Category Archives: Information/Evidence

Scaled or Not?

Approved Drawing 8296/4.

A copy is held on as D8296_4.pdf

Is is best to view on a laptop or big tablet as the scale can be adjusted to represent an A4 page at 1:1 (make the width on the screen = 21cm).

At that scale the height at the halfway point becomes 5.2cm and the length 7cm.

There is no argument about the length of it which is 22m (between centres not overall, especially when the cladding is added).

The ratio of the real to the size on screen of the length is therefore 22/0.07= 314.3.

From the figures given by the Council in January 2013 the height of the middle frame is 15.5m + half the gradient between each end (2.7m) = 16.85m.

The drawing is not to scale as the height of the middle frame, represented by the size on the screen is = 314.3×0.052m or 16.34m making it 0.5m different from the figure calculated from the heights given by the Council. A centimetre difference one could reasonably claim that the drawing was to scale but half a meter, never.
Continue reading Scaled or Not?

A Cautionary Tale

The tale below, labours the point about Messrs Haig and Watson, my neighbours at the time, because what they said was written in the minutes of the Tyne Gateway Assn and is best evidence of what was said at that time.  Mr Watson, Cllr Anglin and Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham,  arranged a most important meeting on the afternoon of the 25-Nov-13 and it was more than coincidence that, not only was Planning Portal was down for two weeks following it, we did not receive any authorised the plans at that meeting itself. The plans supposedly seen were not authorised. They imply that the authorised height of the shed at the river end is 18.2m where it should be 15.5m.

By the time the Planning Portal returned, UK Docks with the Council’s blessing,  prepared to resume work on their shed.

A Cautionary Tale
Date: 17/09/2021 (05:39:49 PM GMT)
Cc: Cllrs Angela Hamilton, David Francis and Sue Stonehouse
Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP Emma, Lewell-Buck MP and MD

Dear Andy,

A Cautionary Tale

Figure 1: Height of landward end = 12.7m (108.8-96.1)

This tale begins two enormous cranes arriving at the Tyne Slipway Co. off River Drive in the first week of September 2013 to erect a large shed. A neighbour in Greens Place asked the Principal Planning Officer what the planned height of shed should be but he did not answer and sent her a copy of how to make a complaint instead.

A day or so later he sent out some copies of drawings given to him by UK Docks, the new owners of the slipway and by this time I had shown an interest and I was sent the copies as well. And the first thing one will notice is that is the upper one has been cropped.

About 10% is missing from the left hand side and same from the foot of the first of the two drawings. The number, 8296/2, one authorised by the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation in 1996 was missing from the foot and some vital dimensions missing from the left side. See figure 1.
W e did not see that detail from 8296/2 (i.e. figure 1) until after they had restarted work on the shed!

The bottom figure was from 8296/1B and it was UK Docks’, not the Council’s archive. The one from the archive was 82961A and it bears the same mistake as 1B, in showing the landward end of the shed as 15.5m when it should be 12.8m.

This was confirmed because work on the shed stopped for about three months and UK Docks could do nothing about it because they had built the landward end of the shed to a height of 15m where the authorised plans said it should be 12.8m. One can tell it was authorised because it bears the authentication stamp of the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation. 1A and 1B do not.

That should have been the end of the argument but first thing the Council did was to refuse to answer the question raised by Melanie and various protestors, i.e. admit we were right and ask UK Docks to build their shed elsewhere.

That the shed is still there is because they repeated the fraudulent misrepresentation made by UK Docks that the shed was the permitted height and it looks like Dave Carr, the Highways Manager from South Tyneside Council, 20-Aug-21, was attempting something similar by telling the friends of Re-open Market Dock that there was never a right of way along the from the steps at Comical Corner to where the path rejoined Long Row, 500m South.

The Cautionary Tail began because we knew that our claims were not allegations and we decided to revive the Tyne Gateway Assn because we thought that the Assn which had many members may be able to get an answer about the planned height of the shed out of the Planning Officer but it was taken over by people with an interest vested in the shed.

It was taken over, with help from Cllrs Anglin and McMillan, by a director (Treasurer) and procurement officer (Chair) for a company that supplied services to dockyards like UK Docks, HB Hydraulics. Cllr Anglin and the Chair of the TGA arranged a meeting the Town Hall on November 25th 2013 where we were told the shed had been approved.

Page 2. First it was said to be legal, not by the Council but by one of the residents, Ken Haig, a director of HD Hydraulics a firm that had contracts with the Ministry of Defence as had owners of UK Docks and the treasurer of the Tyne Gateway Assn (TGA):

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.

I’ll leave you to decide whether either Mr Haig  or Peter Cunningham were honest but less than two weeks later, the line that it was legal, was repeated by Councillor Anglin: Michael, I took no minutes as is customary at these informal meetings. For your record I am sure all would agree: The Exec representatives of the Group accepted that the construction had been made legally as per drawings seen. *

Because Cllr Anglin took no minutes, Peter Cunningham could say was compliant with anything he chose, and he chose a drawing that had not been approved: 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…this is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned. Please do not email me again.

They were not compliant with any approved drawing or plan and it had become obvious that he was being dishonest with us. The reason why I have introduced yet another drawing into the mix is because it was approved by the Planning Manager in October 2013, a month before his Principal Planning Officer lied to us at the meeting in the Town Hall about 8296/1A.

I could see no way round this without raising a complaint and I was aware that the Council’s Complaints (Procedure) could be manipulated for favoured Customers and had a fair idea how it was being done. I thought I could avoid the various pitfalls by deliberate reference to 8296/14 and asked: As the applicant has not discharged condition 2 why is there no retrospective planning application?

A direct question, which he avoided by referring me back to the Chair of the TGA, Mr Graeme Watson and he knew he could get away with this piece of maladministration because he would not be reprimanded by his immediate boss. Much of this is covered in the first few pages of my letter to Melanie, 12-Mar-21, but before I leave it I would like to emphasise the part that the Planning Manager played in transferring centre of attention:
from: a lack of Planning Control in respect of UK Docks’ shed;
to: one about whether the shed had planning permission with the Residents.

In a similar fashion the Council have shifted your argument about the English Coastal Path away:
from: why is the gate still there;
to: there is no right of way.

With the shed, the Council/Mr Atkinson did this by claiming it had been approved, which turned out to be a lie: Approved Drawings, The following are details of the relevant drawings in the Council’s possession. The drawing that was submitted on 11th April 1996 with the application is numbered 8296/1A. That shows the overall height of the structure as 15.5m above the foundation level at the landward end.

In that response, the Planning Manager went on to reinforce the lie:
The dimensions of the steelwork have been checked on site and they are in accordance with the measurements shown on the approved drawings.
It was made to hide the fact that Planning Control had done nothing about the shed being oversize. Some of the ground had been prepared for him by UK Docks telling the local newspaper the Gazette, 9-Sep-13: “All I can say is that we have been through all the controls with the planners, and the work meets all the necessary legal requirements.

Page 3. This was followed a day later with more misinformation about the size of the shed etc.

By the 15th of January 2014, we were well into the second stage of the Council’s Complaint Procedure, the first coming to an abrupt halt when I was referred back to the Chair of the TGA.
That naturally closed or ended when the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson admitted that we were right about the shed being to tall on the 13-Feb-14 but he had laid many misrepresentations that any combination of them could be used falsely, to accuse us of making allegations. **

I knew that needed to nip them in the bud and I thought I had done this by thanking Mr Atkinson: Thank you also for confirming that the Slipway Shed is not built to the approved 1996 plans.
You will now see why I laboured the point about the approved height on page 1. Mr Atkinson has obviously repeated the lie of the 15th January to Mr Mansbridge in his response to our Petition: The approved dimensions of the steelwork are: Proposed height 15.5m at the River Drive end.

He could do this secure in the knowledge that Mr Mansbridge would be handling the next stage of the complaint and in fact he had already attempted to do this instead of answering questions asked of him at the real stage 2. ***

How this fits into the trail of misinformation is given in my letter to Melanie on Pages 5 and 7, where the Mansbridge Trap is described and I concluded: 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.

There were a few loose ends not covered in that letter and I had thought of writing to Councillor Hamilton but as you are probably aware she was being bullied into silence as a penalty for being honest so I wrote to Councillor Francis, who does not have to kowtow to the local Labour group, on the 12th April to give some more background and after a brief introduction I get to the point straight away:

The reality lies in the fact that they were never told to remove their shed or rebuild it to the correct height in writing otherwise it would have gone. UK Docks would not have have sought permission retrospectively because the approved plans from 1996 would have had to have been produced and that would have proved that the residents were right about it being taller and wider than planned, and to put it bluntly, that both UK Docks and the Council were lying when they said or implied that approval had been granted for the shed we now see.

A few loose ends is a poor description of how the Council corrupt their own complaints procedure to cover over the fact that some of their planning and enforcement officers are in the pockets of a favoured few and there are some who are quite content overwrite plans and complaints to hide these facts.

I have gone into all this in some detail in my letter to Cllr Francis on 12th April 2021, under such the titles as: 71 &72 Greens place, August 2013 – The start of the deception about the shed, Contrived Stage 2, the Trap, the Diversion into a Dead End and the Big Deceit.

The Council, with or without a Chief Executive, realised what that entailed and decided to shoot the messenger and that was me again, before any more of their lies were exposed by my review of the timeline that we shared. I say again because the first attempt was five years ago, when I complained to the Chief Executive that his staff were giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman, 8th July 2016.

Page 4. More relevant, now we are in the Autumn of 2021, is the letter I sent to Paula Abbott on 21-June-21 and is now Part 4. I have rather grandly renamed it ‘Slaying the Messenger’ and I will not be quiet till I get an apology from ‘them’ and by them I do not mean Paula. It looks from here that she has been coerced into accusing me of unacceptable behaviour which can be variously described as aggressive, abusive, unreasonable or persistent so that they can absolve themselves if any misdemeanours or criminal activity.

I mean from the likes of Head of Development Services who was responsible for the reply to our Petition in 2014 or the Corporate Lead who was responsible for the reply to my complaint to the Chief Executive that his staff were giving misinformation to the Local Government Ombudsman in 2016.

Part 3, April 2021, concerned Sunday working or the fifth condition and would apply regardless of the height of the shed and was sent to Mr J Rumney of the Council’s Legal Services for information and for him to act upon. It was to advise him that two of his staff were corrupting the Complaints Procedure and how history was being rewritten by one other of the following:

1. complaint or questions not recorded [disregarded];
2. neutered by an unfounded contradiction [contradiction];
3. conflated with an exhausted complaint [conflation];
4. forward pass or diverted into dead end [forward-pass];
5. passed back to a closed conversation or complaint [back-pass].

Mr Simmonette is guilty of 1 and 4 and Mr Burrell of 3 and 5 and the 2nd was implied by both but a far better example of an outright contradiction was provided by the Corporate Lead in her response to my letters to the MP for Berwick and the CEO, 9-June-15. First she accused the good people of South Shields, including myself of making allegations and it does not take much to discover by looking any of the approved drawings to see that not only had the Council lied to the Ombudsman, she had lied to the MP and what was worse she closed her letter with the comment: I hope that this information is useful. Please do not hesitate to share this letter with your constituent.****

Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP did not share the letter and I did not find out about it until January 2016 and only then because the Planning Officer, Gary Simmonette was being evasive about the height of the shed. I actually asked the MP: If Mr Swales provides any new plans to show you that I am wrong in my assessment of the development on River Drive by UK Docks please let me know.

Neither the Chief Executive nor his Corporate Lead could provide any plans because there are none and they got round this by accusing the protestors of making allegations about UK Docks. Mine were about the height but I know others were about the other. One only has to look ay the approved drawing to see that the shed is nearly 3m higher than that authorised.

If you detect any of the above, [disregarded] etc. you will know that you have entered a corrupt complaints procedure and until it is made illegal to lie to the Ombudsman there will be very little that can be done about it.

When I collected my papers from Petter Dunn and Co., a year or so ago, I thought to call in the Journal/Chronicle Offices on the way home to Amble with them but it came to nothing and it transpired that it was a waste of time complaining to the Ombudsman because they are no better than the Planning Authorities who feed them the misinformation in the first place because they conflate a complaint that a complaint is being mishandled with the complaint itself.

Page 5. I was told the Police will not handle a complaint against anyone in any Council Planning Department and meanwhile if one tries to alert anyone in the Press to what is going on they are told that the likes of you and I are making allegations and should be ignored.

As you can see from the evidence given in this letter it was the Council Officers who were lying, not I.

Yours sincerely,

Michael Dawson,
17 September 2021

* to say that the shed was legal to mean it was approved was fraudulent misrepresentation and as a planning officer, Mr Cunningham would have known that.

** Mr Atkinson knew as well as I did that the approved drawings showed that the shed was nearly 3m taller than permitted:

a. see figure 1 from 8296/2 (page 1 of this letter);
b. he did not bring 8296/14 to a meeting expressly held to view it (3 emails:

1. says advice will be sought from the Council’s solicitor – the advice appears to be to remove all reference to the height from the complaint;
2. I think therefore that I am well qualified to pass judgement on the interpretation of drawings of a boatyard shed and raise this issue because you may question on what grounds I can claim that the planned height at the road end of the shed as drawn by Agents for UK Docks is 12.5m – MD;
3. I would like it put on record that these plans were not shown or discussed in any detail at the meeting and only mentioned in passing – MD.

*** Mr Mansbridge needed to remove any record of the original complaint and he did this by introducing 253539 at level 2. The letter was in fact dated 9th of May and was a request that he correct his response to our Petition: In the light of this please consider a correction to the letters sent to the households 32 to 99 Greens Place and all the households in Harbour View a neat device to hide the fact that he had lied to residents and that includes me.

**** the letter is appendix 6 and the Council have refused to release the copy of the main letter to the MP for Berwick or any of the other attachments.

Please draw your own conclusion.

Footpath off Long Row, South Shields

The right of way was established shortly after the completion of the call centre in 2007, formally known as Garlands. It gave a beautiful prospect of the Tyne after the graving docks had been demolished and became quite well used over a period of years.

While I often used it to go to town, I very rarely used it to get home mainly because of the long stairs to get back up to Greens Place. Therefore I will base my view starting at the ancient landing (Comical Corner Steps), point B on the protestors plan and ending at point A (2.3 meter gate without permission). The gate appeared after I left South Shields in September 2017, to go and live in Amble.*

Plan taken from the Facebook Group: Re-Open public access to the River Tyne @ Market Dock South Shields

The first piece of evidence is in the picture of the overspill car-park, taken I guess, while it was still being used and from near to point B.

Notice the paved footpath and railings, both a feature which continued round to point A in or about 2007. It appears to have been adopted by the Council when the Call Centre was completed.

On August 11th 2017, George Mansbridge, Head of Development Services, granted the agents for Keywest Three Ltd , Mario Minchella, permission to build their flats in accordance with the approved plans.  The planning officer was Gary Simmonette.

“Bin stores and 1.8 metre high railings and sliding gates to enclose the site” (Grant ST/042917FUL) does not exactly cover the fence we see today nor the removal of the foot path. This alone suggests a certain amount of collusion between the planning office and planning control (building inspection and enforcement).

As one can see, the foot path and railings continue to hug the high water line round the partially filled dock and continued past Nos 21 to 14, Long Row until we get we get to point A with the 2.3m gate without permission.

The filled dock was landscaped and some pleasant seating provided by the Council and notice some some lighting had also been provided by them as well. This is clearly shown by the view taken from Google Street Scene in 2015.

Not only does “Bin stores and 1.8 metre high railings and sliding gates to enclose the site” (Grant ST/042917FUL) fail to cover the fence blocking off the north end of the old Garlands Centre it fails to cover the fence blocking the way from the South via Long Row.

It appears that the planners have taken the right of way and the gardens laid out by the Council more than 10 years before the plans for the boat lift were made, away from the public and given to the owner of 30 Long Row or South Quays, Mr Mark Turnbull.

The application for these were submitted in March 2018 by the agent Mario Minchella and approval for them was granted by the Head of Development Services in April 2018. It does not appear to have gone before any Committee and it was put there as a result of the grant,
ST/0201/18/FUL – see especially points 8 and 9.

The detail taken from the site plan for it suggest that the gate was placed in front of No. 14 long row at the same time to stop people getting access to the gardens given to owner of Apartment 30, i.e. by walking round in front row of houses facing the big dock where the gate appeared in 2018 or 2019.

It appeared to be in place by the time the planning application, see existing security fence with gate – and right, for the pontoon was made in June 2020.

None of this is shown on on the site plan for ST/042917FUL which is given below, rotated, to match the plan of the English Coastal Path shown in the top, and there is definitely no record of any retrospective planning consent for the removal of the right of way, and retracing our steps, none for the gate, the southern fence and removal of the railings round the dock and none for the northern fence and the removal of the flags that paved the footpath.
Nor any for the removal of the paving of the overspill car park!

MickDawson, 30-Aug-21

An Apology, 15-May-21

Dear Ms Abbott

An Apology
I owe you an apology for conflating unreasonable and unacceptable behaviour in my letter to Mr Rumney on Thursday. By the way, his copy was rejected by your server nearly 24 hours later. My views on his use of a script that lets an incoming mail sit for nearly a day before being rejected should be well known by now.

Please believe me when I say it is an easy mistake to make when it says at the foot of the introduction to section 7: This policy sets out our approach to managing those customers whose actions or behaviour are considered unacceptable, unreasonable or unreasonably persistent and are either having a harmful impact on our staff or their ability to provide an excellent service to other customers.

When the Council give misinformation/misrepresentation (lie) to Local Government Ombudsman to hide malpractice in planning control, it is not by anyone’s standards, an excellent service. As one who has been falsely accused of being a persistent and unreasonable complainant, believe me. I say falsely because there has only been one complaint to the Chief Executive that the Council have given misinformation to the Ombudsman, and that is not unreasonable to claim that the shed was nearly 3 meters taller than planned when it is nearly 3 meters taller than planned.

Your letter, 29-Apr-16: the list provided by by Customer Advocacy concerned the fallout from a phone call made to the MPs office, January 2020 but it is missing the events from the middle of 2017 and looked to the conclusion of your letter to see why you had been tasked with sending me a copy of Complaints Policy 2019v1.5 to review.

    1.  my conclusion is that it is scarcely relevant to the argument made to South Tyneside Council about the shed on River Drive.
    2.  your conclusion was a rewrite of the Corporate Lead’s response to my claim that the Council misled the Ombudsman, to the Chief Executive, 5-Jul-16: 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.

The Corporate Lead’s response 1-Aug-16 was deceitful, pejorative and now looks like it was produced to be repeated by those wishing to shoot the messenger rather than consider the message.
She said that I had:
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.
Page 2
She terminated the list with: “I consider this matter closed” but it was not closed. Nearly five years later the list was rewritten and re-presented (by you):

• 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.

I doubt neither you nor Ms Hoy were the authors of it but it looks from here that you drew the short straw. As you can see from opening paragraphs of my letter to Mr Rumney, I was having trouble in pinning things down and I apologise again for confusing unreasonable with unacceptable behaviour.
My next problem was in reconciling Alison’s list which started in 2020 and more to do with the troubles that stemmed from a call made to the phone in the MP’s office than any of the previous trouble that I had had with the Town Hall. The call was taken by Mr Palmer on the 13-Jan-20.
What links Mr Palmer to the Council is not difficult to glean:

• by Mr Buck: Mr Palmer correctly informed you that MPs have no influence over the Local Government Ombudsman, 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.
• yourself: You were also advised that you are free to contact the Ombudsman and make further enquiries of their office, but unless the Council receives formal enquiries from the Ombudsman, we would not look at this further.

I’ll leave you to work out whether it is wise to associate yourself with any proposals put forward by Mr Palmer. By the way I took legal advice in 2016 and Mr Palmer knew that.

The reason I attached the ‘lost’ email from me to the Corporate Lead and copied to Customer Advocacy, 02-Sep-16, was because of the accusation of adopting a ‘scattergun’ approach was a trifle over the top: 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 made a very convincing argument for broadcasting my explanations on how things has come to pass because she dropped it when she carried out the threat to Section me on 5-Oct-16:

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’.

Page 3

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?

Before we go any further I want to make it clear that is is not illegal build without planning permission, and to be told the shed was legal was meaningless but to say that it was ‘legal’ to mean it had been approved was probably fraudulent misrepresentation and it is that the Council are trying to hide. As a Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham will have known this but he did not correct Cllr Anglin when he said in December 2013: The Exec representatives of the Group accepted that the construction had been made legally as per drawings seen.
My views differed from those of the Executive.

Nor was Mr Cunningham correct when he said, again in December:  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…this is the end of the matter as far as I am concerned. Please do not email me again.

Compliant with what? The plans to which Mr Cunningham referred, had a fundamental error. The draughtsperson showed each end of the shed to have the same height and this can only be true if the shed sloped down with same gradient as the slipway. It does not.
One could calculate by various methods, that height of the landward end was 2.7m more than the one approved which is what we had to do before the meeting to referred to by Mr Cunningham. That was because no approved plans had been made made available prior to the meeting although one, 8296/2, had been in existence since 1996 and the other, 8296/14, had been received by the Council in September 2013.

UK Docks were forced to stop work on their shed in September 2013 and it was nothing to do with the protestors. At the same time we were being told that the shed had been approved and it was not until after they had restarted work on it in December 2013 that they started telling us that there were differences from the plan but they were only minor!

The size of the shed was not our only problem and I let others deal with the Council about change of use for the shed because I was having enough trouble with tying to get round the duplicity of the Planning Manager and I think they were as well. It was my experiences with him that led to what was your Corporate Lead rather meanly called scatter-gunning.

I reasoned that if all the people that we were dealing with, were aware that the shed was actually wider and taller than permitted then our problems would be over but I was very naive.

I was forgetting that certain members of staff were not averse to giving misinformation to the Ombudsman to hide what was going on.

Yours sincerely
Michael Dawson

to Cllr Francis: 16-July-20

The grammar has been corrected and the method of pointing to files, rather than attaching them, has been used in this notice.

Dear Cllr Francis,
Please see the email below and note that I have had no reply from Mr Buck to the question, who is Mr Palmer?, and I wondered if you had come across a Keith Palmer <> in your dealings with either the Council or the MP’s office. Like Mr Palmer, Mr Buck has gone to ground and he was so quick to respond on two previous occasions. I guess that it is because it conflicts with Mr Palmer’s wishes.
Continue reading to Cllr Francis: 16-July-20

The Buck/Palmer Con

Mr Dawson was contacted by the MP’s office for his home phone number via Mr Buck for a Mr Palmer and he was content to talk to him as the last message from her was:

Quoting Emma Lewell-Buck: Date:23/12/2019 (16:09:38 GMT)
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

I had been corresponding freely with the MP’s Office for some years and that was mostly via her previous Office Manager, Rebecca Heath but latterly Cllrs Hamilton and Francis as the MP was busy with more important matters such as saving the local hospital from the grasp of developers .

I had severe doubts about what Mr Palmer was saying over the phone and naturally complained to the MP about him and copied it to the Ward Councillors as a warning to them careful about their dealings with Mr Palmer. The main part of the complaint was:

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 understood from Mr Palmer that this was no longer a matter for Parliament but I think it is.

Continue reading The Buck/Palmer Con

Broadcast – 23rd December 2019

Fwd: Complaint: 248789 – Unplanned Development on River Drive
From: Date: 23/12/2019 (11:00:46 AM GMT)
To: Cllr Angela Hamilton
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck, Nicola Robason, Cllr David Francis, Alison Hoy
Bcc: The Local Residents

there two responses:-

Date: 23/12/2019 (16:09:38 BST)
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
Date: 08/01/2020 (11:22:22 BST)

Good morning Mr Dawson, I wonder if it is possible to have your telephone number, I will then pass this on to my colleague Keith Palmer who will call you later today. Kind regards. Simon Buck Office Manager for the Office of Emma Lewell-Buck MP

Dear Angela and Everybody,

Seasons greetings.
Please see the response from the Council’s Monitoring Officer. Please note it is seven months after I asked her predecessor the same question. Better late than never.
It confirms that the Council did not give retrospective planning permission for the slipway shed on River Drive but beggars the question why did UK Docks tell you and Emma they had been given permission for it. The answer is in the third paragraph of my email below: Continue reading Broadcast – 23rd December 2019

To Monitoring Officer 5-DEC-19

Complaint: 248789 – Unplanned Development on River Drive
Date: 05/12/2019 (17:32:25 GMT)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, Mike Harding, Gill Hayton (Solicitor), George Mansbridge,  Hayley Johnson, Stephen Hepburn MP,  Alison Hoy,  Cllr David Francis,  Andrew Tilbury

Dear Nicola,

Please see the Freedom of Information (FOI) request which I have attached. I managed to establish that no retrospective planning application for the shed had been made and I just need you to confirm it. As Monitoring Officer you should be able to do that without any bother. It is a binary choice: Has retrospective planning for the shed been granted: Yes/No.
I have asked your predecessor, Mike Harding, the same question in a different way but he has not answered:

/”Angela and therefore Julie have been misinformed by UK Docks and you can confirm that also. To it bluntly, whoever told them that UK Docks had submitted a retrospective application was lying.”/

We, the local residents, all know that UK Docks never made a request for retrospective planning else we would have had notice of it and we had not. We also knew that the shed had been built nearly 3m taller than permitted before the 5th frame went up but the Council said otherwise and misinformed the Ombudsman about it. The reason for this is now known: firstly to hide misconduct and the second to deflect enquiries and they had been doing that for 5 years.
I can foresee that the Council/UK Docks will try the same trick with ‘retrospective planning’ and this needs to be nipped in the bud hence my FOI and the ‘Dear Nicola’ letter which I have also attached.

Kind regards

New Liaisons: Spring 2019

Below is the exchange that led to text from Julie 1st May;

Hi Mick
I appreciate your arguments, but this far down the line there is nothing we can do. 
Angela has talked to several relevant people, and the point is the council gave retrospective planning. 
Which they are allowed to do.
We are working with Angela to negate further issues with the site.
It's all we can do now: limit noise and any other issues If they occur.
Julie Routledge

Subject: Re: UK Docks / Harbour View Residents Concerns
Date: Wed, February 27, 2019 11:17 am
To: “Cllr Angela Hamilton” <>
Cc: “Mick Dawson” <>
“Emma Lewell-Buck”
“Dave and Julie Routledge”

Dear Angela,

Sorry about the quality of the attached print. It gives the authorised height of the shed which is not what UK Docks told the Council. The heights are clearer on the full sized print: the roof 118.8 meters above the datum and the footings are 96.1 meters above it making 12.7 meters altogether.

The first part of the shed is 15.5 meters tall at that point which is nearly 3 meters taller than permitted and the reason the shed it is still there is because UK Docks sent in documents to support the fraud that the shed has been built to an approved height.

Please confront them with the truth about their shed and see what they say. I and everybody else on my mailing list would dearly love to know.

If they show you 8296/1A or 1B claiming an approved height just point out that they show the river end as 15.5m as well. The river end is nearly 3 meters downhill and the roof does not slope down towards the river.

Good luck, I hope you fare better than when Emma went to see them in March 2017. Incidentally the containers did not get placed on top of each other until August of that year.

Kind regards,

Hi Mick
Just wanted to let you know that Emma Lewell-Buck and I are meeting
with UK Docks at the end of this week.
I will provide an update on any progress after the meeting.
Regards Angela

Councillor Angela Hamilton
Beacon and Bents Ward

On Thu, Feb 21, 2019 at 1:01 PM +0000, “Mick Dawson” wrote:
Dear David (Francis),

I wish you luck with your enquiries but you are wasting your time asking Cllr Anglin to do anything about UK Docks. He sided with them years ago when I wrote and told him that the shed was too wide. When he wrote back he just repeated the lie that “it was built to approved plans” but what he did not know was the planning officer concerned was also hiding the fact that it was too tall behind that statement as well.

I think Cllr Anglin soon found this out but by then he was stuck with being one of UK Docks promoters and by the subsequent actions of the planning officer and his boss, so are the rest of the Council, and you can see that from my current feud with one of the Council’s Solicitors.

When I say the rest of the Council I include Cllr McMillan. Like Cllr Anglin she hides behind the wall of obfuscation erected to protect the Council officers who allowed the shed to be built at all. Cllr Hamilton must be excluded from ‘the rest of the Council’ as she like us, is stuck on the outside of the wall of silence.

By the way I have no objection to UK Docks placing their Headquarters on the site. It is the shipyard that I object to.

I’ve included Stuart Wright in the mailing as I believe he is in charge of planning. When permission was granted for the shed a restriction was placed on the working hours because of the location of the site and that is a planning issue which has not been resolved whatever Cllr Anglin tells you.

Kind regards

Michael Dawson

From: David Francis<>
Sent: 21 February 2019 09:24

Subject: Re: UK Docks / Harbour View Residents Concerns

Following my emails on the 4th Feb and then the 12th Feb, I just
wondered where we are with all of this? A number of local residents are
seeking clarification.

Many thanks,

To Monitoring: 19-Sep-18

Nothing was highlighted in the email to the monitor.
The emphasis in bold is to highlight the fact that there is no evidence to back up UK Docks/STC’s claim that the shed was approved. The only authorised documents show the shed to be nearly 3m taller than the approved height.

Dear Monitoring Officer,
I have a complaint about the conduct of Councillor John Anglin re the Town Hall meeting 25-Nov-13.
A meeting in November 2013 with the Council was arranged by Councillor Anglin, about the height and width of the cover on UK Docks slipway on River Drive in South Shields and to get any evidence that it had been built to plan but we were told that it was compliant i.e. it had been approved and the meeting promptly moved on to speculation about further expansion of the yard.
We, the Residents were given to believe that the meeting was to be formal, and so it should have been:

I believe the number of seats in the Town Hall Members Room is limited, so I would not anticipate having more that 4-5 committee members present. John and Audrey will also be there, along with Peter and possibly someone from the planning department as well. I would infer this will be a structured meeting and standard protocols and meeting ethics will apply.Chair of the Tyne Gateway Ass. to the Secretary, 20-Nov-13.

It appeared that there was no agenda for the meeting (one could say that there was none needed as the meeting had been arranged to determine whether the cover was built to authorised plans or not), there were no minutes taken (attachment 1) and no documentation provided to back up the claim that it met the second condition of the grant in 1996. It transpired that it did not; it was built without planning permission being both too high and too wide.
I made the point to Councillor Anglin that it had been built wider than planned but he did not even acknowledge my complaint (the drawings provided by the Council gave confusing messages regarding the height so I just mentioned the width). The meeting had not addressed any agenda regarding the plans and was moved away from whether is was approved or not, to a second possible application to build another shed bu the Planning Officer, Mr Peter Cunningham.
Councillor Anglin allowed this to happen and to complete the charade Mr Cunningham said we had requested the meeting when really we had not. Councillor Anglin had told the Residents he would go to the Council and get clarity:

Cllr A would like clarity on height and how measured, original drawings show height from back of site down to river as 12m – if incorrect information, Cllr A will go back with a vengeance. Minutes, Tyne Gateway Assn. 9-Nov-13.

We thought he would get no further with Mr Cunningham than we had in two months of trying and so accepted that we should attend a formal meeting to see what would happen. It appears we were outsmarted by the Council because the meeting was down-graded, no evidence was provided to back their claim that the cover was authorised and Councillor failed to achieve what he had promised the TGA he would do i.e. get clarity.
This ultimately lead to the Council misinforming the Local Government Ombudsman on two counts:
22 – told them a more senior officer checked the measurements when in fact it was I that told Cllr Anglin and and therefore the Council about the departure from plans;
23 – It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.”*

I think it reasonable to say that the Councillor Anglin’s conduct over the meeting lead to a Senior Planning having to mislead the Ombudsman to hide the misconduct at the meeting of 25-Nov-13. I have tried to challenge him about this since but have failed to get a response.
Yours sincerely,
Michael Dawson

* In response to our Petition we were told: 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. It was following queries raised in mid-January that that the plans were re-examined. We discovered that the overall width of the steelwork at ground level was shown as 12.2m on the plan, not 12.9m as previously understood.