Friday, August 28, 2009

Someone's acted already!!!

Yesterday, I received an email from a lady who had contacted John Denham MP regarding the shameful issue of ex CEO Colin Moore being allowed to leave Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, by the Labour led council, on the grounds of ill health with a £369,000 two year enhanced pay deal for him only to turn up working for Cumbria council a short time later. This was the response that she received...

"Thank you for your email, if you are contacting Mr Denham as Secretary of State please contact the department direct as this is the constituency email address. 0207 944 4400 or Alternatively you may wish to ask your MP to forward your concerns to the minister".

Can I suggest that as many of you as possible contact this department and tell them about this shameful situation. What I find amusing is the fact that the reply offers the alternative of contacting your own MP in order for them to pass "your concerns onto the minister". It makes you wonder why Vera Baird MP has never even mentioned it in two years doesn't it let alone raised concerns with the minister?

Still, when she claimed for a 49p scourer when she is earning approximately £125,000 pa, you really can't expect her to behave properly or display any sort of moral fibre whatsoever can you?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Woman stands on plinth...

A woman standing on a plinth in London, reciting poems about steel making on Teesside was a noble and honourable thing to do in an attempt to try and focus national attention on the devastating end of steel making on Teesside. It got nearly five whole minutes airtime on BBC1's and ITV's local news.

But what I can't work out is this? When an MP intervening in another MP's constituency is such a massive story, unheard of even as John Denham MP for Southamptons disclaimer proves and far bigger than a story about a woman standing on a plinth in London reciting poems, why did no-one in the local press make an issue of Robert Goodwill MP for Scarborough and Whitby intervening in Vera Bairds constituency of Redcar regarding the Coatham scheme and the council as a whole to the point of showing a film about Coatham in Parliament and calling for an independent investigation and why did neither local TV news station, even run the story?

Hey Mr Dunning, Mr Moore...I wonder what the Government minister would say if he knew what had happened here?

Please look at this link...

The Government now looks likely to investigate Council chiefs who leave one council with a massive pay award, to turn up working for another council shortly after. This is uncanny when we remember that good old Mr George Dunning leader of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, let ex-CEO Colin Moore leave the council, before his time, on a chronic illness ticket and a payoff that cost the tax payer £369,000 only for Mr Moore to turn up working for Cumbria Council shortly after in another senior position?

Mr Moore was listed as being in only a 'temporary position' at Cumbria Council. but it lasted for about 15 months.

Perhaps now, in light of the fact that George Dunning called for Moores investigation twice whilst in opposition because of his despicable behaviour that featured in tribunal after tribunal, questions will be asked as to why not a question was asked of Mr Moore and why he was allowed to leave and burden the tax payer of this borough with such a huge sum, when he started working for another authority practically straight away.

There's an old saying that goes "What goes around comes around" and I'm sure that the Government minister mentioned in the link above will hear about Mr Dunnings and Mr Moores 'little indiscretion' no matter how much the Christmas tree decoration and 49p scourer scrounging MP Vera Baird, tries to put a good word in for them.

Check out the contact deatils in the posting below for the Government minister, John Denham, who condemning senior officers such as Moore, aided and abetted by Local Authorities, in the BBC link. Perhaps some of you would like to write to him or phone him and inform him of what has happened here?

I thought the disclaimer at the bottom of his contact details was particularly interesting? See how he says that he cannot intervene in another MP's constituency? It just doesn't happen and so if it does it would be absolutely massive news.

But it did here in Redcar and Cleveland and the local press barely touched upon it at all?

Contact John Denham Communities minister...

WRITE to 20-22 Southampton Street, Southampton, SO15 2ED

PHONE 023 8033 9807

FAX 023 8033 9907


If your enquiery relates to John's work as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government then please use the contact details below:

WRITE to DGLC, Eland House, Bressenden Place, London, SW1E 5DU


Please note there is a strict convention at Westminster that MPs don't seek to intervene in matters relating to other MP's constituents. Therefore, John will only be able to persue matters raised by his own constituents. If you are not sure who your MP os you can find out by telephoning the House of Commons Information Service on 020 7219 4272, or refer to their website.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Running scared?

A few weeks ago now, I sent an email to Hilary Benn MP and minister for DEFRA asking him, in light of the publication of the recent climate change report, what he was going to do to stop the Coatham Enclosure housing development because as it stands now, proceeding with it will mean that the council/persimmon will be going directly against Government policy and next year when the bill is passed, they will be breaking the law. His secretary responded after a short while, referring to an email that he sent me in February which has no bearing on the situation as it stands now after the climate change report and policy statement have been published.

So I emailed him back and put it to him again. His secretary emailed me back once again. This time telling me that he had passed my email on, not to Mr Benn, but to what he described as 'policy experts' and that they would get back in touch with me in due course.

Two and a half weeks later and after reading the climate report and policy statement myself, I still had not had a reply from the 'policy experts'. So I emailed Mr Benn again and copied his secretary into it. So imagine my surprise today then, when G.ON.E emailed me answering my most recent email instead of the minister, his secretary or their policy experts and even worse was that all that G.O.N.E did, was to refer me back to the council and advised me to take it up with them. Are G.O.N.E seriously suggesting that all responsibility and decision making regarding building on floodplains now rests with local authorities, especially as the new Government policy is about to become law? If they are that beggars belief!

They all know what the consequences of this report and policy document and the new draft flood bill means for the Coatham scheme. They all know that sea defences will not be publicly funded either to construct them or maintain and they know that building on flood plains such as Coatham will be against the law.

Government Office for The North East are as much a part of the problem here. They know the consequences of the councils and persimmons' actions but not only they are turning a blind eye to them, they are actively encouraging them and trying to keep things in a never ending circle of beaurocracy and red tape.

More and more they not only implicate themselves more and more, they are showing to everyone, just how much they don't want to face up to the harsh reality staring them in the face. Here is the letter I sent to GONE today...

Dear Mrs Lancaster,

Thankyou for your email. I was a bit surprised to say the least at receiving a reply from you, as I had sent my original email to Hilary Benn himself? I must say, it appears that I am being given a bit of a run around?

In the first instance I email Hilary Benn regarding the recent climate change report. Mr Benn's secretary Dan Hamza Goodacre then replied to me drawing my attention to an email that he had sent to me in February this year.

I then reply to him pointing out that since his February email, things had changed massively because of the climate change report and the subsequent Government policy statement which were published in June 09 and which is due to become law next year, which will make building on the floodplain at Coatham against the law.

He then sent me another email telling me that he had forwarded my second email onto some 'policy experts' who would contact me in due course.

After two and a half weeks I still hadn't heard anything from these policy experts. This seemed a bit odd because why would it take so long for policy experts to reply to me regarding a policy document that presumably they had been involved in and which had been published two months previously? They could have been on leave of course, but surely someone could have replied to me on their behalf?

On the 15th of August,not the 5th of August as you stated in your email to me, I then sent another email to Mr Benn and to Mr Goodacre pointing out that after reading both the Climate Change Report and the Government Policy Statement, it is now Government policy, soon to become law, not to build on floodplains and not to use public money constructing and maintaining sea defences unless it is absolutely necessary as the Government are struggling financially to maintain existing sea defences, let alone ones that aren't needed.

Today I get an email from you, not the policy experts, telling me that the issues that I have raised are for the Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to take into consideration and that any further representations should be made to them?

To be perfectly honest Mrs Lancaster, I find your remarks absolutely incredible. The effects of that Climate Change report and the Governments policy statement are absolutely disastrous for the Coatham scheme, a scheme that Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have pushed despite huge public opposition, legal challenges in the High Court including a challenge that has been taken to the Supreme court and despite the fact that they have known since 2005 or 2006, that they should be steering developers away from building on that zone three high flood risk area.

I cannot believe that you are telling me, in the email that I have just received, that we should take our case to Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and that they should now sit in judgement of themselves over this issue? Do you honestly believe that they will do the right thing and halt the development because of this new Government policy when they have, aided and abetted by GONE, done everything that they can to force this scheme through at great expense to the tax payer already?

I say aided and abetted by GONE, because that's exactly what has happened. GONE have failed in their duty in regard to the Coatham scheme and have openly pushed and encouraged it for all its worth.

GONE have given the council £1,000,000 to progress the scheme. GONE have ignored a 9600 signature petition against the scheme. GONE have ignored over 2000 objections against the Coatham planning application. GONE failed to call the scheme in for public inquiry despite so many objections, one of which was from a member from the council himself and despite a public inquiry being called for publicly by the MP. GONE even ignored the fact that officers of the council signed the Coatham Development agreement two days before the local elections in 2007 and two weeks before GONE had decided as to whether or not to call the scheme in? This is something that has been described as being "highly irregular" by a High court Judge.

More recently, GONE have involved persimmon homes in the decision making process regarding the stopping up of Majuba Road in Coatham when persimmon homes are the applicant. They have also contravened the Data Protection act by passing on personal letters of objection and personal details to the applicant, in order for persimmon to contact the objectors in a bid to try and get them to withdraw their objections. The bias that GONE has shown towards this scheme, the council and persimmon homes PLC, is absolutely staggering.

I was dumbstruck when I saw in the acknowledgement letter I received on Monday from GONE, that they had asked me to forward any correspondences, between me and persimmon, onto them and that should a satifactory conclusion be met and a "no objection" be registered, would I let GONE know straight away. Perhaps you could tell me why GONE deems me registering a "no objection" as a satifactory outcome and why you think that persimmon homes have the right to try and use any means available to them to get me, or anyone else, to change their mind?

The breakdown in democracy, the collusion, the bias and the pre-determination, the back slapping and the nods and the winks demonstrated and carried out by the very institutions which are supposed to protect the public from the very abuses that you are carrying out regarding this issue, are absolutely disgraceful. The fact that you pass me back to the council, the very people who have done all they can, along with persimmon, to push this scheme and slander anyone who opposes it, in order to try and throw a blanket on the new Governement Policy statement, is a clear indication that you are desperately trying to avoid this situation and all of the real details of it, being brought to the attention of Mr Hilary Benn.

Your attempts to stifle democracy and justice are transparent and they will not succeed.


Chris Mcglade.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Absolutely Incredible!!! More than that though, absolutely desperate!

I sent the email below to GONE today, as a result of getting an absolutely incredible response from them this morning, regarding my objection to persimmons' application to get Majuba Road stopped up. They told me that even though I had specifically requested under the data protection act that they did not pass on my personal details to any third party, they had still passed my letter onto persimmon so that a Mr Sean Taylor from persimmon, could contact me directly?

They then went onto say that they would be grateful if I could forward any correspondence between the applicant ( persimmon ) and myself to them and should matters be concluded satisfactorily, forward confirmation of my "no objection" at my earliest convenience.

When I called them and asked them what they meant by my "no objection" because I had sent a letter of objection? I was told that they had forwarded my full letter of objection to persimmon so that they could contact me and so that I could negotiate with Mr Sean Taylor of persimmon homes in order to resolve any issues that there were between us. Basically, what they were telling me was that people who had objected were having their letters of objection forwarded onto persimmon in order for persimmon to contact those people to try to get them to change their mind about objecting and registering a no objection instead!!!

I have spoken to a few people this afternoon who have told me that they have never, ever come across anything like this before and were absolutely amazed that GONE should be acting on behalf of persimmon homes in this way in order to try and remove objection from Majuba road being stopped up. Persimmon homes plc are not part of the decision making process, so why is the Government Office of the North East, trying to make them so?

Dear Mrs Grimwood,

Further to our telephone conversation today, I am writing to tell you that subject to my solicitor returning from holiday, I will be seeking legal advice with a view to taking legal action against GONE for releasing my personal details to a Mr Sean Taylor from persimmon homes plc.

As far as I am aware, under the data protection act GONE have a right to release basic details of the objections contained within letters of objection that they received to third parties, but they have absolutely no right whatsoever, to divulge who exactly said and objected to this and who exactly said and objected to that, let alone provide the third party with their personal details.

My objection was to the Secretary of state. It is the Secretary of state who will make the decision as to whether or not Majuba Road is closed, not persimmon homes plc. Persimmon homes are not part of the decision making process or at least, they certainly shouldn't be and so I do not wish to enter into any dialogue with persimmon homes plc whatsoever.
Your comment during our telephone conversation, namely that you forwarded my letter onto Mr Taylor so that I could possibly negotiate with him in order to resolve any differences that there may be in order to turn my objection against the closure of Majuba Road into what you describe in your letter as a "non objection", is as disgusting as it is ridiculous.

I find it absolutely disgraceful that you even think for one minute that I, or anyone else who has objected to the closure of this road, can be somehow sweet talked or cajoled or persuaded by Mr Taylor of persimmon homes, into withdrawing their objections and thus registering a non objection instead. What is he going to say to those objecting to get them to withdraw their objections? What tactics will he employ?

An objection is an objection and as you told me today you have had hundreds. When you get so much objection to something, do you normally advocate the applicant contacting the objectors directly to try and get them to drop their objections?
I find it absolutely incredible that you think that people would drop them given the strength of feeling against this development and given that the whole issue of Coatham is now being taken all the way to the House of Lords/Supreme Court by members of the Redcar public.

The sheer contempt that is being shown for the public by GONE, persimmon homes and Redcar and Cleveland Borough council is absolutely disgraceful but there again, it has been displayed before in 2007. On that occasion Redcar and Cleveland Borough council not only signed the Coatham development agreement two days before the local elections but two weeks before GONE had supposedly made the decision as to whether or not the scheme should be called in?

This action alone has already been described by a High Court Judge as "highly irregular". Add this to the fact that GONE gave the council £1,000,000 in order to try and progress the scheme is it any wonder that a 9600 signature petition against the scheme was compeletely ignored by GONE along with over 2000 letters of objection to the planning application. Not only that from all of these instances quoted, it is abundantly clear that there is a biased relationship existing between GONE, Redcar and Ceveland borough council and persimmon homes plc.

Is GONE supposed to completely ignore such large volumes of public objection? In view of your most recent attempts to thwart the democratic processes, I am surprised that you didn't try to get persimmon homes plc to contact all 2000 people who objected to their planning application to try and talk them round to your way of thinking too.

Be under no illusions Mrs Grimwood, I will not tolerate the apparant hijacking of the system by persimmon homes plc aided and abetted by GONE and I will not tolerate my personal details being passed onto a company that I have been in direct opposition to, as well GONE knows, for over five years now.

You will be contacted by my solicitor in due course.


Chris Mcglade.

Looking at this posting and the letter that GONE sent me this morning I have just realised something and it is so obvious! GONE'S bias towards persimmon and their plans for Coatham is so obvious!

When they said to me in their letter that "and should matters be concluded satisfactorily could you forward your confirmation of "no objection" at your earliest convenience", they clearly think that the public withdrawing their objections to the closure of Majuba Road is satisfactory, but who for? PERSIMMON HOMES PLC!

Why on earth would the Government Office Of the North East deem the withdrawal of objections to the closure of Majuba Road as being satisfactory if they weren't in bed with persimmon and this council 1000%?

This, coupled with the things that I outlined in my letter to them, is proof that GONE have never had any intention of doing anything other than backing this scheme, no matter how much opposition there is to it, no matter how disastrous it is, no matter how many dark clouds are hanging over it, from the very beginning.

Bearing in mind that it should have been called in because of the amount of public objection to it alone, never mind anything else, I think that it's time to get this whole planning process re-looked at because it doesn't matter what the appeal court ruled last year, the bias and pre-determination is there for all to see.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

They're so desperate to start, but times running out.

In August last year as I was on my way to the Edinburgh Festival, I was a approached by a source who revealed that persimmon homes were in a bad state financially. They also gave me lots of information about various things regarding the Coatham Scheme and wider issues that would eventually have a devastating effect on this disastrous scheme.

One of the things that I was told, was that a new report had been commissioned by the British Government regarding climate change and its effects. I was told by this very senior person, in a very senior position, that the eventuality of this report would basically be that building on flood plains like the zone three, high flood risk area known as Coatham Common, would be against the law because the Government does not have the money to maintain existing sea defences around this country, let alone new ones like the one in Coatham which is only needed if the persimmon houses are built on that flood plain.

I was told that this Government report was due to be released in Spring this year, it was actually made public this June. Here is a link to that report...

As my source predicted, the fallout from this report would make the building on floodplains against the law. Here is a link to the Defra site with the link to the Governments policy statement at the top of the page...

It is abundantly clear from these documents, as my source told me, that the Government will not fund or allow the construction or maintainance of sea defences with public money, unless the costs and benefits of them doing so are justified. Managing the risk from flooding from the sea is now paramount and building on areas of high flood risk will only take place if the benefits are sufficient enough to warrant it. Indeed, the Governments own policy document states that and I quote "publicly funded risk management measures should only be undertaken where justified through appraisal".

As the Shoreline Management Plan clearly states that the stance in the area of Coatham where Persimmon Homes PLC want to build 359 homes, is and I quote "hold the line do nothing" because it is an area of high risk flooding and a natural sea defence, then it is clear that any sea defence in Coatham, is only required if houses are built on that high flood risk area. Without the houses there is no need for any sea defence.

Sarah Lavery from the EA and project manager for TE2100 project, publicly said herself that and I quote " Hard defences are becoming increasingly costly to build and maintain. There will always be cases where it simply does not stack up to provide a high level of hard defences for some communities. Anyone who lives on a floodplain is at risk and always has been, we're managing that risk as best we can"

There is currently no-one living on the floodplain at Coatham in Redcar. Is allowing Persimmon Homes PLC to build 359 houses on that floodplain and building a sea defence that is is otherwise un-necessary and which is going to be left to the people of Redcar and Cleveland to fund and maintain in perpetuity, managing the floodrisk there properly?

Quite simply, no it isn't.

This tough stance on building on floodplains, is now Government policy. Next year when the new flood bill is passed, it will become law. The council and persimmon homes, both know this. There is a concensus of opinion, even held by the source that provided me with the information about the climate change report in the first place, that the council and persimmon were hoping to start work on this development before the end of this year or early next year, so that they could get the first phase of housing built, before this bill becomes law.

If that is the case, then there's a responsible local authority and developer for you isn't it? Should local authorities and developers really behave in that manner? Should they ignore such dire warnings? Should they try and circumvent Government policy by starting building on a floodplain, before the law that will in effect stop that building, comes into play?

Of course they shouldn't.

But then again, this council shouldn't have ignored all of the warnings and invested money into Icelandic banks, which resulted in them losing millions of pounds of public money resulting in them being found to have been negligent along with just six other Local Authorities in this Country, by the Audit Commission.

They have tried and they are still trying, but soon they will have run out of time and of course, now that we have the documents that I was told of ten months before they were actually made public, we will do all that we can to let the right people know what this council and their preferred developer have and are, trying to do.


P.S, I've been thinking. Tomorrow so I am told, the boating lake in Coatham will be re-opened. No doubt the Gazette and Radio Cleveland and maybe even BBC news will be there and the likes of George Dunning and Mark Hannon will be there smiling and breaking their necks to tell the press how this is the start of a turn around in Redcars fortunes, how the Coatham scheme will bring jobs to the town and regenerate Redcar?

Strange that?

Because everytime Dunning and Hannon open their mouths about the scheme in the press thats what they always churn out, yet in an email he sent to me Hannon said "The Coatham scheme has never been presented as a panacea for dealing with numerous economic and social issues that Redcar faces"?

You only have to look around to know that if they do say that then it will be as untruthful as it is ridiculous afterall, if houses will regenerate the town, why haven't the hundreds of newly built persimmon homes on Kirkleatham Lane near Hambleton Avenue, turned around Redcar's fortunes?

But what they won't be telling people, probably because the press won't ask such relevant questions, is that the new Government policy featured above, will outlaw the construction of persimmons houses on the Coatham high flood risk area.

They won't dare mention the fact that the Visitor centre, the thing that was going to make this development a visitor attraction of regional importance, is now not happening and that in its place is going to be...wait for it...a youth club and drugs counselling centre.

And they wont be telling the press the reason why the cost of the work on the boating lake has risen from just £60,000 to over a whopping £750,000 or why persimmon homes are no longer contributing to the cost of the work which they were contributing to when the work on the boating lake was only going to be sixty grand either?

Council Officer Ian Wardle and Mark Hannon have both failed to answer this question when I put it to them? I wonder why?

Let them have their day, let them slap each other on the back. The smiles are only a mask, only a facade, for the real desperation that lies beneath and the truths that they daren't tell.
Remember, when a council can lie publicly about being investigated by the police, audit commission, ombudsman etc over alleagations of corruption, in order to paint a false, rosy picture to the public, then they can lie about anything.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Now look at who they're funding...

Last week I posted on this site that it had come to light that Persimmon Homes had been funding the Conservative Party. This probably goes a long way to explaining the sudden retraction of support for our campaign from Conservative MP Robert Goodwill? But today I received an email that showed that Persimmon have also been funding the Countryside Alliance?

Now there's a contradiction for you.

The Countryside Alliance are supposed to be vehemently against the loss of green belt land to housing. So why are they taking money from a company who are actively involved in that process on a massive scale? This probably now explains why the Countryside Alliance, whilst making sympathetic noises to me in 2005, did absolutely nothing to assist us in our campaign to keep greenbelt coastal land in Coatham free from Persimmon homes.

So we have Persimmon funding the Conservative Party and the Countryside Alliance and also with a founder who is part of the Establishment of this Country.

No wonder Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have displayed such an arrogance and a contempt for massive public opinion against this scheme when their preferred developer is in bed with so many powerful and influential people.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Perhaps a few more things are starting to make sense?

In 2007 Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were found after the Judicial Review into the Coatham Planning Process, were found guilty in the High Court. They were found to have acted unlawfully due to bias and pre-determination. The councils new leader George Dunning and the Labour MP Vera Baird both admitted, after this decision was made, that they had known all along that what the old coalition had done in forcing that planning application through, was wrong.

This explains why the council did not then appeal the decision of the High Court but it does not explain why the Labour council challenged the Judicial Review in the first place, if they knew all along that the planning process was unlawful? Why try and defend something that you know to be wrong?

And it does not explain why, when the judgement was made against the council, did Persimmon homes appeal against the judgement? It also does not explain why when there was so much proof of bias pre-determination, did the Court of Appeal overturn the original High Court ruling? Afterall, if signing the development agreement two days before the local elections were held and two weeks before Government Office North East had decided as to whether or not they were going to call the scheme in isn't proof of bias and pre-determination, then what is? I mean, how on earth did the council know that it wouldn't be called in and that it wouldn't go to a public inquiry and possibly stopped, especially as the MP herself had suggested publicly that it should be called in?

Today, I was googling around as I was on Saturday when I found out that Persimmons founder had donated tens of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party. What should I come up with? Only that the same founder of Persimmon Homes was the grandson of the 15th Duke of Norfolk and was page boy to the Queen of England herself at her Majestys Coronation in 1953.

Make of that what you will.

Saturday, August 08, 2009

Dear Mr Goodwill...

Here is a copy of an email that I have just sent to Mr Robert Goodwill, MP for Scarborough and Whitby...

Hello Mr Goodwill,

I trust that this email finds you well. I just thought that I would drop you a line after discovering that who should have donated many thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party? None other than Persimmon homes. Perhaps I may be a tad cynical, but I, along with a lot of other people, are starting to think that the real reason for you distancing yourself from our group and from from the dubious things, to say the least, surrounding the issue of Coatham just the day after the film was shown in Parliament, was that the Party that you belong to is actually being funded by the builder that we are opposing? I thought I'd leave you with quote from the MP who seems to be opposing the Persimmon development where he lives and from your old friend Duncan Davidson, founder of Persimmon Homes...

"I am not saying that there is anything so simple or corrupt as a deal cash for planning permissions in any of these cases. I am merely stating that it is hardly likely that the leading movers and shakers in Britain’s greenfield housing industry would all donate to the Conservative party if they thought that it would block their proposals".

"As Mr. Davidson of Persimmon has been quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph, the Conservative party represents “the best prospect for our industry and our company”.

When you think that it was a LibDem/Conservative coalition who pushed the scheme through planning despite it being surrounded in controversy and who fought us so viciously for years stooping to smear campaigns and lies, when you look at the quote above, is it really any wonder?

Politics eh? It's a funny old game!


Chris Mcglade.

The stench just got a little bit stronger...

Hey, look at this article that I have just stumbled across from a Hampshire paper.

Could this possibly be the reason why Conservative MP Robert Goodwill backtracked so quickly? Showing our film in Parliament one minute and about to call for an independent investigation because he knew that something was most definitely wrong with the Coatham Scheme, and then retracting his support the very next day and joining forces with the council against us in order to condemn us and the film that he had just shown.

When Persimmon Homes are making cash donations to the Tory Party as the article shows and when I looked further have been for some time, is Mr Goodwills sudden U turn really such a mystery at all?

More than that, is it any wonder that this botched and tainted scheme got passed at the planning stage when a LibDem/ CONSERVATIVE coalition was in power when there was so much objection to it and is it any wonder that the development agreement was signed two days before the local election that saw the conservatives get ousted from power, took place?

It is now obvious that even though the senior officers who signed that development agreement knew that it was a Labour scheme originally, the Labour group had been making unfavourable noises in public against the scheme in order to turn public unrest about the scheme and objection to it into votes for them in the local elections and so the officers were just making sure that Coatham wasn't going to be scuppered if the Labour Group got back into power.

Could it be that Mr Goodwill, in 'picking up the gauntlet' on our behalf was only paying his constituent, whos also had a business in Redcar for twenty years, lip service in order to score a few political points on a local level in order to dent the chances of Ashok Kumar ( who has a large part of his constituency run by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council ) more than anything else, at the next General election? This would explain why he was keen to involve the Conservative PPC who will be contesting Ashok Kumars seat, in the film being shown at Parliament.

This would also possibly explain why, when he knew how wrong things were with the Coatham scheme, he didn't invite the national press to the screening of the film in Parliament or involve them in him making the massive step of intervening in another MP's constituency. He didn't want it to go National. He wanted to keep it local so that it could be contained, whilst still appearing to be doing something.

I really wonder, after reading the comments below in the article

"I am not saying that there is anything so simple or corrupt as a deal cash for planning permissions in any of these cases. I am merely stating that it is hardly likely that the leading movers and shakers in Britain’s greenfield housing industry would all donate to the Conservative party if they thought that it would block their proposals. As Mr. Davidson of Persimmon has been quoted as saying in The Daily Telegraph, the Conservative party represents “the best prospect for our industry and our company”.

What was in the letter that Robert Goodwill started to read out from Vera Baird on the day of the screening in Parliament, where she was putting pressure on him to not show it?

Could she have been reminding him that he was acting directly against the company who has been donating thousands of pounds to his party? Perhaps this is why he stopped reading the email that he started to read out and why he refuses to release it without Vera Bairds permission, even though he started reading it to twenty five people without her permission at that screening?

The big questions now are why, when the Labour MP called the scheme botched, sinister and a disaster and the Labour leader of the council called the planning process tainted, did the Labour group and MP back the scheme that the Tories, who were being funded by Persimmon, push through with the help of the LibDems? And why when anyone with any common sense and intelligence can see that there are glaring inconsistencies with the things that they are all saying, that there are massive questions to be answered about this scheme and when everyone knows how wrong it all is, has no-one had the balls to stop it?

It stinks to high heaven and goes much, much further than Coatham or Redcar and Cleveland.

This is politics at a high level, in all of its dirty, seedy, two faced, underhanded 'glory'.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009

Better late than never eh...

Today, nearly a week after Charles Davis gave his response to the councils press release, the story finally made the Gazette. Seems strange how they print the story just days after my last posting which asked why they hadn't?

Still, better late than never eh?

Sunday, August 02, 2009

And so to the House of Lords...much to the councils dismay.

Two weeks ago, we received notification from the legal services commission, the people who decide whether or not to grant people legal aid, that they were not prepared to fund our case to register Coatham Common as a village green, in the House of Lords. This was a real disappointment as our chances of success were fifty fifty, it's as finely balanced as that.

The following day, a notice appeared in the back of the Evening Gazette notifying the public that the council/Persimmon were applying to the secretary of state to stop up Majuba Road as part of the development.

The council have no money to provide the key elements of the scheme. Infact an FOI request that asked for a copy of what is known as the "Coatham Risk Register", showed that the lack of funding for this scheme is just one of the major risks to the scheme. Not only that, the Country is in recession and nothing is being built because people aren't buying in the amounts that they were a year or so ago.

Yet here we had this council, just the day after we had found out that the LSC would not fund our case, wanting to stop up one of the major routes into the town? The glee of the council, upon learning of the LSC's decision, was difficult for them to contain. Not only did they place the notice to stop up Majuba Road in the Gazette, according to a council source officers and members alike were strutting round gloating that we had been beaten and that all was finished. On top of that, the Evening Gazette then phoned one of our group asking for a statement in response to the press release which basically told people that the victory was complete and that the scheme that would regenerate Redcar was finally clear to begin.

The member of our group who was contacted by the Gazette was asked what he wanted to say? "I want to say two things" he said, "Firstly, this scheme won't regenerate the town and second, despite what the council have said in their press release, we are going to petition the House of Lords. The stunned journalist asked him what he meant? How could that be? The LSC have turned you down?

What the journalist didn't know was that two nights before, our group had already managed to raise the money that was required to take this case all of the way to the House of Lords ourselves and that just the day before he had phoned for a statement, the council had been notified by solicitors that this case was going to the House of Lords.

The journalist called on Wednesday I believe and still the story has not appeared in the newspaper? This situation is exactly the same as when the story about Robert Goodwill withdrawing his support for our campaign was featured on the councils website, but strangely, it didn't get as much as a mention in the areas biggest local paper?

On that occasion I gave a statement myself anticipating that the council would have 'bust a gut' to issue a press release, but the council didn't even issue a press release to the Gazette or the rest of the local press? I believe that it was never featured in the press because Robert Goodwill had outlined in the middle paragraph of his statement, allegations of corruption etc, that we had not even mentioned ourselves! It would appear that he wanted to back off because the pressure from Vera Baird was too much for him, but he also wanted to keep his back door open so to speak, by stating publicly what he knew incase there was ever a day when this shabby council were investigated.

And here we have the same situation again, a major story making the councils website to a very limited number of people, yet failing to make the local paper and the truth failing to be taken out to the wider public.

Despite their bluster and their vitriol, this council are desperate. They are in serious trouble financially in being able to deliver this scheme. They are trying to push it ahead for all its worth, even to the point of now stopping up a major road into our town, when they have lost the main leisure elememt THE VISITORS CENTRE from the scheme and when they are replacing it with a youth and drugs counselling centre that has no planning permission, has had no public consultation and which isn't nor ever has been. a part of this scheme. They are keeping things out of the press and out of the wider public consciousness and they are clucking amongst the normal council employees trying to convince anyone that will listen, that they are victorious and we are beaten.

How sad are they? Are a local authority supposed to behave in such an infantile manner? Are they there to grind their tax payers down into the ground like some hostile army that have to subdued and vanquished at all costs? In one word, No.

And so what now for them? Left with egg on their faces once more, this bunch of lying, inept, hypocrites are now faced with the prospect of trying to stop up a major road into the town on the premise that this botched, tainted, disastrous scheme ( to quote Vera Baird and George Dunning ) is about to begin, when it isn't because the whole legal process has now been taken to the highest court in the land. It never was anyway because of all the obstacles that they had to overcome and because of the recession.

I urge as many of you as is humanly possible, to write to the address below objecting to Majuba Road being stopped up. The planning permission referred to in R/2006/0743 cearly states that all planning conditions regarding this scheme have to be met, including the construction of a sea defence in Coatham, before the developement can begin and these conditions have not been. But now there is absolutely no need to stop this major road up because the issue of the village green has been taken all the way to the House of Lords and as such, no stopping up of any road to accomodate this development should be allowed because there is a possibility that the development may not go ahead.

Send your letters to

Ray Oldfield,
The Secretary of State,
National Transport Casework Team,
Government Office for The North East,
Newcastle upon Tyne,
NE1 4WH.

Please have them in by approximately the 20th of this month.

This councils arrogance will be their downfall. They have underestimated the public massively. They have, along with our scrounging MP Vera Baird, castigated us in the press for using the democratic process of being able to get legal aid to fund our case, which is our democratic right.

Now they are faced with the people of Redcar funding the case themselves, what are they going to say now?

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