Shed and Corruption – Part 17, 29-Jul-22

Messrs Buck and Palmer

Hopefully this will be the last part in the series though I fear that whoever is in control of South Tyneside Council are secure in the knowledge that the police will not prosecute them and they have plenty of backers to make civil action prohibitively expensive for anybody to take civil action against them so they can sit behind that protective wall and continue to back UK Docks’ claim that they had approval for their shed.

They did not and anyone can judge for themselves by looking at the approved drawing from 1996  which gave the height at the frame at the landward end in September 2013 of 12.7m and comparing it with the built height at that section. It is 15.5m.

When Mr Buck contacted me on the 8th January 2020, I was suspicious because I had already established contact with the MP for South Shields office a few years before, when I had returned to live in South Shields to try and sell 70 Greens Place. I had been corresponding with Rebecca Heath (nee Atkinson) who was her Office Manager since at least October 2016 and while I remember calling in the Office on Westoe Rd, I think we had missed each other.

There was never any need to use the phone but after reviewing my latest correspondence with her, the MP, I thought it worth the risk and gave Simon Buck my personal details and stated that he should use email he wanted to talk about corruption at the Town Hall, UK Docks etc. and waited in for much of Thursday the 9th and then gave up but a few days later noticed that I had received a call from Mr Palmer, 01914271240, and retuned it on the 13th January only that his agenda was very different to the conditions I had set.

Mr Palmer made it very clear that the shed and the corruption surrounding it was the last thing he wished to discuss and that I had been conned by Mr Buck into talking about such serious matters over the phone. Mr Palmer was not interested in corruption at the Town Hall and told me that any further correspondence with Emma would get no response, being filed away under the label of vexatious mail. It took a few hours to compose a response, 13-Jan-20, and took I the trouble to send her a copy of the advice I had sought from an independent solicitor because one of Mr Palmer’s suggestions was that I consult a solicitor and said:-

What I really needed from you was your support and Mr Palmer has indicated by our exchange over the phone that he is not prepared to give it. At the end of the day the Council are misusing the Ombudsman’s Office to hide malpractice then use their findings to deflect any enquirers after the truth.

I had copied the email to Mr Palmer, not Mr Buck but rather the Ward Councillors and this was deliberate because it was obvious from what he was saying over the phone that he was acting on behalf of UK Docks and the Council. I cooled down overnight and wrote a much more reasoned response for her in the morning and copied the Monitoring Officer, Nicola Robeson and the Head of Legal Services to broadcast my message to a wider audience. I had seen the way things were going with the Ombudsman and had written to the MP for South Shields on March 31st 2015 and she gave it the case number:“The case ZA4803, please see attached, and it has been with you for many years although it was passed to Anne Marie Trevelyan MP while I was lodging in Amble.

Like the email of the 13th, the one to Emma the following day, appears to have been removed from her inbox  and confirms my suspicion that Mr Palmer had been planted to destroy her reputation. As I said Mr Palmer had a different agenda and I while I included him in the list of people copied I deliberately excluded My Buck and yet it was he who replied and let me go through his email to me of the 14th January 2020, point by point:-

Dear Mr Dawson, Thank you
for your email sent this morning following from Mr Palmer’s
telephone conversation to you yesterday afternoon.

What happened to the email of the 13th with the copy of the
letter from Peter Dunn and Co attached? Did Emma ever see it?

I wish to address two points you raised. I was present during the conversation between Mr Palmer and yourself. I am afraid your recollection of the conversation was not a true account. Mr Palmer was polite, informative and accurate

The implication being I that I was offensive and inaccurate but I’ll
let others decide by examining the contents of both emails for
themselves. In particular:-

13th:
I understood from Mr Palmer that this was no longer a matter for
Parliament but I think it is. Only Parliament can make it a
criminal offence to lie to the Ombudsman. I have attached a copy
of the letter from my Solicitor for Mr Palmer’s perusal and he
would do well to read the email to Customer Advocacy 03 September
2016 at the foot of the trail below.

14th:
I gave my phone details to you partner to pass to a Mr Keith
Parmer, he has them and I spoke to him yesterday on 0191 4271240.
Is it safe to assume he is your Office Manager in South Shields
and we should write to him on any issues we have with UK Docks?

Mr Palmer correctly informed you that MPs have no influence over the Local Government Ombudsman,

I have no argument with that but what were Messrs Buck and Palmer
implying by stating something so obvious. To late to get some
clarification but it appears to be made as a renunciation of the
letter from Peter Dunn and Co – see next line.

and he suggested that a possible course of action may be to complain further to the Local Government Ombudsman and suggested you take legal advice.

I had already taken legal advice and it is worth repeating:- What
happened to the copy of the advice from Peter Dunn and Co? It was
sent to Emma and Mr Buck writes as if he had no knowledge of its
existence. Mr Palmer was advised to take notice of it and also an
email where I advised Customer Advocacy of its existence.

Finally, your suggestion that Mr Palmer, or any other staff member for that matter has been “warned off helping” Emma “by an official at the
Town Hall” and then making references to the CLP trying to
deselect Emma, is not only untrue but an unwarranted accusation.

Mr Buck has selectively lifted that from my email of the 13th, which
he failed to acknowledge, my interpretation of the ‘news’
coming out of South Shield in late 2019 was that some the CLP were
acting against you and you were saved by Parliament calling the
‘Get Brexit Done’ election.

Your email seriously undermines Mr Palmer’s, Emma’s and the Office’s integrity and it is a very serious matter. I am very sorry that Emma is unable to help you further with this case and I consider this matter to be
closed.

Mr Buck may well of wished for the matter to be closed but so did the
Planning Officers when faced with evidence that UK Docks’
shed was taller than planned.

Simon Buck, Office Manager for the Office of Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Those who have seen the earlier version of the table will notice the change from second to third person. The earlier version was attached to a personal email to Emma. This version is for broadcasting to all interested parties. * The table is a criticism of Mr Buck’ response to a complaint about Mr Palmer and was hurriedly written before Parliament closed on 21st July.

The email of the 13th January not about Mr Buck and that was why he was not copied into it. It was in detail, a complaint about Mr Palmer directly to the MP:- What I really needed from you was your support and Mr Palmer has indicated by our exchange over the phone that he is not prepared to give it. At the end of the day the Council are misusing the Ombudsman’s Office to hide malpractice then use their findings to deflect any enquirers after the truth.

2

Mr Buck, by directly addressing my email of the 14th January, had to all intents and purposes, deleted my complaint to Emma about the conduct of Mr Palmer i.e. the email of the 13th and in this he was mimicking the action taken by the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson, six years earlier when he referred to escalation of a complaint rather than the complaint itself.

Mr Atkinson was duplicitous. While he was admitting to us that the shed was taller than planned by reference to 8296/14 he later agreed something different with his manager, Mr Mansbridge. The truth about the shed being taller than planed was replaced with a different story i.e. with the lie that the shed had been approved.

Similarly with Mr Palmer’s response on the phone, I had expressed on the 13th what I thought were his short comings to Emma and included a copy of the letter from Peter Dunn and Co to drive the point home but between them Messrs Buck and Palmer overwrote my complaint about Mr Palmer’s conduct with their own version.

In my email 14th to Emma I said:-

Dear Emma,
I gave my phone details to you partner to pass to a Mr Keith Parmer, he has them and I spoke to him yesterday on 0191 4271240. Is it safe to assume he is your Office Manager in South Shields and we should write to him on any issues we have with UK Docks?

The case ZA4803, please see attached, and it has been with you for many years although it was passed to Anne Marie Trevelyan MP while I was lodging in Amble. 70 Greens Place was on the market for about 4 years and I did not sell it until 2019. I was resident back there when UK Docks extended their shed in August 2017. I complained to you about the conduct of Councillor Anglin at that time and you suggested that I take it up with the Monitoring Officer, Mike Harding, and although I have not raised that issue with him I have discovered that he does not even acknowledge the receipt of any letters or emails let alone go any way to resolving any of the issues raised. I discovered this when I tried to raise a similar complaint with him at the back end of 2018.

Nicola Robeson does respond and she has confirmed that UK Docks were not given permission for their shed retrospectively which makes one wonder why they told you and Angela that they had.
MD

It only confirms that a call was made on the 13th January 2020. The rest is a potted history of our complaint that the shed is taller than planned. When Mr Buck responded to these two emails on the 15th January it would appear that the complaint about Mr Palmer’s conduct had been removed and different story put in it place.

I had become well acquainted with the manipulation of the complaints procedure for their own ends by South Tyneside Council and wrote told Mr Buck about it, 15-Jan-20, and I can confirm that he did not clarify who was or was not the office manager in South Shields.

It was copied to some of those whom I thought had been manipulating the Councils Complaints Procedure in the favour of UK Docks over the years:-

When you consider the matter closed, do you mean that the Council can cover up wrongdoing by misleading the Ombudsman is OK? Do you think it OK that they can then use the Ombudsman’s findings to mislead MPs and other enquirers. Mr Palmer certainly gave me that impression he was implying that over the phone. As you can see from the third attachment the Council have been dishonest with everyone for a long time.

3

When you consider the matter closed you are only repeating what the Principal Planning Manager said on January 13th 2014 and in the six years the Council have consistently lied about the shed having been approved.
By the way Nicola Robason has confirmed that UK Docks did not put in a retrospective planning request which beggars the question: Why did they tell Angela and Emma that they had.
Perhaps your Mr Palmer can answer the question?

I was pushing it a bit by saying ‘your’ but I saw that Mr Buck had been used by Mr Palmer in an attempt to close the conversation thread between Emma as my former MP, the Council and those who were aware the shed was materially bigger than the one permitted and I challenged him about it, 23rd January 2020:-

Dear Mr Palmer, You seem to have done some homework before our phone call on Monday the 13th but if you had paid attention to the facts rather than opinions based on fraudulent misrepresentations you would have come to the conclusion that UK Dock’s shed is 3 meters taller than planned. This can be confirmed by examination of the authorised drawing 8296/2.

Following the exchange of emails 13th to 15th January it appeared that some software had been put into emma.lewell-buck.mp@parliament.uk to ensure that any emails from me@theharbourview bounced but I noticed that my email to Mr Palmer of the 23rd did not bounce and I wrote to Mr Buck:- Dear Simon, I notice that my email to Keith yesterday did not bounce from Emma’s mailbox at parliament.uk. Thank you for removing the block from mick.dawson at the harbourview. When he alluded to vexatious mail I assumed he had his ear bent by someone at the Town Hall . . . .

In brief then, in the days immediately following my call to 0191 427 1240 my emails to Emma’s Office were being diverted into a bin marked Vexatious Mail to suit Mr Palmer’s requirements but by the 24th January normal service had been restored and that included my email to Mr Palmer on the 23rd which was never answered.

For seven years South Tyneside Council had hidden the fact that UK Docks was 2.7m taller than planned, firstly by lying to the local residents then giving misinformation to the Ombudsman and the MPs involved, then finally Mr Palmer hinting that was not Planning and Building Control but Emma and I who were conspiring to influence the Ombudsman and I chose some good examples to prove Messrs Buck and Palmer wrong and wrote to Mr Palmer on the 20th February 2020 and while my link to the MP was closed down again I did got an out of office reply from him.

Automatic reply: Conduct of South Tyneside Council
From: PALMER, Keith
Date: 20/02/2020 (12:06:30 BST)
To: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
I am out of the office until Monday 24th February 2020.

From the various responses one could see that normal service had not been restored and I thought to remind Mr Buck of this, on the 24th February, and took the opportunity to show him how the office of the Local Government Ombudsman had been abused by South Tyneside Council by some in their Planning Office with reference to approved drawings of UK Docks’ shed and added:- I wrote to you on the 24th January thanking you for removing the block from mick dawson at theharbourview.co.uk so that my copy to Emma did not bounce from her mailbox at parliament.uk. I notice that it has been reinstated, 20-Feb-20 and it is likely she will not have seen the email nor the two attachments, ‘Destroying Evidence’ and ‘Dishonesty at the Town Hall’.

4

I have not attached them to this email to you as Mr Parker will be able to forward a copy of my email and attachments to both you and Emma when he returns to work today the 24th.

The significance approved drawing 8296/2 cannot be underestimated and I took the opportunity of broadcasting this to Keith Palmer, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, Cllr David Francis, Nicola Robason, Stuart Wright, George Mansbridge, Hayley Johnson along with an explanation of the main lie told the about the shed’s height told to the Ombudsman, paragraph 34 findings 15-Apr-15:- “This developer applied for a shed 15.5 metres high at the land end. The Tyne and Wear Development Corporation as planning authority approved this.

The fact that the shed was 2.7m taller than planned was being hidden and an hour later I receive a threat from Mr Buck which shows my email of the 15th January had been completely ignored.

Mr Buck was so desperate to hide the fact that he, presumably under Mr Palmer’s guidance had been manipulating the flow of email into an MP’s office that he misapplies the Parliamentary code, overlooking the fact that I do not work in or around Parliament and I do not have a name@parliament.uk email while both he and Mr Palmer do have them.

I have since discovered that the @parliament.uk addresses are not all allocated centrally but they can be allocated locally i.e. an MP’s Office and it looks like Mr Palmer’s had been given him by Mr Buck.

It was clear to me in the first few minutes of my call to Mr Palmer in the office on Westoe Road in January 2020 that he was not working in Emma’s interests, nor in Mr Buck’s, now that I think about it, and it must of dawned on Mr Buck after my letter of the 15th January that he ought to set things right with the communications between myself and his office and they were fine until I sent Mr Palmer the two documents on the 20th February:- Dishonesty at Town Hall -Emma30Oct19.pdf and Destroying Evidence.pdf.

I believe it did not suit those who wish to hide bad planning decisions and the wanton lack of building control in allowing the shed to remain, nor whoever was controlling Mr Palmer but somehow Mr Buck was persuaded into writing on the 26th February:-

Thank you for your recent emails. However, I must draw your attention to your continued vexatious, slanderous and personal attacks on a valued member of staff working from the Office of Emma Lewell-Buck MP. Staff employed by Members of Parliament are protected under the Parliamentary Behaviour Code which is put in place to ensure a safe working environment and to safeguard them from bullying and harassment.

One phone call hardly constitutes a continued vexatious, slanderous and personal attack and Mr Buck misuse of the Parliamentary Behaviour Code, reminded me more than anything of the misapplication of the Council’s own Staff Code by the Council when they did not want to admit that they had been giving misinformation to the Local Government Ombudsman.

I only gave permission for my home phone number to be given to Mr Palmer on condition that he wished to talk about the shed and corruption and one phone call , made on 13th January 2020, does not constitute a continuous, vexatious, slanderous and personal attack.

Similarly one complaint to the Chief Executive about his staff giving misinformation to the Ombudsman and I had been told in 2016 by the Council’s Corporate Lead:- In my view, your behaviour is a disproportionate use of resources and unreasonable because you have:

5

1. submitted repeated complaints, essentially regarding the same issue, after our complaints process has been exhausted,
2. attempted to have the complaint reconsidered in ways that are incompatible with our adopted complaints procedure, or with good practice,
3. 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,
4. refused to accept the decision of the Council or Local Government Ombudsman, by arguing points of detail.
Hayley Johnson, 1st August 2016

She added a threat: 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.

I naturally pointed out the flaws in her argument and copied it to Customer Advocacy complaining about Mrs Johnson’s misrepresentation of the facts but neither she nor Customer Advocacy answered it because South Tyneside Council wished to hide the truth about the shed.

They, that is Ms Abbott and Ms Hoy, continue to hide the truth about the shed with a refined version of the Corporate Lead’s excuse for inaction and note “after our complaints process has been exhausted” has been dropped: –

  • persistent refusal to accept a decision; persistent refusal to accept explanations;

  • continuing to contact us without presenting new and relevant information

  • Adopting 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/the Local Government Ombudsman/the press

Paula Abbott, 29 th April 2021
and
Alison Hoy, 29th April 2022 

It is entirely reasonable to refuse decisions and explanations based on misinformation and especially a fraudulent misrepresentation and to say that attempts to correct any item of misinformation is repetitive and irrelevant is intended to hide the truth. What Paula and Alison call a scattergun approach, I call a broadcast and the reason for it is twofold:-

  1. to allow those who accused of misconduct, to correct a false claim;

  2. it is safe to assume the claims made in the broadcast are reasonable if there is no response from those accused of misconduct.

My email of the 13th January 2020 addressed to the MP for South Shields and copied to Mr Palmer seems to have suffered a similar fate to my email to Planning Enquiries sent on 10th January 2014, neither being answered and now deleted or overwritten, much like your question, asked of the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham, on the 9th September 2013:- “Has the revised height of 15.5metres been approved or is it in breach of the 1996 Planning approval?

The shed still in breach in respect of height of the permission granted in 1996.

Mick Dawson
29 July 2022

Exhausted Complaints Procedures

Covering Email:- Shed and Corruption - Part 16
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 08/07/2022 (17:19:49 BST)
To: Helen Dalby
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP,
Jonathan Tew, George Mansbridge, Alison Hoy
1 Attachment:- Exhausted Complaints Procedures.pdf

Dear Ms Dalby,

I have written about the corruption surrounding UK Docks’ shed on River Drive in South Shields for some time and have occasionally passed a copy to you because I thought one of your papers may be interested in the story.

Please see my latest, titled, Exhausted Complaints Procedures, which I have posted as Shed and Corruption – Part 16 which I have attached and hope is self explanatory.

I had planned it to send it to the current CEO, Mr Tew who appears to be content to do nothing about the increasing level of corruption being spread endemically from his office along the North East Coast and it was briefly mentioned in the reference to a Cautionary Tail on Page 4,  in my letter to Andy, who was mainly concerned with the gift a section of the English Coastal Path to some property owners on the banks of the Tyne but it would have just been filed away.

It appears to be quite complex but is very simply done. The Council argue with the people raising the issue about whether the public have access to the river while the planning officer in charge of the development accepts a plan from the developer’s agent which includes a section of the Coastal Path as part of his property. All the planning officer had to do was to ensure that earlier plans that show the Coastal Path, that are not part of the developer’s property, are removed or overwritten and get a Senior Planning Officer or someone with the equivalent authority to approve his scheme.

In the case of the redevelopment of the old call centre, the plans were approved by the Head of Development Services. I’ve tried to raise the issue in Amble regarding the fencing off of the footpath and but noted that when I contacted their Planning Office the first thing that happened was the plan which showed the footpath running the entire length of the eastern side of the marina disappeared and was replaced with one which showed one that went as far as the gate to the pontoon.

Please draw your own conclusion about the situation in Amble but it looks like someone has already decided to give that section of the English Coastal Path that was between the Marina and Coble Developments to Coble Developments, much as the section between the old call centre and the shore was given to the developer of the old call centre.

I said to the South Tyneside Council officer who falsely accused others and I of making allegations about the shed a number of years ago:- “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 notice that ‘the Press’ has been added to the list of those supposedly scatter gunned and it would appear that you are being being given one or two Johnson Type Lies (JTLs) to stop you making any further enquiries. I’m curious to know if they have been spinning similar JTLs to you over the years.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

Continue reading Exhausted Complaints Procedures