Saturday, January 17, 2009

Vera Baird, the Labour group? Hypocrites.

Below is a press release put out by the Labour Leader and the Labour MP shortly after the Coatham planning meeting had taken place.


The actions of Redcar and Cleveland Council to go ahead and give planning approval for the highly controversial Coatham Enclosure development in Redcar—despite clear evidence of attempts to politically influence the decision—have ‘left the entire process tainted’ according to the Labour Group Leader on the Council. Meanwhile the town’s MP has warned that there remain grave doubts over the viability of the scheme and says she hopes that a new Labour administration on the Council will rescue the project and make it ‘something Redcar can be proud of.’

Councillor George Dunning, who called for the decision to be deferred until after the forthcoming Council elections, said a document, apparently aimed at encouraging members of the controlling Coalition to vote in favour of the plans, was directly at odds with a statement from Chief Executive Colin Moore. In a letter to an independent member of the Council Mr Moore had stressed that ‘Planning Committees are not allowed to act in a party political fashion’ yet the document which had come to light before the meeting called to consider the Coatham Enclosure application had told Coalition members on the committee that this was ‘The Big One’ for the Coalition…So it’s important it gets through…’and urged them to ‘Stand up and be counted for the sake of the Coalition.’

Said Councillor Dunning “The very clear statement from the Chief Executive that Planning Committees must not act in a party political fashion is clearly at odds with the intention of this document that members of the Coalition should act—and vote—in exactly that way. “I am disappointed that, having drawn this matter to the attention of both the Chief Executive and the Council’s legal officers, they failed to respond by advising that the meeting should be postponed. “The result, I regret to say, is that the circumstances means that the planning process on what is probably one of the most important—and controversial—planning issues ever to be considered by the Council is deeply tainted.

“This is not about the merits or otherwise of the Coatham Enclosure proposals themselves but the manner in which the planning decision was taken—and the fact that there must be a suspicion that it failed to meet the proper standards as set out by the Chief Executive himself.

“Of course, this could have been avoided if common sense had prevailed and it had been recognised that, in all the circumstances, the decision should have been delayed for just a short period until the election process was complete. “But as we now know, this was the ‘Big One’ for the Coalition who were determined to force it through on the basis of a blatant political agenda. I fear the consequences of allowing the proper process to be hijacked in this way could well come back to haunt both the Council and those individuals involved.”

Added Redcar MP Vera Baird “The fact is the Coalition has forced through this planning decision when they know that the cash simply isn’t available for key elements such as the visitor centre and sports facilities and that means just hundreds of houses and Redcar Bowl demolished. “Following the forthcoming council elections I look forward to holding discussions with the new Labour-controlled Council on we can ensure that we can achieve a leisure-led scheme that Redcar can be proud of.”

Here is a quote taken directly from a letter that Vera Baird sent to me on 5th April 2007, an email where she states that she knows there are massive objections to the scheme. She says and I quote...

"Labour will put it back to being leisure-led and will get the money for the leisure stuff and cut the number of houses".

Now lets look at their latest statements in the Gazette. Bear in mind that nothing has improved in the scheme since that release was issued, only deteriorated, because as Mark Hannon has stated to me in his email there is going to be no visitor centre with preforming arts facility and iconic tower, theres going to be no extreme sports centre or bowling alley either and the only leisure facility that we are going to get is being paid for by the council borrowing and tax payers paying it back through tax, although they knew that then.

Bearing in mind Vera Baird has described the scheme publicly as a "mess, botched, underfunded, sinister, a disaster and that the protestors, who she said that she admired, had been smeared and that the counci had not been open and transparent over the issues of landmines and unexploded mines and that because of this they had created an atmosphere of mistrust" I'd say after reading the comments in that link that she and some of the Labour cabinet are good, old fashioned, forty faced hypocrites.

As my grandma used to say, "They've got more faces than Fu Manchu son"

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