Saturday, November 15, 2008

It's only a matter of time...

Last year members of our group informed the MP Vera Baird, of the things that we knew our council, at that time, was doing wrong. She was informed about the massive conflict of interests between the ex Chief Executive of the council Colin Moore and his wife Veronica, who was a non executive board member of the PCT, both pushing a 5GP surgey that appeared from nowhere, in the Persimmon planning application without anyone, even the relevant council committees, knowing about it. She was informed about the fact that shortly after this was made public, Veronica Moore resigned her position.

What did Vera Baird do? Nothing.

We informed Vera Baird that an officer of the council had changed the Environment Agencies planning condition regarding the building of a sea defence, without consent or consultation.

What did Vera Baird do? Nothing.

The Serious Fraud Office had expressed concerns about the situation up here in Redcar and Cleveland.

What did Vera Baird do? Nothing.

She had already called the Coatham plans, on radio, a disaster. The now Labour leader of the council had already called the planning process tainted. She had already stated publicly that there was no funding for any leisure for the scheme and supported the Labour group who had said in election literature, that they would take the scheme back to the drawing board.

What did Vera Baird do to stop, or reverse, or to get investigated, this disaster? Nothing.

In October last year we produced, at a meeting in front of 500 people at the Coatham bowl which included the Labour leaders wife, a final financial audit report which had been allegedy surpressed by senior officers of the council and replaced after these officers had colluded with individuals within the Audit Commission. The story about this scandal was featured in Private Eye without any libel action being started against Private Eye.

Vera Baird obviously knew about this. What did she do? Nothing.

When a Conservative MP from a neighbouring constituency was about to show our film which exposes all of these things in the House of Commons and was about to call for an independent investigation, what did Vera Baird do?

She threatened this MP into not showing our film or calling for an independent investigation. Told him our facts weren't based in reality and then called for an internal investigation to be headed by one of the men involved in, among other things, the alleged surpression and collusion?

Not only has Vera Baird done nothing to stop these things or have them investigated properly, she has done things to make sure that they aren't. The Standards Board Of England have been informed about what is going on here aswel as The Local Government Ombudsman, The Environment Agency, Defra, G.O.N.E and the HSE. All have been informed well over a year ago, about the things that have been and are taking place here and yet miraculously, all of them have done nothing. Even the Serious Fraud Office who have sent letters stating and I quote that "The things taking place here appear to pertain to corruption" and "The police should investigate the issue of the surpressed report assisted possibly by the CPS", have done nothing.

That's not surprising really when as Solicitor General of the Country, Vera Baird is in charge of the SFO.

And lets not forget, this Borough has two MP's. In 2005, I had a meeting with Ashok Kumar in his constituency office in Guisborough. His secretary and ex-leader of the council David Walsh, was in attendance. Mr Kumar was aware, quite rightly, of a lot of the things that I was talking about. He had been following the Coatham campaign to some degree. The final question he asked me was "Do you believe there to be corruption within Redcar and Cleveland Borough council. I told him that I did. But he has never, despite the things that have been exposed about this council, spoke out against them or ordered any investigation of any sort.

But despite this burying of heads in sand and despite this failure to do anything about the things that have and are taking place here, you know that something is drastically wrong when not only do the SFO tell you that the police should be involved possibly assisted by the CPS,

a detective from South Yorkshire police tells you the council should be investigated,

an ex member of the Flying Squad tells you that something is wrong within the council and it should be investigated,

an employee of Sir John Stevens office Quest, tells you that the situation is bad and needs to be investigated,

the Audit commission downgrade the council to a two star authority because of the dossier that we provided them with containing all of the abuses that this council have been allowed to get away with

and when an MP from a neighbouring constituency is ready to call for an independent investigation into what is going on here.

Last night I, probably like millions of others, watched the 6 O'clock news and was shocked and disgusted to learn that quite a few different Government departments and varying bodies, had been warned about the situation in Haringey regarding the horrific Baby P case, at least six months before.

None of them did a thing and this poor child lost his life.

Those departments and bodies and the individuals within them, are no doubt backtracking like mad and trying to deny all knowledge and responsibility now the brown stuff has hit the fan.

It is only a matter of time before the same thing happens here in Redcar and Cleveland.

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