Saturday, September 22, 2007

Coatham, a catalogue of lies and deceit.

Below, are just eight examples of the lies, deceit and backtracking carried out by this council over Coatham. Look at them all. Let me tell Redcar and Cleveland Council right here and now, that all these facts, along with a lot more that have just come to light have been presented to bodies down in London. Even if you haven't the stomach to launch an investigation into the situation surrounding Coatham, we have and we will do all that we can to highlight just exactly what is going on in this borough.

1.2002, The Labour council issue a leisure brief for Coatham....2003 the council appoint the countries biggest housing developer as their preferred developer and accept plans that are for a coastal housing estate that goes against their own brief.

2.Since 2004, The council/Persimmon have constantly stated that Persimmon would be providing the leisure in the Coatham scheme....August 2007, A freedom of information request shows that there is no 106 agreement in place between the council and Persimmon and therefore Persimmon have no obligation to provide any leisure in the Coatham scheme at all.

3.Since 2003, the council have constantly maintained that the only way for the town to have a baths built in Redcar was to have the houses because the houses would attract outside funding to build a baths...September 2007, Council briefing documents show that the council want to borrow TEN MILLION FOUR HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS TO PROVIDE A NEW BATHS/LEISURE CENTRE, because not one penny of funding has been attracted from either the private or public sector.

4.In 2004, Councillor Vera Moody denied in the Gazette that there was any risk from UXO on the site after I had raised the issue in the press....

Spring/Summer 2006,people carrying out sound surveys and archaeological surveys and digs were warned in their riders about the prescence of UXO....

August 2006, our group made it public that the area was contaminated to over 2.5 times over the SGV and home to potentially hundreds of UXO.This information was taken directly from their own planning application....

September 2006 Councillor Vera Moody issues a glossy letter stating that there is no risk from contaminants or UXO and that we are scaremongering.

September 2006, material dug away from Coatham Common is taken to McAlpines yard in Grangetown after we had contacted the HSE, because the council were not following the safety procedures set down in the planning application for working in contaminated land.

The material was placed under a tarpaulin with a notice on it saying Contaminated land do not uncover.Councillor Mike Findley, Wayne Davies and myself, went to the yard and took photos of this. When council officer Brian Mcclean came to the site looking flustered he kept us in the office for 25 minutes and when he brought us outside he had had the tarpaulin and sign removed and tried to make out that there was nothing wrong with it.
When we showed him the photos we had taken, he became very defensive and ordered us off site. No results have ever been given to us regarding the tests that Mr Mcclean told us were being done on the material in Mcalpines yard. That same month the HSE's experts somehow deemed there to be no risk from contaminants and UXO even though Persimmons' own planning application stated that there was? And that clearing them would be so costly the scheme would become unviable.

October 2006, UXO men are on site whilst digging in the Northern boundary is being carried out by Mcalpines.

April 2007. Peter Jordan regional director of Persimmon homes admits to the planning committee that there are contaminants and UXO there and that they would sort the problem out.

September 2007, The council appoint a new chief executive from South Tyneside council who has already been investigated for covering up the presence of contaminants that are as the same in Coatham, in an area in South Tyneside, for 18 mths.

September 2007, the council appoint a contamination officer for the period of one year.

September 2007,the council issue a press release stating that they are going to test for gas under the site.This comes five months after the planning application has been passed!

5.September 2006, Colin Moore states in the press that all the funding for the leisure in Coatham was in place...March 2007 after the council had withdrawn funding from TVR because they had had no support for the Coatham scheme from TVR, Councillors Chris Abbott and Dave Fitzpatrick state in the press that the council had had no support financially or in any other way for the scheme in Coatham from any local government body.

6.November 2006, the planning application was ammended and plans for a 5GP 'medical village' were added to it. It was going to form a part of the new leisure centre.This new 'medical village' would replace the Coatham surgery on Coatham Road.There had been no public consultation whatsoever? Councillors and relevant council committees knew nothing about it? And the strangest thing of all is that even the PCT, through a senior manager there called Stephen Childs, stated that they didnt know that plans for this medical village had been added to the planning application and nothing was definite? This line was held in November and December 2006.

In January 2007 at a public meeting, Mr Childs told the public present, that the addition of the plans for the medical village to the application had been a speculative move by Persimmon and an officer of the council, that he refused to name. This wasn't minuted.

February 2007, we uncovered documents that showed that Stephen Childs had been lying all along, because in July 2006, 3 months BEFORE the planning application was ammended in November, he submitted a report to the board of the PCT recommending that the Coatham surgery become part of the new development in Coatham.

March 2007, we uncovered information that showed that Colin Moores wife Veronica was on the board of the PCT and had attended the meeting in July where Stephen Childs submitted his report.Not only that, she had done the site visit of the Coatham surgery regarding this move to the Coatham scheme, with the CEO of the PCT, prior to that!

April 2007, after we made this information public, she resigned her position on the board of the PCT.

May 2007, after confronting Colin Moore about this massive conflict of interests at the count for the local elections, he informed us that his wife voted against the surgery being added to the plans.When we pointed out there were seven votes and that six were in favour and there was one abstention he made his excuses and left.

7. In 2006, George Dunning twice called for the investigation into the actions and behaviour of the Chief Executive Colin Moore.
In 2007, when Mr Moore announces his retirement George Dunning now praises the Chief Executive for his hard work for making us a four star authority and calls him talented in the press.
June 2007, it hits the front page of the Gazette George Dunning breaks the news the the council have a £12,000,000 black hole in its budget and the situation is really bad. Four days later Mr Dunning appears in the paper again stating that the situation isn't bad and that he is relieving the chief executive of his normal council duties to concentrate on plugging the £12,000,000 hole by selling off assets in the borough? Bacically he let the one who was responsible investigate himself. No investigation has ever been initiated.

8.April 2007, the EA state that a sea defence in Coatham has to be built before any houses can be built.
May 2007, the council deliberately do not add this condition to their planning consent preferring to add their own which was that the houses could be built at the same time as the sea defence.

By the way, for all you council employees and public out there, HAS ELVIS LEFT THE BUILDING? ( Let's say no Moore! )

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