Category Archives: Denial

Shed and Corruption – Part 18, Slipway Enclosure

UK Docks Slipway Enclosure

Please see the attached document, ‘Messrs Buck and Palmer’. In brief, it shows how the corruption relating to UK Docks shed had spread from South Tyneside Council to the Office of the MP for South Shields in early 2020 and it looks it was done behind the MP’s back i.e. when she away in Parliament challenging the now disgraced Prime Minister. *

I hope that much is clear from the attachment, which was posted as Shed and Corruption – Part 17 about a week ago. It is a corrected copy of the one sent out two weeks ago under a private email to the MP for South Shields to catch her before the Parliamentary Summer Recess gave me until September 5th to refine it but since then I have found an email confirming that I had established contact with her office Manager, Rebecca Heath nee Atkinson, as early as 2016.

Also, I had assumed that name@parliament.uk addresses were issued centrally but discovered last week that they are also issued by an MP’s Constituency Office and presumably by her or his office manager. In January 2020, Simon Buck said he was the manager for the South Shields office in early 2020 and it appears that it was he, who allocated palmerk@parliament.uk to Mr Palmer.

More importantly one does not have to go very deeply into the correspondence of mid January 2020 to realise that it is more of a personal attack on the MP for South Shields rather than a personal attack the one who had proof that the Council were giving misinformation to the Ombudsman and a month later the short comings of the attack were pointed out to Mr Palmer.

Mr Buck was then ordered to shoot the messenger:“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.

UK Docks shed on their slipway off River Drive.

Mr Cunningham chose to pass the Tyne Gateway Assn drawings to support UK Docks false claim that they had approval for their shed, following the meeting at the Town Hall on the 25-Nov-13 and it was Mr Haig who said it was acceptable, 6 hours later:-

KH advised that they had seen the plans which were date stamped 1996, the structure is 15.5m. Proper drawings were on file and there is nothing illegal about the structure. KH advised that PC was honest and fair. With regard to conditions 3 & 4, these related to cladding of the structure, initial drawings showed blue cladding, which was agreed.

TGA Committee Meeting, 25-Nov-13

Whether Peter Cunningham was fair is not relevant but it turned out that neither he nor Ken Haig were honest. As we had left the meeting without any evidence that the shed has been built to the approved height (it was why the meeting had been called after all) I wrote and asked Mr Cunningham for a copy of the plans that Mr Haig said we were supposed to have have seen and received a copy of the plans passed to him by UK Docks on the 6th September 2013.

The approved drawing from 1996 showed a landward end of 12.7m which had a built height of 15.5m and the rest of the history of the shed, is one of deceit. Mr Cunningham chose to pass me a cropped copy of 8296/2 along with an unapproved from 1997 drawing to start that history.

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Mr Haig did not declare his interest in UK Docks and Mr Cunningham was quite happy to initiate the misuse of the Council’s Complaint Procedure to rather than admit that the shed was nearly 3m taller than planned.

This was done by removing the complaint from Planning Enquiries that the shed was in breach of approved plans with respect to its height, paving the way for the Head of Development Services to substitute with one that said that it did not, six months later and bypassing the admission by the Planning Manager on the 13th February 2014 that it was indeed taller than planned.

Proof of the breach in planning control was realised by someone in Planning on the Town Council as soon as 8296/2 was recovered from their archive in September 2013 and work stopped on the shed for two and a half months.  It restarted within days of the two meetings of November the 25th 2013. Messrs Haig, Watson, an employee of Mr Haig, and I were present at both and we all knew that the shed was taller and wider than planned. I deliberately excluded myself from association them,  Councillor John Anglin and the Principal Planning Officer and their support of UK Docks with a claim that the shed was a metre wider than planned, when I discovered I could measure it from without the site in December 2013.

Sticking with its height, it appears that the Planning Manager had the choice of admitting that the shed was too tall, thus contradicting his Principal Planning Officer but he did not do it. Instead of correcting Mr Cunningham for lying to the likes of the TGA etc. he chose to repeat the lie about the shed’s height. The choice then passed to the Head of Development Services but Mr Mansbridge then had the additional problem of having to caution his Planning Manager, as well as the Principal Planning Officer and so on, until we get to the Chief Executive as I explained in the Shed and Corruption – Part 1 (page 11 before I got to the CEO).

There was a rare instance of honesty by the Planning Manager when discussing the height of the shed by reference to an approved drawing when he said:- “the current structure is not built to ‘approved’ plans” but this was removed from the timeline we shared with the Council by Mr Mansbridge overwriting the original complaint, that the shed was too tall and nothing had been done about it, with a new complaint that it had been built to the approved height and the extra width, while it was a material consideration, it could be ignored.

I told the Ombudsman that the shed was 3m taller than planned by reference to the drawing 8296/14 which was approved by the Council in 2013 especially as it was the one to which I referred when Mr Atkinson admitted that we were right about the shed’s height but a Senior Planning Officer undermined my case by telling her that it was not to scale. That was an outright lie of course but it got Messrs Cunningham, Atkinson, and Mansbridge off the hook.

In 2015 the Council had trouble in reconciling the truth about the shed with what they had told the Ombudsman so were were accused of making allegations by the Council’s Corporate Lead:- “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.

In 2016 after seeking advice from a solicitor I wrote directly to Chief Executive and I quote:- “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 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.

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That resulted in a personal attack on me by his Corporate Lead who had proved her worth to him the year before with her lie about us making allegation about the shed. When I had told her that I had consulted a solicitor about situation with UK Docks and what his advice was, she refined her attack, in October 2016, by saying:- “The issue of the height of the shed was dealt with in the Council’s stage 2 response to your complaint and then also discussed further with you at a meeting in July 2014. As the complaint has exhausted the corporate complaints procedure, the Council would not reconsider the issue afresh as it does not materially change the complaint. I therefore consider the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision final.

The issue of height was dealt with in the actual stage 2 when the Planning Manager said:- the current structure is not built to approved plans.

The Council’s stage 2 response was a fiction created by the Head of Development Services to introduce a complaint based on the fraudulent misrepresentation about the shed’s height based on and unauthorised drawing. The claim that their complaints process had been exhausted was a whitewash which was explained in Shed and Corruption – Part 16, and there was only ever one complaint that they had been seriously misleading the Ombudsman and one can justly add Mr Swales and his Corporate Lead, Mrs Johnson to the list of those let off the hook.

She then added:- “We will not acknowledge or respond to any issues that have already been the subject of investigation by the Council, or by the Local Government Ombudsman. Any such correspondence from you will be read and placed on file, but we will not acknowledge or respond to it.

Late in 2015 it came to my notice that UK Docks regularly breached the fifth condition by using their shed on a Sunday but the Council responded by confusing the South Tyneside Council with the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation:- The Authority’s view is that condition 5 should not have been imposed because the site already had the benefit of unrestricted working hours.

This was not resolved before Mrs Johnson imposed her Omertà, not acknowledging or responding to correspondence which was in place when UK Docks started to lengthen their shed in 2017.

In 2018 I raised a complaint about the conduct of Cllr Anglin as it was he, and the Chair of the TGA who organised the Town Hall meeting of the 25th November 2013 were Mr Cunningham felt confident enough to claim that UK Docks shed was compliant with plans that had obviously not been approved. A council solicitor did not uphold my complaint and she did this by repeating the misinformation about the height given to the Local Government Ombudsman by a Senior Planning Officer of South Tyneside Council and concluded:-

If you are dissatisfied with my decision not to investigate your complaint further, then under the Council’s protocol for dealing with allegations of breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct you may request the Monitoring Officer to reconsider this decision. You can request a review by emailing monitoring.officer@southtyneside.gov.uk or in writing to Mike Harding, Monitoring Officer, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.

My request for a review was never acknowledged because the of Chief Executive’s decision to back his Corporate Lead in 2016, when she said:- I therefore consider the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision final.

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In the spring of 2019 UK Docks were asked by a Councillor to produce evidence to back their claim that they had approval for their shed but had none she was told they had been given permission for it retrospectively. I knew that to be another lie and I did not want it to replace the lie that they had approval for their shed before it was erected in 2013 and raised the issue with the latest Monitoring Officer in May:- Dear Monitoring Officer, The whole point of the original complaint, which I have attached, made when UK Docks restarted work on the enclosure in January 2014, was that they had not applied for retrospective planning permission and as far as I am aware they had not before they applied for permission to extend it, 20-05-2014. You can confirm that this is true.

In the Autumn of 2019, I made it clear that the only way to put a stop to Councils like South Tyneside giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman to hide malpractice or wrongdoing in their Planning and Building Control sections was to raise the issue in Parliament and ask them to make it a Criminal Offence to lie to the Ombudsman. Leaving it as a civil matter is no good, as explained in the opening paragraph of the attached file.

Meanwhile I had trouble in establishing that UK Docks had not been given permission for their shed retrospectively and it was only confirmed by the Council on the 19th December 2019 that they had not been given permission at all for the shed we see today and we see the misuse of ‘exhausted’ again: “I understand that all complaints procedures regarding this matter have been exhausted both internally within the Council and externally.

Three weeks later I get the call from Mr Buck requesting my home phone number for his colleague Mr Palmer which ends with the misapplication of a Parliamentary Code, a month and a half later, to hide the truth about the shed. Messrs Buck and Palmer condensed into two months what had taken Council three years – giving the TGA a misleading drawing at the meeting in November 2013 to the Corporate Lead’s misuse of Section F, now section 7 of the their staff code against me in October 2016.

The Buck/Palmer attempt to malign me failed on two counts:

1) principally because I had not established any direct contact with the MP for South Shields until well after my dealings finished with the first Inspector for the Ombudsman said, 15-April-2015:

2) the UK Parliament Behaviour Code was not relevant. Please see that I had exchanged two messages in the days between 19th December and the 8th January, with the MP:-

23 December 2019

Good afternoon Mick, I am aware Angela and David are dealing with this, please can you let me know if there is anything needed from me.
Best wishes, hope you have a lovely Christmas
Emma, on Monday, 23 December 2019

24 December 2019

Dear Emma,
Thank you for responding to my email to Angela and the offer of help.
Apologies for using your home email address but I wanted you to know where I’m at with the Council and Parliament does not sit until 7-Jan-20.
[private message re: MP for Jarrow]
I cannot really write to her directly as it would just get referred back to Anne-Marie Trevelyan and I really think she is not that interested, though she should be. I hope to be back in touch when Parliament resits.
Congratulations in retaining your seat. All the best for the New Year.
Kind regards,
Michael.

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It looks like Messrs Buck and Palmer were not aware that Emma had picked up my message to Angela on the 23rd on her phone and it looks like whoever was in charge of the Council when I started the Shed and Corruption series, asked Paula Abbott to resurrect the Complaints Restriction first placed in 2016, on April 29th 2021. They were first imposed because Mr Swales did not want to admit that South Tyneside Council staff had been lying to the Ombudsman.

Mr Swales had resigned in September 2020 and the Leader of the Council had gone two months later and on the 30th April, the Council had decided to appoint Mr Tew to be the new Chief Executive and he was officially appointed to the post in August 2021 and it appears that Ms Abbott was given the task to wipe the slate clean because she would have been unaware of the history of the shed, before the appointment of Mr Tew was confirmed.

On whose order the code of silence was reimposed, we can only guess but I think we need look no further than the leader of the team that appointed him. The team appears to have been headed by Cllr Tracy Dixon and it looks like Ms Abbott once she was appraised of the truth in Shed and Corruption – Part 4, that refused to keep it hidden and it fell to Alison Hoy to enforce the code of silence again and it took her less than 15minutes.

I had written to the Monitoring Officer on April 29th 2022 questioning the reimposition of the code of silence by Ms Abbott and the timing of the letter was deliberate:- Mrs Johnson sensibly dropped the scattergunning business after my response but I see Paula Abbott has included it again in her false accusations made against me in her email/letter to me a year ago. Please remind her that when the approved plans say that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned it is not unreasonable to say that it is taller than planned and the same thing goes for the width.

I wrote to Mr Tew in May 2022, to let him know after he had time to settle down in his new appointment as Chief Executive Officer of South Tyneside Council, how his staff had managed to hide the truth about the shed’s height for six and a half years. There was a lot of detail given him including a request that he looked the approved drawing 8296/14 and I told him:- “I have pointed out on numerous occasions, as Ms Hoy can verify, there has only ever been one complaint that South Tyneside Council have been giving misinformation to the Local Government Ombudsman and it is not unreasonable to say that a structure is taller than planned when it is taller than planned.

The value of 8296/14 in proving the shed to have been built not only wider but taller than planned cannot be underestimated. Not only did a Senior Planning Officer lie to the Ombudsman when he told her it was not to scale, the Planning Manager did not bring it to a meeting expressly organised to view it in July 2014 and the Principal Planning Officer removed the original complaint, upon which it was based, from Planning Enquiries in January 2014. The twist in the tale is that  the Planning Manager approved it in October 2013.

Michael Dawson
2nd August 2022.

* It had also spread to those who look after public footpaths by October 2021.

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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

The Shed: Approved Height v Built Height

UK Docks were allowed to build, without planning permission by South Tyneside Council (STC), a shelter on their slipway on the banks of the Tyne in South Shields. In spite of protests from the first days, that it was bigger than planned, South Tyneside Council did nothing to halt, apart from a temporary stoppage Sep-Nov 2013, the completion of the shed.

They can do this as there is no requirement for them to tell the building inspector that they have not met the conditions of any planning approval. In the case of UK Docks they knew the structure that they had erected on their slipway off River Drive in the first couple of weeks of September 2013 was going to be taller and wider than the approved plans allowed so they hid the fact that it was wider than planned from the building inspector and sent misleading plans to fraudulently misrepresent the approved height of it, to the Principal Planning Officer.

The Height at River End; permitted = 15.5m; built = 18.2m

When we started protesting that the shed was taller than planned the Principal Planning Officer went and measured it for himself and declared it was compliant:- Mr Dawson – once again – I have measured this on site and have copied the 1996 plans across to you twice already (attached again for your use) and I have explained during our meeting that the base and height of the structure are compliant.

It was not compliant with any approved drawing and what he did not realise was the fact that the gradient between each end of the shed gave scale to any side elevation of the shed and any end elevation that showed the depth of any beams (686mm), similarly gave the scale as well. It also appears that that he was content to ignore the fact that both ends of the drawings he gave out, showed the same total height of 15.5m. Here again, the side elevation will show that the river end is correct.

What UK Docks did not foresee was that while the residents/protestors knew that their shed was taller and wider than planned from the beginning, what was needed was some proof to back up their views, so that they would not be accused of making allegations. The first was drawing 8296/14 and it had been approved by the Planning Manager in October 2013 as part of ST/1146/13/COND and was coupled to their decision to fit an overhead travelling crane.

When South Tyneside Council recovered the 1996 documents there were two authorised drawings and one, 8296/2 provided proof that the Principal Planning Officer was lying when he implied that UK Docks had approval for a shed of 15.5m height at its landward end. Some in the planning office agreed with the protestors and that was why work on the shed stopped for nearly three months. It was also proof that UK Docks were in breach of the permitted height after the first frames were erected and probably why there was never a response made to the original complaint made on behalf of the residents by me.

I explained to the MP for Berwick and the Chief Executive, Mr Swales why it was unreasonable to claim that the shed had been built to the approved height but the Corporate Lead, Hayley Johnson thought otherwise and because there was no evidence to back her view she had to accuse us of making alegations.

The two approved drawings show that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned and it was therefore her, who was lying about the height of the shed, when she told the MP for Berwick on the 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.

The Width; permitted = 12.2m; built = 13.1m

Drawing 8296/14 also shows the width to be 12.2m and that agreed with the width shown on the drawings favoured by UK Docks (8696/1B) and the Principal Planning Officer (8296/1A). When measured, he found it to be 13.1m, which we learnt in response to our Petition, was considered a material consideration from, no lesser person than, the Head of Development Services:- 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.

By the time it got to the Ombudsman it had become:- It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.” 

The inspector was easily persuaded that the shed was the permitted width and the extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden under a pallet or box, if there were any visitors to the yard, until they they were needed later.

That they were needed later, to lengthen the shed, was confirmed when they were given permission to extend it onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL.

The Length; permitted = 22m, built = 27.5m

Footings 2010 – Six Pairs

As well as easily persuading the building inspector that the shed was the permitted width UK Docks had also hidden the fact that they had planned for a longer shed in 2001 when the footings were originally laid. The extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden from view, under a pallet for example, while there were visitors to the yard, and put to use when they were needed later.

That they were needed later was confirmed when they were given permission to extend the shed onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL. The people on the committee, were either not told, or were told but ignored the fact, that the shed was taller than permitted and gave UK Docks permission to extend it onto the footings laid in 2001.

I concluded in letter to a former neighbour, Part 1 of Shed and Corruption:- When they heard we were trying to resurrect the dormant TGA they spotted a weak spot and Cllrs Anglin and McMillan went into action but what they and Messrs Watson and Haig did not realise was that there was a fatal flaw in their scheme. Mr Cunningham had to either to admit we were right about the shed or commit fraud.

For those that are new to the sorry story about the shed and corruption, the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham chose the latter and he did that by attempting to pass off drawing, 8296/1A, one that had not been approved because it contained an error, as one that had been approved.

Besides 1A showing both ends to have the same height it bears no evidence of having been anywhere near the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation and is very obviously the copy sent to South Tyneside MBC in April 1996 for comment before the development went before the Development Corporation for approval in July. One wonders why they never sent out an amended copy but it did not matter as 8296/2 was approved and showed that the landward end should be about 12.8m not the 15.5m as claimed by the STC Planning Officers and their Managers.

I have describe how the truth about the shed, was and still is, avoided in Shed and Corruption – Part 9 which takes us up to April 2022 and concludes with:- As I said to her in Part 4 of Shed and Corruption, see page 2, there has only been one complaint to the Chief Executive that his staff have been misleading the Ombudsman and that does not relate to persistent and unreasonable behaviour by anyone’s standards. Especially when it can be easily shown that someone has been giving misinformation/misrepresentation to them.

It was not one of the local residents nor Mr X.

Review of the Shed and Corruption Series

Redhead’s Landing, Templetown, South Shields

On May 7th 2013 South Tyneside Council (STC) gave the slipway known as Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne because they could, and that spelled the death knell of the right of way to it. That was also given the Port of Tyne but it left the Council and the Port of Tyne the problem of finding the business using the slipway adjacent to the former landing a new home. It left Tyne Slipway and Engineering and its owner, as the only obstacle to the closure of Tyne Dock, in a very powerful position because they had to find a new home on the Tyne and there was only one viable option.
That home was Tyne Slipways ltd. and owned by the same family and occasionally used for servicing the Shields Ferries and the some of the North Sea fishing fleet. They had a maintenance contract with the Port of Tyne for their Pilot Boats, with Nexus for the maintenance of their Ferries and a contract with a the Ministry of Defence for the maintenance of their Border Patrol Vessels.

Loss of English Coastal Path

The gift of right of way to the Port of Tyne was not lost on some in the planning office of STC and was simply because Rights of Way are not a planning matter. Bridle and coastal paths etc. are no different and the planning officer who was later in charge of the development of the UtilityWise Center into riverside accommodation on Long Row, South Shields, gave part of the English Coastal Path to its developer. The riverside footpath then became became riverside gardens for the people residing on the ground floor of the two blocks of flats. The contact for the development of the redundant car park downstream, was by 2021 was the same officer who had given Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne, Mr Peter Cunningham.

71 and 72 Greens place, South Shields

Here is a modified extract from Shed and Corruption – Part 2 (pages 2 and 3).

It started with a Planning Officer and her misapplication of the planning guidelines, SPD9 which were ignored.
72 – I was told by the building inspector, Mr Telford that the single dormer that occupied nearly the whole of the roof width of 72 was not a material consideration but discovered later that was just an opinion. Mr Telford was applying different standards to No 72 to those being applied to No 70.
If anyone had bothered to check, the Listing of No 70 was specific to the frontage and the door in particular, not to any materials used for modifications to the back. I should have questioned the addition of conditions 3 & 4 but as the planning section’s grudge against the previous owners of No 70 was well known and still hung over the place, I just paid the extra for the bricks, which the builder went to some trouble to match. We both agreed that if they tried to enforce metal gutters they would be open to ridicule!
71- When I mentioned that Mr Haig had not even followed the permitted plans, the Ombudsman had said that as I had not taken the complaint thought the Council’s Complaints Procedure (CCP), she was not able to consider it. This was the first indication that the Council and LGO were working in unison to stifle complaints.

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I had noticed as I progressed through the CCP the justification for my complaint against the demolition and rebuild of 71 Greens Place had disappeared. Primarily the planning officer in charge of the development had not followed the guidelines outlined in SPD9. The other setback was that Mr Haig had lied to his solicitor when he said that a party wall agreement was in place and I had to force him into one. It turned out to be a waste of time and money as it was never honoured and in this, he required the assistance of the building inspector, Mr Telford.
I did take the Ombudsman’s Inspectors advice and that led to Mr Haig having to put in an application for permission for his two roof gardens to be granted retrospectively. It was a little short on detail although the agent did mention construction of various patio walls (there were two walls that ran along side the yard of 70 Greens Place under consideration, one on each of the first and second floors).
This was pointed out in response to the Planning Manager’s view and note that ST/0749/13/FUL had referred to retrospective content and it did not, four months later. The Planning Manager had written ‘retrospective’ out of consideration and the revised job passed to a planning officer and acknowledged on the 12th November.
I mention all this because what had started life as an application for retrospective planning permission had by the time the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson given it approval on the 5th December 2013, had become one which bore no reference to any retrospective planning application.
It had become ST/0749/13/HFUL and its predecessor, ST/0749/13/FUL, had completely disappeared. Since there is no way the Council will allow ST/0749/13/FUL to be recovered there is very little I can do about 71 Greens Place, its first floor patio garden to the rear and its roof top balcony to the front, except to say that if one wants to view some examples of the of the corruption endemic in the Town Hall in South Shields, just take a stroll down Greens Place or its back lane.
The development of 71 Greens Place started with a Planning Officer’s misapplication of the Guidelines in SPD9, which led to Inspector for the LGO being fed misinformation and continuing with the owner Mr Haig who ensured that the Party Wall Agreement would fail so that he could build a longer and or taller walls on our shared boundary.

When someone had recognised the fact a retrospective application would have to be made and raised ST/0749/13/FUL this did not suit Mr Haig, the planning officer involved nor her manager, Mr Atkinson. Nor did it suit the building inspector, Mr Telford and so ST/0749/13/FUL was deleted and replaced with ST/0749/13/HFUL.

72 Greens Place: the two separate dormers had been drawn so large that the gap between them was not wide enough to allow inner sides to be safely clad. There is now one very large dormer filling about 90% of the roof.

Both Messrs Haig and Watson had built an extra story onto each mid terrace properties by ‘bending the rules’ and they got away with it for a mixture of reasons, Mr Watson’s development was fairly discrete and Mr Haig by persuading South Tyneside Council to withdraw the requirement for the redevelopment of No. 71 to be looked at retrospectively.

A better and much more visible example of this sort of corruption, is UK Docks’ shed a little way downstream and easily viewed by the Haigs from their rooftop balcony. This is important to bear in mind because UK Docks should have applied for permission to build the shed we see today sometime between 2001 and 2013. Retrospectively; a) because the foundations had been laid a meter wider and 5.5m longer than planned b) it needed to be taller than planned.

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Town Hall Meeting: 25-Nov-13

About six months after the first complaints about the height of the shed went in, we noticed that some of responses were marked [PROTECT], and we mistakenly thought that it was because the information it contained was confidential. I noticed that there was a profusion of them around about the time the Tyne Gateway Assn folded, which I believe was a bit more than coincidental.
I checked the use of them with Customer Advocacy around about the time the rewrite of the second Stage of my complaint by the Head of Development Services as they had started to appear again and discovered that the ‘protect’ was for internal use by the Council Staff and that I could publish them.

It was put into use by Mr Cunningham from the beginning to hide the fact that he was being disingenuous:-
From: Peter.Cunningham@southtyneside.gov.uk
To: Resident of Greens Place
CC: 6 Residents; cllr.john.anglin@southtyneside.gov.uk;
cllr.audrey.mcmillan@southtyneside.gov.uk; cllr.john.wood@southtyneside.gov.uk;
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 16:00:04 +0100
Subject: RE: Approved
* boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields
This email has been classified as: PROTECT
Hello – I stamped these drawings on the day they were handed to me in reception, as I explained these are copies of drawings passed in 1996 by the T&W Development Corporation the only difference is that these drawings do not have the approved stamps on them.
I attach a link to the Council’s website explaining the complaints procedure.
Complaints Procedure
Regards
Principal Planning Officer

 * The drawings did not have approved stamps on because they had not been approved.

Emails post Town Hall Meeting 25th November (explanations in italics)
Continue reading Town Hall Meeting: 25-Nov-13

Shed and Corruption – Part 15

Date: 09/05/22, 09:16:44 BST
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
To: Jonathan Tew
Cc: Nicola Robason, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Alison Hoy, Hayley Johnson, John Rumney
Attachment: Detail-SandC-15.pdf (64 KB)

Dear Mr Tew,

Please accept my apologies for not including you in the circulation of my the email/letter of the 29th April to your Monitoring Officer about the height of UK Docks’ shed on their slipway off River Drive. I was about to correct it when I received a response from Alison Hoy, your Information and Feedback Officer, within 15 minutes of sending shed and Corruption – Part 14.

Ms Hoy’s response appears to answer the question posed at the end of the email [to NR] and it seems to be the officer in charge of Customer Advocacy if it is not herself:-

Mr Swales had retired by the time of Paula’s false accusations so who asked them to be made.I believe and sincerely hope it was not you.

To save me sending S and C- Part 14 again, your Monitoring Officer, Ms Hoy or Mrs Johnson should be able to pass you a copy.

I had hoped to be giving details of the exchange of correspondence I had with the MP’s Office Staff in Part 15 but the ill considered interruption [by AH] meant I had to reinforce many of the points raised in the previous episodes or parts.

It looks to me that a decision was made to hide the fact that the shed was nearly 3m taller than planned so that UK Docks could get their longer shed by avoiding  having to make a planning application retrospectively.

It meant that someone had to give misinformation to the Ombudsman and because they were caught doing so, a scheme was hatched by your predecessor to first malign the good citizens of South Shields and then to misuse a section of your staff code that deals with unacceptable behaviour: e.g. aggressive, abusive or offensive language or behaviours to discredit me. *

I had hoped that some reforms might be taking place, particularly when when I had a response from Leah on behalf of Ms Robason on 24th December 2020:

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.

I heard nothing until Paula Abbot’s email of the 29th April 2021 prompted, I believe by my review of the timeline that I had shared with Customer Advocacy since the Summer of 2014, Shed and Corruption – Parts 1 and 2.

Sadly Ms Hoy’s extension of misuse of Section 7 allows your staff to say whatever they like about UK Dock’s shed and myself for another year. Please see Shed and Corruption – Part 15 (Detail) which I have attached.

I hope you have enough control to put a stop to the corruption and I wish you luck.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

* to discredit me –  was missing from the original email.
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 15

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

Palmer and Co

When I talked with Mr Palmer on the afternoon of the 13th January,  I assumed that I was talking with new manager of the MP’s Office in South Shields because the phone number given was that of the MP’s Office.
I discovered that he was not the new Manager when  Mr Buck responded to emails to the MP the next day.

I felt I was let down when I realised Mr Buck had not responded to the email to the MP of the evening before when I asked of her:-  “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“.
Continue reading Palmer and Co

Letter to Mr Harding: 9-Apr-19

Amble
Northumberland
9th April 2019

Dear Mr Harding,

Councillor Anglin, UK Docks and the Enclosure on River Drive

Gill Hayton’s response to my complaint about Cllr Anglin and the Town Hall meeting of 25-Nov-13 is not sound but she does say I may ask you to review her decision if I am dissatisfied.

Her decision appears to be based on three misrepresentations given to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) by a Senior Planning Officer of South Tyneside Council:

LGO Gill Hayton

1

21. The Council accepts these measurements were wrong. 5. The Council later accepted that the measurements as taken in 2013 were incorrect.

2

31. The applicant stated the height at this end as 12.5 metres plus 3 metres making 15.5 metres. 6. 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.

3

23. It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.” 5. The Council decided not to take enforcement action against the developer and considered the degree of departure from the grant of planning permission was “non-material” given the overall scale of the building.

Continue reading Letter to Mr Harding: 9-Apr-19