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?

<< Home

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?