STC and the Local Government Ombudsman

From: Michael Dawson <>
Sent: 05 January 2021 08:31
To: Emma Lewell-Buck MP <>
Cc: Nicola Robason <>; 
John Rumney <>; 
Alison Hoy <>;

There were no rejections or out of office replies from anyone.

Dear Emma

STC and the Local Government Ombudsman

Nicola, the current Monitoring Officer and John Rumney, the acting Head of Legal Services have been copied in so that they may be appraised of the current situation and I have sent a copy to Alison Hoy of Customer Advocacy (CA) so that she can pass it to Mr Swales successor when he or she arrives.

It appears that the staff who were happy to give misinformation to the Local Government Ombudsman (LGO) were also the source of the false allegation being made against the good people of South Shields and it has been going on for a long time:-

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.

Corporate Lead, Mrs H Johnson, 25-Jun-15

The authorised plans indicate that UK Docks’ enclosure (shed), off River Drive, should have a river end height of 15.5m but it was built to a height of 18.2m so our claim that it is nearly 3m taller than planned is true and therefore not an allegation. Mrs Johnson’s statement of the 25th of June, five and a half years ago, is the sixth attachment to a letter to the MP for Berwick and appears to have been made with malicious intent.

My request for a copy of the letter and any attachments referring to planning matters was ignored by CA and until we see a copy it may be best to assume it is littered with similar falsehoods as well. The Council have maintained the myth or lie, with the help of people like Cllr Anglin and Mrs Johnson, that the shed had been built to the approved height since we first complained about it in 2013 and continue to do it by repeating:-

My email dated 19 December 2019 set out the final position on this matter. It remains the case that all complaints procedures relating to this matter have been exhausted both internally within the Council and externally.

Monitoring Officer, Nicola Robason

When UK Docks told you and Cllr Hamilton in April 2019 that they had been given permission retrospectively for their shed they blew that myth to bits. That opportunity for them passed when the Executives of the Tyne Gateway Assn accepted the drawings passed to them at or following the Town Hall meeting arranged by Councillor Anglin in November 2013:

GW (Chair) advised that it was a good open meeting, It was confirmed that the structure is being built to the plans which had been approved.

Tyne Gateway Assn, 25-Nov-13

The meeting was neither open nor good; we were passed unapproved drawings with a basic error in a critical dimension but UK Docks took it’s outcome as a green light to restart work on their shed. The Council, in spite of our protests that the shed was 3m taller than planned did nothing, except maintain that it was so for a number years, quoting the LGO who they had misinformed. When it was pointed out to the Council that one of their Senior Planning Officers had been feeding the Ombudsman misinformation the Council’s story changed during 2017:

Dear Mr Dawson, From your email title it would appear to refer your earlier allegations that the Council in some way provided mis-information to the Local Government Ombudsman. This matter has been addressed previously by Mrs Johnson in her letter to you dated 5 October 2016. The Council would not respond further to you on this complaint which has exhausted the Council and Ombudsman’s complaints procedures.

Alison Hoy, Customer Advocacy (CA): 1-Dec-17

I realised immediately that the Council would seize on the lie that UK Docks had been given permission retrospectively for their shed to replace the lie about the shed having been approved and I felt it my duty kill it stone dead before it gained the momentum of the original myth. That lasted for over five years. I managed this help of the Monitoring Officer Nicola Robason and you should have some record of that eight month saga. A copy of “Dishonesty at the Town Hall” for instance.

On the 8th January last year I received a request from Simon Buck requesting my home phone number to give to a Keith Palmer and I was inclined to ignore it but after some thought I said that if he was prepared to talk about corruption at the Town Hall, UK Docks and their shed, he could have it.

On the 13th January I received a call from your office in South Shields from Mr Palmer, returned it later that day assuming that he wished to talk about the corruption associated with the shed but I was soon disabused as it became clear that it was the last thing he wanted to talk about.

I bet any recording of the call has been deleted. He claimed that there was no case against UK Docks. This, as you know is a lie and I tried to contact you about it on the 13th and 14th but was thwarted twice by the standard reply given to first time callers which was a bit strange after the pleasantries we had exchanged about STC agreeing that UK Docks had not been granted permission etc. a few weeks before.

On the 14th January I received notice from Mr Buck, confirmation that M Palmer was basically accusing us of conspiring to influence the Ombudsman. What I was actually asking you to do, was to raise the issue of Councils lying to the Ombudsman, in Parliament to get it stopped and he made it very clear in the call that was the last thing he wanted. For a start it would put a stop to money laundering schemes, make for safer housing and do away with schemes like the transfer of UK Docks from dockland to a primarily residential area.
Sometime in February I became aware that you and Simon had separated and that put a completely different complexion on things so I wrote to Mr Palmer again and that really set the cat amongst the pigeons and of all the files of the bundle attached, I suggest you read /8toKP20-Feb-20/ if nothing else.

Not only did I get a response from Mr Buck, I got one from Nicola Robason which I ignored because she appeared to have been told to clear up after Messrs Buck and Palmer’s misdemeanours: My email dated 19 December 2019 set out my position on this matter. It remains the case that all complaints procedures relating to this matter have been exhausted both internally within the Council and externally.

Mr Palmer prefers to sit in the background and let Mr Buck to do his dirty work and if you read his message to me and my criticism of it, you will see what I mean.

It would appear Mr Palmer comes from the same school as those who misled the Ombudsman and treat the Council’s Solicitors and Monitoring Officers with contempt.

Monitoring Officer is now one of Nicola’s duties and before that, it was one of Mr M Harding’s but I do not think it went well with him being the Head of Legal Services and he tried to pass the duty on to someone who did not accept the post, so it ended up with Nicola. There are some that are so used to giving misinformation and or misrepresentation to the Ombudsman they do not think twice about lying to a council solicitor.

There is, for instance, an unanswered letter to Mr Harding, 09-Apr-19, about Gill Hayton’s response to my charge against Cllr Anglin and his part in the meeting of November 2013, for the next Head of Legal Services or the next Chief Executive to look at.

On a happier note, I would like to add my thanks to Nicola and Stuart Reid for hastening the departure of Cllr Iain Malcolm.

All the best for the new year,
Kind regards,
Michael Dawson

This entry was posted in Abuse of Complaints System, Corruption, UK Docks. Bookmark the permalink.

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