Shed and Corruption – Part 8: misUsing CA to Misinform

Second Phase of the Shed’s Development
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 26/07/2021 (12:59:19 PM GMT)
To: Paula Abbott
Cc: Alison Hoy, Nicola Robason, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, David Francis, John Rumney, Garry Simmonette, Peter Cunningham, George Mansbridge
Attachment: toPA26-Jul-21-SandC-8.pdf (179 KB)

Our protest that UK Docks’ shed built 3m taller than planned was killed off by Ms Hamilton on the 24th November 2014 when she wrote and told me:-
I can confirm that as previously advised, the Council accepts that the structure in question does not have planning permission. My Stage 3 response to you dated 25 September 2014 also explained the reasons for the Council’s Head of Development Services’ decision that it was not expedient to take planning enforcement action with respect to the development.”
I note your intention to approach the Local Government Ombudsman and this is the correct route for you to now follow if you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of this matter.

Ms Hamilton was the author of a letter to me titled ‘Stage 3 Response‘ which:- a) failed to mention the height of the shed, and b) wrote the extra width off as a non-material consideration. I could see the way things were set as Mr Mansbridge had created a new complaint at Stage 2 – 253539, to overwrite the original complaint, 248789 which had been exhausted at Stage 2 by the Planning Manager as explained in a letter to the Chief Executive 30th December 2021.

The Ombudsman, in her first response also failed to mention the height of the shed and said in paragraph 21:- “It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material”, but a year earlier we had been told by the Head of Development Services in his response to our Petition:- “Apart from the width these dimensions are either entirely in accordance with the approved plan, or subject to such minor deviation that they are properly categorised as non-material changes.

For some strange reason the compaint  to the South Shields MP got diverted to the MP for Berwick and she was told that our claims were on founded on allegations:-
  The matters and allegations raised by your constituent are well documented and have been subject to a number of enquiries from Mr Dawson and other local residents over a lengthy period of time. The matter was ultimately referred by way of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, the outcome of which was delivered on 14 April 2015″
 — Corporate Lead, 25 th June 2015

I say strange because while I had taken up lodgings in Amble the shed was still on River Drive but it did show that South Tyneside Council were content to give misinformation to the Ombudsman so they could quote from the findings to misdirect people. We knew from the responses we were getting from the South Shields MP that they must lying to her but the response given to the MP for Berwick, was the first written evidence that it was being done.

It was how South Tyneside Council managed to hide the fact that the shed was 3m taller than planned until UK Docks got permission to extend it on February 1st 2016. The primary purpose however,  was to hide wrongdoing by building control.

Dear Paula,
I hope this email finds you well and please see it’s attachment which should be self-explanatory.
It seems that quite a few staff have been using Customer Advocacy to avoid answering direct questions about the shed and it started with the Planning Manager in March 2015 and lasted till 2018, about the same time as Alison says she sent me a letter dated 18 April 2018.
I never received the letter as your office would (not) have known my Amble address. It was not until April 2019 that I sent a letter to the then Monitoring Officer, Mr Harding with my address in Amble.
He did not answer it, nor was my email to him about it on 19th June 2019, so obviously the restriction imposed by Hayley October 2016 had not been lifted as Alison has suggested and it looks like you have been coerced into reinforcing it.
If you look at the item tagged, 25 June 2020, on your list you will see it was addressed to Cllr Hamilton and copied to Emma Lewell-Buck MP only, i.e. it was not copied to Alison or anyone at the Town Hall so how did it get onto the list?
The only explanation is that Cllr Hamilton must have been asking about the shed and it looks like someone in your office has been telling her that, contrary to the evidence, the shed is kosher and that I was making allegations and not to be trusted.
It is unlikely that Emma was making the enquiries her MP’s inbox has been set (MimecastTM) to reject mick.dawson at theharbourview.co.uk. and I’m almost certain that was done by Mr Buck or one of his pals and it does not take much to work out it was a Keith Palmer.
If you look at the item tagged, 4 February 2021, there is also the possibility that someone from the Chronicle/Journal has been trying to find out the truth behind the shed so I have copied in their editor as well.
As you read through the misdirections you will see that in the early ones it would not be obvious the various officers were giving her (Alison) misinformation/misrepresentation but by the time we get to Cllr Anglin and the shed being extended in August 2017 it is obvious and that is what made me think about coercive control rather than Alison giving you a list of unanswered emails.
Kind regards
​Michael

Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 8: misUsing CA to Misinform

Shed and Corruption – Part 7: An Aversion to Retrospective Planning

This first appeared in January 2021 as Retrospective Planning Fears and was published in June with a new title.  It was originally written because the promise of a response to my letter of the 24-Dec-20 never materialised:- Dear Nicola, My email started to grow like Topsy when I started to look back at the number of times that my questions/complaints about the height of the shed were referred to Customer Advocacy and especially how many times the responses were accompanied by misrepresentations of various kinds.

Retrospective Planning Fears
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 27/01/2021 (17:59:57 BST)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Melanie Todd, Alison Hoy, Hayley Johnson, Gill Hayton (Solicitor)

2 Attachments:  toNR27-Jan-21.pdf (77 KB)
                toHLS09apr19s.pdf (40 KB)

Dear Nicola,

An email of a couple of thousand words is unmanageable for an email and what I have to say about retrospective planning of rather the lack of it takes a bit more than that so it has been converted to a letter in pdf format so that it is easier to share.

Nos 71 and 72 Greens place made me aware that South Tyneside Council were misusing the Local Government Ombudsman to cover for bad planning decisions and other misdemeanours but I was not sure how it was being done. The simplest device is to fail to register the complaint at all so there is no record of it to refer back to, the result being that you have to start again through each stage until you get to the Ombudsman and where you are contradicted so the case is not upheld and I hope have explained that in the attached letter ‘An Aversion to Retrospective Planning’.

To do this, misinformation has to be passed from stage to stage and a good example has been attached to illustrate this, toNR27-Jan-21.pdf. In the other letter, ‘Councillor Anglin, UK Docks and the Enclosure on River Drive’ the misinformation appears to have been mainlined to a Council Solicitor.

We do not know what UK Docks told their Agents, Maughan Reynolds Partnership Ltd but the second condition was not included in the Discharge of Conditions as that would have to be considered as request for retrospective planning and for that the Agents would have given the Council the approved plans for consideration and it looks like UK Docks had been advised that there was no chance of that getting passed so a scheme was devised to bypass any path that would lead to a retrospective look at the plans.

As I have raised some legal issues, please pass the copies of both attachments to the acting Head of Legal Services, there appears to be a strange filter to his incoming mail, and I think he should be appraised of the events of 2013-2016.

Kind regards

Michael Dawson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Attached Letter~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Nicola,

An Aversion to Retrospective Planning

I have been involved in three cases with the Planning Department of South Tyneside Council where the developer built what he wished to build rather than what was permitted i.e. that which had been approved by the relevant planning authority. All cases are examples of the lack of building control and involved the same building inspector and all should have been considered retrospectively but were not.
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 7: An Aversion to Retrospective Planning

Shed and Corruption – Part 6: Conflation of Complaints

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ rejection ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
From: mailer-daemon@secureserver.net
Date: 25/12/2020 (12:49:26 PM GMT)
To: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk

This is an automatically generated Delivery Status Notification.
Delivery to the following recipients failed permanently:

* john.rumney@southtynside.gov.uk

Reason: There was an error while attempting to deliver your message with [Subject: “Re: Conflation of Complaints.”] to john.rumney@southtynside.gov.uk. It has been in queue too long, and will not attempt delivery again.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ acknowledgement ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Re: Conflation of Complaints.
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 24/12/2020 (12:07:14 PM GMT)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: John Rumney

Attachment: Conflation-23-Dec-20.pdf (505 KB)

Dear Leah,

Thank you for responding on Nicola’s behalf.
On reading back through the email this morning I realised that I should have asked Nicola to pass a copy of it to John Rumney as there are some serious legal points to be gone over before Nicola even considers her response. A blocking application appears to monitoring his incoming mails.

Please excuse me for attaching it again and copying it Mr Rumney. It will check to see if the application is stiil live.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ response ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

RE: Conflation of Complaints.
Date: 24/12/2020 (11:37:26 AM GMT)
From: Nicola Robason
To: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk, Nicola Robason
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-marie Trevelyan MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, Cllr David Francis, Peter Cunningham, George Mansbridge, Hayley Johnson, Alison Hoy, Garry Simmonette, Angela Coutts

Dear Mr Dawson

Thank you for your email regarding complaints you have raised with the Council.

I am writing to acknowledge receipt and confirm that this matter will be looked into and you will receive a response week commencing 4th January.

Regards
Leah

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ email ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Conflation of Complaints.
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 23/12/2020 (03:47:11 PM GMT)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-marie Trevelyan MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, Cllr David Francis, Peter Cunningham, George Mansbridge, Hayley Johnson, Alison Hoy, Garry Simmonette

1 Attachment:  Conflation-23-Dec-20.pdf (505 KB)

Dear Nicola,

My email started to grow like Topsy when I started to look back at the number of times that my questions/complaints about the height of the shed were referred to Customer Advocacy and especially how many times the responses were accompanied by misrepresentations of various kinds.

I’d also started to reproduce quotes and photographs from the various items of correspondence to reduce the number of cross references so I’ve converted ‘Conflation of Complaints’ into a pdf document.

Please see the attached file.

Kind regards,
Mick Dawson

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ letter ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Dear Nicola,

Conflation of Complaints

When we first complained about the height of the enclosure (shed) on the slipway off River Drive, September 2013, we were simply told it had been approved. The Principal Planning Officer was quite helpful and provided us with drawings and a few documents from the archive and even said that we could visit the Town Hall and search through about 250 files that had been recovered (saved to a disc) to check things for ourselves.
And the more we checked, the more we discovered that it was simply not true but unfortunately we were not able to copy any of the files, such as the protest letters from 2001, sent in when Tyne Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd, the previous owners, set the foundations for a shed 13.1m wide x 27.5m long (permission had been granted for one of 12.2m x 22m). It looks like retrospective planning was not considered at that time, mainly because the building inspector did not report this variation from plan. They say it was not his job and I find that difficult to believe but it remains that Tyne Slipway kept quiet about their plans for the longer shed. They may have been happy with this state of affairs but it presented UK Docks with a problem when they needed a taller shed to meet their slipway requirements in 2013.

We were never told when UK Docks took control of Tyne Slipway & Engineering Co Ltd but they were clearly in control when the frames went up in September 2013 but only conditions 3 and 4 appeared on ST/1146/13/COND when it was approved by the Planning Manager on the 14th October..
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 6: Conflation of Complaints

Shed and Corruption – Part 5: Letter to HD, 20-May

Covering Email to Helen Dalby:  20-May-21

Attachment: PDF copy of S and C – Part 5 (The Boat Shed)
and, PDF copy of letter from South Tyneside Council, 29-Apr-21.

Dear Rachel

20th May 2021

If South Tyneside Council do not wish to answer a complaint they simply ignore it and they have various methods or devices to do this. I will use the case of UK Docks’ boat shed as an example.

Neighbours think ‘boat shed’ is a bit of a misnomer and it has been lengthened at the inland end by25% since the picture was taken in 2015. The end you can see has a height of 18.2m but the plans say it should only be 15.5m and if the Council had not ignored our complaint that it was 2.7m taller than permitted it is unlikely to be been put to use or finished.
When UK Docks applied to have it lengthened the Planning Committee were not told that the other end of the shed was 17% taller than permitted and in February 2016 they got permission to extend it. They were aided in this underhand scheme by the Council accusing the protestors of making unfounded allegations:-

The matters and allegations raised by your constituent are well documented and have been subject to a number of enquiries from Mr Dawson and other local residents over a lengthy period of time. The matter was ultimately referred by way of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, the outcome of which was delivered on 14 April 2015.

Corporate Lead to the MP for Berwick – 25th June 2015

One only had to look at any approved plans to see that what the residents was saying was true and the Corporate Lead was the one making allegations. A year later, when I pointed out to the Council that the Ombudsman had been misinformed by one of their Senior Planning Officers, I was told that there was no evidence to support this point of view.
I had asked the Ombudsman to look an approved drawing but she chose to use the some plans provided by the Council that contained errors and had not been approved. She found for the Council, presumably because the Senior Planning Officer had told her the drawings to which he referred had been approved and one need look no further than the dates on those drawings to see the fundamental flaw in his argument. The drawings appear to have been made after approval had been given by the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation.

It appears from here that he had also been leaning on the Ombudsman by repeating the Council’s opinion, that complaints about the shed being too tall, were allegations. There is some evidence of this because when a second ombudsman was asked to review their findings in 2017 he said:-

I consider that your latest complaint remains that of your previous complaint which hasalready been determined and the opportunity to request a review of that decision has passed.

Paul Lewis, Investigator, 17th May 2017

In the first part of his statement, he had conflated the complaint to the Ombudsman made in 2015,that the Council were giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Ombudsman, with the complaint made in 2014:- As the applicant has not discharged condition 2 why is there no retrospective planning application?

The second part should concern those who wish to see that the services like the Local Government Ombudsman are not misused by corrupt Councils to hide misdeeds by their planning and building control staff. Mr Lewis was being complicit with them when he said it was too late to request a review. The approved plans from 1996 survived and they show that the shed was nearly 3m taller than permitted.
In the interval between the First and Second Ombudsman’s findings UK Docks had successfully applied for permission to extend their shed permission to build it was granted on 1st February 2016 and one may curious to know how it came about. The answer was very simple, UK Docks employed another Agent, Gary Craig Associates and both failed mention that their plans to extend the shed included special footings, laid in 2001, and it appears the plans submitted to the planning office in late 2015 for extending the shed were little better than ‘fag packet sketches’.

What was more telling was the threat of suppression of all discussion by the Council on the 1st August 2016:-

Thank you for your letter to Martin Swales, Chief Executive dated 8 July 2016, requesting matters related to your previous complaint to be raised as a new complaint . . . .
There is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman, Neither do I have evidence to question the content of the Ombudsman’s investigation. . . .(you) refused to accept the decision of the Council or Local Government Ombudsman, by arguing points of detail. . . .
I now consider this matter closed. Should you continue to repeat historic complaint issues in your contacts, we will consider imposing formal restrictions on your contact with the Council.

Hayley Johnson, Corporate Lead

What I had said to the Chief Executive was: “I ask you to look again at this because there is a clear contradiction between what the Council were telling the LGO and what is known. Why your staffshould misrepresent the facts to the LGO is for you to determine. That they have misinformed theLGO should be admitted and corrected and that is what this letter is about”

I finished by asking: “I have been advised you may well say that all this relates to an old complaint and so I will ask you for a “new” complaint based on this letter and if you will not deal with it then the Local Government Ombudsman can deal with it” and it appears to have been good advice from the solicitor. He had spotted that the Council were conflating complaints so that the second can beignored.

The first was summarised in 2014 when I asked why were there no retrospective plans submitted when the shed was found to be wider and taller than planned and the second was that the Ombudsman had been misled by a Senior Planning Officer when he said the shed was no taller than the approved plans allow. The clear contradiction was that the authorised plans from 1996 saythe shed should not be taller than 12.7m but the shed is actually 15.5m at that point.

Both the Ombudsman and the Council abuse their complaints procedure by conflating different complaints and the method enabling this is not to register a complaint.
While the Ombudsman is probably not failing to register a complaint that they have been asked to investigate, it appears that they are acting in a like manner as South Tyneside Council when it comes to unjust decisions made by their Inspectors. The main indicator of this happening are in the responses of the Corporate Lead and the Second Inspector which both involve a denial that there was anything out of order followed by a closure:-

There is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman;
I now consider this matter closed.

Corporate Lead,  August 2016.

Followed ten months later by:

I consider that your latest complaint remains that of your previous complaint which has already been determined; the opportunity to request a review of that decision has passed.

2nd Inspector, May 2017.

Two of those ten months were used up by pointing out the shortcomings of the Corporate Lead’s desire to misapply a Section F (persistent and unreasonable complainants) of an unspecified code but they were passed back to her so they disappeared without trace and thus the cycle of deceit could be repeated at will and it was. It was repeated by the Ombudsman’s second inspector when he conflated the complaint was taller than permitted and the Council had done nothing about it with the complaint that the Council had given misinformation/misrepresentation to the Ombudsman.

Corporate Lead was forgetting one thing: there was only one letter to the Chief Executive about his staff misinforming the Ombudsman and it is entirely reasonable so say that the shed is nearly 3m taller than permitted when it is taller than permitted.

The Second Inspector overlooked the fact that his predecessor chosen to use the misinformation provided by Council so that she could say: The complainant says the shed is also 3 metres higher than it should be. The Council says it is not. There is no fault in how the Council decided the shed is the permitted height.

At the end of April 2021, I received a copy of what appears to be a rewrite of Section F, and I was asked take notice of Section 7:

This policy sets out our approach to managing those customers whose actions or behaviour are considered unacceptable, unreasonable or unreasonably persistent and are either having a harmful impact on our staff or their ability to provide an excellent service to other customers.

What is upsetting is that the Council have defined unacceptable behaviour as: “Aggressive, abusive or offensive language or behavior” with the implication that I have been using offensive language or behaving aggressively and they may have had a case had they produced an example.

All they have done is to reproduce a list of unanswered correspondence with the Office of the MP for South Shields and the Council since January 2020. As you can see from Paula Abbott’s email, which I have attached, there will be another year gone before we get any answer to the question the shed’s height.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Dawson