Wednesday, July 16, 2008


In the High court in December last year, well respected high court judge, Justice Jackson, ruled that the council had behaved in a biased and pre-determined way and quashed the planning permission given to Persimmon in April last year.
In June this year, appeal court judges overturned Justice Jacksons ruling, even though the ruling had been made against the council NOT Persimmon, even though the MP and solicitor general of this country had already stated that both she and the Labour group had warned the old coalition that what they were doing in forcing the Coatham scheme through was wrong and even though it was Persimmon, NOT the council, who had appealed.

There are those who may have thought and I must conclude that I was one of them, that such a well respected high court judge would have made some rumblings as to why his verdict had been overturned? especially when the solicitor general of this country had already stated in the press after his verdict was given in December, that she and the Labour group had known all along that what had taken place, was wrong and shouldn't have. But no, apparantly Justice Jackson made no comment at all.

I was informed at the back end of last week that Justice Jackson had recently been promoted to the position of appeal court judge. Who gave him this promotion? The law office, the office that Vera Baird occupies as Solicitor General of this country.

Forgive me for being a tad cynical, but after Vera Baird has already threatened another MP from another constituency to stop him showing our film in the House of Commons and calling for the independent investigation into Redcar and Cleveland Borough council that he said he would have to call for otherwise and I quote "he would be neglecting his duty". It would appear that the price of getting a high court judge to say 'nout, is to give him a nice big promotion?

The timing of his promotion couldn't be any better could it? Getting promoted right after your decision had been overturned.


The hypocrisy of George Dunning and the council is staggering! He says in the article

Council Leader, Councillor George Dunning, accepted the residents' concerns and has ordered work on the lights’ removal to start this week.He said: “The council is always willing and keen to take residents' comments on board and will consider them at any stage during any project to make sure the final product is what residents require.“We must stress that we carried out the work with the very best intentions of improving road safety and the fear of crime, putting lighting into an area that has increased pedestrian usage at night.“But we are a listening authority and we do try to respond to residents' concerns.“We have to accept there is an inevitable cost involved in the removal, but we think it is a price worth paying to maintain good relationships with our residents.”

The council is always willing and keen to take on residents comments? Then why are the fences, that were erected in a dawn raid style exercise on a bank holiday saturday over a year ago, that caused much stress and anguish to so many residents down High Street West, elderly residents like octagenarian Ethany Alton who woke up to discover that they had been barricaded into their own homes, still standing? They serve no purpose at all and yet they are being patrolled 24/7 and watched 24/7 by a CCTV?

“But we are a listening authority and we do try to respond to residents' concerns". We are a listening authority? Is that why they ignored a 9600 signature petition against the houses being built in Coatham? Is that why they ignored approximately 2000 objections to the planning application? Or do they only listen when it suits them?

“We have to accept there is an inevitable cost involved in the removal, but we think it is a price worth paying to maintain good relationships with our residents.” Youre so right Mr Dunning and the cost of erecting 41 brand new street lights and then tearing them down is far greater than removing fences that have no bearing in law, that have caused grief and anguish to so many residents, because they have been barricaded into their own homes. The people of High Street West deserve to be listened to every bit as much as those on the Coast Road, coincidentally where the MP lives. Whats up? Is she getting too much grief? Or are you afraid of losing the council seat that you scraped home with last year with a slender majority of approximately nine votes?

I wonder what the outcome would have been in that Zetland ward if two independents hadn't stood last year and taken approximately 600 votes between them?

Get those fences down now!

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The High Court hearing that Dunning 'forgot' to mention...

This coming Wednesday, on the 16th of July, the council are going to the High Court over the issue of the village green. This is an action that they informed opposition solicitors at the end of March, that they would be taking, before the leader of the council George Dunning, put out his press release stating that the whole Village green issue had been kicked out?

Apparantly, there are two 'authorities' on open spaces and village greens. The council/Persimmon have one and our group is represented by the other. This is the village green hearing that the council are afraid of. This is the reason why the fences were erected by the council. This is probably why George Dunning 'conveniently forgot' to mention it in his press release and why our MP urged the protestors to stop their campaign in the same article.

They both know, now that the law has changed in our favour, that there is a real chance of the land in Coatham, that has always been used for recreational purposes by the people of the area, being registered as a village green.

We shall wait and see.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

1-1. Now for the decider.

I have been off line now for about three weeks because of work being done and the computer being disconnected. But in that three weeks, the high court of appeal has overruled the original high court decision that was given in December last year. What is remarkable about this is that not only was the original decision made against the council and not Persimmon homes, it was Persimmon homes not the council who appealed and they won?

The appeal court judges decided that there was no evidence that the council have behaved in a biased and predetermined way, but this flies in the face of the opinion of the first high court judges decision who deemed that there was?

Obviously I am disappointed. Obviously my belief in British justice has taken a knock, especially when I have a statement from an inside source from the council who is prepared to go on record and state that they know for definite that three senior officers of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council made the decision to go ahead with the planning meeting for Coatham, even though they knew that what they were doing was unlawful.

I am also confused by the fact that after the Coatham planning meeting had taken place, the Labour leader of the council George Dunning, stated in a press release that he knew that the planning meeting was tainted. After the high court decision had been given in December both he and his MP, who just so happens to be the Solicitor General of this country, both made statements in the press telling everyone how they knew, even before the planning meeting took place, that what was happening was unlawful and shouldnt have been taking place and that they had warned the Liberal democrat/Tory/East Cleveland Independent coalition that they shouldn't be going ahead with the meeting at that time.

Yet strangely after the appeal court judges overturned the high court decision a couple of weeks ago, neither the leader of the council or his MP, the Solicitor General of this country, has remonstrated and made the stance that they did in December last year? Neither of them have insisted what they were insisting just seven months ago, that they knew all along that what was taking place was unlawful. Why not? Why have they made no comment? More than this, how can three High Court appeal judges insist that everything is okay, when the Solicitor General of this country has already stated publicly that she knew all along that what has happened was unlawful?

None of this makes any sense.

Which is why I am going to try and ensure that everything is done to appeal the appeal courts decision and take this issue all the way up to the House of Lords.

Because of these contradicting factors, I am going to try and ensure that highest court in this land sits in judgement on this case. Persimmon homes PLC, even though they have made a statement saying that they are not starting work on any more new sites until the housing market improves which will take years, despite dropping out of the FTSE 100 index, despite according to the BBC news, making 1100 of its employees in this region redundant as part of a cut back on their workforce all over the country, appealled against the High courts decision that went in our favour and it wasn't even made against them! They simply didnt accept the High Court judges decision. I am going to try and do all that I can to make sure that we appeal this decision and that we do not just sit back and accept it, in view of the mound of evidence and the evidence which is there.

A battle was won in December and another battle was lost in June. Let see if the highest court in the country can settle this issue once and for all?

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