Shed and Corruption – Part 14

Covering Email
Shed and Corruption - Part 14
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 29/04/2022 (16:27:49 BST)
To:   Nicola Robason
Cc:   Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, 
      Paula Abbott, Alison Hoy, Hayley Johnson
Attachment: Shed and Corruption - Part 14.pdf

Dear Nicola,

Please see the attached file. I hope my condemnation of the two planning officers needs no explanation.

When Mrs Johnson first accused me of being unreasonable in my attempts to bring the truth about UK Docks’ shed to everyone’s attention, one of her claims was that I had adopted a ‘scattergun’ approach:- “pursuing a complaint or complaints with the authority and, at the same time, with a Member of Parliament/a councillor/independent auditor/the Standards Board/local police/solicitors, while an appropriate avenue is available via the Local Government Ombudsman;

I responded:- I have not written to the local police, independent auditors or the Standards Board which you are implying. If I think that the Council is acting improperly on any issue I believe I am entitled to write to my MP – it is up to the MP whether he or she takes up my case. I wrote to my ward Councillors because they, apart from the Chairman of the Planning Committee(Cllr Wood), attended the meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’.  Are you suggesting that the Councillors should not be told that they were misinformed by a Principal Planning Officer of the Council?

I included members of the Residents Group Committee as well because I had to relay the ‘facts’ to a meeting with them a few hours after the same meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’. I did not believe what I had been told by the Officer and it took me 2 months and numerous emails to prove that shed was not ‘legal’ or should I say compliant. Are you suggesting that members of the Residents Group should remain ignorant of the fact that the shed was not compliant and built without planning permission?
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 14

Shed and Corruption – Part 13

Shed and Corruption - Part 13
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 14/04/2022 (16:36:41 BST)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Jonathan Tew, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Hayley Johnson, Gill Hayton (Solicitor)
Attachment: SandC-Part-13.pdf

Dear Nicola,

Manipulation of the Adopted Complaints Procedure by STC

Please see the attached letter. It is principally about UK Docks and the Council saying that the enclosure or shed built over the last slipway still in use on the Tyne, had been built to an approved plan and the local residents protesting that it had not, when the argument should have been between UK Docks and the Council.

From the very beginning our complaint was that, UK Docks’ shed was taller than permitted and someone with authority in the Planning Department must have agreed with our point of view because work stopped on it for two and a half months so an enforcement order must have been in place and the argument should have been whether UK Docks removed it, rebuilt it to the proper size or asked the Council to reconsider an application (for a taller and wider shed) retrospectively.

The first emails put out by the planning officer in charge of the slipway development were titled:- Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields but others and I knew that it was unlikely to have been approved because we could estimate from the drawings he provided that it was taller than approved or guessed it was not because he would not answer the direct question posed about the height being 12 or 15 meters and referred the questioner to the complaints process.

When I said nothing had changed, foot of page 4, I was referring particularly to the width because it implicates the building inspector directly, it would have been he, Mr Telford, who checked that stanchions were set correctly onto the baseplates. He had, by approving them hidden the fact that they were further apart than permitted. When we started questioning the height and the dimensions were measured by the Principal Planning Officer mid September 2013 he had the choice of correcting things but did not take it.

It appears that he did need to correct it because he knew that by the time the complaint got to the Ombudsman he could rely on a Senior Planning Manager giving misinformation to the Ombudsman so she would find for the Council rather than the local residents of whom I was one. From her Summary, 15-Apr-15:-

There is no evidence of fault in the way the Council dealt with the breach of planning control and its decision not to take enforcement action. It kept residents informed throughout the process.

The evidence of any fault in the Council’s handling of the breach had been destroyed by the Principal Planning Officer with the help of successive managers until it got to the Ombudsman and it looks she was easily persuaded to ignore the evidence I tried to put to her and when I tried to present the evidence to an MP, the Council’s Corporate Lead had to falsely accuse others and I of making allegations before she was able to repeat to the MP for Berwick on 25 June 2015 :-

The Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint, finding that the Council had acted appropriately in our approach relating to the planning application and subsequent action, full details of which would have been sent by their office to Mr Dawson.

A year later she said, 5 October 2016:-

I can again advise that there is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman.

I concluded:-

“This bring me to the question of its planned vs. actual width. The width was never in doubt as it was clearly shown on the drawings held by both UK Docks and the Council but what they both had not realised the width could, with surprising accuracy, be determined from Greens Place. This was because UK Docks had made the sides vertical and therefore pointed to the footings laid in 2001 and I found it to be nearly a meter wider than planned.

“The structure was measured in September 2013, the complaint that the shed failed to meet the second condition went to Planning Enquiries in January 2014 and the public meeting was held in March 2014 and the whole point of the meeting was to decide what to do after the Council had agreed that the shed was 2.7m taller than planned.

“I was tasked with writing to the Planning Manager to request removal of the shed and I took the opportunity of thanking him for his concession:- “Thank you also for confirming that the Slipway Shed is not built to the approved 1996 plans.

“Mr Tew and you, will now know that it was the people under Mr Mansbridge’ command who made it an issue between the residents and the Council when it should have been a simple matter of telling UK Docks to build their shed elsewhere.

“That or granting permission retrospectively and we all know UK Docks never asked for it because there was no need when they had the Principal Planning Manager at their beck and call from day one.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

Fountain of Misinformation – Part 9B

Someone at a very high level in the chain of command at the Town Hall had taken the decision as the complaints started to roll in about the height of the structure being built  on one of two slipways on the Tyne still in use in September 2013, to hide the fact that it was nearly 3m taller than planned. It was done to hide that fact that Building Control were not in control.

When you bear in mind that the control of both slipways on the Tyne were at one time held by one family you will understand why the most recent posts about the shed on the slipway off River Drive are labelled ‘Shed and Corruption’.
This post is an update to an extract from my email to Mrs Johnson written on the 2nd September 2016. It is a list of corrections to the misrepresentations made on behalf of the Chief Executive by her on 1-Aug- 2016:-

• Letter to MP Trevelyan dated 1 June 2015 advising her of your complaint
Actually the letter of 1-Jun-2015 was from MP Trevelyan to the Chief Executive and copied to me;

• Email 4 December 2015 to Gary Simmonette and the Planning Team referencing the original boat shed dimensions, which had been addressed through the complaints procedure
If you had read my email 4-Dec to Mr Simmonette you would realise it was about the illogicality of applying for planning permission to extend a shed that had been built without planning permission;

• Email 1 February 2016 regarding the February committee meeting, making reference to misinformation and/or misrepresentation by the Council in supplying information to the Local Government Ombudsman.
there was no email of 1 February 2016. There was a letter from Mr Mansbridge confirming that he had not passed the information about the shed’s height to the Planning Committee.

• Letter 8 July 2016 to the Chief Executive and the Ombudsman
Actually the letter of 8-Jul-2016 was to MP Trevelyan and copied to the Chief Executive –I had not written to the Ombudsman per the letter from an independant legal advisor. There were number of items of misrepresentation, about the development on River Drive, made by the Council to residents, the LGO and an MP that needed sorting first.

• submitted repeated complaints, essentially regarding the same issue, after our complaints process has been exhausted
It is the same complaint, 248789, but some issues have not been satisfactorily addressed because Mr Mansbridge raised 253539 to overwrite it. The issue is not exhausted until the Council answer the question about planned height of the shed. Is the shed 2.7m taller than permitted (yes/no).

• adopted a ‘scattergun’ approach: pursuing a complaint or complaints with the authority and, at the same time, with a Member of Parliament/a councillor/independent auditor/the Standards Board/local police/solicitors
– I have not written to the local police, independent auditors or the Standards Board which you are implying. If I think that the Council is acting improperly on any issue I believe I am entitled to write to my MP – it is up to the MP whether he or she takes up my case. I wrote to my ward Councillors because they, apart from the Chairman of the Planning Committee(Cllr Wood), attended the meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’.  Are you suggesting that the Councillors should not be told that they were misinformed by a Principal Planning Officer of the Council?
I included members of the Residents Group Committee as well because I had to relay the ‘facts’ to a meeting with them a few hours after the same meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’. I did not believe what I had been told by the Officer and it took me 2 months and numerous emails to prove that shed was not ‘legal’ or should I say compliant. Are you suggesting that members of the Residents Group should remain ignorant of the fact that the shed was not compliant and built without planning permission?

• refused to accept the decision of the Council or Local Government Ombudsman, by arguing points of detail
the Council have based their decisions on drawings provided by UK Docks. These were not authorised and one of them was incomplete because there were vital details missing. I based my arguments on documents provided by their Agents in pursuance of ST/1146/13/COND which I considered more valid. You also say I have attempted to have the complaint reconsidered in ways that are incompatible with your adopted complaints procedure, or with good practice

Two of the 7 survived the criticism of the 2nd September 2016:-

  1. • submitted repeated complaints, essentially regarding the same issue, after our complaints process has been exhausted
  2. • refused to accept the decision of the Council or Local Government Ombudsman, by arguing points of detail

The others were rewritten, somewhat hypocritically, as:-

  • attempted to have the complaint reconsidered in ways that are incompatible with our adopted complaints procedure, or with good practice.

I say hypocritical because because if one looks at the history of the  complaint that the shed is taller than planned, from a request made in September 2013 for clarification on the planned height of it,

Has the revised height of 15.5metres been approved or is it in breach of the 1996 Planning approval?

to today, one will see that the Council have avoided the question about the height by not using their adopted complaints procedure. Especially not the one described on their website.

There is ample evidence that the Council manipulated their own adopted complaints procedure to hide wrong decisions, misconduct etc. by evasions and denials.

Fallout from revision of S and C – Part 12

Cycles of Deceit – Fallout

I could see that the Ombudsman had been persuaded to ignore the evidence that I had provided her to show that UK Dock’ shed on their slipway off River Drive was about 3m taller than planned.

Meanwhile the email that I had sent to the MP for South Shields in March 2015 had wended its way to the MP for Berwick but he was standing down and it was passed to Anne-Marie Trevelyan which resulted in the Council’s Corporate Lead accusing us of making allegations (cycles 1-10).

I did to try to write to a Solicitor in early 2016 to write a letter to the Chief Executive but decided after the facts were assembled, it made sense to send it straight to the Chief Executive, that rather then send it to the solicitor to forward on to him. I was quite pleased as I had reduced the 12 pages my first draught to four pages of well reasoned arguments explaining how the planning officer Mr Simmonette had covered up the wrongdoing of the planning and building control officers in late 2013 by giving misinformation to Customer Advocacy linked to the misinformation given to the LGO by an officer before him:-

I ask you (CEO) 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 staff should misrepresent the facts to the LGO is for you to determine. That they have misinformed the LGO should be admitted and corrected and that is what this letter is about.

Shooting the Messenger for the Second Time

Mr Swales did not want to admit that his staff had lied to the Ombudsman, nor correct the lies either, and Mr Lewis, the second Inspector’s, solution to the problem was to conflate the complaint that the shed was was oversize and the Council had done nothing about it, with the complaint that the Council had misled the Ombudsman to hide the fact that the shed was 2.7m taller than planned.

The Council’s method of hiding it was to falsely accuse others and I of making allegations about it’s height and that was executed by the Council’s Corporate Lead in  Appendix 6 attached to a letter to the MP for Berwick, 25th June 2015:-

“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.

His option was to instruct someone to misapply ‘Section F’ of a staff code and the Council’s Corporate Lead was the obvious choice for South Tyneside Council’s second attempt to shoot the messenger:-

“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.

Corporate Lead, 1st August 2016.

Like Messrs Cunningham and Atkinson two years before she did not register or record my complaint, theirs being that they failed to register that UK Docks had not built the shed to an approved plan and the Council had done nothing about it and her failure being to register, the one and only complaint, that the Council had misled the Ombudsman.

As there was no audit trail or record of the history of each complaint, each story could be rewritten by those who followed. In the case of the first it meant that in response to our Petition the shed was said to have approval and in the second it meant that the Corporate Lead could repeat herself and she did.

1

Two months later, the email sent to Customer Advocacy on 3rd September having been passed back to her, said:- “After considering your letter, I can again advise that there is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The email to Customer Advocacy (CA) referred to the copy of the letter sent to Mrs Johnson on the 2nd September 2016 and they should be able to provide a copy but I would prefer one to visit my critique of her handiwork before I address its reappearance under a different guise in April 2021. In the intervening period there were a number of issues:-

1. 2017: 17-Jan: conflation of breach of condition 5, 18-Dec-16 and the earlier breach of condition 2 when the shed was first erected by the Council’s Corporate Lead;

2. 2017, 26-May: letter to the Chief Executive about the appalling conduct his Corporate Lead and the planning officer in charge of ST/0461/14/FULwhich remains unanswered;

3. 2017, 8-Aug: letter to Cllr Anglin re ST/0461/14/FUL which CA conflate with the original complaint of 10th January so that it remains unanswered. Laid off to Customer Advocacy who filed it away saying 11-Sep-16:-

4. 2017, 6-Sep: the Council told the MP for South Shields that the LGO found against me and referred me to Mr M Harding the Monitoring Officer;

5. 2018, 2-Feb: list of unanswered emails from CA, re 17-Jan-17 letter;

6. 2018, 19-Sep: complaint to Monitoring Officer about the conduct of Cllr Anglin;

7. 2018, 26-Oct: Further complaint to Monitoring Officer;

8. 2018, 12-Dec: response from a Council solicitor re Cllr Anglin where she repeats much of the misinformation given to the Ombudsman by the Council in 2015, decoded on the 14th;

9. 2019, 9-Apr: letter to Monitoring Officer re response to the complaint about Cllr Anglin. It was never answered because he was presented
with the same choice that was presented to the Planning Manager five
years before;

10. 2019, 1-May: UK Docks claim that they had got permission for their shed, retrospectively;

11. 2019, 7-May: email to Monitoring Officer about UK Docks claim, remains unanswered;

12. 2019, 19-Jun: email/letter to Mr M Harding Head of Legal Services about Gil Hayton’s response in December 2018 and UK Docks claim for their shed:- How much longer will it be before South Tyneside Council will admit that UK Docks have not put in a retrospective planning application for their slipway enclosure? Not five and a half years, I hope.

~ ~ There was no reply and not any ‘out of office’ replies.

2

13. 2019, 17-Sep: email to Building Control – laid off to planning
Hi Planning, Please see attached and email below which I believe was
meant for planning
Regards, Debbie Graham Operations &
Partnership Officer

14. 2019, 17-Sep: evasion, back to planning v building control and September 2013

15. 2019, 25-Sep: Cllr Francis advised me that Ms Robason was the new Monitoring Officer;

17. 2019, 5-Dec: email to the Monitoring Officer, Dishonesty at theTown Hall;

18. 2019, 11-Dec: re Dishonesty at the Town Hall I confirm safe receipt and that I will not consider the content of your email and attachments.
– which fits the pattern of responses dictated by CA, 18-Jan-18;

19. 2019, 19-Dec: admission that the Council had not received a retrospective planning application from UK Docks was spoilt by saying:-
The Council has recognised that the development of the shed on the site is unauthorised but concluded some time ago, in accordance with the Constitution, that no enforcement action would be taken as this was not in the public interest as there would be no change in the level of perceived harm suffered. This decision and the reasoning behind it was communicated to residents by the Council.

A repeat of the communication made in 2014 by Mr Mansbridge in his response to our Petition, 2-May 14:- “I have concluded that the development as constructed is acceptable on its planning merits. It would not therefore be expedient for the Council to take enforcement action.

In the same response one will see he also repeated the misrepresentation that the shed had been built to the approved height. Height was never mentioned in the seventh and eight cycles of deceit. Apart from the first cycle of deceit which was about the width, the rest were made to hide the fact that the shed is taller than planned and that was because it was realised that while UK Docks would get permission to lengthen a slightly wider shed there was no chance that they would get permission for a much one taller one.

They were probably advised that there was also no chance that they would permission retrospectively and so they took the risk and started work on it in September 2013 but someone like myself in the planning office who understood plans and drawings, put a stop on the construction for nearly three months and it was only restarted after the meeting in November 2013, organised by Cllr Anglin and the Chair of the Tyne Gateway Assn that work on the shed restarted.

All the measurements and all the available plans, drawings and relevant documents must have been available to the planning officers by mid September 2013 because they had forced UK Docks to stop work on their shed but the Principal Planning Officer had chosen to present an unapproved drawing containing an error in a vital dimension implying that the structure had approval when it had none at a meeting in November.

He had been given a chance when the formal complaint in to Planning Enquiries to make amends in January 2014 but chose otherwise. His fraudulent misrepresentation of the plans was kept alive until UK Docks got permission to lengthen it in February 2016 and it looks like the cover up was continued until December 2019 and by that time the position of Monitoring Officer had passed to Ms Robason and it looks like the same people who were happy to lie to the Ombudsman were more than happy to mislead her as well.

Shooting the Messenger for the Third Time.

Within a few days of of the publication of Shed and Corruption Part 2, which detailed how the Council had corrupted their own complaints procedure, someone had spotted the way things were going and I received a Contact Restrictions Notice on the 29th April 2021, along with a copy of the Complaints Policy 2019v1.5 from Customer Advocacy. Apparently they had relaxed the misuse of Section F on August 18 2018 though Alison’s list fails to mention any correspondence from that date until 2020.

It was another misuse of the rules as Customer Advocacy would have known that there had only been one complaint about South Tyneside Council giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The first contact restrictions notice or ‘shooting the messenger’ was issued because Mr Swales was caught in a bind because he was asked to produce evidence that the shed had been approved and he could not, we were therefore falsely accused of making allegations about the shed’s height amongst other things and the second was the misuse of Section F of some staff code because he did not want to admit that some of his staff were giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The third personal attack on me was authorised by whoever was left in charge of South Tyneside Council as Mr Swales had retired and not been replaced. One can only conclude that, that the person left in charge wished to make sure that one of the biggest skeletons in the Council’s cupboard remained there until the post of Chief Executive had been filled.

That skeleton was the enclosure or shed covering the slipway off River Drive, South Shields, and owned by UK Docks and it was there because of the fraudulent misrepresentation made about its height given to the Council by them in September 2013 and the Council repeating it in cycles of deceit until until they had given misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman rather accept a request that the shed be removed.

Rebuilding it to the correct height had not been an option since January 2014.

M Dawson,
4th April 2022

Shed and Corruption – Part 12

From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk        
Date: 25/03/2022 (03:53:57 PM GMT)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Gill Hayton (Solicitor)
Attachments: Revised Cycles of Deceit.pdf
and Shed Heights.pdf

25th March 2022

Dear Nicola

Cycles of Deceit and its Repercussions

On March 3rd I sent a letter, Shooting the Messenger 2015, to Mr Tew explaining how his predecessor had chosen to deny the fact that the shed was nearly 3m taller than the height approved and had chosen instead to falsely accuse the people, who had claimed that it was taller than the plan approved, of making allegations.

I made a mistake in sending it to the parties I thought should be concerned rather than copying them and I hope by the content that it should have been obvious that it was a mistake and that included the agent who, on behalf of the Chief Executive, had accused us of making allegations. I wished to write separately to you as Monitoring Officer as it appears the the same people who were content to lie to the Ombudsman were quite happy to mislead the Monitoring Officer, whom I believe, was originally the Head of Legal Services.

That is the main reason have copied Gill Hayton into ‘Cycles of Deceit and Repercussions’. It looks like she was was Deputy Monitoring Officer in 2018 and then second in command to John Rumney three years later:- 15-May-21:

“I am out of the office returning on 17th May 2021. If you need urgent assistance, please contact Gill Hayton at southtyneside.gov.uk.

I did not need urgent assistance but neither did I expect Mr Rumney get back to me as I had already sent him a copy of Shed and Corruption – Part 4. In it, I explained to Paula Abbott why her misuse of Complaints Policy 2019 v 1.5 on April 29th 2021 was unreasonable and I thought that the Council’s Legal Section should be made aware if its misuse by Customer Advocates. Unreasonable because there was only ever one complaint about a planning officer giving misinformation the Ombudsman.

Soon after I became aware that South Tyneside Council had allowed developers of adjacent properties to close off waterfront footpaths in July 2021, I discovered that the practice had spread to Amble and that Northumberland County Council’s enforcement officer was not prepared to do anything about it either and that then made two issues that I have shared with you:-

1) English Coastal Path

The practice of giving parts of the English Coastal Path to the developers of adjoining properties had spread from South Tyneside to Northumberland and as rights of way etc. are a matter for Parliament and I should be really be pursuing it with one or possibly both the MP’s, or the corrupt practice of giving away public footpaths to developers will spread further. The English Coastal Path had been in existence since 2014 so it is unlikely that the practice was invented by the Planning Office in South Shields but it was the first one of which I became aware.

2) UK Docks, River Drive, South Shields

After UK Docks’ started to assemble their enclosure on the slipway off River Dive in South Shields in September 2013, it was quickly established to be taller than planned because the planning officer who was promoting the development, Mr Cunningham, referred the questioner to the Council’s complaints procedure instead of answering her question: “Has the revised height of 15.5 metres been approved or is it in breach of the 1996 Planning approval?

I said quickly established because his refusal to answer led to people like me, to look more carefully at the drawings he had provided and we realised that the enclosure was taller than planned by the gradient between each end or 2.7m and someone in the Council’s Planning Office must have come to the same conclusion because they forced UK Docks to stop work on it for nearly 3 months. Please see the attached detail, Shed-Height. It takes the sound gable end dimension of the river end from either 8296/1A or 1B to arrive at the true approved height of the shed.

They did not address the complaint that the shed was taller than planned and it was removed from the records so that they need not answer it. Using the drawing approved by the Council’s Planning Manager in October 2013, I eventually got him to concede that it was too tall in February 2014 but that did not suit those who were promoting the myth UK Docks had permission for their shed and it was removed from the records.

That was the second rewrite of the history of events, the first being the removal of the original complaint from the records, and was made by the Head of Development Service introducing a new complaint in cycle 5 on the 2nd June 2014. It appears to have been made to save the Head of Development having to take disciplinary action over his Planning Manager in allowing UK Docks to continue to work on their shed in spite of his admission about the breach of the second condition.

This was done by overwriting original complaint for the second time and changing its job number to 253539 and Mr Mansbridge’ reputation was saved by not presenting the true version of events to the Ombudsman but his ‘new’ version. Mine was ignored and I suggest if that do nothing else about the ‘Cycles of Deceit’ you read the blog:- lgo-paras-30-38

Meanwhile my letter/email to the MP for South Shields landed on the MP for Berwick’s desk just before the election in 2015 and it ended up with Anne-Marie Trevelyan and it appears that she was given the same misinformation and or misrepresentation that was given to the Local Government Ombudsman as I heard no more about it.

I met Emma Lewell-Buck MP, not long before the hustings for the 2017 General Election where we agreed that the Council were being evasive about UK Docks and I would work with her Westoe Road Office (to) try and get some way forward but that failed because Emma was told on 6th September 2017:- The previous issues relating to the boat yard have in fact now been looked at by the Local Government Ombudsman and they found no issue with the yard or anything relating to its development. Unfortunately, the Ombudsman’s decision cannot be re-visited.

This was a year after my exchange with the Council’s Corporate Lead where I had told her that I had consulted a solicitor but it appears that she kept that information to herself and she may disagree but I think it would have interfered with the Chief Executive’s decision to hide the fact that the shed was taller than planned if the staff that worked in Customer Advocacy had known of the solicitor’s advice.

Maybe not, they were still repeating the lies embedded in the Ombudsman’s Findings to an MP in September 2017 and it looks like she needs an apology for being told there was no issue with the yard.

There has been an issue since UK Docks claim that they had approval for their shed was backed by the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham, who told me, 20-Dec13:- “I have explained during our meeting that the base and height of the structure are compliant…this is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned.

As you can see they (are) not compliant with any approved plans and that was how UK Docks got their longer shed through the back door, a polite way of saying corruptly. I hope you agree.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson.

Web of Deciet/Broken Promise

Introduction

I became aware that South Tyneside Council were manipulating their complaints procedure, which has three stages, when I complained that the planning officer promoting the redevelopment of 71 and 72 Greens Place, South Shields had not followed the guidelines given in SPD9. The Council told the Ombudsman that they had followed the guidelines and my complaint was not upheld.

To put it simply the Ombudsman turned a blind eye to the evidence I presented and Nos 71 and 72 will have to remain permanent reminder to those interested level of embedment of corruption in the planning and development offices in the Council and possibly the Local Government Ombudsman.

They are now just a permanent reminder because UK Docks started to build an enclosure over their slipway off River Drive in September 2013 while I was deciding whether to make a complaint about the way in which the Ombudsman had handled my complaint. We had discovered within a few days that the enclosure or shed was 3m taller than the height that had been approved in 1996 but planning officer in charge was addressing his emails:- RE: Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields.

Something was amiss but when the 1996 plans were recovered from the archive we were proved right and UK Docks were told to stop work on their shed and they did as soon as the structure was made stable and that left the Council/UK Docks with three decisions to agree:-

1. pull it down and put it in a non residential area;
2. rebuild it to the correct height;
3. put in a retrospective planning application for shed that was 3m taller, 1m wider and 5.5m longer than the one agreed in 1996.

The slipway off River Drive was ‘owned’ by UK Docks so they had no wish to consider the first option. The second one was not available because it left no room to operate an overhead crane and it would be too short to accommodate the latest ferries and the third was not available because it was unlikely that they would get a longer shed and that would make the business financially unviable.

It appears that the Council at a very senior level had decided to grant them their wish so that they could move their business from Commercial Road to River Drive and that was to maintain the lie that they had approval for the shed. South Tyneside Council had a tried and tested method of doing this and it involves repeating the lie through each cycle or stage of the complaints procedure until reaches the Ombudsman.

If for any reason honesty prevails and the fraud is revealed the Council just overwrite that stage so the fraud is reinstated because they can, they control the complaints procedure, and a bowdlerised version of the complaint is presented to the Ombudsman by the Council giving them misinformation and/or misrepresentation and it looks like the spokesman for the Council, a Senior Planning Officer, simply tells the Ombudsman that the complainant was making allegations, so the Inspector for the Ombudsman can turn a blind eye to the truth and she does.
How else can she say in her third and final draft:-

There is no evidence of fault in the way the Council dealt with the breach of planning control and its decision not to take enforcement action. It kept residents informed throughout the process. 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.

The Council then use that conclusion to ward off anyone trying to establish the truth behind a scheme such as an MP or the Press they are spun a version of that summary and if one attempts to correct the lie one is accused of making allegations and what started as a Cycles of Deceit had become a Web of Deceit.

Please read on:-

31 March 2022

Dear Nicola,

I have added my email, of the 25th March, to you and Gill Hayton, to that list of attachments because I have decided to copy the latest information to the two MPs who have been involved with the main issue, UK Docks’ Shed, for a number of years (nearly 7 for the MP for Berwick and nearly 5 for the MP for South Shields) – I was lodging in Amble 8-6 years ago and that may explain the MP for Berwick’s involvement two years before the MP for South Shields. Strange because UK Docks have no presence in Amble and definitely no oversize boat shed.

The purpose of my email to Ms Hayton on 26th October 2018 was to make it clear that that the same people giving misinformation and misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman were giving much the same misinformation to the Monitoring Officers, the first being Mike Harding. He never answered any emails and when I complained about the conduct of Councillor Anglin, re the Town Hall meeting, November 2013, in 2018, it was Ms Hayton who was given the task of responding and she did so by repeating some of the fraudulent misrepresentations given to the Ombudsman, the main one being, that the height of the shed had been approved.

With regard to the height of the shed I tell her the Ombudsman said, in paragraph 34 in her Findings, 15-Apr-15:“I have seen the 1996 plans. On plan 1/B the applicant has written the proposed elevations at the inland end as 12.5 metres plus 3 metres. Mr X says the Council should not have taken the applicant’s word for this.

I go on to explain to Ms Hayton:- “If you have any doubt about what I am saying about the planned height of the shed please take a look at an authorised copy of 8296/2 and on the left hand you will get confirmation that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned ~ the left hand is the landward end!

Her response, 12-Dec-18, was a contradiction:- “Furthermore, the Ombudsman disagreed with your assertions as to the height of the development and whether that was not in accordance with the plans. The Ombudsman found no fault in how the Council determined the permitted height of the landward end of the development was 12.5 metres plus 3 metres.

The permitted height per Shed-Heights.pdf is 12.8m, 8296/2 being the only drawing from 1996 with dimensions and it shows, to put it bluntly, that someone was lying when they told the Ombudsman the approved height of the shed was 15.5m at the inland end and I suggest you ask Mr Simmonette to take a good look at 8296/2 because I told him much the same thing as I told Ms Hayton, three years earlier on the 30th September 2015:-

Drawing 8296/1A was not authorised by T&WDC and I believe it was because of the misleading dimensions but they did authorise drawing 8296/2. If the gradient (2.656m) is used to give it a scale the dimensions of the elevation are:- 13m road end, 16m river end and length 22m. This gives much weight to the contention that the shed has been built 3m too high.

1

While the dimensions are approximations to the nearest meter, they clearly reflect the truth i.e. the shed is 3m taller than planned and he ducks the issue by not responding and probably because I reinforced the point later in that email letter by asking Mr Simmonette:-

Please examine the drawing 8296/14 yourself and tell me that a) it is not to scale, b ) the height is not about 15.5m (rather than 18.5m) and c) the elevation is not the river end. This drawing shows that taking the gradient into account the planned height of the road end elevation should be about 12.5m, not 15.5m as built.

I think I have demonstrated that the current slipway shed is built 3m higher than any plans provided by South Tyneside. I does not appear to be good planning practice to consider an application to extend a structure when it has been built without planning permission.

Added to the fact that I had earlier referred him to 8296/2, I had given him the choice of repeating those 3 lies or admitting that the shed was in fact nearly 3m taller than permitted and he avoided it by passing the choice to Customer Advocacy and Alison Hoy responded on his behalf on the 9th December 2015:-

Your email of 4th December refers to not being satisfied with the responses to the second part of your earlier contact to the team on 30 September:-

From: mick.dawson at theharbourview.co.uk 
Date: Wed, September 30, 2015 9:09 am 
To: Garry Simmonette, Mick Dawson
Cc: George Mansbridge, Gordon Atkinson 
Subject None 
Title of letter - Amended Planning Application - ST/0461/14/FUL.

All people addressed knew that the the shed was, as I said, nearly 3m taller than planned because they would have seen 8296/2, Messrs Mansbridge and Atkinson had brought 8296/1A and 8296/2 to the meeting of 8th July 2014 instead of 8296/14 and it clearly gives the height of road or landward end of the shed as 12.7m.

You can see Alison continues to try and absolve them:-

This matter has been investigated fully by the Council through its corporate complaints procedure. The complaint was not upheld and was also considered and decided by the Local Government Ombudsman who found no fault with the Council’s decision.
The Local Government Ombudsman’s final decision dated 15 April 2015 was that: This complaint is not upheld. In 2013 a developer resumed building a boat shed for which he had planning permission and had started building in 2001.

Alison went on to say:-

We have also responded to a further enquiry made to the Council via your then local MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, dated 1 June 2015, which claimed you had not been able to locate any details from the Council on why the shed had been approved despite the breach in planning conditions, even though at that time you had received complaint responses from both the Council and the Ombudsman.

The complaint response from the Council was mainly misinformation or fraudulent misrepresentation much of which was repeated to the Ombudsman. Please see the critism of paragraghs 30-38 of the Ombudsman’s Findings, as that summarised most of what I told the solicitor to whom I took Alison’s email, 9-Dec-15, in January 2016.

I’m not sure that I sent you a copy of his advice but I certainly sent one to Mrs Johnson and Customer Advocacy on the 15th January 2020. Incidentally it was the first item the list that Alison gave Paula Abbot on the 29th April 2021. If they have ‘lost’ their copies, one can be found at in the post:- Advice from solicitor 26-Jan-16.

The solicitor and I had discussed how the Council had maintained the lie that the shed had been built to the approved height for over two years and we reckoned it was because they had not recorded the original complaint so that they could then just repeat the fraudulent misrepresentation, that the dimension 12.5m plus 3m at the landward end had been approved again and again until it got repeated by the Ombudsman.

That was why the solicitor said I must raise a new complaint, advice from Peter Dunn, Solicitors:-

The new complaint being the misinformation and/or misrepresentation by the Local Authority in supplying information to the Local Government Ombudsman. Hopefully this can be dealt with as a “new” matter. If this complaint is not dealt with by South Tyneside Council, and it may well be that they say it relates to the old complaint, then I believe it justifies going straight to the Local Government Ombudsman.

A new complaint was not raised and it was the second Ombudsman that said it related to the old complaint. Not the original complaint, that went into the bin but the one presented to the first Ombudsman by South Tyneside Council. The first Ombudsman ignored my complaint that the shed was 3m taller than planned completely and based her findings on Mr Mansbridge creation and that was how the UK Docks got their longer shed.

I was looking forward to your response re Conflation when Leah posted to various people on your behalf on 24th December 2020:-

RE:   Conflation of Complaints. Date: 24/12/2020 (11:37:26 AM BST) 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, Mick Dawson

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

It would appear that whoever was running South Tyneside Council had become aware that once I had started the ‘Shed and Corruption’ series, where what it would lead to and instructed Ms Hoy/Ms Abbott to silence me again and it does mean that Leah’s promise has been broken.

Yours sincerely,
M Dawson