Friday, November 23, 2007

Absolute Disgrace.

In the posting "What a sham", I told you that a cabinet member was going to defend the indefensible actions of Council Officer Simon Dale at the Labour group meeting on the 19th of this month before he had actually done it.
In the article below this cabinet member now speaks out publicly on his behalf. What an absolute disgrace! These people expect us to believe, in light of the recent revelations in Private Eye, that another senior council officer who by rights should have been sacked not only because of his appalling, spiteful, deceitful behaviour regarding this issue, but because of his behaviour and lying at the tribunal itself, did infact act and behave properly.
The tribunal clearly stated in the tribunal decision that even the police had said that the bicycle that was thrown at the community warden was not damaged. They clearly state what the community warden did with the bicycle, according to the CCTV footage, and that he hadnt criminally damaged the bicycle that had been thrown at him. Why is it that an INDEPENDENT, three man tribunal, who unanimously agreed that Simon Dale had lied and that the council had acted in an unacceptible manner, is now deemed by the cabinet member McCluckie to have got it wrong? What did they fail to see in the CCTV footage that the council have not failed to see?
The whole lot is just another cover up and whitewash! Just like when Colin Moore was found by a tribunal to be untruthful and to have changed his evidence overnight and guilty of sharp practise. Instead of taking action against him, they did nothing and praised him for being a great Chief Executive. Just like when Moore was allowed to slip out the back door shortly after a twelve million pound black hole appeared in the councils budget.
Just like now after the issues that have been brought to light in Private Eye, one of the officers implicated up to his neck is being allowed to go to an interim execs job down on the South Coast because they say "its a good career move". I believe this council haven't won one single tribunal! They have wasted hundreds and hundreds of thousands of pounds of public money trying vainly to save their own battered reputations and they havent won one tribunal. More than that, they havent even got the decency or humility to accept the decisions when they have been proved beyond all doubt, by an INDEPENDENT BODY, that they have got things wrong and behaved terribly.
What everyone should be asking now, IS WHY ARE THE COUNCILLORS SO DESPERATE TO COVER FOR THESE LYING, SHARP PRACTISING OFFICERS, some of whom are now having their wrong doings exposed nationally? I believe they are covering for them because they know that in allowing the officers to do what they want under delegated powers, then they have basically allowed themselves to be made mugs of and made to look like the incompetents that they really are. Who would you believe? An independent tribunal, or a council who have just been exposed for suppressing audit reports, colluding with the audit commission to replace audit reports and who have ammended,altered and changed council minutes and consistently lied throughout?
It doesn't take much thinking about does it?

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Well, Well, Well....

Ive known this since Monday, the day before the link appeared on Private Eyes site, but guess who's going down south to take the post of interim chief executive at another authority? You guessed it! One of the officers who is involved up to his neck in the audit commission report being suppressed and replaced. According to a senior cabinet member, "He's going as a career move". A career move when youre at the time of life when you are starting to seriously think about retiring? Just who are the council trying to kid? It would appear that the Labour Group are once again, letting someone else just slip out the back door. Anyone remember them doing it with Colin Moore just after the £12,000,000 black hole in the budget hit the front page of the Gazette?
The guilty just cant get away quick enough! It would seem that the Labour group just cant get them away and try to cover up for them quick enough! Any bets as to who will be next?

Oh by the way, despite lying to a tribunal, being utterly discredited, adding charges to an innocent mans list of charges after he had been unfairly dismissed so that he could not answer them, despite filling all the community warden posts so that he couldnt have his job back even though the tribunal ordered that he be re-instated, despite this councils actions because of all of this, being described as "simply unacceptible behaviour for a public authority", Simon Dale has had no action taken against him! Infact the same cabinet member who tried spinning the "Its a good career move" line said that he had seen CCTV footage of the incident and the unfairly dismissed warden was guilty, that he did damage the bicycle that was thrown at him by a youth in Eston.
The police in their statements to the tribunal said the bike wasnt damaged at all? Also, if it was all caught on CCTV then why wasnt it shown to the tribunal? I mean after all, isnt the point of going to tribunal to win? Something that this council, despite all the tribunals that they have been taken to, have failed to do once. Stonewall, damning evidence not produced at a tribunal, preferring instead to field someone who was proved to be a liar as your only witness?

You just couldnt make all of this up could you? I wonder if Private Eye would be interested in this?

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

And now the end is near.....

Today the actions of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council made National Press. Private Eye ran an article in their Rotten Boroughs section. The article is about an audit commission report which showed that the council were not a four star authority at all. Infact, it showed that because of a mid term financial plan not being done and presented to members of the council, amongst other things, the council were struggling to attain even a one star status. The article also shows that there appears to have been collusion between the council and audit commission to replace the Financial management Plan,with a document that was far more ‘council friendly’ in its content.
We anticipate that the council and audit committee will try and do all they can to wriggle out of these revelations, infact we are informed that they are trying to put out a cover story now as we speak. However, we welcome this. Because with all the documents that we have at our disposal which show exactly what they have done and how they have done it, every further attempt by them to try and get out of this situation, only damns them further.
We will be including all of this information in a final edit of the film Coatham:A common Concern, which is going to be shown to an invited audience at the House of Commons on Monday 10th of December. We approached an MP from another constituency who told us that he would be neglecting his duty as an MP if he did not act over the situation within this borough.To all the members of The Friends of Coatham Common and everyone else who have worked tirelessly to get to the truth I would like to say a massive thankyou.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Coatham councillors knew for months before the event...but not once told their constituents!!!

After receiving a Freedom Of Information request from the Health and Safety Executive, we can reveal to you all that the two ward councillors for Coatham Josie Crawford and Irene Curr, knew at least six months before, that the footpaths across Coatham Common were going to be closed and even worse, that the Guantanamo Bay style fences, to quote our MP, were going to be erected! According to a flow chart supplied to us by the HSE, the two ward councillors knew of these things in August/September time last year! In a letter to ex- Coatham Councillor Charlie Davis, they said they knew in December, but this is still four to six months before these things happened AND NOT ONCE DID THIS PAIR HAVE THE COURAGE, OR THE DEDICATION TO THE CONSTITUENTS OF THE COATHAM WARD,TO INFORM THEM.Look at the film clip of "Coatham, a common concern" and see 84 year old Ethany Alton of High Street West describe how she was terrified because the first she knew about these fences being erected was after the had been put up and she was barricaded into her home! These two ward councilors had a duty to Ethany Alton to inform her to ensure that she wasnt terrified or afraid. These two ward councillors have a duty to the residents of Coatham,not the Lib Dem party. They have a duty to the residents of Coatham, ALL THE RESIDENTS OF COATHAM, not just the ones who voted Liberal Democrat. They have failed in this duty. Like in so many other instances, elements of this council have deliberately witheld information from the public because they know what an outrage the truth will cause.Shame on them. They have kept the truth from the people that they were elected to represent, they have deliberately not told anyone the truth even though they have been party to that truth for some months.

How can they be trusted any longer? They should do the decent thing and resign now. We are now going to take them both to the standards board.

What a sham!

Tomorrow according to a council source, Simon Dales disgraceful behaviour at the Whittaker tribunal hearing, is going to be defended by a prominent cabinet member at the Labour Group meeting. Trying to defend Simon Dales' lying to a tribunal, trying to defend him adding charges to the list of charges after the INNOCENT man had been dismissed so that the innocent man could not answer them at the tribunal, trying to defend Simon Dales behaviour in making sure that all community warden jobs were taken to defeat a reinstatement order to deliberately keep the unfairly dismissed community warden out of a job, trying to defend him when he was in the words of the tribunal UTTERLY DISCREDITED and when he has brought the name of our council down into the dirt, is totally unacceptible itself.
If this cabinet member tries to play down, or try and justify, or condone Mr Dales actions, if he tries to suggest that it was an oversight on Mr Dales part that will not happen again, then I suggest that the cabinet member has the decency to review his position and consider resigning his well paid cabinet post himself.
Officers who are paid over ONE HUNDRED THOUSAND POUNDS OF PUBLIC MONEY should not lie, never mind deliberately and spitefully keep a normal working man out of employment and drag our councils name down further into the mud as a result. Simon Dale? He shouldnt be paid in washers never mind over a hundred grand.

Sack him now!

Saturday, November 03, 2007

Sack Simon Dale Now

Here is an extract from a tribunal decision regarding a community warden from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council ( Whittaker v Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council case number 2500117/06), who was unfairly dismissed by the council after an incident in Eston involving a bike being placed into some bushes by a community warden after a youth that had been riding around on it threw it in the direction of the community wardens.
The unanimous decision of the tribunal was that the warden was unfairly dismissed and that he should be reinstated.
THIS COUNCIL HAS REFUSED TO REINSTATE THIS INNOCENT MAN. But most damning of all is the tribunal report, part of which (the tribunals conclusion) I have copied word for word below.

10 "The evidence offered by the respondent in resistance of the claimants ( Community warden) application for reinstatement was given by Mr Simon Dale. Mr Dale unfortunately did NOT make a good impression on the tribunal.

Given that he was the only witness to be offered by the respondent (the council) and knowing the purpose of the hearing, either Mr Dale was reckless in not making appropriate and sufficient enquiries to enable him to deal with the issues before the tribunal, or he was being deliberately and intentionally evasive and unhelpful.

Mr Dale was unable to provide the Tribunal with essential information regarding the process of appointing Community Wardens. This is a process that HE AUTHORISED IN MARCH 2007 approximately a month before the tribunal hearing. Yet he was unable to give us any any definitive information on the process or the outcomes EVEN THOUGH HE MUST HAVE KNOWN (and certainly those advising him must have known) the CRUCIAL IMPORTANCE of such information.

During the hearing Mr Dale clearly indicated that he did not agree with the Tribunals judgement and he made it clear that he would resist reinstating the claimant. Overall Mr Dales demeanour did not make a favourable impression. This was not helped by Mr Dale advancing opinions WHICH COMPLETELY LACKED COHERENCE BY REASON OF THEIR INHERENT CONTRADICTIONS. Thus it seems that on the same facts he would have complied with a decision of the councils own appeal Committee to reinstate the claimant, but clearly indicated that he would resist any such order from the Tribunal

Mr Dale maintained the claimants alleged guilt in respect of a series of matters which were not only in DIRECT CONTRADICTION of the findings of the Tribunal, but were also INCONSISTENT with admissions in evidence on oath given by MR DALE HIMSELF. Viewed overall, M Dales performance as a witness was such that he WAS UTTERLY DISCREDITED AND THE TRIBUNAL BELIEVED VERY LITTLE OF WHAT HE HAD TO SAY.

11 What was quite apparent from the evidence was that there were some 10 posts of Community Wardens being advertised in March and interviews and appointments were made at some time at the end of March perhaps early April. We were not given the details of thos e appointments other than to know that they were all subject to criminal checks and taking up of references. Mr Dale conceded that this could take a month or more for these checks to be completed and it was a fact that applicants sometimes failed these checks and the offers of employment would be withdrawn. Although it was said that the appointment to these posts had to be accelerated because the council only gave approval at the beginning of March and they wanted people in post as soon as possible, there was on evidence of Mr Dale 10 posts to be filled. However, he did not hold a post back pending the hearing for the Tribunal In April because he said that he has received no instructions to do so. Who would give those instructions was not a matter that had been clarified. We do know that his superior officer in the Local Government hierarchy was the CHIEF EXECUTIVE. We know that he had discussed Mr Whittakers case with the Chief Executive and that they were both agreed that he, Mr Whittaker, had been guilty of gross misconduct. However, whether it was Mr Moore or some other person Mr Dale expected the instruction to come from, we were not told.

12 That decision could not have been Ms Langridge, the councils solicitor, because she had apparently been under the impression that there would be vacancies available at the tribunal hearing. Had she been informed Ms Langridge would have been under a duty to immediately inform the claimants representatives and the Tribunal of the change in position which she did not do so. The fact that the respondent did not tell Ms Langridge what it was doing can be the only explanation for the terms of Ms Langridge’s letter of March 13th confirming that vacancies for wardens currently existed and that there was no relevance in exploring matters relating to other vacancies. The only reasonable assumption to be drawn in these circumstances was that at the hearing in April such vacancies would be available for consideration by the Tribunal. The Tribunal were absolutely UNANIMOUS in regarding this as PROFOUNDLY DISTURBING. We were driven to the reluctant conclusion that the respondent (council) had DELIBERATELY set out to fill these vacancies before the Tribunal hearing in order to defeat a reinstatement order. Such a conclusion is entirely consistent with the entire tenor of Mr Dales oral evidence to the tribunal. Equally, knowing the position it had knowingly created, the respondent made no proper attempt to deal with the issue of other potential vacancies. IT IS SIMPLY UNACCEPTABLE FOR A PUBLIC AUTHORITY TO BEHAVE IN THIS MANNER"....

After reading that Tribunal conclusion there is just one thing to say. Sack the overpaid, incompetent, lying Simon Dale now before he drags our councils name down further.
This borough does not need to pay officers of his calibre. As council tax paying residents of this borough why should we pay him over £100,000 a year to lie and behave like he has and drag our council down into the shit like he has? Why should we pay him £100,000 a year plus, for him to be party in keeping an ordinary council employee out of as a job as a community warden when an employment tribunal had found him totally innocent and ordered that he be reinstated? If Dale had been an employee in the private sector and had brought the name of the company down at a tribunal as he has done in this instance, his feet wouldnt have touched the floor on the way out of the front door. Why do we have to tolerate such absolute mediocrity and lies being rewarded by being paid a huge salary that he does not deserve.

Sack him now!

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