Thursday, September 11, 2008

What do these things say to you?

Here are just some of the things that this council have done and been allowed to get away with. What do these things say to you?

1. Colluding with the Audit Commission to supress and then replace a final financial report, which showed that this council were not a four start authority.Despite being featured in Private eye and backed up with all relevant documents, no action was taken.

2. Acting illegally by issuing parking tickets to people for not displaying a permit, when there was no TRO in place for years, which required anyone to do so. And then concealing this fact so that it did not come out into the public domain. No action taken.

3. Abandoning their own leisure brief for Coatham, ignoring plans submitted by leisure developers who answered that brief, to then give the contract to Persimmon, who were providing no leisure at all. Nor have they any obligation to, as there is no 106 agreement existing between them and the council.

4. Having a massive conflict of interests exist between the council and Persimmon by both parties employing the same solicitors and the same consultants to do surveys and reports about the gross housing requirements and the issue of contaminants in Coatham, A YEAR BEFORE the LEISURE BRIEF was even put out to tender.No action taken.

5. Paying for the legal and consultancy fees of Persimmon when the council had a massive financial blackhole in their budget.

6. A senior officer changing the Environment Agencies planning condition, over the building of a multi million pound sea defence, without consent or consultation, to benefit Persimmon.No action taken.

7. Plans for a medical village appearing, without anyone in the council knowing, in the Coatham planning application. When questioned PCT manager Stephen Childs denied all knowledge and said nothing was definite. In truth, he was the one who submitted proposals to include the medical village in the plans months before they were added without any consultation whatsoever, to the board of the PCT. To make things worse, who should be pushing the addition of the medical village from within the PCT as a non executive board member, Veronica Moore, wife of the now ex- Chief executive of the council Colin Moore, who was pushing the scheme from the head of the council. Another massive conflict of interests that when exposed, saw Veronica Moore resign her position on the board of the PCT.No action taken.

8.The council lying under the Freedom of Information act to the point that the Information commissioners office advised me that even they could see inconsistencies in the information that the council had supplied me.No action taken.

9. The leader of the council and cabinet member for economic development deliberately failing to tell the public the truth in a press release about the village green process, preferring instead to tell the public only what they wanted them to know.No action taken.

10. A Councillor being caught on CCTV swinging a chain around in a threatening manner and the police taking no action because they said that it wasn't in the best interests of the public.

11. A councillor failing to declare their interests and declare them when they had been exposed. When taken to the standards board, the councils monitoring officer told the SB that the councillor in question didnt know that he had to, when infact he had been a councillor for nearly thirty years and one time mayor of the borough.No action taken.

12. The same councillor being found to have been conducting an affair with his secretary, a married woman, within the council on council time, something which made the front page of the Gazette, to then be allowed to keep his job as member for education and have no action taken against him.

13. The Leader of the Liberal democrats and an east cleveland independent councillor starting smear campaigns against me stating untruthfully that I was a member of the BNP. No action was ever taken.

14. The Finance officer exceeding his spending limit by £35,000 and breaking the law. No action taken.

15. Senior officers awarding themselves massive payrises and not taking it to the council for over two years after they had done it.No action taken.

16. Officers authorising the changing, altering and in some cases, DISCARDING minutes of council meetings.

17. Officers of the council lying to tribunals, changing their evidence overnight, being found guilty of sharp practise and being found to have brought the council into disrepute. No action taken.

18. The leader of the Liberal Democrats being questioned by the police for pouring what he described as 'tepid' water over TWO YEAR OLD CHILD from an upstairs window. No action taken.

19. Bullying and intimidation.

20. Having the unison rep encourage dinner ladies and other lowly paid staff into taking a pay settlement that was far far less than what they were actually entitled to, on behalf of the managers. He was then given a managerial position himself. He was later thrown out of the union for bringing the union into disrepute.

21. Concealing the fact for years, that Coatham Enclosure was home to contaminants and unexploded ordnance. When it was exposed they denied it and smeared those who brought it into the public domain again. At the Coatham Planning meeting though, it was admitted that mines and contaminants were there.No action taken

22. Committing public money to being spent on a sea defence in Coatham that is the sole responsibilty of Persimmon, so that Persimmon can make millions of pounds of private profit.

23. Trying to conceal potentially contaminated material dug away from Coatham Common after we had already taken photos of it in Macalpines yard under a tarpaulin which said, Contaminated material DO NOT UNCOVER.No action taken.

24. Having the leader of the council and the MP admit publicly that the Coatham scheme is tainted, botched and a disaster, to then push ahead with it every bit as much as the old coalition who they were accusing of making it these things.

25. Telling everyone that the only way to have a baths in the town was to have the houses in Coatham when in reality, they are borrowing at the last count over TEN AND A HALF MILLION POUNDS TO build one.

26. Having the Coatham ward councillors not only make still unsubstantaied claims that they had been spat at in the street and sent threatening letters and emails by protestors, claims of abuse which have never been investigated by the police, but also have them know about the stopping up of the footpaths across Coatham Common and the erection of 7 ft high steel fences that caused so many of their constituents so much anguish, FOR APPROXIMATELY EIGHT MONTHS, yet they never said anything to their constituents warning them or letting them know. Despite being reported to the Standards board once again, no action was taken. The Standards board took the view that just because the two coatham councillors didnt tell their constituents, they didnt withold the information from them? They said that if anyone had asked them, then the councillors would have told them? This is an absolutely outrageous remark to make when noone outside the council knew about the fences being erected.

27. Have one Coatham ward councillor leave the Coatham planning meeting because she said that she lived next to the site and therefore there was an interest for her to declare, yet the other ward councillor who did have a real interest to declare because she was on the board of Tees Valley leisure ltd, the people who are and would be running the leisure centre as part of the Coatham development, said nothing and made a statement to the planning committee extolling the virtues of the scheme.

28. Having the leader of the council not only stand in for a labour member of that planning committee when he shouldnt have because he was a part of the Coatham Scrutiny committee and as such had an interest, he then abstained at the vote which is incredible because he had already called the scheme tainted publicly.No action taken.

29. Defending the Coatham Judicial Review when they stated afterwards that they had known all along that the Coatham Planning process was unlawful.

30. Having the leader of the council call for the ex-CEO's investigation twice when he was just opposition leader, to then give him a glowing appraisal in the paper a year later when the CEO announced his retirement, along with an extra two years pay off and a massive pension that ran into hundreds of thousands of pounds. And no investigation whatsoever.

31. Being found as a council by the ombudsman twice within a period of about six months of being guilty of maladministration.No action taken.

32. Officers awarding themselves an extra eight days holiday which, in the case of the CEO, meant £3000 paid holiday and they only told the council when the eight days holiday had all been taken.

33. Pushing through a private road adoption scheme at a cost of some £1, 300,000 when infact the work that was carried out on these roads totalled approximately £200,000.Despite being loosely covered in the Evening Gazette, no action has been taken.

34. The same private road adoption scheme that saw the councillor who failed to declare his interests in it, but them declare them when he was exposed, have five of the ninetenn privately adopted roads within a hundred yards of his house in the tiny village where he lives.No action taken.

35. Having the ex-CEO have a hand in appointing his replacement and employing a woman from another North Eatern council, where like ours, the officers have left in droves. In the case of our new CEO, she was found to have witheld information regarding what is known as the Trow quarry afair for months.

36. Having our MP, THE SOLICITOR GENERAL OF THIS COUNTRY, stifle free speech by threatening an MP from a different constituency into not allowing our film "Coatham..A common concern" to be shown in the House of Commons and into not calling for an independent inquiry into the situation here after he had already agreed to do both because he said that if he did not, then and I quote " I would be neglecting my duty". And then she called for an internal investigation to be headed by the finance officer and acting CEO, a man who was up to his neck in the supression of the audit report amongst other things and who had been featured in Private eye THREE TIMES for his lesss than trust worthy behaviour.

These are just some of the things that the people who have been and who are running our council are getting away with. All of the facts in this posting have been taken to the District Auditor and all are backed up with documented proof. And in every instance, NOTHING has been done to stop them, reprimand those who have been involved or investigate them.

This is your council, not theirs. It is time we all stood up to these abuses. Demand an independent investigation into this at best, inept and at worst, corrupt authority now.

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