Friday, January 04, 2008

Our Press Release...

Here is a Gazette link regarding the Independent investigation that we have called for below, is what our actual press release said. Compare the two?



The Friends of Coatham Common are demanding an immediate independent investigation into Redcar & Cleveland Council’s controversial leisure-cum-housing scheme following last week’s High Court ruling which saw planning permission thrown out as ‘unlawful’; and following MP Vera Baird’s desperate attempts to absolve Labour of their part in the scandal.

Chris McGlade, spokesperson for ‘The Friends of Coatham Common’ said, "The high court ruling damns the council officers and ALL the parties from the previous Tory/Lib-Dem/Independent coalition to the current Labour leadership and including Vera Baird. They were all fully aware that the planning meeting was unlawful and they all did nothing to stop it”.

“Vera Baird is the Minister of Justice & Solicitor General of this country. Her attempt to incite anger in tax payers having to pay court costs for the judicial review that we brought as our democratic right against a planning decision that she knew was unlawful, is a shocking disgrace. Vera Baird may claim that Labour warned the Coalition at the time of the planning meeting but if they were so keen for justice to be done why did they then commit public money to defending something that they knew was unlawful in the High Court? They were more than willing to break their election promises of taking it back to being leisure-led and they were also more than willing to let Persimmon Homes make millions of pounds of profit by building 359 houses on our coastline with unlawful planning permission. I think rate payers of this borough deserve to know why they were so willing and why the council and MP, have aligned themselves with an unlawful situation to such an extent? ”

This latest episode is featured in the final cut of a documentary chronicling ‘the real story of Coatham Enclosure’ by Teesside film-maker Craig Hornby.

Craig said “I’m editing the final cut and it keeps getting longer and longer as more and more revelations come to light. Vera Baird’s latest statement beggars belief as just last month we had a screening of the film arranged in Parliament but she got it stopped. If Labour weren’t party to the scandal, why did she not seize a golden opportunity to bash the coalition by showing the film in The House?
She then called for an internal inquiry but who she did she ask to lead the inquiry? None other than the acting Chief Executive, Ray Richardson, a man who has been recently featured in back to back editions of Private Eye for his less than trustworthy behaviour. This move on Vera Bairds part, was nothing more than an attempt to whitewash the situation regarding Coatham and other issues and keep it 'in house'.
This is simply not good enough. The situation regarding Coatham needs a full, independent investigation now.

Craigs film "Coatham, a common concern" which calls for an independent investigation and presents the full facts surrounding the Coatham scheme will be screened early in the New Year.
For more info:

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