Duplicity Exposed

South Tyneside Council and Corruption
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 19/07/2023, 16:56:27 BST
To: Jennifer Brooks
Cc: Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Nicola Robason, Alison Hoy
2 Attachments: Duplicity Exposed.pdf (80 KB)
Heart of Shed and Corruption.pdf (117 KB)

Jennifer Brooks is the Constituency Manager for the MP for Berwick and the email of the 19th July started with an apology and went on to explain its purpose:- “Please forgive me for leaving this so late in the current session of Parliament for writing to you but I wish to to let you know that that I will be publishing the attached document, ‘Duplicity Exposed’ on my website tomorrow.

It was to let her know in response to a question she had raised in June about giving misinformation to the Ombudsman and that if I had evidence that South Tyneside Council were giving it,  then I should contact the Ombudsman about it and request that my case is looked at again with correct information.

I explained that I had attempted to contact the Local Government Ombudsman directly and it had failed and the main reason was because if the truth had come to light, it would have confirmed that South Tyneside Council had given them misinformation to hide the corruption rooted in the Council’s Planning Office and centred on the duplicity of the Council’s Planning Manager which was explained in the first of the attached documents.

The other attachment was to provide Jennifer with additional information. It stemmed from a letter to Anne-Marie written in 2022 and posted as Part 18 of the Shed and Corruption Series.

Duplicity Exposed

Someone wanted me to think that the Simon of simonwrs@gmail.com was Mr Buck who contacted me in January 2020 for my home phone number, when on April 13th 2023, the comment “Will you just give it a rest mate! appeared as a footnote to a page on my website: theharbourview.co.uk, and it was received with a great deal of scepticism on my part and you can tell this from the content of the email sent on the 28th April 2023 to the person delegated hide the truth about UK Docks’ shed and the reference to Misdirection No 8, to illustrate the point.

Alison had steered the complaint, 253539 raised by Ms Bootes, on 12th May 2014, on behalf of the Head of Development Services to overwrite 248789 forward to the Chief Executive rather than the one raised by me on behalf of the local residents the 10th January 2014 and the person tasked to forward the rewrite of the complaint to the Ombudsman omitted to mention the shed’s height but took care to ensure that the lie about a drawing not being to scale, was sent forward. Referring to the same drawing, she added:-

that drawing 8296/14 was submitted in 2013 for a wholly different purpose and as such, could never supersede the previously approved plans in terms of defining the dimensions of the approved development.

The drawing did not supersede the previously approved plan which states that the landward end of the of the shed in question should be 12.8m but it is 15.5m and that was why she omitted any mention of the shed’s height and made sure the lie about about the scale of the drawing was repeated to the Local Government Ombudsman.

The shelter or shed was being built to house a variety of vessels the biggest of which, was the Shields Ferry and one could see that it would not fit in the shed once the end panels had been fitted and I raised the issue along with the fact that UK Docks had no permission to build the structure both taller and wider than planned with both Cllr Anglin and Mr Cunningham, 16-Dec-13.

Cllr Anglin did not respond but Mr Cunningham did and said of a meeting arranged in November to view the plans and drawings on the 20-Dec-13:-

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

South Tyneside Council have never satisfactorily explained the use of [PROTECT] but in this case, the drawings attached for my use, showed that the shed was compliant with drawings that proved that the shed was going to be taller and wider than that approved in 1996.

The complaint of the 10th of January had to be raised because the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham, had falsely claimed that UK Docks had permission for the structure and we noticed that UK Docks had restarted work on it within days of the meeting held in the Town Hall, 25-Nov-13 though it was not until the large cranes to fit the overhead travelling crane into the shed in the new year that we could see how things were going to be.


We knew before the meeting that it was taller than planned because one could calculate its height from the any side elevation because the gradient was shown on the plans given to the Council by UK Docks as 2.7m (96.1m – 93.4m) and distributed to some of the protestors before last frame, the fifth, was in put place.

It was one of the other protestors who lived less than 75 meters away from the structure who told me of the existence of 8296/14 associated with Decision Notice, ST/1146/13/COND, and that also showed that the shed was taller than that which had been approved. The notice had been approved by the Planning Manager, Mr G Atkinson in October 2013 and drawing attached to the notice showed that the shed as well as being 2.7m taller than planned, was nearly a meter wider as well.

One of the early indicators that the Council’s complaints procedure was being compromised was given by the Mr Cunningham, when instead of recording the detail of the complaint, he passed it back Tyne Gateway Association:-

May I therefore suggest that you speak with the Chair of the residents group in respect of the points that you have raised below, as these have already been discussed and explained. If you are still not satisfied with the Council’s response then you should use the Council’s complaints procedure which has 3 stages.

The Tyne Gateway Assn or TGA was tasked in October 2013 with finding out whether or not the structure had it been built to approved plans or not and that lead to a meeting with Mr Cunningham on the 25th November and it was recorded in the minutes of a meeting of the residents group, 6 hours later that:-

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.

By then the residents group, the TGA was under the control of KH, a director HB Hydraulics at that time, and one of his employees Mr G Watson and they were respectively, Treasurer and Chair of the TGA, both of whom attended the meeting at the Town Hall, as did I, earlier on the same day. I had requested a copy of the minutes of the earlier meeting with the Council but was told that there were none, by one of the two Cllrs who was also at the meeting, 1-Dec-13:-

Michael, I took no minutes as is customary at these informal meetings. For your record I am sure all would agree: 1. The Exec representatives of the Group accepted that the construction had been made legally as per drawings seen.

The other 3 points were irrelevant but the first implies that UK Docks had approval for the construction and why, within days the meeting held in the Town hall on 25th November 2013, they restarted work on the shed. The fact that the meeting to discus whether the shed, on one the last slipways on the Tyne, was not minuted was one of the first indicators that the Council’s complaints procedure had been compromised and the second was the use of ‘legally as per drawings seen’ to mean that the shed was not in breach of approval given in 1996.

Another indicator that the Council’s complaints procedure had been more than compromised was given by the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson when he recorded the complaint 248789 in April 2014 as the escalation of a complaint from the first to the second stage and not for the original complaint. He had overwritten the original complaint of the 10th January and replaced it with the escalation of


the 14th and at the same time he removed the evidence of Mr Cunningham’s corruption of the complaints procedure. The complaint and first response had been removed from the records:-

see email to planning 14/1/14. Mr Dawson asking various questions relating to the ongoing development at the slipway, River Drive, South Shields.

In the complaint made on the 10th January I had explained, with reference to 8296/14 that it was reasonable to conclude that the structure at that time was 3 metres higher and 1 metre wider than shown on 8296/14 and I went on to ask:- As the applicant has not discharged condition 2 why is there no retrospective planning application?

When sharing a timeline with a council and others complaining about the conduct of its officers, one has to pay particular attention to the sequence of events. Using the complaint about the ‘shed’ as an example, the 1966 plans were recovered at about the same time as the height of the shed at the landward end was confirmed as 15.5m and we know this because UK Docks were forced to stop work on it, on or before the 23rd September 2014.

The same summary stated the site was still dormant on 3-Oct-13 and one could safely assume that UK had been told to stop working on it because it was oversize. Mr Cunningham had refused to say whether shed had been built to the approved height when asked in September 2013 and that was the reason why we tried to resurrect the Tyne Gateway Association.

By mid January 2014 the TGA had folded with question of the height of the shed posed four months earlier unanswered because of the actions of its Executive, two Councillors and last but not least the Principal Planning Officer. He had been asked on the 14th January:-

The issues I refer to are the date stamp on drawing no 0296/1A and drawing for application ST/1146/13/COND which is not a match for the current structure. Therefore until I have some satisfactory answers to my very reasonable questions I do not consider this matter closed.
If you are unable to supply me with answers to my questions could you please pass the issue to someone who can.

The the correct answer was to admit that the people objecting to the siting of the shed on the slipway off River Drive were correct was about it being too tall and for the Planning Manager either to apologise to us for wasting our time or better still ask his Principal Planning Manager to do it, for first passing the cropped copy of 8296/2 attached to 8296/1B, then replacing the latter with 8296/1A. Had he done that, UK Docks would have to have removed their shed, rebuilt it or asked for retrospective permission for a taller one to be granted.

That none of these things happened but it meant that South Tyneside Council were stuck with repeating the fraud that UK Docks had permission for the shed one sees today. Both officers involved chose to disregard the complaint made on the 10th January by me on behalf of the protestors. First it was mishandled by Mr Cunningham when he passed it back to the TGA on the 13th and secondly when Mr Atkinson hid the fact of that corruption when he generated 248789 saying:- see email to planning 14/1/14 etc.

It meant that he did not have to address the problem of Mr Cunningham’s misconduct but worse for us, it meant that UK Docks could get their taller shed without having to make an application for the


extra height to be granted retrospectively. The extra height and width were needed to accommodate the overhead crane without which the business could not be transferred from Tyne Dock and while they would have gotten away with the extra width, they had to hide the fact that it was taller than planned from day one.

It appears that there is a tried and tested method of doing this and that was to contradict without providing any evidence, any statement made by the complainant and if any attempt is made to correct it, the complaints procedure is manipulated by corrupting it to ensure that any misinformation/misrepresentation given to the Local Government Ombudsman sticks.

Ms Hoy had been used by South Tyneside Council for a number of years to divert attention from the amount of misinformation given to the Ombudsman by planning officers and with regard to the shed, it was her letter of the 9-Dec-15 that I took to the solicitor in Sunderland, but it was not the first time she had called upon to redirect questionable decisions made by the planning office.

She had been used to divert attention two years earlier, concerning a complaint about the party wall erected between between 70 and 71 Greens Place in South Shields in 2013 and it was in a letter to me dated 13-Nov-13:-

You had noted three points you remained unhappy with, please note that point one had been decided by the Ombudsman and we will not address that point further following their decision.

The row with the owner of 71 Greens Place, first rested on whether the planning officer had followed the guide SPD9 and then on whether an extension should be allowed to occupy 100% of the property but they told the Ombudsman that the guide had been followed and ignored the second point completely. Thirdly they ignored the fact that the plans for the partition wall between that 70/71 Greens place were not followed. As I said in the Prologue, page 2:-

Her wilful disregard of the guidance given in SPD9 had obliged South Tyneside Council to mislead the Ombudsman into believing she had followed the SDP9 guidelines when it was very obvious that she had done nothing of the sort.

On top of that, permission for the development of No. 71 would have to be looked at retrospectively before permission could be granted but the architect had been persuaded to draw what the owner had built rather than what had been permitted.

The complaint against the party wall had been dismissed by Customer Advocacy, with the help of the Planning Manager and an obliging architect in late 2013 so I decided to concentrate on UK Docks’ shed, mainly because, one after another Council officer repeated the fraudulent misrepresentation first made by UK Docks when they said that the shed was ‘legal’ to mean it had approval with regards to its size.

The shed was different from 71 Greens Place in that there were drawings in existence that included a major error so that there was no requirement for one to drawn to hide the fraud and all it needed was to repeat the false claim that UK Dock had approval with regard to height through each stage of the complaints procedure and that included the Ombudsman.

Simply put, neither 8296/1B nor 8296/1A had not been approved because they contained an error by showing both end to have the same height and that could only be true if the shed’s roof had the


same slope as the slipway. The overall height should be 12.8m (15.5m at the river end) which was easily calculated from any one of the drawings, with a side elevation, provided by Mr Cunningham following the meeting of the 25th November 2013.

Mr P Cunningham originally had the choice of releasing a copy of the drawing that proved that the protestors, such as I, were right when we claimed the shed was taller than planned or to repeat the fraudulent misrepresentation that the structure that was to become the shed had been approved.

History now shows he chose to claim the latter and he did this by providing drawings to back his misrepresentation and while he never used the word legal to mean approved but he knew as well as I did, that to say that of a structure, “the work meets all the necessary legal requirements” to mean it had been approved when it hadn’t been, was a fraud and so it goes on and why I created the Shed and Corruption Series.

There is a considerable overhead in keeping a record of individual visitors to the Harbourview site and there is a security issue as well, so I do not bother and it is rare that I will glean such a thing as an IP address. The one for simonwrs@gmail.com was different from simon.buck@ parliament.uk and it was the primary reason for me not believing it was Simon Buck who wished:- “Will you just give it a rest mate!

It did however provide me a timely excuse to tidy and resurrect the Shed and Corruption series and Part – 20 was sent to Alison Hoy on the of the 2nd of May 2023. It made made no sense to say to Alison, sorry no, not until the former Planning Manager, Mr Gordon Atkinson admits to his duplicity in his responses to our claim that the shed is nearly 3m taller than planned as he no longer worked for South Tyneside Council.

The extra width had been dismissed before we concentrated on the height by reference to 8296/14 and his duplicity stems from the fact that he finally admitted to me that the shed was in fact taller than permitted in February 2014 but as the Planning Manager it was he who allowed UK Docks to resume work on their shed in 2013.

Following a meeting in March 2014 of the local residents, I asked the Council to do something about the shed and as the approved plan from 1996 show that the shed is 2.7m taller than permitted I added a catch all:- Thank you also for confirming that the Slipway Shed is not built to the approved 1996 plans, and that presented South Tyneside Council with a serious problem and more because they had allowed UK Docks to continue working on their shed after the complaint about the shed being taller than permitted went to planning on the 10th January 2014.


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