment Agency> Coverdale House> Amy Johnson Way> York> YO30 4GZ> Telephone: 01904 822663> Internal: 728 2663

Wednesday, February 14, 2007


Sorry for the use of language in the heading, but these are the words that came into my mind when I learned, after we had asked under the freedom of information act,that this council had spent in excess of TWELVE THOUSAND POUNDS paying for top London barrister George Lawrence QC,to come up to Teeside magistrates and represent the council in what was supposed to be a non-contested hearing regarding the stopping up of footpaths on Coatham common. A non-contested hearing that should have been dealt with by rights by the councils own legal department.
£12,150 + VAT to be precise to bring this legal heavy weight up to Teeside magistrates to represent them with something that was,until we found out that we had the right to object, always going to be a formality.
What makes this shameful waste of public money even worse is that the decision to spend all this public money in such a manner wasnt even made by ANY COUNCILLOR OR THE CABINET.It was made by senior council officer Simon Dale who instructed the councils legal eagle Richard Frankland to employ Mr Lawrence under delegated powers.What makes me laugh about this is that Cllr Chris Abbott informed a resident of high street west that both he and SIMON DALE knew nothing about work being carried out on the common to create alternative footpaths to the ones they want to stop up, but theres Simon Dale then instructing the councils legal man to employ a QC from London over the issue of the stopping up of the footpaths? One word comes to mind,LIARS. This weak,useless,coalition have handed all power in the council over to the unelected officers who are abusing their positions and our money for their own purposes.
We asked what the total cost was going to be win or lose and we were told that that information was witheld because it was speculation!
If it cost £12,150 + VAT for Lawrence to prep up and come up here to represent the council at what was supposed to be a non-contested hearing expected to last 15 - 25 minutes then we can only guess how much money is going to be committed by these unelected officers to get him up here for the two day hearing on the 7th and 8th of March?
Lets not forget too that he was probably put up in Gisborough hall how much did that cost? How much will it cost to accomodate him when he comes up here next month for two or three nights? Not only that,how much is his legal assistant costing? The equally respected Miss Ros Crail wont come cheap. And how about all the representatives from Eversheds,the councils 'other solicitors',who were at that non-contested hearing aswell? What did their bill come to?
This flagrant waste of public money makes me sick.They are making over a 100 people redundant to 'save money'.They have closed public toilets in our town centre because they 'dont have the money to maintain them'.They have closed the councils canteen for ordinary employees because of a 'lack of funding'.They tell us we cant have a baths, that we now know would only cost £5,000,000 because our chain swinging cabinet member for hahaha, culture and tourism Dave Fitzpatrick,has already stated in the newspaper article below that thats how much a baths in Gisborough would cost to build, without having 359 houses built on our coastline because theres 'no money', yet they can throw thousands and thousands of pounds at the legal fees of the biggest and richest builder in the country in order to try and force through a housing scheme that will benefit the same builder massively financially.
Just what relationship do some of these officers in RCBC have with Persimmon homes? A relationship that sees them throwing so much public money, that by rights should be spent by Persimmon homes, at something just to stop Persimmon homes from pulling out of the whole deal? More than this why are they doing it.It is absolutely unheard of and it is the clearest indication that all is not how it appears over the issue of Coatham.
I appeal to all ordinary council employees who like us are as angry and sickened by this sheer waste of public money when services and jobs are being cut,to come forward and if you have any information that will expose this councils shameful behaviour further to tell us.Your anonymity is assured.
My contact address is 5 High Street West,Redcar,Cleveland,TS101SQ.
To everybody else you have the opportunity in May to rid our borough of this weak,shameful coalition and replace it with a new council who will take the power back from the unelected officers.

Monday, February 12, 2007

Parking ticket cash written off

Redcar&Cleveland Borough Council has become the latest to write off hundreds of unpaid penalty charge notices(PCNs) issued over the course of a two and- a-half year period. Whilst this may be good news for those people not now being pursued, but little consolation to those who paid-up! It was revealed in November that a handful of local authorities had been forced to revise their procedures after a High Court judge ruled against Barnet Council regarding information shown on tickets.Redcar follows Stockton Council,which said it was not actively pursuing an estimated 3,600 tickets following legal advice.
Affected tickets were issued when Redcar Council took over responsibility for parking enforcement from the police to when it changed the wording of its notices in April 2006. Liberal Democrat councillor Eric Empson, cabinet member for strategic planning, development and infrastructure said "Following the High Court decision regarding the London Borough of Barnet, we have decided not to pursue further enforcement of penalty charge notices that weren't compliant with the ruling." A Redcar council spokeswoman said it was not possible to identify how many tickets were affected, nor the amount of Revenue WHICH COULD BE LOST!
I would have thought it was very easy for the department responsible for chasing up unpaid tickets to easily identify the numbers involved and the amount of money lost. The councils own papers refer to a fall in car parking charges of £135K which may include this as I fail to see how with full carparks/bays and increased charges to residents and visitors the take would reduce!
I have tried to include Main Overview & Scrutiny Committee meeting 30 May 2006 and specifically 7 ENFORCEMENT REGIME SCRUTINY PANEL FINAL REPORT which interestingly states-

A Member congratulated the Panel on the report and asked whether there were discrepancies between Redcar & Cleveland and Middlesbrough in the enforcement of Fixed Penalty Notices and was advised that Redcar & Cleveland was more proactive especially regarding dog fouling and parking tickets.
How much more money are we going to find out is being lost/wasted whilst we still await answers to why Prudential Borrrowing of £8,000,000 has not been used to build our baths.

Saturday, February 10, 2007

Swimming baths for Redcar

Hypocricy or what from a "chain swinging" Cabinet Member for culture,leisure and tourism! Why are we told that for a new baths at Coatham will cost upwards of £8.5M, yet only £5M in Guisborough? This coalition continues to state that only way Leisure can be provided here is by selling off land for 359 Persimmon homes to be erected! and remove public footpaths, reduce land area of caravan park and childrens play area.Could it be that the sale of land is too cheap and we have less of a voice than our neighbours above Dinsdale?
Does Cllr Fitzpatrick think that there are a great many people in Redcar who don't want more housing? I find his closing statement obscene-"not everyone wants a swimming pool"

Friday, February 09, 2007

Why are the council evading us?

Today, for the third time, I called the finance officers dept. Today for the third time, I asked why firstly my requests for information had been ignored and secondly, if once again I could have a breakdown for the figures shown in the councils contract register.I explained to the lady I spoke to, that Mr Ray Richardson, the finance officer, had told me that the council hadnt spent £900,000 on mobile phones,£1,600,000 on business travel,£920,000 on soft drinks,£218,000 on crisps nuts and snacks,£281,000 on confectionery biscuits and snacks.I explained to her that Mr Richardson had told me that they were all NEPO contracts and that the figures shown on the councils contract register showed the money being spent on business travel, moblie phones, softdrinks and nibbles, by all the 25 local authorities in the North East.
I went on and once again asked her,therefore,what is RCBC's contribution to those spending figures? I told her that we had checked out other NEPO members contract registers and all showed different figures being spent on the things that are listed on our councils register.Surely if our councils contract register showed the total spending of all the authorities in the North East then all the other NEPO members figures on their contract registers should show the same and they dont. I told her that Middlesbrough council had informed me that their register showed their spending sowhy should ours be any different?
She told me to hold on,then came back and suggested I get the information through the freedom of information act or complain to the corporate complaints dept. When I explained that someone I knew had tried toget the information through the FOA and had basically been fobbed off,she told me to complain.
The thing is that members of the public should not be ignored or passed from pillar to post, or fobbed off, when requesting information from this council, which by rights should be freely and willingly given to us. One request should suffice.
It is obvious that they do not want to willingly offer the information because they know that the figures shown in our councils contract register show our councils spending, and not as Mr Richardson stated the spending for the whole of the North East region.If those figures did show the total spending for the whole of the North East, then we would have had the information supplied to us to prove us wrong and keep us quiet, and we haven't.

Thursday, February 08, 2007

The eleven page CONFIDENTIAL document below shows that this Council discussed job losses back in 2005 as part of council tax saving and by April/May 2006 knew what needed doing to hold back rises in how much we pay. The report published below again shows the depths that they sink too when supposedly saving money. My money,your money, money theyve spent on travel,soft drinks,mobile phones, entertainment- theirs not ours! Yet people are being made redundant to save money? Departments are being amalgamated to cut costs? The Gazette ran the story just today,but the council have known since at least summer last year that jobs were going to go.
I wonder if in future I post all information here in the hope that the story is picked up by the Gazette, rather than write to them myself and wait for weeks to see if my letters are published before the Council spokesperson gets their views aired! That said, I'm pleased this story is coming more into the public domain but it begs the question-WHY HAS IT TAKEN SO LONG?
How dare R&CBC keep perpetuating the lies of identifying savings when they are not prepared to admit what money they waste?
More and more money is leaking from the "treasure chest" that could be used to provide Leisure facilities that this town and people want. We continue to receive information from sources at the heart of this council who are prepared to help in the campaign to save our Common and coastline and show the flagrant abuse of power. Shortly a further series of revelations will appear here. Peace.

Job Losses

The documents below are confidential council documents, provided by an anonymous council employee and posted to my home address. These documents show how the council are struggling to save money by amalgamating departments and getting rid of jobs!

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Just like David and Goliath...

Yesterday 5th February 10am at Teeside Magistrates court,all the might and strength of the councils legal team were beaten by a couple of members of our group and the truth.The council expected yesterday just to waltz into court and get a stopping up order granted on paths running along and across Coatham Common,paths that have existed there in some cases for approx 200 years, like the Dormans path which was fought for and won about six years ago on the golf club side of Majuba Road.
Early last year, residents and supporters of our group, applied to have these paths registered and added to the definitive map. If the council had refused then we would have had the right to appeal and a time consuming,public inquiry would have been held. So the council agreed to register them and then started the process to get them stopped up as soon as they had agreed them.The underhandedness in trying to get round us being heard by any sort of inquiry or judge, was then compounded by the council who, when advertising the stopping up of the paths and the court hearing in the press and on notices on sign posts,deliberately failed to invite objections from the public,even though under section 116 of the highways act we had the right to object and the right to be heard. What makes this deception worse is that the council however, invited objections from 24 utility companies, but shamefully, not the public.Perhaps because they knew what the outcome would be? They didnt want any objections from the public and they knew they would get them.They didnt want any opposition.When we eventually found out that we had the right to object and be heard in court,we found out that the whole issue had been allocated between 15 and 25 minutes in court because it was down as a non-contested hearing!
Out of courtesy on Friday,we informed the council that we had put in objections to the court.At six o'clock that same day,a senior member of the councils legal dept served one of our group with a pile of papers and a letter threatening us with costs for this and costs for that.Not only that,but we were informed that the council would be represented by one of the best barristers in the country,Mr George Lawrence QC! We knew for sure that their tactics were ones of threat and intimidation,because in the paragraph directly following the one about costs and who we would be facing in court, they said and I quote " We stress that the council is not,by informing you of these matters,intending to be in any way threatening or confrontational".
This council were spending literally thousands of pounds of public money, on one of the best legal minds in the country,to travel from London with his legal associate,to represent the council over something that they assumed was going to be a non-contested hearing, in a magistates court in Middlesbrough.
We decided as a group on Friday to not give in to the threat of costs and to the prospect of facing this legal heavy weight, and yesterday two members of our group stood up,in front of a judge,and won the right for the people who had finally objected, to be heard in court.As a result the case has been adjourned till next month due to the amount of people who want to have their say.George Lawrence QC tried to get it finished yesterday but the judge turned him down.The judge then informed the two members of our group not totake any notice of the letter that had been hand delivered because he would decide if costs would be granted. For me,Mr Lawrence then tried to save face for himself and the council because he announced that he welcomed the adjournment because a mistake had been made because he had set out the case based on a two day hearing and only 15 to 25 minutes had been allocated yesterday,but we know because the court had already told us that it was always down to be a non contested hearing.The lady who we spoke to in the court told us a week or so ago "They always are".

This whole issue shows a few things. Once again it shows the councils deception and their underhandedness in trying to force this unpopular housing scheme through.They constantly crow about how they are forever consulting with the public,but when it comes down to real consultation,consultation that could cost them the scheme,when it comes to informing people they can object and that they HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD IN COURT,THEY SIMPLY SAY NOTHING! Thats consultation RCBC style.Lie to people about fictitious leisure facilities that they have no funding for in order to get people to accept the thing they want most,the houses,but fail to tell the public that they have the right to be heard and to have their say so that perhaps their opinions will actually be considered and could alter things.
It also shows the level of deception by Cllr Chris Abbott and senior officer Simon Dale who said in a letter to residents of High Street West that they had no idea any work was being carried out on the Common.This whole issue since we applied to have those paths registered has been known about by all those in charge of this council.Work has been carried out there over a three month period to put in alternative paths in order to try and deflect any claim fromthe public that they are losing public rights of way.Just by coincidence,the councils alternative paths just happen to follow the paths and roads on the plans for the development. How can you have something planned out so well by this council and two senior figures not know anything about it especially as two or three public notices have appeared in the paper and a story too?
It shows the desperation of this council.Employing a barrister of George Lawrences calibre to represent the council in a magistrates court in Teeside over something that they thought was going to be straight forward? It shows just how desperate they are.Just how big of a sledgehammer do they need to crack a walnut?
It shows once again just how much money this council are spending on things that they shouldnt be.Remember,by rights, George Lawrences fees should have been paid by Persimmon homes.But because this council took the unprecedented step of committing the council to paying half of Persimmons consultancy fees and ALL of their legal fees,the public of this borough have to pay.We have shown how Colin Moore has instructed all depts of thecouncil to cease non essential spending immediately because the council are in the mire financially,yetthey can still find the money,OUR money to pay for the legal fees of the richest builder in the country? So that that builder can benefit massively financially from selling 359 luxury houses built on OUR coastline?
Lastly,it shows how the little man can actually stand up to the bullying,deception,intimidation and financial power of authorities like Redcar and Cleveland Borough council,and win the right to be heard.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Lets all play runaround

Today I have had the most extraordinary headache.Trying to get answers to questions from people in authority without them contradicting themselves,going back on things that they have already said,or stating what someone else has said is not the case, is just an impossibility!
I phoned NEPO this morning. NEPO is the North Eastern Purchasing Organisation. I learned from them today that they are an organisation, set up in 1976, to set up contracts between local authorities in the North East region and companies and businesses which already have contracts with NEPO, to supply different things. Infact everything from food to paper clips. Doing things through NEPO is supposed to save money and there are 12 full, and 13 associate members.In effect every council in the North East.
Today,my first phone call was to Deborah Mcnulty at NEPO. I started by asking her about the Redcar and Cleveland contract register that I had before me. I asked about the figure of £15,000 it showed to be spent on protective clothing."Is that the money being spent by RCBC? I asked or is it the total amount for all of the NEPO members?
"Its the amount spent by Redcar and Cleveland borough council she said,thats their contribution". "OK I said,well,lets have a look at this figure of £920,000 spent on soft drinks,is that RCBC's contribution or is that the total regional spend?" "Yes she said,thats Redcar councils contribution too". Then she said "hang on! No Im misleading you there,no the sum of £15,000 is for the whole of the North East region and so is the sum of £920,000".
"well could you tell me what Redcar councils contribution is I asked?" "No Im affraid I cant that would be something that you'd have to ask them" she said.
"But I dont understand how,if what youre now saying is true and the figures on Redcar councils contract register are for the whole North East region,how all these councils combined have only spent £15,000 on protective clothing?" I went on, "Middlesbrough councils contract register shows that their spending on business travel is £626,000. On Redcar councils register it shows business travel at £1,600,000. Middlesbrough are part of NEPO, so if what youre saying is correct, and Redcar councils register shows the total regional figure,then that means that Middlesbrough are responsible for over a third of all spending on business travel in the North East region? How can that be?" How can it be I asked, that both are members of NEPO but both are showing different figures?".

At this point she asked who I was and why I wanted these figures.I told her that I was a concerned resident of Redcar and Cleveland who resented the thought of his money being wasted to such degrees on non essentials. She told me to hold on while she put me through to her boss, Andrea Tickner. After a short while Mrs Tickner came onto the phone and was very pleasant. She also sid that the figure of £15,000 for protective clothing on the Redcar council contract register, was for the whole North Eastern region. She said "However,you cant divide that equally by the number of authorities who are members of NEPO, each authority will have a different spend on each contract, so for instance Redcar councils contribution to that figure of £15,000 might only be £50.00 whilst a bigger authority like Durham might be £3,500"!
"But how about the business travel figure I asked ?" "On our councils register its down as being £1,600,000. On Middlesbrough councils register the figure for business travel is £626,000. If what you are saying is correct that the figure on our councils register is for the whole of the N.E, then that means that Middlesbrough council are responsible for over a third of all the business travel spending for all the councils in the North East! These figures dont add up I said,they contradict each other massively" To which she replied,"YES I KNOW WHAT YOURE SAYING".

She sounded embarrassed about having to admit that the figures contradicted each other and then quickly suggested that she gave me the numbers of two people in Redcar council and Middlesbrough council to speak to,Ian Featherstone at MBC and Allison Aguis at RCBC.
I phoned Middlesbrough first and spoke to a very helpful man called Steven Snaith as Mr Featherstone was out. I told Mr Snaith about the information that I was trying to find and asked him about the MBC contract register I had in front of me."The figures for business travel on your contract register show that youve spent £626,000 on that,are they your figures I asked, or are they the figure for the whole of the N.E region?" "Yeah he said they're our figures, we only put our figures on there". "Well thats odd I replied,because the contract register for RCBC shows business travel spending is £1,600,000 and NEPO have stated that that figure is the total regional Value, so that means that you spending £626,000 on business travel would mean that you are responsible for over a third of business travel spending for the whole of the North East!". He sounded amazed, "That wouldnt be right" he replied. "Well,could you tell me what youre spending on soft drinks is ?" I asked. Whilst he was looking on his computer for the figures I asked him about the protective clothing spends being £15,000 for the whole of the N.E region according to the lady at NEPO. "Oh no way he said,we spend more than that ourselves!".

He eventually said that he couldnt find the information that I wanted so he would phone me back when he had found it.So I phoned RCBC to speak to Allison Aguis who was also out. I spoke to another girl in that department called Vicky. She told me that the contract values on the Contract register were regional values. I asked her what Redcar councils contribution was then to the £920,000 for soft drinks and the figure of £15,000 for protective clothing? She told me that she couldnt find the figures for the councils spending towards the figure of £920,000 spent on soft drinks because they were UPDATING THE CONTRACTS REGISTER. How convenient is that? And that they didnt use the contract for protective clothing ? I said "but you have it down here on your register,here look NEPO protective clothing £15,000" She said "not all contracts are used but we put them on the register" "why's that" I asked? "because theyre available to use" she replied "we have a seperate contract to provide protective clothing with Greenhams,this isnt a NEPO contract" She found it on her copmputer then said "here we are Greenhams,safety footwear and goggles,(short pause) oh Ive got that wrong,IT IS a NEPO contract".
She had made out to me that not only was the £15,000 contract for protective clothing nothing to do with the council,that they didnt use it but had the option to, but they had a seperate contract with a company called Greenhams to provide safety footwear and goggles which was actually also a NEPO contract too.The thing is that the contract for safety goggles and footwear is a totally different contract to the contract for protective clothing.

Finally,I phoned Steven Snaith back at Middlesbrough council and actually got to speak to Ian Featherstone,who was once again very helpful.I told him briefly about the things I had been told.I told him that according to Redcar council and NEPO the figures on RCBC's contract register showed the figures for the whole North East region.If thats the case I told him,then Middlesbrough council are responsible for a third of all the North East regions business travel spending which is unbelievable. "Exactly,totally unbelievable" he replied.

What is going on? I recieved the copy of the councils contract register and email from Colin Moore a few days ago and posted it on this site.Obviously, it has rattled a lot of cages. Why is it that two members of NEPO adopt different strategies? Why does MBC's contract register show only MBC's spending, whilst RCBC's contract register supposedly shows the spending for the whole North East? Why was it that the woman from NEPO at first confirmed that the figures shown on RCBC's contract register did show RCBC's spending, then suddenly go back on what she had said and state they werent? Why was her boss lost for an answer when given the differing,contradicting figures from MBC's register and RCBC's register? How could the girl at RCBC expect me to believe that they didnt use the NEPO contract for protective clothing when the people at NEPO has already confirmed that they did?

What is the whole point of all of this? Simple. I beleive that those contract figures on RCBC's contract register show our councils spending just the same as Middlesbroughs contract register shows theirs.Why should two members of the same organisation be so different? If what I am trying to show is correct,then this council are wasting our money in a flagrant and disgusting manner.If what looks obvious is correct, then the councils propaganda that we have to have 359 houses built on our coastline and open space to have leisure facilities,is as farcical as it is disgusting.If these amounts of money are theirs and not the entire regions as they are making out,then WE DO HAVE THE MONEY TO PROVIDE LEISURE FACILITIES IN OUR TOWN, OUR COUNCIL JUST HAS TO GET ITS PRIORITIES RIGHT THATS ALL!
Could I just point out that the Chief Exec of Gateshead council is the chairman of NEPO (wonder how many times he's had conversations withour chief exec?) bearing in mind that the vice chairman of NEPO until july 2007 is none other than our very own Redcar and Cleveland cabinet darling... Cllr Glynn Nightingale. look for yourselves at

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