Cllr A: South Tyneside Council and the Ombudsman

Introductory email to Councillor Hamilton :

Date: Thu, 12 Sep 2019 07:51:39 +0100
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
To: Cllr Angela Hamilton <Cllr.angela.hamilton@southtyneside.gov.uk>
Cc: Cllr David Francis <davidfrancisdrums@hotmail.co.uk>
Cllr Anglin
 <cllr.john.anglin@southtyneside.gov.uk>, Peter Cunningham
 <peter.cunningham@southtyneside.gov.uk>, George Mansbridge
 <george.mansbridge@southtyneside.gov.uk>, Customer Advocates
 <Customer.Advocates@southtyneside.gov.uk>, Stuart Wright
 <Stuart.Wright@southtyneside.gov.uk>, "Gill Hayton (Solicitor)"
 <gill.hayton@southtyneside.gov.uk>, Mike Harding
 <mike.harding@southtyneside.gov.uk>, Graeme Watson
 <watson.graeme@yahoo.com>, Emma Lewell-Buck <lewellbucke@gmail.com>, Stephen  Hepburn MP <hepburns@parliament.uk>
Subject: UK Docks, STC and the LGO - May , 2019
Bcc 24

Dear Angela,
This email outlines what I have detailed in the attached letter. I have used this technique for a while now so that I can reference drawings, emails etc. as evidence to prove my point and the easiest way to do this is via a letter in pdf format.
The trouble we have had over Mr Wilson’s boat shed goes right back to the drawings UK Docks sent to Mr Cunningham the day after they started erecting the frames in September 2013. They were said to represent the shed approved in 1996 but they did not. Although some vital details were missing it did not take much to calculate what they were and determine that the shed was the equivalent to the gradient(2.7m) taller than planned.
As far as I know Melanie was the first to try and get something off the ground but she kept hitting the wall placed by Mr Cunningham repeating that it had been approved. We could see that the plans had not been approved and in spite this the Council continued to insist that it was built in accordance them even after they were presented with evidence to the contrary as shown in:
• email about the width to Cllr Anglin on the 16-Dec-13;
• email about both the width and the height to Planning Enquiries 10-Jan-14.
I, or should I say we, hit the wall when Mr Cunningham just repeated that the dimensions of the shed were according to approved plans when we knew they were not. This was following the meeting in November 2013 used to hide the fact that no enforcement action had been taken. It was obvious that it was taller and wider than planned and one has to question why the structure was not being measured by the building inspector.
The Planning Manager let it slip that we were right about it being too tall but not until he had repeated the misrepresentation that it was built to the approved height using an error on an unauthorised drawing and from then on the Council were stuck with either coming clean or repeating the lie that it had been built to the approved height. One of the earliest instances of them not coming clean was the response to our Petition in May 2014 and they were still repeating it in December 2018.
We requested the Council ask UK Docks to stop work on their shed until the question of the height was sorted out in January 2014 but they either failed to do so or they were told to get lost because work on it carried on regardless and now UK Docks tell you they had permission, retrospectively applied for and granted, for their extended shed. Please see trail below.
Has anyone seen an approved drawing of what we see now? No they haven’t. It does not exist nor does the permission and we have hit the wall of silence again. I asked the Monitoring Officer nearly three months ago to confirm whether they had applied for retrospective planning permission and have not yet received a reply. I think you can take it that they haven’t but you had better ask them for yourself.
Over to you and David Francis, this is above party politics. In fact it is above local politics and that is why I have been copying both MPs into my correspondence. I’m sure South Tyne Council are not the only people using the Ombudsman to hide malpractice and to put up a barrier to any investigation.
Kind regards,
Michael Dawson

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