Category Archives: South Tyneside Council

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

Messrs Buck and Palmer

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2

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

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

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

In my email 14th to Emma I said:-

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

3

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

4

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

5

1. submitted repeated complaints, essentially regarding the same issue, after our complaints process has been exhausted,
2. attempted to have the complaint reconsidered in ways that are incompatible with our adopted complaints procedure, or with good practice,
3. adopted a ‘scattergun’ approach: pursuing a complaint or complaints with the authority and, at the same time, with a Member of Parliament/a councillor/independent auditor/the Standards Board/local police/solicitors, while an appropriate avenue is available via the Local Government Ombudsman,
4. refused to accept the decision of the Council or Local Government Ombudsman, by arguing points of detail.
Hayley Johnson, 1st August 2016

She added a threat: I now consider this matter closed. Should you continue to repeat historic complaint issues in your contacts, we will consider imposing formal restrictions on your contact with the Council.

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

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

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

  • continuing to contact us without presenting new and relevant information

  • Adopting a ‘scattergun’ approach: pursuing a complaint or complaints with the authority and, at the same time, with a Member of Parliament/a councillor/ independent auditor/the Standards Board/local police/solicitors/the Local Government Ombudsman/the press

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

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

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

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

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

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

Mick Dawson
29 July 2022

Exhausted Complaints Procedures

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

Dear Ms Dalby,

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

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

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

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

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

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

I said to the South Tyneside Council officer who falsely accused others and I of making allegations about the shed a number of years ago:- “If I think that the Council is acting improperly on any issue I believe I am entitled to write to my MP – it is up to the MP whether he or she takes up my case.

I notice that ‘the Press’ has been added to the list of those supposedly scatter gunned and it would appear that you are being being given one or two Johnson Type Lies (JTLs) to stop you making any further enquiries. I’m curious to know if they have been spinning similar JTLs to you over the years.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

Continue reading Exhausted Complaints Procedures

Shed and Corruption – Part 11: Shooting the Messenger in 2015

The neighbours of UK Docks’ slipway shed off River Drive complained about its height in September 2013 and after the Council’s Planning Manager conceded that it was too tall, some five months later, we asked for it to be removed but instead of it being removed the Council removed the admission that it was taller than permitted from the records.
How this was done was described in a letter to the Chief Executive, 3-Mar-22:  Shooting the Messenger in 2015 which was an attachment, SandC-Part11.pdf, to a covering email separating not unrelated issues.

Date: 03/03/2022 (15:14:43 GMT)
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
To: Jonathan Tew, Hayley Johnson, George Mansbridge, Helen Dalby, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
Attachment: SandC-Part11.pdf (262 KB)

There were two issues, the first being the English Coastal Path which should really be a matter for Parliament and something needs to be done about that quite quickly for the corrupt practice of giving away public footpaths to the developers of sites overlooking them has spread from South Tyneside to Northumberland County Council.

The second is the height of UK Docks’ Shed which I described as a first cycle of deceit to a former neighbour, I was forgetting the first cycle of deceit was the complaint about 71 Greens Place, called Double Standards in August 2021.

I had originally mentioned Cycles of Deceit in a post of February 2020 when I was planning the Shed and Corruption series and thought it might be Part 4 before mentioning it again, the first 2 being the time before Customer Advocacy’s email of the 9th December 2015, 3 being Sunday Working, 4 being up to the email to Cllr Hamilton on the 23rd December 2019 and Part 5 about the false accusation that the MP for South Shield and I were colluding to influence the Local Government Ombudsman’s decisions.

I was also overlooking something that should have been obvious from the beginning, and that was that the second cycle of deceit began with the Principal Planning Officer referring me back to the Town hall meeting because he did not want admit that the shed was taller than permitted and it ended with the accusation that we were making allegations by the Council’s Corporate Lead because she needed to hide the fact that we were correct when we complained that the shed was not only taller than planned, it had been used to cover what was to become a ship repair yard.

After I had hauled the complaint that the shed was too tall back on course, the Planning Manager had the simple  choice of backing his Principal Planning Officer or the protestors, of which I was only one of many, and he chose to back Mr Cunningham presumably to save himself the trouble of taking disciplinary action against his offending planning officer.

His offence was to claim that the shed had approval when the approved plans indicated that not only was the shed wider than planned it was materially taller as well.

My letter to Mr Tew, Chief Executive, of March 3rd, began:- “I have laid out the timeline which I shared with my neighbours in Greens Place and your office from September 2013 but before we retrace our steps through the Council Complaints Procedure, I suggest you determine, by the examination of the approved drawing 8296/2, what the planned height of UK Docks’ shed should be.

In the letter, Shooting the Messenger 2015, I first ask Mr Tew to look at the only approved drawing from 1996 with dimensions and that was because it gave the landward end as 12.7m and then I described how the complaint about the shed being too big and how, in its passage through the complaints system, it was sent round and round in numerous cycles of deceit where every time I point out a material deviation from plan, it is challanged. Finally it was denied by reference to an unauthorised drawing that contains a major mistake to the Ombudsman.

In the first stage, it was passed back to someone who was happy to declare the shed ‘legal’, the first cycle of deceit, and in the second, third and fourth stages, they repeated the lie that the shed had been built to the approved height each one being a cycle of deceit and so on:-

Undesignated complaint

1 Mr Cunningham Compliant with plans that were not approved i.e. ones in error that gave the Landward End as 15.5m.
2 Mr G Atkinson Approved Height Landward End = 15.5m

Complaint ID: 248789

3 Mr G Mansbridge Approved Height Landward End = 15.5m

Complaint ID: 253539 – & – Mansbridge Trap

4 Mr G Mansbridge Approved Height Landward End = 15.5m
5 Ms M Hamilton No mention of the height at all.
6 LGO – 1st Draft No mention of the height at all.
7
8
LGO – 2nd Draft The complainant says the shed is also 3 metres higher than it should be. The Council says it is not. There is no fault in how the Council decided the shed is the permitted height. Second draft reference.

Letter to Emma Lewell-Buck, MP diverted to the MP for Berwick.

8 LGO – 3rd Draft The complainant says the shed is also 3 metres higher than it should be. The Council says it is not. There is no fault in how the Council decided the shed is the permitted height. Final draft reference.
9 LGO
2nd Inspector
I consider that your latest complaint remains that of your previous complaint which has already been determined and the opportunity to request a review of that decision has passed.

In the fifth and sixth stages they failed to mention the height at all and in the seventh and eighth they just repeated the denial given to them by a Senior Panning Officer as I explained to the 1st Ombudsman in great detail in Lexplanation1A.pdf.

In the ninth, the complaint that they had given misinformation to the Ombudsman was conflated with the original complaint to avoid the denial made by his predecessor and that takes us back to the very beginning.

The letter to the MP for South Shields, ended up with the MP for Northumberland and she asked the Chief Executive:- “Mr Dawson has not been able to locate any detail from the Council as to why the structure was approved despite the breach in planning conditions, and has been attempting to do so for nearly a year.

When the structure was approved by the building inspector,  he hid the fact that it was nearly 3 m too tall, then the Chief Executive asked his Corporate Lead to accuse me and the other residents, of making allegations so that he did not have to admit to the cycle of deceits perpetrated by his staff:- “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.

It was because of that exchange in mid 2015 that I called the retelling of this cycle of events from 2013 to the new Chief Executive, Mr Tew:- ‘Shooting the Messenger’

Denials and conflations are the main methods used to corrupt a complaints procedure but no less important are the other items in the table first publicised in Shed and Corruption – Part 2:-

Evasion is supported variously by:
[1] Complaint or questions not recorded
[2] Back-pass
[3] Unfounded contradiction (a denial)
[4] Conflation
[5] Diversion into a dead end (forward pass)

It would appear that complaints raised by the other local residents and I were not well documented and UK Docks provides many examples of each method of evasion. Please see page 4 of ‘Burying the Truth’.

I finish Shooting the Messenger 2015 with the observation that by the time I find out that we have been falsely accused of making allegations the date for making making any observations about ST/0461/14/FUL had closed and one can blame the Council’s Corporate Lead for that. Her parting shot in attachment 6 of her letter to Anne-Marie Trevelyan of the 25th June 2015 was to say:-

I hope that this information is useful. Please do not hesitate to share this letter with your constituent.

The letter was not shared and I do not know else was said. My request to know what was said in the main letter and the other attachments was ignored and it is not unreasonable to come to the conclusion it was not much different from what a Senior Planning Officer told the Ombudsman.

While I knew that the Council were using the Ombudsman to hide malpractice in their planning and building control sections, it was not until I received an email from Alison Hoy on the 9th December 2015, on behalf of Customer Advocates Customer that I get confirmation that they were doing this, 2nd paragraph:-

This matter has been investigated fully by the Council through its corporate complaints procedure. The complaint was not upheld and was also considered and decided by the Local Government Ombudsman who found no fault with the Council’s decision.

I also get confirmation that there is another reason in paragraph 5:-

We have also responded to a further enquiry made to the Council via your then local MP Anne-Marie Trevelyan, dated 1 June 2015, which claimed you had not been able to locate any details from the Council on why the shed had been approved despite the breach in planning conditions, even though at that time you had received complaint responses from both the Council and the Ombudsman.

It was to fend off enquiries from people like MPs and Journalists and I took a copy of this email to a solicitor for advice and he said that it would be best to raise a complaint about the Council giving misinformation to the Ombudsman. That was in January 2016 and it was not until July that I made the decision to raise the complaint with the Chief Executive about it.

It was no good pursuing it with Messrs Mansbridge and Co as they had failed to let the Committee who approved ST/0461/14/FUL, know that the existing shed was taller than planned. The company that I have associated with Mr Mansbridge included Mr Simmonette by the time of Alison’s email of the 9th December. It was he who forwarded the emails mentioned in the first two paragraphs of that email:-

I have been forwarded your emails to the Planning Team dated 4th and 7th December 2015, in order to clarify the Council’s position regarding your comments on issues relating to the existing boat repair shed at UK Docks Tyne Slipway and your earlier complaint to the Council regarding this matter.
Your email of 4th December refers to not being satisfied with the responses to the second part of your earlier contact to the team on 30 September. This was regarding the planning enforcement aspect of the existing boat repair shed.

This was one of the best examples of a forward pass into a dead end, item [5] on the list and compares with the Planning Manager getting shot of 248789 to Mr Mansbridge in April 2014.

The email to Mr Simmonette on the 30th September was the first time in which, the approved plan 8296/2 was directly referred, and you can see why Mr Simmonette asked Alison to make sure it ended up unanswered. It was about a lot more than the lack of enforcement and you can see why I the first thing I asked Mr Tew to look at 8296/2 before he did anything else.

8296/2 was indirectly referred to, in the request that the Council request that UK Docks either rebuild their shed to the correct size or remove it, made on March 4th 2014. Mr Mansbridge ensured that went into the bin when he re-badged 248789 as 253539 in May 2014.

I finish Shed and Corruption Part 11 with:-

It would appear that the Council’s Corporate Lead was the most important in a line of people starting with Cllr Anglin, Mr Haig and Mr Watson in getting UK Docks their longer shed and I can only assume that she was chosen to take a shot at me again when I told the Chief Executive that his staff were giving misinformation to the Ombudsman because she did such a good job in persuading the MP for Berwick that we were making allegations.

The ground covered in Part 11 ended over six years ago when the Corporate Lead told the MP for Berwick:- “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 lengthy period in time began eight and a half years ago with Mr Cunningham referring my neighbour to a complaints procedure instead of answering the question was the planned height of the shed 12m or 15.5m and I finish with the covering email with:- “The Council have adopted even more underhand methods since the end of 2015 to hide the misdemeanours of various staff and I hope to give you the details of how it was done, before too long.

 

Disappearing Footpaths

When Garlands applied to South Tyneside Council for permission to build their Call Center they anticipated a workforce of about 800 and permission was granted for two office buildings and a large overspill car park:-

Garlands is delighted to announce a major business expansion, with the creation of a new contact centre in South Shields, South Tyneside in North East England. The centre will comprise two new office buildings totalling 47000 sq. ft. within a two acre site. Construction of the new eight hundred seat centre will be carried out by Mandale Commercial Ltd. and work will start immediately. The centre is expected to open in February 2008. Over a thousand people could eventually work at the site.

Garlands went into administration in May 2010 and the Centre was shut down before they even put the second office in to use.

The site appeared to have been cursed because UtilityWise used the main office building for a while but they too went into administration in 2014. The car park only ever had an occasional visitor for many years and then the bricks that were laid to make it started to disappear.
When the ‘Call Center’ was converted into housing it was all fenced off in what appeared to have been a land grab by the developer while he carried out the conversion.

Continued in English Coastal Path

Evasions

Methods employed by South Tyneside Council in evading an observation or complaint and in the example used the slipway company, had flouted one of the conditions of the original grant – that it be built to an approved set of plans

[1] Denial or unfounded contradiction, made in response;
[2] Complaint not recorded, nor questions answered;
[3] Conflation of complaints;
[4] Backward Pass to a body already in denial;
[5] Forward Pass or diversion into a dead end

This is a rationalisation of the table that began as a postscript to a letter to a Green Councillor in April 2021. The order in the earlier table reflected the date of occurrence, rather than their significance:- [1] Complaint or questions not recorded, [2] Back-pass, [3] Unfounded contradiction, [4] Conflation and [5] Diversion into a dead end.

That letter began with the introduction: While attempting to tidy the website it soon became clear that the timeline on which it was built was sound. It was based on the complaints raised by many, including Melanie and myself, that the enclosure (shed) on UK Docks’ slipway off River Drive, was to not built to the approved plans. It was taller by some 3m. The facts behind the letter to Melanie remain the same as do the conclusions one can draw from it and it beggars the question: why did the Council persistently lie about the height of the shed?

The Timeline was not only shared between Melanie and I but with many in the Council and the MP for South Shields, for instance. I was busy creating Part 3 when I received a message from the Council, less than thee weeks later, that they were going to ‘Shoot the Messenger’.

It was done because if the questions raised had been answered honestly it would have laid bare the corruption endemic throughout South Tyneside Council which was that the council were giving misinformation to the Ombudsman:-

I ask you (the Chief Executive) 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.
Continue reading Evasions

Advice from solicitor 26-Jan-16

Pdf copy of letter from Peter Dunn and Co.

The first draft came to 10 about pages and just repeated what I had told the solicitor so I decided to write directly to the CEO simply stating the main facts, the approved drawings state 22m x 12.2m x 12.7m(15.5m): 

The dimensions measured by the Council in September are as follows: length 22.254m, width 13.1m, height at the landward end 15.5m and height at the river end 18m. The gradient is 2.7m and there was no dispute about the planned width of 12.2m. There are four drawings available to determine the planned height. Logic rather than opinion dictates that the landward or road end is 13m or less and the river end is 15.5m

The CEO appointed his Corporate Lead to respond and she declared there was no misinformation  given to the Ombudsman.
A misrepresentation  in itself but the CEO has given her authority to use  subsection F (Unreasonable and/or Persistent Complainants. ) of some code to sanction me but it fails on two counts:

  1. There is only one instance from me  telling the CEO that the Council have been misleading to the Ombudsman;
  2. it is entirely reasonable to tell him that it is taller than the one approved  when it is taller than the one approved.

Naturally I point this out to her and also advise her that I sought a solicitors advice:

In my letter to Ms Hoy asking for a copy of your letter to the MP I said was I waiting to hear from the MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan, before I complained to the LGO about their Inspector’s report. I have not yet complained. I consulted a solicitor about Ms Hoy’s letter because I felt that she was being used by Mr Simmonette to avoid answering the question of the planned height of the shed.

Ms Hoy was being used by Mr Simmonette to avoid answering the question of height and the Corporate Lead has gone further by denying there is anything wrong with the height.

I did complain to the CEO about the conduct of the pair (Mr Simmonette and Mrs Johnson, not Ms Hoy) but my letter remains on file unanswered because he deliberately conflates the complaint with the way the complaint was handled.

Dear Monitoring Officer 7-May-2019

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.

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. Continue reading Dear Monitoring Officer 7-May-2019

Cllr A Dear Monitoring Officer

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: Continue reading Cllr A Dear Monitoring Officer

Email to Paul

On 3 Aug 2017, at 17:19, Michael Dawson wrote:
Hi Paul,
Because the landing was a restricted byway it was not really owned by anyone but it was the Council’s responsibility and they needed a Secretary of State’s decision to stop it off. To all intents and purposes the Council have given it to the Port of Tyne. 
Peter Cunningham just happened to be the Case Officer and what I trying to say was that he would have known Tyne Dock Slipway (leased by UK Docks) was going to close years ago and they were going to have to move another site. UK Docks would have to be found a new home when Tyne Dock was closed. Their MOD work specifies it had to be done under cover and the planned shed was not big enough to house an overhead crane and there was no guarantee that the plans for a bigger shed would be approved.  
The River Drive slipway the only suitable one for the pilot boats, border patrol boats and the Shields Ferries on the whole river I believe the UK Docks place on the Wear is suitable but the PoT would not let that happen. Nexus wouldn’t like it either. There is loads of foreshore suitable for another site but a slipway would have to be made.
UK Docks would have known that they could probably got away with the extra width but there is no way the could have got away with the extra length or height so they had to kid the Council that it was the approved height and use a second planning application to lengthen the shed. For that they needed the services of a new planning officer and a new agent, Gary Simmonette and Gary Craig.
The deception, that the shed was built to the correct height, was exposed when the drawings from the agents, Maughan Reynolds Partners, arrived at the Council’s offices. Its ironic that the Planning Manager approved them and then spent the next year and a half trying to devalue them.
I appreciate your commentary because it helps me sort my ideas out when I have to explain them to you.
I’ll stick with bounders although liars or hypocrites would be more accurate.  
Cheers,
Mick
 

Misuse of Complaints Procedure

by South Tyneside Council Staff.

when the Corporate Lead, the person responsible for the Council’s complaints, can write that there is no evidence of misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman it is plainly wrong. Even their Inspector doesn’t even deny it, he just says it is to late to complain.
It is hypocrisy for the Corporate Lead to say that attempts have been to have complaints considered in ways that are incompatible with their adopted complaints procedure – see list below.
And finally our complaints are now described as allegations which shows you the way that the Council’s Complaint Procedure (CCP) is going  under the guidance of the  Corporate Lead .

  1. referring one to the CCP instead of answering enquiries;
  2. not registering complaints when they are received and/or:
    • treating it as an enquiry and referring you again to the CCP;
    • passing it on for someone else to respond.

    adding misinformation, and it is rare that they miss the opportunity;

Continue reading Misuse of Complaints Procedure