Shed and Corruption – Part 12

From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk        
Date: 25/03/2022 (03:53:57 PM GMT)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Gill Hayton (Solicitor)
Attachments: Revised Cycles of Deceit.pdf
and Shed Heights.pdf

25th March 2022

Dear Nicola

Cycles of Deceit and its Repercussions

On March 3rd I sent a letter, Shooting the Messenger 2015, to Mr Tew explaining how his predecessor had chosen to deny the fact that the shed was nearly 3m taller than the height approved and had chosen instead to falsely accuse the people, who had claimed that it was taller than the plan approved, of making allegations.

I made a mistake in sending it to the parties I thought should be concerned rather than copying them and I hope by the content that it should have been obvious that it was a mistake and that included the agent who, on behalf of the Chief Executive, had accused us of making allegations. I wished to write separately to you as Monitoring Officer as it appears the the same people who were content to lie to the Ombudsman were quite happy to mislead the Monitoring Officer, whom I believe, was originally the Head of Legal Services.

That is the main reason have copied Gill Hayton into ‘Cycles of Deceit and Repercussions’. It looks like she was was Deputy Monitoring Officer in 2018 and then second in command to John Rumney three years later:- 15-May-21:

“I am out of the office returning on 17th May 2021. If you need urgent assistance, please contact Gill Hayton at southtyneside.gov.uk.

I did not need urgent assistance but neither did I expect Mr Rumney get back to me as I had already sent him a copy of Shed and Corruption – Part 4. In it, I explained to Paula Abbott why her misuse of Complaints Policy 2019 v 1.5 on April 29th 2021 was unreasonable and I thought that the Council’s Legal Section should be made aware if its misuse by Customer Advocates. Unreasonable because there was only ever one complaint about a planning officer giving misinformation the Ombudsman.

Soon after I became aware that South Tyneside Council had allowed developers of adjacent properties to close off waterfront footpaths in July 2021, I discovered that the practice had spread to Amble and that Northumberland County Council’s enforcement officer was not prepared to do anything about it either and that then made two issues that I have shared with you:-

1) English Coastal Path

The practice of giving parts of the English Coastal Path to the developers of adjoining properties had spread from South Tyneside to Northumberland and as rights of way etc. are a matter for Parliament and I should be really be pursuing it with one or possibly both the MP’s, or the corrupt practice of giving away public footpaths to developers will spread further. The English Coastal Path had been in existence since 2014 so it is unlikely that the practice was invented by the Planning Office in South Shields but it was the first one of which I became aware.

2) UK Docks, River Drive, South Shields

After UK Docks’ started to assemble their enclosure on the slipway off River Dive in South Shields in September 2013, it was quickly established to be taller than planned because the planning officer who was promoting the development, Mr Cunningham, referred the questioner to the Council’s complaints procedure instead of answering her question: “Has the revised height of 15.5 metres been approved or is it in breach of the 1996 Planning approval?

I said quickly established because his refusal to answer led to people like me, to look more carefully at the drawings he had provided and we realised that the enclosure was taller than planned by the gradient between each end or 2.7m and someone in the Council’s Planning Office must have come to the same conclusion because they forced UK Docks to stop work on it for nearly 3 months. Please see the attached detail, Shed-Height. It takes the sound gable end dimension of the river end from either 8296/1A or 1B to arrive at the true approved height of the shed.

They did not address the complaint that the shed was taller than planned and it was removed from the records so that they need not answer it. Using the drawing approved by the Council’s Planning Manager in October 2013, I eventually got him to concede that it was too tall in February 2014 but that did not suit those who were promoting the myth UK Docks had permission for their shed and it was removed from the records.

That was the second rewrite of the history of events, the first being the removal of the original complaint from the records, and was made by the Head of Development Service introducing a new complaint in cycle 5 on the 2nd June 2014. It appears to have been made to save the Head of Development having to take disciplinary action over his Planning Manager in allowing UK Docks to continue to work on their shed in spite of his admission about the breach of the second condition.

This was done by overwriting original complaint for the second time and changing its job number to 253539 and Mr Mansbridge’ reputation was saved by not presenting the true version of events to the Ombudsman but his ‘new’ version. Mine was ignored and I suggest if that (you) do nothing else about the ‘Cycles of Deceit’ you read the blog:- lgo-paras-30-38

Meanwhile my letter/email to the MP for South Shields landed on the MP for Berwick’s desk just before the election in 2015 and it ended up with Anne-Marie Trevelyan and it appears that she was given the same misinformation and or misrepresentation that was given to the Local Government Ombudsman as I heard no more about it.

I met Emma Lewell-Buck MP, not long before the hustings for the 2017 General Election where we agreed that the Council were being evasive about UK Docks and I would work with her Westoe Road Office (to) try and get some way forward but that failed because Emma was told on 6th September 2017:- The previous issues relating to the boat yard have in fact now been looked at by the Local Government Ombudsman and they found no issue with the yard or anything relating to its development. Unfortunately, the Ombudsman’s decision cannot be re-visited.

This was a year after my exchange with the Council’s Corporate Lead where I had told her that I had consulted a solicitor but it appears that she kept that information to herself and she may disagree but I think it would have interfered with the Chief Executive’s decision to hide the fact that the shed was taller than planned if the staff that worked in Customer Advocacy had known of the solicitor’s advice.

Maybe not, they were still repeating the lies embedded in the Ombudsman’s Findings to an MP in September 2017 and it looks like she needs an apology for being told there was no issue with the yard.

There has been an issue since UK Docks claim that they had approval for their shed was backed by the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham, who told me, 20-Dec13:- “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.

As you can see they (are) not compliant with any approved plans and that was how UK Docks got their longer shed through the back door, a polite way of saying corruptly. I hope you agree.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson.

One thought on “Shed and Corruption – Part 12”

  1. ‘True-Shed-Height.pdf’ has been replaced by Shed Heights.pdf. The latter now includes the two heights at the river end of the shed, that approved and that built, 15.5m and 18.2m respectively.

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