Criminal v Civil Action

Dear Julie,

UK Docks and Property Sale.

Thank you for the reference ‘Local Government: abuse of Power’ by the Law Gazette. It is more relevant to the issues which have arisen from my dealings with the Shields Estate Agents. Not only has a building surveyor all but said that it needs a new roof and rewiring but he does not appear to have signed his report. There is also a rumour that the new bathroom and bedroom have been built without planning permission and on top of that an unknown source has misrepresented the Grade 2 listing for 68,69 and 70 Greens Place to Goldfinch. This last one points directly to the Town Hall as its source and there is no reason to think the others have not arisen there either.

So with this much pressure you must bear with me if I lose it occasionally or more precisely, get my priorities wrong, each month that goes by I’m paying out a considerable sum in Council tax, insurance and utility bills and a small mortgage until I get the property sold. Continue reading Criminal v Civil Action

Email to ELB 31st Mar 2015

From: Michael Dawson
CC: 6 Residents, Greens Place and Harbour View.
Subject: Slipway Cover, River drive, South Shields (2 with refs).
Date: Tue, 31 Mar 2015 14:26:32 +0100
Dear Emma,
Eighteen months ago my former neighbour, Miss Melanie Todd wrote to you in September about our concerns regarding a development described as ‘Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields’ and asking to meet with you. I understand at the meeting, the Residents expressed concerns that, firstly, it was being built on River Drive, and secondly, that the framework had not been built to plan.
We now have an admission from South Tyneside Council that the repair shelter was built without planning permission. This admission had to be prised out of the Council: the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham was still telling a Residents’ Association at a meeting on November 25th 2013, organised by one of the Ward Councillors that it was built to an approved plan. I would like to point out here that he had not changed his point of view in correspondence with me in January 2014.
I pursued this with his boss the Planning Manager who initially said that the measurements were in accordance with the approved plans. In February 2014 however, after some reasoning from me, he conceded that the repair shelter was not built to approved plans.
The Head of Development Services, Mr Mansbridge, would not admit to the fact that it was built 3m higher than approved and in a letter to residents in May he said “The approved dimensions of the steelwork are: Proposed height 15.5m at the River Drive end, Proposed length..” etc. He has not produced any plans that support this and there are none in the public domain, either, that show the shelter to be built to an approved height. It is significant that South Tyneside Council will not say who signed off the shelter when building Control issued the Completion Certificate on June 17th 2014.
Customer Advocacy, the team that respond to Stage III complaints on behalf of Mr Swales, the CEO, admit to the repair shelter being built without planning permission and this completely changes the complexion of the development on the slipway, River Drive (now UK Docks, formally Tyne Slipway) and I would like you to look into why it has been allowed to be built without planning permission and that the Planning Department are considering an application dated June 20th 2014 (just 3 days after the first shelter was signed off) to build an even larger shelter alongside the existing one.
I understand that you will be busy with the impending election but may I ask you again to meet with the residents affected by continual disturbance of the ship repair facility allowed to built on River Drive, see their point of view, and give them support in stopping the further expansion of this inappropriately located shipyard.
Kind regards
Michael Dawson
South Tyneside Council Refs:
Case 248789 – Work continuing on unplanned shelter.
Case 253539 – Fundamental questions raised in Petition evaded & abuse of Complaints System.
Case 266782 – STC accept planning application ST/0461/14/FUL to build an even larger shelter.
Local Government Ombudsman
Ref: 14 015 052

Conduct of a Ward Councillor

From: LEWELL-BUCK, Emma <>
Sent: 06 September 2017 12:30
To: Michael Dawson
Subject: RE: Conduct of Cllr Anglin re UK Docks
Dear Michael
Thank you for your email and I had a lovely summer thank you.
In relation to your email, I have been in dialogue with the council and residents in the last couple of weeks relating to the planning issue and also the containers which are on site. If I could update you with regards to our dialogues I am hoping it may prove helpful to you.
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.
I have met with the directors of UK Docks and have also liaised with the council and I am certain that no laws have been broken and the council are also discharging their functions correctly in relation to the boat yard and the subsequent containers which have caused concern to residents.
The council have also stated that they will no longer correspond on previous issues relating to the boat yard and its development and will now only address any new issues which arise.
In relation to the conduct of Cllr John Anglin, unfortunately I have no power to look into this, however if you feel Cllr Anglin’s conduct has fallen short of what you expect or you are unhappy with his behaviour then please may I suggest that you contact the Monitoring Officer at South Tyneside Council, Mike Harding, who you can formally report your concerns to and also make an official complaint if necessary.
I realise this is probably not the response or outcome that you had hoped for but I know you will appreciate powers are limited by law and that at the moment UK Docks are operating their business within planning and environment health requirements.
Best wishes and good luck with your move,

Emma Lewell-Buck MP
Member of Parliament for South Shields
House of Commons

To You and Yours

From: Michael Dawson (Ex hotmail)
Sent: 23 November 2017 08:49
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Subject: The Local Government Ombudsman and South Tyneside Council

Dear You and Yours,

I listened with interest to your article about the Ombudsman on Monday 13th November and realised that while they have no real teeth because they cannot enforce their recommendations, their authority can be misused by Councils to cover up irregularities the way that complaints are handled.

Allow me to explain:

I complained to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) about the way South Tyneside Council had handled my complaint about a shipyard shed that had been built higher than planned but the Council misrepresented or misinformed the Ombudsman about the drawings I presented and the Inspector naturally found for the Council and my complaint was not upheld.

The Council then used the findings of the Ombudsman to mislead the MP for Northumberland about mine and other residents case but what is especially galling is the language used by the Council and in particular the word ‘allegation’ which implies I and the other residents were lying when it is the Council who was misleading the Ombudsman.

“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.”

I wrote and complained to the LGO about the Council misinforming them about the complaint 14015052 but in response to 17001436 the second Inspector said:

“I consider that your latest complaint remains that of your previous complaint which has already been determined and the opportunity to request a review of that decision has passed. I will treat your complaint therefore as invalid and your complaint will not be investigated.”

The first complaint is basically about a breach of a condition of a planning consent and the second was about how the first Inspector was mislead so it can hardly remain that of the first.

It would appear that his arbitrary application of a time limit is to cover the fact that the Council has in fact mislead the first Inspector but he is disinclined to do anything about it because of the consequences i.e. the Council use the LGO to cover the mismanagement of their own complaints procedure and this goes right up to the Chief Executive’s office.

I do not think South Tyneside invented this method of misusing the Ombudsman and I suspect it is not restricted to Planning so you may like to pass it over to Yvonne Fovargue MP or Donal Gilligan or to one of the ‘Inside Out’ teams perhaps.

If you ask South Tyneside Council about it they will say something like:”The matters and allegations raised … etc.” or “Unfortunately, the Ombudsman’s decision cannot be re-visited.” which is what they have told the MP for South Shields. It looks very much like the Ombudsman’s Inspectors are working hand in hand with the Council and that cannot be good for a just or fair system.

Yours sincerely,
Michael Dawson.