Monday, February 09, 2009

Once again, the Gazette fail to print the truth....

In March 2007, I represented our group against the councils top London Barrister at the footpaths hearing in the magistrates court in Middlesbrough. At that hearing, because I could cross examine the councils representative Officer Alan Logan, it came to light in a British court of law, that there would be no Visitor centre ( something now admitted by Councillor Mark Hannon in his reply to my email ) it came to light there was no money for an extreme sports centre and that the beach at Coatham, if this scheme went ahead, would be restricted use on a seasonal and spacial basis.

All of these things, things that Mr Logan stated the opposite of in Court before I realised that I could cross examine him, came out in front of a Gazette reporter who was astonished, as a horse rider herself who rides at Coatham Beach, that all of these things were going to happen because the council had been denying them since our campaign began. A gazette reporter sat in court and listened to the truth and yet when the report was printed in the Evening Gazette, none of the truths that had come out in a British Court of Law, were printed and made public infact the opposite happened and the same old, tired, lame, worn out bullshit that the council have been churning out for years about the leisure facilities that they tell us will be a part of this scheme, was once again touted by the Gazette in the report.

Things like this have happened many times since the start of the campaign for Coatham. The Gazette have shown, whilst denying this many times, terrible bias towards the council in their coverage of the Coatham story and in that one article that refused to print the truth even though the truth had been aired in open court, their bias was there for all to see.

Three weeks ago now they featured a story in the Gazette about the councils victory at the court of appeal. The council came out with the same old stuff and this time they were joined by our hypocrite of an MP, Vera Baird. I decided to write a letter to the Gazette outlining just some of the many contradictions that this most unpleasant politician had come out with over the issue of Coatham and guess what? Thats right the Gazette didnt print my letter.

So here it is, I'll put it on my site. This is what the Gazette and their friends in the council didn't want you to read.

So many contradictions.

I was confused by Vera Bairds latest comments in the Gazette.

She says the protestors against the Coatham housing scheme had made 'various claims' about unexploded bombs and poisenous deposits on the site, yet in a letter that she wrote on Nov 8th 06, a letter that the protestors distributed on her behalf to the whole town, she made the same claims and said that because "The council have not been open and transparent on issues such as these, the council had created an atmosphere of mistrust".
Her latest statement says that she had concerns only about the number of houses built on the site. However, in a press release she and George Dunning released in April 07, she refers to the scheme as "botched" and he refers to the scheme as "tainted". In her Nov 06 letter she describes the scheme as "a mess"?
She forgets her TFM radio interview from October 06, where she even described the Coatham scheme as "a disaster"?
Her latest statement says "what is important to everyone apart from a few protestors is that the council gets on with providing leisure facilities for her constituents". I couldn't agree more except we aren't a few as is evidenced by a 10,000 signature petiton against the houses and 2000 objections to the planning application.
Once again, Vera's forgotten the letter she released just before the council elections where she states "no money for leisure or extreme sports just hundreds of houses built on our coastline"?
Both she and the council should spell out honestly, that the one single leisure facility being provided as part of the Coatham scheme, is being paid for with borrowed money that council tax payers will have to re-pay through increased council tax, it isn't dependent on Persimmons' houses and as such it should have been provided long before now.
The question we have to ask, is why hasn't it been?


Chris Mcglade.

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