Wednesday, September 30, 2009

The trial continues...

Here is the latest story from the multi million pound mortgage fraud that Persimmon homes are involved in...

September 30, 2009


A nurse told a court how a gang of conmen promised to turn him into a wealthy landlord overnight as part of a multi-million pound mortgage fraud.
The Sierra Leonean fraudsters duped millions out of high street mortgage lenders using a network of crooked brokers, accountants and solicitors, it is claimed.

Operating as a shell company with no assets or bank accounts, the gang bought an entire block of flats in southeast London before selling on the luxury apartments at inflated prices.

Southwark Crown Court heard that 'buyers' were recruited from within the Sierra Leonean community to apply for mortgages from banks.

Prosecutors say Persimmon Homes, one of Britain's biggest construction firms, was 'instrumental' in the scam by helping to create inflated valuations for the properties.

Ringleader Alim Barrie later fled to live off the £3.5m profits from the scam, and has never been caught.

Witness Emmanuel Blango told jurors the gang said he could buy two brand new flats worth nearly £300,000 each.

He said he met a man called 'Micky', as well as Barry’s cousin, Mohammed Barrie, who is accused of playing a leading role in the fraud.

Mr Blango initially agreed to buy one flat on condition he paid the mortgage of £800 a month and the gang paid the deposit. The fraudsters then approached him again, saying he could buy a second flat for nothing at all.

He said: 'I met a guy called Mohammed Barrie, a taller guy, slightly fair complexion. That day he was in a Liverpool football club t-shirt.
'We had a lengthy discussion on football, and because I came to the office somewhere in the Surrey Keys.

'Alimou spoke to Mohammed, and Micky and Alimou told me about the other flat.
'They tried to persuade me that it is not going to cost me anything.
'They told me: ''You will not be paying anything on this mortgage, we will rent it out for you.'''

Mr Blango said he was taken to meet a mortgage broker called George, who said he could find him a mortgage for the second flat.
He eventually declined the offer, but the gang still made a mortgage application in his name, it is claimed.

Jurors were shown the fake mortgage application claiming that Mr Blango was a self-employed therapist earning £90,000 a year.
In fact he was a psychiatric nurse, earning just £30,000.

The form was signed by mortgage valuer Sofiya Ahmed, 28, who is in the dock alongside Mohammed Barrie, 39.

Barrie and Ahmed, and Muctaru Barrie, 29, are in the dock at Southwark Crown Court alongside mortgage valuers Brad Fisher, 44, George Sourou, 43, accountant Dean Dairo, 48, and 45-year-old solicitor Okwuchukwu Izuchukwu.
Another Barrie brother, Umaru, also fled the country while on bail.

Accountant Stuart Joseph, 43, has admitted inventing financial references for fraudulent mortgage applicants, the court heard.

The court heard the shell company Atrex bought 84 flats in the Hill House block in Thamesmead from Persimmon for £15.25m and sold them for £18.75m - a profit of £3.5m.

Persimmon makes over 10,000 homes a year in the UK.

Mohammed Barrie, of (78) Pinewood Ave, Dartford, Kent; Izuchukwu, of (139) Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, East London; Ahmed, of (153) Howard Road, Walthamstow, East London; Dairo, of (20) Eastern Ave, South Ockendon, Essex; Fisher, of (33) Tiptree Crescent, Ilford, Essex; and Sourou, of (21) The Crescent, Ilford, Essex deny conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders between October 1, 2005 and November 1, 2006.
Muctaru Barrie, also of (78) Pinewood Place, Mohammed Barrie and Izuchukwu deny conspiracy to launder criminal property.
Joseph, of (4) Furham Field, Pinner, Middlesex, has admitted seven specimen charges of false accounting.

The trial continues.


Friday, September 25, 2009

Why has no investigation into this little lot ever taken place?

Following the revelation that Persimmon Homes PLC are involved in a multi million pound fraud case being heard as we speak in London ( how on earth has this not even been mentioned in the national papers? ) I decided to go back through the things that have come to light about this developer, the Coatham Scheme and Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, in order to try and put all of the pieces of the jigsaw together. This is an attempt to time line all of the information that we have. It's a long posting and it will take you a bit of time to read, but it shows you exactly what has happened here over the five years of our campaign.....

The following facts are all documented or can be backed up with witnesses.

1. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Persimmon homes PLC were both involved in Coatham in 2001, a year before the scheme was even advertised. They had both used the same solicitors and the same consultants who did surveys and reports about the state of the contaminated land in Coatham Enclosure and the gross housing requirements of the Borough, of which Coatham was included.

2. Though the Ombudsman was informed about this, they informed the person who brought it to their attention that there was nothing that they could do because it wasn't brought to their attention within a year of it happening. Though it was pointed out that it had only come to light in 2008, the Ombudsman still took no action.

3. Even though Persimmon Homes PLC are a builder of houses and not leisure and even though leisure developers submitted plans for leisure schemes at the time, Persimmon homes PLC, one year after employing the same solicitors and consultants as the council who had been doing surveys in regard to Coatham and as the biggest housing developer in the country, were taken on as the councils preferred developer to provide a leisure scheme.

4. Though the biggest housing builder was taken on by Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council to develop a leisure scheme, no 106 agreement was ever been signed between the council and Persimmon which ties Persimmon to financially providing any leisure facilities with a leisure scheme.

5. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have continually claimed that the people of Redcar had to have Persimmons' houses built on their coastline in order to attract funding for the leisure facilities in the Coatham Enclosure Scheme. But to date, no funding from either the private or public sector, ( save half a million pounds from Sport England ) and despite the ex CEO Colin Moore and Councillor Vera Moody saying publicly that all the funding had been secured, has been attracted by the Council for leisure facilities.
The council have always realised that there would be a shortfall in funding for the leisure scheme and as a consequence they have always had prudential borrowing down in their costings though they have never drawn the public attention to this. This level of prudential borrowing has risen progressively over a period of five or six years from £3,000,000 originally to what they are currently seeking to borrow ( something that politicians from all sides within the council and the MP Vera Baird said they could never support ) the sum of approx £15,000,000 for the baths/leisure centre which will be in the scheme and which will result in increased council tax.
However, all other leisure facilities have attracted no funding at all even though Persimmon have planning permission for the 359 houses. Persimmon having planning permission is something that the council said would definitely secure funding. But as it stands now, the owners of the eyesore known as the Mungle jungle have attracted no funding whatsoever to turn it into an extreme spotrs centre despite now being given a 125 year lease, the bingo hall has gone from the scheme as has the single screen cinema and as has the most important element of all, the visitor centre, which was going to be the thing that turned the Coatham scheme into a visitor destination of regional importance, but which is now being replaced by a youth club which includes a drugs counselling centre that as it stands now, has seen the local residents being consulted about and which doesn't have planning permission because it has never been a part of the scheme from the beginning. It has been added through desperation as all the other pie in the sky leisure facilities have gone from the scheme.

6. Persimmon Homes PLC are funding no leisure elements of the scheme whatsoever. They are being employed by the council as a developer who will oversee the construction of all aspects of this development ( project manager ). Infact the council have already done this with the refurbishment of the boating lake. Persimmon were acting as agents for the work that was carried out on the boating lake and it was them who employed Hellens Construction from Newcastle to carry out the work, not Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council.

7. In the first instance, the work on the boating lake was going to cost just £60,000 to which Persimmon were going to make a contribution. For some reason, something that the council have refused to answer properly, this cost has risen to over £850,000 NEARLY ONE MILLION POUNDS, and Persimmon homes PLC contributed nothing.

8. In February 2005, the council held a three day exhibition about this scheme in the Coatham Bowl. The council put out comment cards for the public to sign. Two weeks after the closing date for the comment cards to be submitted was passed, a source from the council informed me that the council, because they hadn't gotten enough comment cards giving the scheme the thumbs up, were going to put out a scaled down version of the exhibition, back up on the day of the Half Marathon in the leisure centre reception, with comment cards available for people to sign. They hoped that they would attract more positive comment. Sure enough on that Sunday as the source had said, the exhibition was back out along with comment cards. When we questioned staff as to when the exhibition went back up, they lied and said Friday. We knew that it hadn't gone back out then nor the following day of Saturday, because we had been in to check.

9. When we asked Councilors Vera Moody and Chris Abbott both had different explanations. Vera Moody said she knew nothing about it. Chris Abbott said it was part of a touring exhibition that was going round the borough ( but which didn't ). Officer Peter Ellis said he would look into it and Ian Hopley didn't get back to us. When we got back to him much later, he had adopted Chris Abbotts standpoint.

10. On the Wednesday of the councils exhibition about forty people demonstrated both outside and inside the Coatham Bowl. It was half term and the crowd comprised mainly mums, kids and old people. when we went into the bowl and started asking Ian Hopley and Vera Moody and the Persimmon reps questions, security guards that had been employed became very heavy handed. One old man was pushed to the floor and we were told we had to get out which we did. Shortly after this, three or four vans of police, with CS gas at the ready, were called by the council to deal with the 'mob' outside. When the police saw what they were faced with, they looked puzzled, got back into their vans and left.

11. I was barred from using the leisure centre and the Coatham Bowl by TVLL, the company who run the borough's leisure facilities, for being threatening and abusive on the day of the half marathon. I complained because this was not true. So they held an investigation and even had witnesses give evidence to one of TVLL's managers on one afternoon in 2005. When the video that we had made on the day of the half marathon was produced and shown and it was clear that TVLL's version of events was untrue, I was allowed back into the leisure centre and Coatham Bowl.

12. At anything that the council have put on about Coatham, security guards have always been employed. Even at public meetings. At the LDF meeting at the Library in Redcar in 2005, they assaulted an old man who had been invited to go by the council. They also threw out a journalist for counting empty seats in the meeting room. The council had told members of our group that the LDF meeting, even though it was a public meeting and it involved every last person in the borough, was by invitation only and that all the places were full. When we, along with the journalist turned up to get in, we discovered that far from being full, the room had only 8 or 9 people in it, counting council officers.

13.The councils consultation has been terrible throughout and this was re-iterated by the Labour Group in a press release that they issued when they were in opposition in 2006. Although when they took control of the council in 2007, they then said that the relevant and satisfactory consultation had been carried out?

14.In March 2005, we put on our own exhibition over three days in Coatham Church. Some of art, photography and musics biggest names locally took part and over 2000 people attended. Names like Joe cornish, Ian Mcdonald, Len Tabner, Vin Garbutt, Stu Macfarland, The Teesside Fettlers and Walter Trout all took part. It didn't draw breath in the local press.

15. When the scheme first came into the public consciousness the number of houses in the scheme stood at 250. However, the more that people objected to the scheme, the more the number of houses rose?

16. The council and Persimmon had both known for a number of years that the area was contaminated with things such as cyanide, arsenic, lead, etc and at surface level too, but had said nothing. They also knew that it was home to unexploded mines from WW2. When, after being pointed in the right direction by a source from the council, we discovered in the Coatham planning application the existence of these things and we made it public, the council not only smeared us as being conspiracy theorists and such, they point blank denied that they were at surface level and tried everything that they could in order to say there was no threat. However, at the Coatham Planning meeting, they admitted the contaminants and mines were there but said they would be sorted out. Makes you wonder how when according to the planning application, clearing the site of both would be so costly it would make the scheme financially unviable.

17. On September 7th ot 8th 2007, despite the Planning application stating that there had to be strict safe working practises followed because of the contaminated land and because of the potential prescence of mines, the council dug into the Northern boundary of the Site. When the HSE were called the work was stopped. Three days later, Cllr Mike Findley, Wayne Davis and myself, visited McAlpines Yard in Grangetown.
I had been tipped off by an employee of McAlpines, that the workers who had dug into the Northern Boundary of the site had been instructed to scatter the soil/sand that was dug away, onto the beach at Coatham at low tide mark that but when the HSE were called and work was stopped, the potentially hazardous material was then taken to McAlpines yard and placed under a tarpualin with a sign on it saying "Contaminated material DO NOT UNCOVER".
When Cllr Findley, Wayne and I got to the yard sure enough, there was the material under the tarpaulin and sign that I had been told about. We took photos and then waited in the reception. When Council officer Brian McClean came to McAlpines yard looking shaken he kept us waiting in the reception for about half an hour before ushering us back into the yard.
The tarpaulin and the sign had been removed and Mr McClean tried to make out that there was nothing wrong with the soil/sand. When we asked him where the sign and tarpaulin had gone he made out that he didnt know what we were talking about? so we showed him the photographs that we had taken. At that, he became very confrontational and he told us that we had to leave the site. He told us that tests were being done on the material, but no results of these tests were ever provided.
Back at home I called the now ex CEO to ask him about what had happened. His secretary told me that he would not talk to me until I learned how to speak to people. He then put out an email round the council saying that I had thereatened and been abusive to, his secretary. Fortunately, I had taped my conversation with his secretary and I posted it on a local website to prove that I had not been abusive or threatening at all.

18. All of these facts were given to the HSE. A man called Mr Bill McKay or Bill McCallum spoke to me a few times. He told me that McAlpines, Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and Persimmon Homes had all provided him with information to show that the area where the digging had taken place was not in the contaminated area or the area suspected of being home to unexploded mines. We then provided him with maps to show that this was not true and that infact the area that had been dug into, was suspected of both. When I called him back to discuss this with him and he was obviously aware that the things the Council etc had told him were untrue, he told me that and I quote, "I was missing the bigger picture".

Mr McCallum/McKay left the HSE shortly after this.

19. Despite Persimmons' own planning application stating that these contaminants are two and a half times over the Soil Guidance Values and despite Gary Cutter from the Environment Agency telling me that Persimmons' 'remedy' of clean capping the whole area with just two feet six inches of clean top soil would not be enough, the HSE and their head Sandra Caldwell, have taken no action whatsoever. Even though I have asked them the question how can something be two and a half times over its safe limit and still be safe, they have refused to answer and preferred to adopt the stance taken by the council and Persimmon that everything is okay.

20. In May 2007, seven foot high steel barriers were erected all around the site that initially barricaded people into their own homes. No risk assesments had been done by McAlpines or the Cleveland Firebrigade or the council. I took this information to the HSE once again and Sandra Caldwell told me that the council and McAlpines had informed her that all of the necessary risk assesments had been done before the fences were erected? When I pointed out to her that an FOI act request had shown that no such assesments had been done, she refused to answer and she declined to meet with us despite saying before the planning application had been passed in April 2007, that she would.

21. Despite a local environmentalist called Graham Skinner from the company Naturally Wild doing surveys on the land to show that the area was not only home to lizards and toads but also a feeding and breeding ground for bats, shortly after this information was given to the council in 2006 and despite project manager Ian Hopley knowing about it, the area was then sprayed with deadly poison to kill Ragwort. As no Ragwort had been growing there this was unusual. But when I approached the officer in the department who had authorized the spraying on that sunny June weekend, he told me that he had not been informed about the existence of any of the wildlife that had been brought to Ian Hopleys attention.

22. In November 2006, from absolutely nowhere, plans for a 5GP surgery that would be incorporated into the leisure centre, appeared in the Coatham planning application. Despite this, none of the councillors on the relevant health committees etc, had any knowledge about it and there had been no public consultation whatsoever. When I asked questions I was phoned one Thursday night at 8pm by PCT manager Stephen Childs, who told me that nothing was definite and that no decision had been taken by the PCT to add these plans to the application. After digging around a little further, it came to light that Mr Childs did know all about it and that it was definite because uncovered documents showed that he had done a presentation to the board of the local PCT recommending that the Coatham surgery be moved over to the new Coatham Leisure centre in June 06 and that the board had agreed! In panic, a public consultation exercise was arranged for early January 2007. At the first meeting in the Coatham Memorial Hall, Stephen Childs told a packed room that the decision to add the 5GP surgery to the Coatham Planning application had been a speculative move by Persimmon homes PLC and an officer of the council who he refused to name, yet this was never minuted?

23. But even worse was to come to light in March 2007, because who was sitting on the board of the PCT and attending that meeting? Mrs Veronica Moore wife of the now ex CEO of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Colin Moore ( Something that the leader of the council George Dunning described as naughty, but did nothing about? ). Infact, Mrs Moore had done a visit/tour of the existing Coatham surgery with the CEO of the PCT in the first instance, regarding this matter. So here we had a situation whereby the CEO of the council who had been pushing all aspects of the Coatham scheme as the head of the council and who had, for some reason, taken the planning department under that of his own, was pushing this 5GP surgery which was now being described as a medical village and there was his wife pushing the same 5GP surgery as a non executive board member of the local PCT.

24. Shortly after this information was made public, Mrs Moore resigned her position as non executive board member of the PCT. At the count for the local elections in May 2007, when confronted with this, the ex CEO denied that his wife had voted in favour and said that she had voted against the 5GP surgery being added to the Coatham leisure centre at the meeting in June 2006. When presented with the facts that there had been six or seven votes in favour and one abstention so where was the vote against? Mr Moore refused to answer and left. The ex-finance officer Ray Richardson tried to convince us that Mr and Mrs Moore had never spoken about this at home.

25. It recently came to light that this 5GP surgery or medical village will now no longer be a part of the Coatham Leisure centre or scheme and Stephen Childs has left the department within the PCT, that was involved with it all.

26. The council have always maitained that they are going to sell the land in the Coatham Enclosure to Persimmon for £5,600,000. But an FOI request earlier this year showed that the land had been valued at £4,500,000 at the back end of 2007. So therefore, the land is being sold to Persimmon for either approximately five and a half or four and a half million pounds. This land now has planning permission to build THREE HUNDRED AND FIFTY NINE HOMES UPON IT. Earlier this year, I made contact with some councillors in Middlesbrough who were trying to save Longridge Wood in the nice area of Marton. They provided me with information that showed the Middlesbrough Borough Council were prepared to sell Longridge Wood, an area of approximately seven acres, to Yuill builders who had no planning permission but who wanted to build just seventy two houses on the land, for £8,500,000, thats three million pounds more than the area of Coastline in Coatham which is five times its size and which has actual planning permission to build five times the number of houses?

27. The area of the Coatham Enclosure is a zone three, high flood risk area. The Shoreline Management Plan states that it is a ntural defence from the sea and that as such, their standpoint is "Hold the line do nothing". They would be prepared to let this area flood rather than spend money paying for a sea defence to protect it when there is nothing there to protect. Therefore, if Persimmon homes want to build houses there it is their responsibility to fund and maintain the sea defence. This responsibility is set down in the councils development brief for Coatham and is part of the Government guideline PPG25 which was tightened up in 2006 to become PPS25. Though this council under this Government Guideline should have directed Persimmon away from building on the floodplain in Coatham, the council have actively encouraged them to build there and done all they can to help them. They have...

A. Paid for Persimmons' legal and Consultancy fees to the tune of £140,000. ( This is something that some architects from Newcastle told me was "extremely dodgy" )

b. Paid for a new classroom at Coatham school which was supposed to be Persimmons/' responsibility.

C. Paid for the entire cost of the boating lake refurbishment which Persimmon were going to contribute to.

D. Taken out a joint indemnity insurance with Persimmon incase the truth about the scheme gets out into the public domain. ( This is something that a Friends of the Earth planner told us was unheard of )

E. They are paying, through prudential borrowing, millions of pounds for the new leisure centre/Baths.

F. And they are now liable financially for a multi million pound sea defence which is the sole responsibility of Persimmon Homes PLC. This they have admitted under the FOI act and in an email from Cabinet member for Economic Development Mark Hannon.

28. One of the 47 planning conditions that have to be met before work can begin, is connected with the construction of this sea defence. In the first instance at the Coatham Planning meeting, Persimmon had to submit plans and designs to the Local Authority which were in keeping with what the EA required in order to keep the area safe from flooding. Shortly after the planning meeting, the EA tightened this planning condition up to read that no houses shall be built before the sea defence is constructed. However, without consulting the EA and without their consent, Officer Simon Dale went against what the planners at the council had already agreed with the EA and changed the tightened up planning condition to read that no houses could be occupied until the sea defence was constructed. This massively benefitted Persimmon. Yet no action has ever been taken against Simon Dale by the council or miraculously, the EA either?
Infact, under the FOI act we obtained emails which show that the EA have been colluding with the council. In one email the EA clearly state that they have to do all they can to help the council because a lot of money and their reputation are at stake. Since when was the councils reputation or a lot of money ever been a consideration for the EA when dealing with issues of flooding? Both the EA and more recently DEFRA, despite being provided with all of the facts about this shoddy episode, have prevaricated, ignored, passed me from pillar to post and taken no action against those responsible whatsoever.
EA officer Gary Cutter, who provided us with so much information and who we were in regular contact with in 2006/07, has now been moved to a different department.

29. Since the start of our campaign a whole host of senior officers who have all been directly involved with Coatham have left the employment of the council. They are Peter Ellis, Dr Joan Rees, Bob Barnes, Nick Mtthews, Colin Moore, Ray Richardson. Moore and Richardson both left on grounds of ill health. However Moore, who conveniently announced his departure shortly after the Coatham scheme was forced through during the period of Purdah, turned up working for Cumbria Council just months after he left Redcar? He was supposed to be employed at Cumbria council on an interim basis but it lasted some 14 or 15 months. Not only that he left [RCBC] with a two year enhanced pay deal that was worth over £369,000.

30. Moore and Richardson have been featured on two or three occasions in Private Eye for their disgraceful behaviour. They have been shown to have surpressed and replaced financial audit reports, in collusion with the Audit Commission, that showed that this council was not a four start authority at all. They have been shown as being in charge of a council that was changing council minutes and awarding themselves extra days paid holiday that were worth thousands of pounds and which weren't reported to council until after they were taken. They have both been featured in many tribunal cases which saw them being found to have been deliberately disingenuous, changing their evidence overnight, concealment, sharp practising, bullying and intimidating. In one tribunal, Simon Dale was found to have brought the council into disrepute for his involvement in the unfair dismissal of a council employee and the ignoring of a tribunal order to re-instate him. Yet in none of these cases were these less than credible and less than professional people sacked or reprimanded. Infact they all were given huge pay rises and in Moores case, despite the leader of the council calling for Moores investigation twice in opposition, he then gave him a glowing reference and praised him in the newspapers when he left?

31. When Moore left, he had left the council with a £12,000,000 black hole in its budget, under his guidance it had been found guilty of maladminstration twice within a six month period by the Ombudsman, it was downgraded to a two star authority which in part, I believe, was down to the fact that we presented a dossier that ran into hundreds of pages to the District Auditor at a meeting that we had with her in 2008. The dossier included details of the surpressed Audit Report and so they couldn't do anything else but be seen to be doing what should have happened in the first place. What is interesting here is that an Audit Commission employee who had supposedly been invloved in the surpression and replacement scandal and who had been moved onto a different department when the story broke in Private Eye, was brought back into his old department to sign off the corporate assesment that we had had involvement with to a degree?

32. The council were then branded, along with just six other councils in the country, NEGLIGENT for having invested money in Icelandic banks against warnings.

33. Council Officer Nick Matthews was supposed to go to Tribunal over his unfair dismissal as Assistant Chief Executive. It was a tribunal that was set to rock the council because of the detailed information that was going to be aired in public about the councils wrongdoing. Both I and another colleague were to be witnesses for Mr Matthews and provided detailed statements to his solicitor. On the day after our film "Coatham, a common concern" which showed to a certain extent what was going on in Coatham was shown in the houses of parliament, Mr Matthews solicitors contacted us and informed us that his case had been settled out of court with the council. How convenient. More to the point, what was the cost to the tax payer to silence Mr Matthews?

34. The film "Coatham a common concern" was shown in Parliament by Robert Goodwill MP, MP for the neighbouring constituency of Scarborough and Whitby. I contacted him in 2007 as my Girlfriends MP telling him what had happened here and asking him to help as no-one was doing anything here in Redcar and Cleveland or in any of the Government bodies set up to protect the public from such abuses by those in power. We met him and showed him the documentation that we had. He agreed to take the unprecedented step of intervening in another MP's ( Vera Bairds ) constituency by showing our film in parliament and calling for an independent investigationbecause he said that if he did not then he would be and I quote "neglecting his duty".

35. What did Vera Baird do when she found out about this? She wrongly threatened Mr Goodwill with reporting him to the speaker of the house of Commons. I wrote to the speaker and he told me that he no jurisdiction outside the chamber, but Mr Goodwill refused to cooperate. Ms Baird then called publicly for an internal investigation by the council and who did she call to head the investigation? Ray Richardson the now ex finance officer who had featured so badly in so many tribunals and in Private Eye. This was no more than a whitewash and an attempt to cover up. As it was no investigation ever took place.

36. But throughout 2008 as I continued to give Mr Goodwill the details of what was going on here such as the council being found guilty of bias and pre-determination in the High Court and about the council being downgraded to a two star authority, he once agreed to show the film and call for an investigation. This was barely touched upon in the local press as wasn't the fact that the council had been found guilty of bias in the High Court? But in May this year, we showed the film in Parliament. It was staggering that despite the massive step of an MP intervening in the Solicitor Generals constituency being taken because he was concerned about what was going on here in regard to Coatham, no-one touched it in the press?

37. Right up to the screening of the film, Vera Baird had tried to put more pressure on Mr Goodwill not to show the film. Even at the screening he started to read out part of an email that she had sent him a day or two previous trying to put pressure on him to stop. Mr Goodwill had been given all of the facts and all of the details backed up with all of the documentation before the film was screened. He had even been sent a proof of a leaflet that was being distributed in Redcar before the screening providing those facts and asking the question is the council corrupt? and he had no worries about it and still went ahead with the screening.
Yet the day after the screening, he retracted his support publicly and issued a joint statement with the council and Vera Baird on the councils website denouncing our film, our group and the content of the film, because the film was seven minutes longer than the unfinished version that he had already watched in his constituency office in Scarborough? These things just didn't add up especially as he had been provided with all of the facts both included and not included, in the final version of the film. But what was most unusual was that in Mr Goodwills statement in the middle paragraph, he brought out allegations about corruption in the council that we had not made publicly ourselves? More than this, Mr Goodwills retraction of support for our campaign and film was a massive coup for the council but whilst they put the story and the joint statements onto their website, they didn't issue a press release about it and it never got into the papers?

38. One of the facts that Mr Goodwill was given by us, along with the emails to back it up, was the fact that Vera Baird encouraged people in Redcar to stand as independents against Labour candidates in the local elections of 2007. She should be thrown out of the party for this and Mr Goodwill told me so, but he didn't make any issue of it whatsoever.

39. At the screening in Parliament, were two independent councilors from Doncaster. They had come along after being invited because Dr Joan Rees who had been so involved with the contraversial Coatham Scheme and who had left suddenly from her massively paid job in the 'four star authority' of Redcar and Cleveland, had been involved in the undervaluing of a bloodstock farm in Doncaster and the seemingly shady dealings that had taken place there. This story had also appeared in Private Eye.

40. The two Doncaster councilors told us that from what they had seen in the film that they knew, through their experience of the Donnygate scandal, that we had massive problems up here in Redcar and Cleveland.

41. Despite sending all of the information regarding what is going on here to a manager at the Homes and Communities Agency, who are supposed to be funding the Coatham scheme to a certain degree, the H+C have not retracted their funding for this scheme. However, so I have been informed, the person that I originally made contact with has moved on to another department now.

42. In 2006, I received hate mail telling me to back off from the campaign if I knew what was good for me. It was very similar in style and wording to hate mail received by Cllrs Mike Findley and Mary Lanigan and which had been placed in their pigeon holes within the council. I reported it to the police and a Seargent Mandy Savery arranged to come to my house one Sunday in April 2006, to take finger prints of the people who had touched it.
Mary Lanigan was in attendance. Whilst in my house, Seargent Savery informed me, in front of my friends and Councilor Lanigan, that the police knew that the hate mail that I had received had come from someone within the council. In August 2006,after hearing nothing back from the police about the results of the finger prints that had been taken in my house some months earlier, I phoned the police. A seargent Schofield told me that none of my friends prints had matched those on the letter. When I asked what was happening as a result of this, I was informed that the police were not going to pursue it further because of a lack of resources.
I pointed out that that wasn't fair because when two young men had been fly posting in the borough accusing Colin Moore amongst others of being corrupt the police, at the insistance of the council, had investigated the two young men responsible for thirteen weeks, detained them for 13 hours, confiscated computers and personal items, took DNA samples and then a few weeks later just let them off without charge, recommending that they only agreed to a meeting with the ex CEO Colin Moore for which basically resulted in nothing more than Moore castigating me to them and giving them a dressing down.
When I asked if I could speak to Seargent Savery, the officer who had taken the prints months previous, I was told that she had been moved to another position in Cleveland Police in Middlesbrough.

43. After complaining to the IPCC, an Inspector Kevin Scott came to my house. He tried to do all that he could to get me to stop pursuing the issue and withdraw my complaint and I refused. He then told me that he could not make people that I suspected within the council of sending me the hate mail, cooperate. I told him who I thought it could be and he left with the list of suspects. In December 2007 I was called to his office in Guisborough with Mary Lanigan where both he and Inspector Colin Askey then informed me that no investigations had been made but the police did not now think that the hate mail came from someone in the council, it wasn't as bad as they had first thought and that as far as the CPS were concerned my case now no longer constituted a crime? When I asked them why they had gone to such lengths on behalf of the council over the issue of the fly posters, an irate Colin Askey pointed out to me that the young men in question were and I quote, 'guilty'. "So why didn't you prosecute them instead of letting them off" I asked? He did not answer.

44. Early the following year, I went back to the IPCC upset with details of what had taken place. Whilst on one hand sounding sympathetic the man who I spoke to on the otherhand, told me there was nothing that the IPCC could now do as it had fallen outside their time frame for investigation.

45. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council were spending tens of thousands of pounds in corporate hospitality at Gisborough Hall. Shortly after being summoned to a meeting with ex CEO Colin Moore on the recommendation of Cleveland Police, one of the young men who had been fly posting, was given a job at Gisborough Hall. He is now a mananger there.

46. In 2007, proceedings to take the council to Judicial Review over the issue of the Coatham Planning meeting began. In December 2007 a High Court Judge ruled that the Coatham Planning meeting had been unlawful due to bias and pre-determination and the planning permission was quashed. That same month both the MP Vera Baird and the leader of the council, publicly admitted that the Judge had infact agreed with them in ruling the planning process unlawful, because they had known all along that the Coatham Planning meeting was wrong and that they had warned the old Lib Dem/Tory coalition against going ahead with it. Vera would have known it was wrong all along because she's a QC and is the Solicitor General of the country.
However, this statement begged more questions than it answered because if that was the case, then why did the Labour group take part in the Coatham Planning Meeting? Why did they have Labour Members vote in favour of it when they knew it was so wrong? Why did they do nothing to get it called in by GONE when they had the chance to and when they had put out a press release to say that it was tainted and it would come back to haunt the council? Why did they pass a cross party motion along with the Lib Dems and the Conservatives in the council shortly after they were re-elected in May 2007, giving the Coatham scheme the green light so it could be completed as soon as possible when they knew it was so wrong and when they and the Labour MP had criticized the scheme so strongly in the run up to the election in 2006/07?
And finally why, when they knew how wrong the planning meeting/process was, did they challenge the judicial review that was brought against it and in so doing spend thousands of pounds of public money defending something that they knew was unlawful all along?

47. So guilty were the council, that they didn't even challenge the High Court judges ruling that had been made against them. But even though the ruling had been made against the council, it was Persimmon Homes PLC who appealled against the High Court decision? The appeal case was heard in Summer 08 and miraculously Persimmon Homes PLC overturned the original High Court ruling?
I say miraculously, because not only were councilors who had pushed the scheme for all it was worth and voted in favour of public money being spent on it, allowed to sit on the planning committee...
A letter had been distributed around the councilors a day or so before the meeting, urging members to vote in favour. The members of the committee didn't even mention this until Councilor Mary Lanigan brought it up at the planning meeting. Members of the committee then admitted that they had received this letter. The councils legal officer blamed this letter as a stunt that the protestors had been responsible for, but this is completely untrue and would have been impossible to do,
The planning committee had been treated to lunch and drinks before the planning meeting took place,
The now leader of the council George Dunning at the last minute, replaced a Labour member of the committee and sat on the planning committee when he shouldn't have, because he had been part of the Coatham scrutinee committee for at least two years and therefore inelligible to take part,
LibDem Councilor Irene Curr gave evidence in support of the scheme when she shouldn't have because she was on the board of TVLL the company who had already submitted a tender and been confirmed as the company who would be running the new leisure centre as part of the scheme at the time of the planning meeting. TVLL had also been running leisure centres in the borough for the council for many years. Councillor Curr also failed to declare this interest to the planning committee,
Another Liberal Democrat councillor who stood down as councillor the following month in the local elections, said openly that he was going to vote for planning permission to be granted, because he didn't like the way that members of the public who gave evidence spoke about the officers of the council?
A man who I now know, but who was unknown to me at the time, sat next to me during the whole planning meeting. Towards the end of the meeting, without provocation, he turned round to me and told me that he was and I quote "going to have his day with me". Other people heard him say this. I did not respond. Shortly after Peter Jordan from Persimmon homes gave his evidence, this man then leapt to his feet and shouted to the packed room that I had threatened Mr Jordan as he had returned to his seat. Members of the public told him to sit down as no such threats had been made. It has been suggested that the man in question was a plant sent by the Liberal Democrats to cause trouble.

He stood for them in the elections the following month, but failed to get elected.

He was elected this year in a by election.

Most incredible of all, was the fact that the development agreement for Coatham was signed two days BEFORE the local elections in 2007 before the new Labour administration, who had been promising to take the scheme back to the drawing board were re-elected, and two or three weeks BEFORE the council even knew if GONE were going to call the scheme in for a public inquiry?
The Ombudsman refused to take any action against the council or any of the officers or members who had forced it through when they were originally found in the high court to have acted unlawfully.

48. Given that there had been over 2000 objections to the planning application, a 10,000 signature petition against the scheme had been submitted to GONE and the council in 2005 but not even mentioned at the planning meeting, there were a thousand calls for a public inquiry handed into Vera Bairds office to be given to GONE, the scheme was clouded in controversy, a member of the council themselves had called for GONE to call it in and the MP herself had even put out a letter to the whole town telling the public that the LibDem/Tory coalition should get the scheme called in, GONE gave the scheme the go ahead and the thumbs up?

49. It came to light shortly after the planning meeting in 2007, that GONE had given Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council ONE MILLION POUNDS to help them attract funding, before the planning meeting took place in 2006.

50. A few months after the planning meeting in 2007, our solicitor drew our attention to the fact that the High Court Judge who had originally ruled against the council had been promoted to appeal court judge by none other than Vera Baird MP's department as Solicitor General.

51. In Summer 2008 after the appeal court had overturned the original ruling of the High Court and despite stating in the press that both she and the Labour group leader had both known all along how wrong the Coatham Planning process was wrong, the MP Vera Baird and Labour group leader George Dunning said nothing. They knew how wrong it was, they knew it and they had said so publicly but did they voice their dismay at the High court ruling being overturned at appeal? No, they kept quiet?

52. In late 2006, after being informed by the council that they were not going to have their lease renewed, the owners of the caravan parks lease Lido Leisure, started legal proceedings. This made the local press. We provided Lido Leisure with information to assist their legal action. It was due to go to the High Court early in 2007, but instead, the action was dropped and the council sold both the Redcar caravan site and the Saltburn Caravan site to Lido Leisure for an undisclosed amount.

53. In 2005, Vera Bairds secretary Peter Scott, now cabinet member for Corporate Resources, leaked a letter to me that had been sent to Vera Baird from the ex CEO Colin Moore. In that letter he lied stating that I had acted violently towards a female councillor at the Coatham Exhibition that February. This is a complete and utter lie. But more importantly than Moores attempts to smear and denegrate was the part of the letter that stated that if she distanced herself from me and our campaign, "THEN IN RETURN" he would agree to meet her and answer her questions. This is proof of this unelected officer of the council, completely subventing the council and acting as a politician which should be well outside of his remit.

54. Individuals within the council have done all that they can to smear and denegrate and lie about people who have supported this campaign over five and a half years. We have been described as a rabble, a mob, anarchists, undemocratic, liars etc. I myself have had Cllrs Chris Abbott and Dave Fitzpatrick start an untrue smear campaign that I was a member of the BNP when I am not, nor ever have been. I took them to the standards board for this but the Standards Board did nothing accepting the councils legal officers explanation that it was just political banter in the run up to the General election which I stood in as independent in 2005. A decision I took in March 2005, 6 months after the smear campaign began.

55. In October 2006, the LibDems issued a 'newsletter' that claimed that Coatham councillors had been sent threatening emails and letters, abused over the phone late at night and spat at in the street. They were careful not to mention anyones name in this drivel, though they did refer to the 'lead protestor' which everyone would agree that I am. These allegations have never been substantiated, copies of these letters have never been produced but more than this and bearing in mind the severity of their claims, the police have never been involved. Neither I, nor any of our group have been arrested or questioned or prosecuted over anything to do with our campaign in Coatham.

56. However, despite taking the facts out in over 25 letters that have been delivered to the whole of the twon and to the borough on two occasions, depite printing all of the facts, the council whilst calling us liars, has NEVER taken any legal action against any of the things that we have made public, which is surprising if we had been lying so much? Even in the case of our film "Coatham a common concern", the council and the MP have described it as libellous and lying, yet they have not taken any legal action whatsoever against its makers or to try to prevent it legally from being shown to the public of the town and borough. To date between 800 and 1000 people have seen it.

57. Whilst Vera Baird MP has described the film as being libellous, the only step she has taken to try and stop it being shown, was when she phoned the elderly Church warden of Coatham church on the opening night of three screenings and tried to intimidate him into not showing it. He did not bow down to her threats or bullying. I have a sworn written statement from the warden.

58. In late 2006, I was approached by a family from East Cleveland. Their son had been wrongly implicated in a fracas that had taken place outside a public house in Loftus. As a result of this, later on that same night, he was dragged into this pub and assaulted by people inside. The owner of the pub was, at the time, the deputy leader of the council and cabinet member for culture tourism and leisure. Whilst the young man was inside the pub, youths outside smashed a window of the pub.and kicked the doors which had been shut tight. This was all caught on CCTV video tape as were the images of the deputy leader of the council emerging from the pub wielding a chain in a threatening manner and chasing these youths out of view whilst other people who had come out of the pub with him, broke up what appears to be a 'for sale' sign, to use as batons.

59. The police are then obviously called and the young man who had been assaulted in the pub, was taken away. As a result of this the young mans parents complained to the police about the behaviour of the deputy leader of the council, but the police told the young mans parents that it would not be in the best interests of the public to charge him. The young mans parents gave me a letter telling me what had happened, along with a copy of the subsequent court notes and a copy of the CCTV footage and I put the notes and the letter onto this site. Shortly after it appeared on this site in January 2007, three detectives called at the young mans house wanting to know where I had got the information from? The young mans parents refused to co-operate. The police then spent six months trying to fit a crime to me posting the details of what had happened onto this site, when no crime either civilly or criminally had been committed. They acted on behalf of this councillor over a civil issue. The police acting on someones behalf over a civil issue is just unheard of. I was asked in to just have a talk to a detective in June that year about this issue. In front of my solicitor, they admitted that they had spent 6 months trying to fit a crime to me posting on this site. I told them in no uncertain terms that they were a disgrace and that in doing what they had done, they were clearly just trying to intimidate and frighten me. I told them if it did not stop, then I would take it to the press.

60. The police and the CPS took no further action.

61. In 2004/2005 I had a death threat made to me over the phone when other people were present. I had another threatening call left on my girlfriends phone on the day that the councils exhibition started in February 2005. I had many threatening and nasty text messages sent to me. But even though I complained to the police and even though I had the numbers stored on the mobile phone from the texts that had been sent, the police told me that they couldn't investigate. They told me that they wouldn't be able to find who was responsible. When I had the death threat I went straight to the police station in Redcar and had a chat with a great police seargent. I told him about the call and what I thought about it and as to who it may have come from.

62.When the next threatening call came and I went back to the police station, I asked for the police seargent that I had spoken to before but I was told that he had been moved to another station.

63. In 2006, the affair of Councillor Steve Kay and the independent groups secretary hit the front page of the Evening Gazette. Steve Kay, the cabinet member for education somehow kept his job. It was Mr Kays cavorting with the independent groups secretary in council offices that led to the splitting up of the independents into two factions, the Independents and the East Cleveland Independents. The East Cleveland Independents comprised Cllr Dave Fitzpatrick and Cllr Steve Kay. Despite having only TWO people in the group, they have been allowed to be classed as a group and able to have a leader on leaders salary for approximately six years.

64. In March 2006, we released the 'Informer' news sheet. Whilst the council, once again, dismissed its contents as lies, they did not challenge or attempt to disprove any of the things that we had said. On the morning that we picked up the Informer from the printers we were informed by the printer that someone from the council had phoned three times trying to intimidate them into not releasing the news sheet to us. The printer was told that things had been printed as being said by the MP and that they were completely untrue and libellous. The printer was told that the MP was unhappy about this.

65. What the council didn't know was that the MP, Vera Baird, had actually given us the comments for the Informer voluntarily. When asked about it the councils now ex CEO denied this. But the printers wrote and signed a sworn statement as to what happened.

66. Included in the Informer was a section on the Private Road Adoption scheme. This had been pushed for all its worth by the LibDem/Tory Coalition/East Cleveland Coalition. One of the people who pushed this scheme was Councillor Steve Kay. Despite having five of these small dirt tracks being adopted all around his house in the tiny village of Moorsholm, he did not declare his interests. When we brought this to light in the informer and showed pictures to prove it, he then started to declare his interests in all aspects relating to the private road adoption scheme.

67. Though this was brought to the attention of the council, no action was taken.

68. The Standards board accepted the councils legal officers explanation that he didn't know that he had to declare his interests.

69. Steve Kay has been a councillor for approximately 30 years and one time mayor of the borough.

70. The private road adoption scheme was going to cost the council approximately £1, 300,000 but with the interest added onto that, the figure would rise to between 4 and 6 million. However, at the time of the 2007 Local Elections, Councilor Mary Lanigan was approached by a sub contractor who had been employed by McAlpines to do the work on the private roads and told her that he had been paid nowhere near what the council had paid McAlpines to do the work. One of the privately adopted roads even belonged to Lord Zetland! Mary Lanigan included this in her election literature that year.

71. She acquired receipts and invoices from the subcontractor to show exactly what he had claimed for. After the elections in 2007, Mary Lanigan was made member for Highways etc. She told me that she wanted this so that she could look deeper into what had gone on. Shortly after her appointment a story appeared in the Gazette about this issue and there were calls for an investigation.

72. No such investigation has ever taken place. Despite it appearing in council minutes that it was going to be forwarded onto the Audit Commission the District Auditor, when we had our meeting with her last year, said that she didn't know anything about it?

73. The ex CEO Colin Moore, told Councilor Mike Findley when he first became a councillor in 2003, that there were two schemes that had to be gotten through in the LibDem/Tory/Independent term of office and they were the private road adoption scheme and the Coatham Enclosure scheme.

74. Both Steve Kay and Vera Moody both recently refused to make statements about the private road adoption scheme.

75. The private road adoption scheme has now been abandoned.

76. The council have always claimed that the 'silent majority' were in favour of their scheme but have never provided proof of this. On the other hand we have submitted a 10,000 signature petition against the scheme, there were over 2000 objections to the scheme, we have had four marches in the town with 2-300 people in attendance each time, we have had countless meetings where between 200 and more recently 500 people have been in attendance, we had over two thousand people through the doors of our exhibition, between 800 and 1000 people have come to see our film and when I stood in the General election in 2005 on this single issue I came fourth with 2379 votes. We fielded candidates in the local election where none were returned but in each case our candidiates polled between two and three hundred votes. I myself stood against the Lib Dem leader Chris Abbott in his safe seat and reduced his majority from approximately 1100 to approximately 600. Despite the massive support for what we are doing, the council has taken no heed at all.

77. In 2006, it emerged from a source within the council, that the council were going to part company with Liberata. We made this public and can you believe that I actually had two calls from Colin Moore himself telling me that as usual, I had gotten my facts wrong and Liberata were not ending their contract with the council.

78. Either in late 2006 or in 2007, the council parted company with Liberata.

79. In March 2007 at Teesside magistrates Court, I faced legal heavy weight George Lawrence. The council had applied to stop up certain footpaths that crossed over Coatham Common and which have been there, in some cases, for 150 years or so. The council had, in the first instance, registered some of the paths we had applied to have registered, as being actual paths. We later discovered that this was just a way to get round having a public inquiry about the matter which would have probably taken place if they had refused to register them. So they registered them and then applied to stop them up.

80. When we were alerted as to what they had tried to do, we submitted approximately 30 letters of objection. At six o'clock on a Friday night, just two days before the hearing, one of our group was hand delivered a bundle of papers from the councils legal dept. In the bundle was a letter that continually made references to being members of the public being responsible for costs. It was a clear threatening tactic. However, two of our group went to court on the day and forced a hearing into the whole issue.

81. We later found out that the council, who had brought George Lawrence QC up from London with his legal team, paid Mr Lawrence TWELVE AND A HALF THOUSAND POUNDS of public money, for being in court for twenty five minutes. This should of course been something that the councils own solicitor should have dealt with.

82. At the main hearing in March 2007 though, because the council had made so many references to being liable for costs and because George Lawrence and his legal team were being brought up for two whole days and just twenty five minutes, the amount of objections had dropped to just a hand full and I was the only person who was prepared to go to court to get the truth.

83. Unaware that I was able to cross examine the council witnesses, I sat there oblivious listening to Officer Alan Logan tell the judge that there was going to be this in the scheme and that in the scheme. This went directly against things that were in council documents that I had in my possesion. I then suddenly realised that I could cross examine. Under cross examination, Mr Logan admitted to the judge that the Coatham scheme would not include the visitor centre ( the most important element ) that the beach at Coatham would be closed on a seasonal and spacial basis, that there would be no extreme sports centre. He constantly said that he did not know the answers to my questions but he was a senior officer in regeneration?

84. Whe I pointed out to him that the evidence that he had offered to the judge was totally different to what he had told me under cross examination, he simply said that he had been asked to read out the statement he had made to the judge. What a weak excuse for lying to a judge.

85. Despite admitting in March in a British court that there was going to be no visitor centre, at the subsequent High Court Judicial Review later that year, Mr Logans statement once again maintained that there was?

86. The council applied for costs when they won, but the judge turned them down saying that members of the public should not be put off stating their case by the threat of costs.

87. The Evening Gazette, who had had a reporter in attendance throughout the hearing, didn't print any of the damning facts that had been aired in court and still maintained in their subsequent report that the scheme would include a visitor centre.

88. On March 27 2008, Cllrs George Dunning and Mark Hannon put out a press release that made out that the village green process had finished and that we had been refused the right to take the issue of the village green up to Judicial Review. To a small degree that was correct, but what Dunning and Hannon hadn't told people was that the day before the press release went out, the council had started proceedings to take the issue of the village green to Judicial Review themselves.

89. The judge had refused to let us apply to go to Judicial Review, but part of the process is that if the judge refuses, the applicant has the right to state their case orally. We had, through our legal team, told the council that this was our intention. So knowing that they would most probably be beaten at such an oral hearing, the council applied for what they called an "expedited, rolled up hearing" ( speedy judicial review ) in regard to the village green issue. They did this once again, to save time. If they hadn't they would have had to have had the initial oral hearing, then the judge would have had to make his decision and then he would have come back and said yes and then a date would have had to be set for the judicial review, so the council completelt subvented that whole process and applied for a speedy judicial review the day before Dunnings and Hannons press release was issued.

90. The thing is that they both knew, because the councils legal officer had informed George Dunning weeks before, that going for a speedy JR was the councils intention yet they still put out a press release that totally misled the public into thinking that the process was over.

91. When it all came out in the wash through correspondences between myself and the council, they were actually trying to get round this abuse and the lying, misleading press release being put out by saying that it was actually Persimmon who took the issue to this speedy Judicial Review and not the council. But the fact was that Persimmon didn't do that until April 2008. It had been the council who had notified opposing solicitors in March 2008 and so it had been the councils intention up till then, to take this issue to JR.

92. The Ombudsman, despite being given all of the facts including a copy of an email from the applicants solicitors to the council asking why they had put out the press release when it was clearly misleading, did nothing. Infact, they haven't even answered my email of complaint.

93. The Village Green Issue is now being taken all the way to the House of Lords/Supreme Court. It's far from over.

94. In 2006 The ex CEO of Redcar and Cleveland councils past as CEO of Tamworth Council, was featured on Redcar.Net. The original posting that had been made stated certain things that I made an innocuous comment on as I had spoken to people at Tamworth council myself. Shortly after this, I, along with the administrator of the site, received letters from Carter Ruck solicitors in London on behalf of the now ex-CEO telling me to retract the statements and apologise to Mr Moore. I removed my posting which hadn't said anything in regard to Mr Moores time at Tamworth, but I did not apologise. I have heard no more from Carter Ruck. A sledgehammer to crack a walnut?

95. After SOLACE were informed that Mr Colin Moore had been found in Tribunals to have been deliberately disingenuous, sharp practising to the point of abusing certain council processes, changing his evidence overnight, bullying, intimidation and concealment whilst CEO here and that he left Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council on grounds of ill health with a two year enhanced pay deal worth over £369,000 only to turn up working for Cumbria Council two or three months later SOLACE, contacted SOLACE enterprises, of whom Mr Moore is an associate and they came back and said that Mr Moore had had excellent references from Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council and that his behaviour in the tribunals did not affect his work at Cumbria council. They were satisfied that he met all of their criteria.

96. After John Denham MP issued a statement to the effect that he would not tolerate CEO's behaving basically in the manner that Mr Moore had here, I wrote back to them and copied Mr Denham into the email.

97. Neither have replied.

98. It is widely accepted that Mr Moore used to work at one time for the Labour Party.

99. Only a few weeks ago, I received an indication from an unknown source that SOLACE enterprises may fund the Labour Party.

100. The new CEO of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council, Mrs Amanda Skelton, was brought in from South Tyneside council, another traditional Labour Authority. She left there and came here under a cloud, after being found to have witheld information from an investigation into the Trow Quarry scandal in South Tyneside.

101. Mr Colin Moore the ex-CEO here, took part in her selection process.

102. It came to light last year, that an employee of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council had had her offer of employment retracted by the council because she had spoken the truth about the unlawful way the council had behaved in an unissued, draft press release, from the community group that she is a part of. The draft press release had been leaked to the council. Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council told her to choose her friends more wisely in future and retracted her offer of employment.

103. Dinner ladies in the borough were encouraged by their own union man to take pay deals well below what they were entitled to, on behalf of the officers of the council. The dinner ladies were eventually given the full amount after taking it to tribunal. The Union man, even though he had been given a managerial position, was 'sacked' as union man and thrown out of the union for bringing it into disrepute.

104. Last year the Council, Audit Commission, GONE, Persimmon Homes and a couple of other bodies were asked under the FOI act, if Mrs Veronica Moore had worked for them in any capacity. Three of them came back and said no. Two of them however replied refusing to answer, stating that they would not give the answer because of some data protection clause. This seemed odd as the other three hadn't used this excuse and just told me that Mrs Moore hadn't worked for them.

105. The two that refused to answer were the Audit Commission who Mrs Moore had already stated she had worked for on the PCT website, and Persimmon Homes PLC.

106. Persimmon Homes PLC's founder Mr Duncan Davidson, was found recently to have made financial donations of tens of thousands of pounds to the Conservative Party.

107. Mr Robert Goodwill MP, was friends with the founder of Persimmon Homes PLC, Mr Duncan Davidson and is friends with his children.

108. Mr Robert Goodwill has denied any knowledge of Persimmon Homes PLC funding the Conservative Party.

109. Mr Duncan Davidson is the Grandson of the Duke of Norfolk and was page boy at the Queens Coronation in 1953.

110. This week it emerged in Southwark Crown Court that Persimmon Homes PLC had been 'instrumental' in a multi million pound mortgage fraud in Thamesmead in London.

111. The police had not investigated them even though they are implicated due to a 'lack of resources'?

112. This year after Mr Robert Goodwill MP retracted his support for our campaign, in the press release that he jointly put out with the council and Vera Baird MP, the council stated that they had had claims of corruption investigated by the Police, the Audit Commission and the MP among others.

113. We discovered under the FOI act that this is untrue and no such investigations have ever taken place.

114. We have two letters from the Serious Fraud Office which state that the things that we have brought to their attention and I quote "pertain to corruption" and that there are things here that "should be investigated by the police possibly assisted by the CPS". Both Ashok Kumar MP and Mike Newbury of the Audit commission asked, when we had meetings with them in 2005 and 2008 respectively, if we thought there was corruption within Redcar and Cleveland Borough council. Why would they ask this based on the information that we had provided them with?

115. Vera Baird MP, as Solicitor General of the country, is in charge of the Serious Fraud Office.

116. No investigations, by the standards board, ombudsman, Audit Commission, police, Serious Fraud Office, HSE, or both of the areas MP's into Coatham and the behaviour of Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council have ever taken place.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Why is Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council involved with such a developer?

Today, I was given access to the full story about the headline I posted involving Persimmon and the mortgage fraud case currently taking place in Southwark Crown Court in London. I have copied and pasted the story below. Read it and be amazed and ask yourself the question why is Redcar and Cleveland Borough Council involved to such a large extent with Persimmon homes PLC?

For me, suddenly a lot of the unanswered questions that I posed a couple of days ago, make a lot more sense. Here is the article in full...

Full Report –
September 18, 2009


One of Britain's biggest home builders was 'instrumental' in a multi million pound mortgage fraud, a court heard.A gang of conmen made profits of £3.5m when they bought a brand new block of flats from Persimmon Homes and sold on the properties for huge mark-ups, it is claimed.

Persimmon Homes was involved in inflating the prices but police do not have the resources to investigate the company, Southwark Crown Court heard.
Prosecutors say the fraudsters recruited dozens of dupes to apply for fraudulent mortgages, promising them they could move into the luxury apartments for nothing.

Gang members even waited at a supermarket checkout to entice potential buyers into the scam as they paid for their groceries.

The fraudsters then used a network of crooked mortgage brokers and accountants to create fake financial histories for the applicants, jurors heard.
In total, they bought and 'sold' a total of 84 flats in the Hill House block in Thamesmead, se London, making profits of £3.5m.

Mastermind Alim Barrie then fled abroad with much of the cash, and has not been seen since.His cousins Mohammed, 39, and Muctaru Barrie, 29, are in the dock at Southwark Crown Court alongside mortgage valuers Brad Fisher, 44, George Sourou, 43, and Sofiya Ahmed, 28, accountant Dean Dairo, 48, and 45-year-old solicitor Okwuchukwu Izuchukwu.

Another Barrie brother, Umaru, also fled the country while on bail.
Prosecutor Richard Mandel said: 'In order to sell 84 flats, a major recruiting drive for buyers was needed. It had to be done outside the ordinary legitimate market. 'Parties were fertile ground. In one instance, the buyer was recruited in a supermarket queue, waiting to pay for his groceries at the till.
'The recruiters were Alim himself and also, directly or indirectly, Umaru and Mohammed Barrie, who must have been well aware of the fraudulent nature of the scheme.

'The recruitment drive by and through the three men was fabulously successful: Atrex sold all 84 flats in the space of five months between May and October 2006.'And no wonder. To become the owner of a brand-new flat at no cost: who can resist the call of such magic?'Once the buyers were recruited, new work histories were created for them to enable them to get mortgages.

Accountant Stuart Joseph, 43, has admitted inventing financial references for fraudulent mortgage applicants, the court heard.Mr Mandel told the court that staff at Persimmon helped to create creating inflated valuations for the flats so that mortgage lenders would part with more cash.

Although the flats were being sold by Barry's firm Atrex - a shell company with no assets and no bank accounts, surveyors were given the impression that they were being sold directly to individual buyers by Persimmon.

Mr Mandel said: 'Valuers would have no reason to doubt the false information they were given. After all, Hill House was visibly a new block, and Persimmon did have a sales organisation that sold flats individually to members of the public.'With the false valuation in place, the fraudulent package to the lender would be complete. A mortgage in the sum requested would not be long in coming.'

But the barrister said it had not been possible to investigate Persimmon staff members' possible connection with the fraud because of a lack of police resources.He said: 'It follows that Persimmon staff were instrumental in the generation of false valuations by surveyors, and therefore instrumental in the operation of the fraud.

'Were Persimmon staff complicit?

'If they were not complicit, but unknowingly providing false information on instructions, from whom did those instructions come?
'Given the size of Persimmon, the answers to these questions, and others about the possible involvement of Persimmon employees in the fraud, would require a huge police investigation. For reasons already touched on, there has been no such investigation.'The court heard Atrex bought the fats from Persimmon for £15.25m and sold them for £18.75m - a profit of £3.5m.

Persimmon makes over 10,000 homes a year in the UK.

Mohammed Barrie, of (78) Pinewood Ave, Dartford, Kent; Izuchukwu, of (139) Earlham Grove, Forest Gate, East London; Ahmed, of (153) Howard Road, Walthamstow, East London; Dairo, of (20) Eastern Ave, South Ockendon, Essex; Fisher, of (33) Tiptree Crescent, Ilford, Essex; and Sourou, of (21) The Crescent, Ilford, Essex deny conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders between October 1, 2005 and November 1, 2006.
Muctaru Barrie, also of (78) Pinewood Place, Mohammed Barrie and Izuchukwu deny conspiracy to launder criminal property.
Joseph, of (4) Furham Field, Pinner, Middlesex, has admitted seven specimen charges of false accounting.

The trial continues.


In court on the 24th at Sothwark Crown Court...COURT THREE: At 10am: Ongoing trial of Brad Fisher and four others for conspiracy to defraud, money laundering and false accounting. £20m mortgage fraud. Persimmon Homes director Jason Stokes giving evidence.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How very, very interesting...

Have a look at this link to the BBC...

My word, Vera Bairds aide is stepping down over the issue of the Attorney General breaking the law in employing an illegal immigrant and being allowed to remain in her position. It begs you to ask the question if Vera will show the same amount of decency and do the same?

That having been said after trying to claim for Christmas decorations and trees and 49p scourers as essentials for her job as Solicitor General along with new kitchens and a whole host of other luxuries and after her less than decent or credible, two faced behaviour over the issue of the Coatham Enclosure where she described it in one breath as being a disaster and as not being able to deliver any of the leisure facilities that it was promising, least of all a £14,000,000 Visitor Centre that was going to make the scheme a visitor destination of regional importance and then in the next breath ( after Labour had regained control of the council ) she described it as exciting and all of the other things that she had dismissed it for not being, it is clear that this woman is not decent or honest at all.

I hope for the sake of this borough, this woman is sacked along with her buddy, the Attorney General and that as a result, the spotlight is shone on her atrocious record for acting decently. Ultimately I hope that the spotlight is focussed on her successful attempt to threaten and stop Robert Goodwill MP from supporting our campaign and the film he actually showed in Parliament after he had already intervened in her constituency, and after he was prepared to call for an independent investigation into the issue of Coatham and the Local Authority in her constituency that she has tried, no matter what they have done, so hard to protect.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

The trial begins and it doesn't look too good for Persimmon...

Here is a link to a story that I have been following for some months now

It involves a group of people who bought apartments from Persimmon homes in Thamesmead for a knock down price only to then sell them at an inflated price. As the headline from this article shows, it looks as though Persimmon may have been 'instrumental' in this massive mortgage fraud? This case went to court on Thursday afternoon I believe, so lets see how things develop.

But it makes you ask a few questions doesn't it? If Persimmon are as instrumental in this mortgage fraud as is made out in this headline, then is this the only time that they have done something like this ? Afterall, as I posted on this blog a while ago, it looks like they have been involved in something very similar in other parts of the country, but more than this, why is our council so keen to jump into bed with and bend over backwards for, a developer who are featuring in such sordid court cases?

Even worse, could what be coming to light in this case shine any light on why Redcar council want to sell 35 acres of prime coastland in Coatham with planning permission to build 359 homes on it for just £5, 600,000 to Persimmon, when Middlesbrough council wanted to sell approximately just seven acres of land to Yuill to build just 70 odd houses on it for £8,500,000? How can seven or so acres of land in Middlesbrough be worth three million pounds more than an area of coastline in Coatham that is five times its size and which has actual planning permission for five times the number of houses?

Not only that, why is there no 106 agreement in place between the council and Persimmon which ties Persimmon to providing any leisure facilities in a leisure development? Why has the council paid for Persimmons legal and consultancy costs when we had a £12,000,000 hole in our budget and they were the biggest builder in the country? And why is the council now responsible financially for a sea defence in Coatham that is Persimmons' sole responsibility and which only has to be built if the houses are built on that floodplain?

Or even more inexplicable, why were Persimmon Homes and this council using the same solicitors and consultants who were doing surveys and reports about the state of the contaminated land in Coatham and the Gross HOUSING requirements of Coatham a YEAR BEFORE the Coatham LEISURE scheme was even advertised? Why should the countries biggest housing developer be awarded the contract for a Leisure scheme when they aren't responsible financially, for providing any leisure as part of the scheme?

None of it makes sense does it? Any of it...

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Supreme Courts, Information Tribunals and now a Public Inquiry...

Today I, along with hundreds of other people presumably, received a letter from the Secretary of State for Transport. Because of the 'information' that he had had put before him regarding Persimmons' application to stop up Majuba Road, he has decided to call for a public inquiry into the whole matter.

This, along with the Petition of the House of Lords/Supreme Court and the Information Tribunal regarding the councils financial commitment to providing the sea defence in Coatham when it is supposed to be the sole responsibility of Persimmon, is a yet another massive set back for the Council, Persimmon and their disastrous ( To quote Vera Baird ) scheme.

More than this, all of these actions will put the real and true facts about this development into the public domain and that is something that neither the council or their preferred developer have ever really wanted.

When will these arrogant people realise that the people of this area will not just lie down, roll over and go away until the full truth is known.

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