Minister Response

Re: Minister Response
Date: 26/06/2023 (15:22:31 BST)
To: BROOKS, Jennifer

No71-and-Corruption.pdf (265 KB)
LGOexcusesPL30May17.pdf (82 KB)

Dear Jen

Please thank Anne-Marie for referring the case about Local Councils giving misinformation to the Ombudsman to the Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Local Government and Building Safety, Lee Rowley MP and I thank him for his response.

Thank you for the suggestion that I contact the Ombudsman and ask for them to look at the case again with correct information but it seems that you are not aware that I have attempted to do this on two occasions and failed.

The first concerned the party wall between a neighbour and my home and was a simple matter of whether a planning officer had followed the Council’s own guidelines and plans for such things. They plainly had not done so but told the Ombudsman that they had. A local architect was then persuaded to provide plans so the neighbour need not have to apply retrospectively to show that he had permission the development of the property. Please see attached file: No71-and-Corruption.pdf.

The second concerned the enclosure, or shed on the slipway off River Drive operated by UK Docks and was simply a matter of whether it had planning permission or not. It had not and even South Tyneside Council agreed with all the protestors and that it was built without planning permission but the Council claimed it is not taller and only marginally wider than planned. One only has see the plans approved by the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation in 1996 to see that it is actually nearly 3m taller than permitted and the Council first hid this fact by giving misinformation and or misrepresentation to the Ombudsman.

Anne-Marie picked this up very quickly in 2015 but the Council implied that we were lying when they told her on the 25th June:- “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 matter was ultimately referred by way of complaint to the Local Government Ombudsman, the outcome of which was delivered on 14 April 2015.

To save having to admit that they were fraudulently misrepresenting plans to the Ombudsman a scheme was devised in 2016 whereby they could close down any dialogue by the misuse of their own staff code and allowed them say things such as:- “There is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman.

Two weeks ago the former Prime minister was found to have deliberately misled Parliament about so-called partygate and while I do not think he would have been even remotely aware of the example provided by South Tyneside Council nearly 7 years ago, the choice of the word deliberate does illustrate a dark link between a Council acting corruptly and a political leader trying to avoid justice.

You should have a copy of Shed and Corruption: A summary of Parts, 1 to 19 (Sum-Parts-1-19.pdf) which I sent on 23rd February and as it says, it is a summary of nearly ten years of having to deal with one after another of those who were determined to hide the fact that UK Docks did not have permission for structure erected on their slipway off River Drive in South Shields.

There are a number of minor corrections that should be made, for instance at the top of page 8, “you and I met at a Labour Party meeting” should have been corrected to Emma and I etc. but that is trivial compared to the amount of misinformation given to the Ombudsman and in particular the conflation by the second Ombudsman, Mr P Lewis of the original complaint, that the shed was taller than permitted, with the complaint that the Council were giving misinformation to the Ombudsman.

It was my exchange with Mr Lewis, please see attached commentary on his letter of the 30th May 2017, LGOexcusesPL30May17.pdf that made me think that we may be putting the cart before the horse in all that has gone on with UK Docks over the last nine years and by that I mean that Mr Lewis has clearly shown that he has no interest in the truth and was going to find for a Council regardless of the evidence provided.

To put this another way, South Tyneside knew they could get away with being economical with the truth because the Local Government Ombudsman was as corrupt as they were.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

PS. I have removed the personal detail from both Mr Rowley’s and your letters so that I can upload them to my website and feel free to use any of my references.

Quoting “BROOKS, Jennifer” :

Dear Mr Dawson,

Anne-Marie contacted The Rt Hon Michael Gove Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities regarding your case and highlighted your concerns about discrepancies with the information given to the Local Government Ombudsman by the local authority in your case. Anne-Marie also asked if the Government are considering bringing forward any legislation which holds councils accountable for providing false information to the Ombudsman.

Please see attached the response she has received from Lee Rowley MP Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Local Government and Building Safety. Minister do not get involved with individual cases however Mr Rowley says ‘the Ombudsman will review a decision he has taken, including when a decision was based on inaccurate evidence’, therefore I would strongly suggest that if you believe this to be the case and have evidence that South Tyneside Council provided the Ombudsman with misinformation then you should contact the Ombudsman about this and request that your case is looked at again with the correct information.

Kind regards,

Jennifer Brooks

Constituency Support Manager
01665 517512

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Rt Hon Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP
Member of Parliament for Berwick-upon-Tweed
Minister of State, Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office

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