Shed and Corruption – Part 18, Slipway Enclosure

UK Docks Slipway Enclosure

Please see the attached document, ‘Messrs Buck and Palmer’. In brief, it shows how the corruption relating to UK Docks shed had spread from South Tyneside Council to the Office of the MP for South Shields in early 2020 and it looks it was done behind the MP’s back i.e. when she away in Parliament challenging the now disgraced Prime Minister. *

I hope that much is clear from the attachment, which was posted as Shed and Corruption – Part 17 about a week ago. It is a corrected copy of the one sent out two weeks ago under a private email to the MP for South Shields to catch her before the Parliamentary Summer Recess gave me until September 5th to refine it but since then I have found an email confirming that I had established contact with her office Manager, Rebecca Heath nee Atkinson, as early as 2016.

Also, I had assumed that name@parliament.uk addresses were issued centrally but discovered last week that they are also issued by an MP’s Constituency Office and presumably by her or his office manager. In January 2020, Simon Buck said he was the manager for the South Shields office in early 2020 and it appears that it was he, who allocated palmerk@parliament.uk to Mr Palmer.

More importantly one does not have to go very deeply into the correspondence of mid January 2020 to realise that it is more of a personal attack on the MP for South Shields rather than a personal attack the one who had proof that the Council were giving misinformation to the Ombudsman and a month later the short comings of the attack were pointed out to Mr Palmer.

Mr Buck was then ordered to shoot the messenger:“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.

UK Docks shed on their slipway off River Drive.

Mr Cunningham chose to pass the Tyne Gateway Assn drawings to support UK Docks false claim that they had approval for their shed, following the meeting at the Town Hall on the 25-Nov-13 and it was Mr Haig who said it was acceptable, 6 hours later:-

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. KH advised that PC was honest and fair. With regard to conditions 3 & 4, these related to cladding of the structure, initial drawings showed blue cladding, which was agreed.

TGA Committee Meeting, 25-Nov-13

Whether Peter Cunningham was fair is not relevant but it turned out that neither he nor Ken Haig were honest. As we had left the meeting without any evidence that the shed has been built to the approved height (it was why the meeting had been called after all) I wrote and asked Mr Cunningham for a copy of the plans that Mr Haig said we were supposed to have have seen and received a copy of the plans passed to him by UK Docks on the 6th September 2013.

The approved drawing from 1996 showed a landward end of 12.7m which had a built height of 15.5m and the rest of the history of the shed, is one of deceit. Mr Cunningham chose to pass me a cropped copy of 8296/2 along with an unapproved from 1997 drawing to start that history.

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Mr Haig did not declare his interest in UK Docks and Mr Cunningham was quite happy to initiate the misuse of the Council’s Complaint Procedure to rather than admit that the shed was nearly 3m taller than planned.

This was done by removing the complaint from Planning Enquiries that the shed was in breach of approved plans with respect to its height, paving the way for the Head of Development Services to substitute with one that said that it did not, six months later and bypassing the admission by the Planning Manager on the 13th February 2014 that it was indeed taller than planned.

Proof of the breach in planning control was realised by someone in Planning on the Town Council as soon as 8296/2 was recovered from their archive in September 2013 and work stopped on the shed for two and a half months.  It restarted within days of the two meetings of November the 25th 2013. Messrs Haig, Watson, an employee of Mr Haig, and I were present at both and we all knew that the shed was taller and wider than planned. I deliberately excluded myself from association them,  Councillor John Anglin and the Principal Planning Officer and their support of UK Docks with a claim that the shed was a metre wider than planned, when I discovered I could measure it from without the site in December 2013.

Sticking with its height, it appears that the Planning Manager had the choice of admitting that the shed was too tall, thus contradicting his Principal Planning Officer but he did not do it. Instead of correcting Mr Cunningham for lying to the likes of the TGA etc. he chose to repeat the lie about the shed’s height. The choice then passed to the Head of Development Services but Mr Mansbridge then had the additional problem of having to caution his Planning Manager, as well as the Principal Planning Officer and so on, until we get to the Chief Executive as I explained in the Shed and Corruption – Part 1 (page 11 before I got to the CEO).

There was a rare instance of honesty by the Planning Manager when discussing the height of the shed by reference to an approved drawing when he said:- “the current structure is not built to ‘approved’ plans” but this was removed from the timeline we shared with the Council by Mr Mansbridge overwriting the original complaint, that the shed was too tall and nothing had been done about it, with a new complaint that it had been built to the approved height and the extra width, while it was a material consideration, it could be ignored.

I told the Ombudsman that the shed was 3m taller than planned by reference to the drawing 8296/14 which was approved by the Council in 2013 especially as it was the one to which I referred when Mr Atkinson admitted that we were right about the shed’s height but a Senior Planning Officer undermined my case by telling her that it was not to scale. That was an outright lie of course but it got Messrs Cunningham, Atkinson, and Mansbridge off the hook.

In 2015 the Council had trouble in reconciling the truth about the shed with what they had told the Ombudsman so were were accused of making allegations by the Council’s Corporate Lead:- “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.

In 2016 after seeking advice from a solicitor I wrote directly to Chief Executive and I quote:- “I ask you 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.

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That resulted in a personal attack on me by his Corporate Lead who had proved her worth to him the year before with her lie about us making allegation about the shed. When I had told her that I had consulted a solicitor about situation with UK Docks and what his advice was, she refined her attack, in October 2016, by saying:- “The issue of the height of the shed was dealt with in the Council’s stage 2 response to your complaint and then also discussed further with you at a meeting in July 2014. As the complaint has exhausted the corporate complaints procedure, the Council would not reconsider the issue afresh as it does not materially change the complaint. I therefore consider the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision final.

The issue of height was dealt with in the actual stage 2 when the Planning Manager said:- the current structure is not built to approved plans.

The Council’s stage 2 response was a fiction created by the Head of Development Services to introduce a complaint based on the fraudulent misrepresentation about the shed’s height based on and unauthorised drawing. The claim that their complaints process had been exhausted was a whitewash which was explained in Shed and Corruption – Part 16, and there was only ever one complaint that they had been seriously misleading the Ombudsman and one can justly add Mr Swales and his Corporate Lead, Mrs Johnson to the list of those let off the hook.

She then added:- “We will not acknowledge or respond to any issues that have already been the subject of investigation by the Council, or by the Local Government Ombudsman. Any such correspondence from you will be read and placed on file, but we will not acknowledge or respond to it.

Late in 2015 it came to my notice that UK Docks regularly breached the fifth condition by using their shed on a Sunday but the Council responded by confusing the South Tyneside Council with the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation:- The Authority’s view is that condition 5 should not have been imposed because the site already had the benefit of unrestricted working hours.

This was not resolved before Mrs Johnson imposed her Omertà, not acknowledging or responding to correspondence which was in place when UK Docks started to lengthen their shed in 2017.

In 2018 I raised a complaint about the conduct of Cllr Anglin as it was he, and the Chair of the TGA who organised the Town Hall meeting of the 25th November 2013 were Mr Cunningham felt confident enough to claim that UK Docks shed was compliant with plans that had obviously not been approved. A council solicitor did not uphold my complaint and she did this by repeating the misinformation about the height given to the Local Government Ombudsman by a Senior Planning Officer of South Tyneside Council and concluded:-

If you are dissatisfied with my decision not to investigate your complaint further, then under the Council’s protocol for dealing with allegations of breaches of the Members’ Code of Conduct you may request the Monitoring Officer to reconsider this decision. You can request a review by emailing monitoring.officer@southtyneside.gov.uk or in writing to Mike Harding, Monitoring Officer, South Tyneside Council, Town Hall & Civic Offices, Westoe Road, South Shields, NE33 2RL.

My request for a review was never acknowledged because the of Chief Executive’s decision to back his Corporate Lead in 2016, when she said:- I therefore consider the Local Government Ombudsman’s decision final.

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In the spring of 2019 UK Docks were asked by a Councillor to produce evidence to back their claim that they had approval for their shed but had none she was told they had been given permission for it retrospectively. I knew that to be another lie and I did not want it to replace the lie that they had approval for their shed before it was erected in 2013 and raised the issue with the latest Monitoring Officer in May:- Dear Monitoring Officer, 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.

In the Autumn of 2019, I made it clear that the only way to put a stop to Councils like South Tyneside giving misinformation/misrepresentation to the Local Government Ombudsman to hide malpractice or wrongdoing in their Planning and Building Control sections was to raise the issue in Parliament and ask them to make it a Criminal Offence to lie to the Ombudsman. Leaving it as a civil matter is no good, as explained in the opening paragraph of the attached file.

Meanwhile I had trouble in establishing that UK Docks had not been given permission for their shed retrospectively and it was only confirmed by the Council on the 19th December 2019 that they had not been given permission at all for the shed we see today and we see the misuse of ‘exhausted’ again: “I understand that all complaints procedures regarding this matter have been exhausted both internally within the Council and externally.

Three weeks later I get the call from Mr Buck requesting my home phone number for his colleague Mr Palmer which ends with the misapplication of a Parliamentary Code, a month and a half later, to hide the truth about the shed. Messrs Buck and Palmer condensed into two months what had taken Council three years – giving the TGA a misleading drawing at the meeting in November 2013 to the Corporate Lead’s misuse of Section F, now section 7 of the their staff code against me in October 2016.

The Buck/Palmer attempt to malign me failed on two counts:

1) principally because I had not established any direct contact with the MP for South Shields until well after my dealings finished with the first Inspector for the Ombudsman said, 15-April-2015:

2) the UK Parliament Behaviour Code was not relevant. Please see that I had exchanged two messages in the days between 19th December and the 8th January, with the MP:-

23 December 2019

Good afternoon Mick, I am aware Angela and David are dealing with this, please can you let me know if there is anything needed from me.
Best wishes, hope you have a lovely Christmas
Emma, on Monday, 23 December 2019

24 December 2019

Dear Emma,
Thank you for responding to my email to Angela and the offer of help.
Apologies for using your home email address but I wanted you to know where I’m at with the Council and Parliament does not sit until 7-Jan-20.
[private message re: MP for Jarrow]
I cannot really write to her directly as it would just get referred back to Anne-Marie Trevelyan and I really think she is not that interested, though she should be. I hope to be back in touch when Parliament resits.
Congratulations in retaining your seat. All the best for the New Year.
Kind regards,
Michael.

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It looks like Messrs Buck and Palmer were not aware that Emma had picked up my message to Angela on the 23rd on her phone and it looks like whoever was in charge of the Council when I started the Shed and Corruption series, asked Paula Abbott to resurrect the Complaints Restriction first placed in 2016, on April 29th 2021. They were first imposed because Mr Swales did not want to admit that South Tyneside Council staff had been lying to the Ombudsman.

Mr Swales had resigned in September 2020 and the Leader of the Council had gone two months later and on the 30th April, the Council had decided to appoint Mr Tew to be the new Chief Executive and he was officially appointed to the post in August 2021 and it appears that Ms Abbott was given the task to wipe the slate clean because she would have been unaware of the history of the shed, before the appointment of Mr Tew was confirmed.

On whose order the code of silence was reimposed, we can only guess but I think we need look no further than the leader of the team that appointed him. The team appears to have been headed by Cllr Tracy Dixon and it looks like Ms Abbott once she was appraised of the truth in Shed and Corruption – Part 4, that refused to keep it hidden and it fell to Alison Hoy to enforce the code of silence again and it took her less than 15minutes.

I had written to the Monitoring Officer on April 29th 2022 questioning the reimposition of the code of silence by Ms Abbott and the timing of the letter was deliberate:- Mrs Johnson sensibly dropped the scattergunning business after my response but I see Paula Abbott has included it again in her false accusations made against me in her email/letter to me a year ago. Please remind her that when the approved plans say that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned it is not unreasonable to say that it is taller than planned and the same thing goes for the width.

I wrote to Mr Tew in May 2022, to let him know after he had time to settle down in his new appointment as Chief Executive Officer of South Tyneside Council, how his staff had managed to hide the truth about the shed’s height for six and a half years. There was a lot of detail given him including a request that he looked the approved drawing 8296/14 and I told him:- “I have pointed out on numerous occasions, as Ms Hoy can verify, there has only ever been one complaint that South Tyneside Council have been giving misinformation to the Local Government Ombudsman and it is not unreasonable to say that a structure is taller than planned when it is taller than planned.

The value of 8296/14 in proving the shed to have been built not only wider but taller than planned cannot be underestimated. Not only did a Senior Planning Officer lie to the Ombudsman when he told her it was not to scale, the Planning Manager did not bring it to a meeting expressly organised to view it in July 2014 and the Principal Planning Officer removed the original complaint, upon which it was based, from Planning Enquiries in January 2014. The twist in the tale is that  the Planning Manager approved it in October 2013.

Michael Dawson
2nd August 2022.

* It had also spread to those who look after public footpaths by October 2021.

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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.

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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.

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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’.

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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:

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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 8: Misusing CA to Misinform

Our protest that UK Docks’ shed built 3m taller than planned was killed off by Ms Hamilton on the 24th November 2014 when she wrote and told me:-
I can confirm that as previously advised, the Council accepts that the structure in question does not have planning permission. My Stage 3 response to you dated 25 September 2014 also explained the reasons for the Council’s Head of Development Services’ decision that it was not expedient to take planning enforcement action with respect to the development.”
I note your intention to approach the Local Government Ombudsman and this is the correct route for you to now follow if you remain dissatisfied with the Council’s handling of this matter.

Ms Hamilton was the author of a letter to me titled ‘Stage 3 Response‘ which:- a) failed to mention the height of the shed, and b) wrote the extra width off as a non-material consideration. I could see the way things were set as Mr Mansbridge had created a new complaint at Stage 2 – 253539, to overwrite the original complaint, 248789 which had been exhausted at Stage 2 by the Planning Manager as explained in a letter to the Chief Executive 7th July 2014.

The Ombudsman, in her first response also failed to mention the height of the shed and said in paragraph 21:- “It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material”, but a year earlier we had been told by the Head of Development Services in his response to our Petition:- “Apart from the width these dimensions are either entirely in accordance with the approved plan, or subject to such minor deviation that they are properly categorised as non-material changes.

For some strange reason the compaint  to the South Shields MP got diverted to the MP for Berwick and she was told that our claims were on founded on allegations. *

I say strange because while I had taken up lodgings in Amble the shed was still on River Drive but it did show that South Tyneside Council were content to give misinformation to the Ombudsman so they could quote from the findings to misdirect people. We knew from the responses we were getting from the South Shields MP that they must lying to her but the response given to the MP for Berwick, was the first written evidence that it was being done any MP:-

  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, 25 th June 2015

It was how South Tyneside Council managed to hide the fact that the shed was 3m taller than planned until UK Docks got permission to extend it on February 1st 2016. The primary purpose now appears to be to hide wrongdoing by building control. They had failed to report that UK Docks had not complied with the 2nd Condition:- The development to which this permission relates shall be carried out in complete accordance with the approved plans and specifications.

Second Phase of the Shed’s Development
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 26/07/2021 (12:59:19 PM GMT)
To: Paula Abbott
Cc: Alison Hoy, Nicola Robason, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Cllr Angela Hamilton, David Francis, John Rumney, Garry Simmonette, Peter Cunningham, George Mansbridge
Attachment: toPA26-Jul-21-SandC-8.pdf (179 KB)

Dear Paula,
I hope this email finds you well and please see it’s attachment which should be self-explanatory.
It seems that quite a few staff have been using Customer Advocacy to avoid answering direct questions about the shed and it started with the Planning Manager in March 2015 and lasted till 2018, about the same time as Alison says she sent me a letter dated 18 April 2018.
I never received the letter as your office would (not) have known my Amble address. It was not until April 2019 that I sent a letter to the then Monitoring Officer, Mr Harding with my address in Amble.
He did not answer it, nor was my email to him about it on 19th June 2019, so obviously the restriction imposed by Hayley October 2016 had not been lifted as Alison has suggested and it looks like you have been coerced into reinforcing it.
If you look at the item tagged, 25 June 2020, on your list you will see it was addressed to Cllr Hamilton and copied to Emma Lewell-Buck MP only, i.e. it was not copied to Alison or anyone at the Town Hall so how did it get onto the list?
The only explanation is that Cllr Hamilton must have been asking about the shed and it looks like someone in your office has been telling her that, contrary to the evidence, the shed is kosher and that I was making allegations and not to be trusted.
It is unlikely that Emma was making the enquiries her MP’s inbox has been set (MimecastTM) to reject mick.dawson at theharbourview.co.uk. and I’m almost certain that was done by Mr Buck or one of his pals and it does not take much to work out it was a Keith Palmer.
If you look at the item tagged, 4 February 2021, there is also the possibility that someone from the Chronicle/Journal has been trying to find out the truth behind the shed so I have copied in their editor as well.
As you read through the misdirections you will see that in the early ones it would not be obvious the various officers were giving her (Alison) misinformation/misrepresentation but by the time we get to Cllr Anglin and the shed being extended in August 2017 it is obvious and that is what made me think about coercive control rather than Alison giving you a list of unanswered emails.
Kind regards
​Michael

Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 8: Misusing CA to Misinform

The Shed: Approved Height v Built Height

UK Docks were allowed to build, without planning permission by South Tyneside Council (STC), a shelter on their slipway on the banks of the Tyne in South Shields. In spite of protests from the first days, that it was bigger than planned, South Tyneside Council did nothing to halt, apart from a temporary stoppage Sep-Nov 2013, the completion of the shed.

They can do this as there is no requirement for them to tell the building inspector that they have not met the conditions of any planning approval. In the case of UK Docks they knew the structure that they had erected on their slipway off River Drive in the first couple of weeks of September 2013 was going to be taller and wider than the approved plans allowed so they hid the fact that it was wider than planned from the building inspector and sent misleading plans to fraudulently misrepresent the approved height of it, to the Principal Planning Officer.

The Height at River End; permitted = 15.5m; built = 18.2m

When we started protesting that the shed was taller than planned the Principal Planning Officer went and measured it for himself and declared it was compliant:- 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.

It was not compliant with any approved drawing and what he did not realise was the fact that the gradient between each end of the shed gave scale to any side elevation of the shed and any end elevation that showed the depth of any beams (686mm), similarly gave the scale as well. It also appears that that he was content to ignore the fact that both ends of the drawings he gave out, showed the same total height of 15.5m. Here again, the side elevation will show that the river end is correct.

What UK Docks did not foresee was that while the residents/protestors knew that their shed was taller and wider than planned from the beginning, what was needed was some proof to back up their views, so that they would not be accused of making allegations. The first was drawing 8296/14 and it had been approved by the Planning Manager in October 2013 as part of ST/1146/13/COND and was coupled to their decision to fit an overhead travelling crane.

When South Tyneside Council recovered the 1996 documents there were two authorised drawings and one, 8296/2 provided proof that the Principal Planning Officer was lying when he implied that UK Docks had approval for a shed of 15.5m height at its landward end. Some in the planning office agreed with the protestors and that was why work on the shed stopped for nearly three months. It was also proof that UK Docks were in breach of the permitted height after the first frames were erected and probably why there was never a response made to the original complaint made on behalf of the residents by me.

I explained to the MP for Berwick and the Chief Executive, Mr Swales why it was unreasonable to claim that the shed had been built to the approved height but the Corporate Lead, Hayley Johnson thought otherwise and because there was no evidence to back her view she had to accuse us of making alegations.

The two approved drawings show that the shed is 2.7m taller than planned and it was therefore her, who was lying about the height of the shed, when she told the MP for Berwick on the 25th June 2015:- “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 Width; permitted = 12.2m; built = 13.1m

Drawing 8296/14 also shows the width to be 12.2m and that agreed with the width shown on the drawings favoured by UK Docks (8696/1B) and the Principal Planning Officer (8296/1A). When measured, he found it to be 13.1m, which we learnt in response to our Petition, was considered a material consideration from, no lesser person than, the Head of Development Services:- Apart from the width these dimensions are either entirely in accordance with the approved plan, or subject to such minor deviation that they are properly categorised as non-material changes.

By the time it got to the Ombudsman it had become:- It decided the degree of departure from the plans – less than one metre – was “non-material.” 

The inspector was easily persuaded that the shed was the permitted width and the extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden under a pallet or box, if there were any visitors to the yard, until they they were needed later.

That they were needed later, to lengthen the shed, was confirmed when they were given permission to extend it onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL.

The Length; permitted = 22m, built = 27.5m

Footings 2010 – Six Pairs

As well as easily persuading the building inspector that the shed was the permitted width UK Docks had also hidden the fact that they had planned for a longer shed in 2001 when the footings were originally laid. The extra set of mounting points 5.5m in front of the landward end of the five put to use when the framework for the shed was erected in September 2013, could easily be hidden from view, under a pallet for example, while there were visitors to the yard, and put to use when they were needed later.

That they were needed later was confirmed when they were given permission to extend the shed onto them in February 2016 under ST/0461/14/FUL. The people on the committee, were either not told, or were told but ignored the fact, that the shed was taller than permitted and gave UK Docks permission to extend it onto the footings laid in 2001.

I concluded in letter to a former neighbour, Part 1 of Shed and Corruption:- When they heard we were trying to resurrect the dormant TGA they spotted a weak spot and Cllrs Anglin and McMillan went into action but what they and Messrs Watson and Haig did not realise was that there was a fatal flaw in their scheme. Mr Cunningham had to either to admit we were right about the shed or commit fraud.

For those that are new to the sorry story about the shed and corruption, the Principal Planning Officer, Mr Cunningham chose the latter and he did that by attempting to pass off drawing, 8296/1A, one that had not been approved because it contained an error, as one that had been approved.

Besides 1A showing both ends to have the same height it bears no evidence of having been anywhere near the Tyne and Wear Development Corporation and is very obviously the copy sent to South Tyneside MBC in April 1996 for comment before the development went before the Development Corporation for approval in July. One wonders why they never sent out an amended copy but it did not matter as 8296/2 was approved and showed that the landward end should be about 12.8m not the 15.5m as claimed by the STC Planning Officers and their Managers.

I have describe how the truth about the shed, was and still is, avoided in Shed and Corruption – Part 9 which takes us up to April 2022 and concludes with:- As I said to her in Part 4 of Shed and Corruption, see page 2, there has only been one complaint to the Chief Executive that his staff have been misleading the Ombudsman and that does not relate to persistent and unreasonable behaviour by anyone’s standards. Especially when it can be easily shown that someone has been giving misinformation/misrepresentation to them.

It was not one of the local residents nor Mr X.

Review of the Shed and Corruption Series

Redhead’s Landing, Templetown, South Shields

On May 7th 2013 South Tyneside Council (STC) gave the slipway known as Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne because they could, and that spelled the death knell of the right of way to it. That was also given the Port of Tyne but it left the Council and the Port of Tyne the problem of finding the business using the slipway adjacent to the former landing a new home. It left Tyne Slipway and Engineering and its owner, as the only obstacle to the closure of Tyne Dock, in a very powerful position because they had to find a new home on the Tyne and there was only one viable option.
That home was Tyne Slipways ltd. and owned by the same family and occasionally used for servicing the Shields Ferries and the some of the North Sea fishing fleet. They had a maintenance contract with the Port of Tyne for their Pilot Boats, with Nexus for the maintenance of their Ferries and a contract with a the Ministry of Defence for the maintenance of their Border Patrol Vessels.

Loss of English Coastal Path

The gift of right of way to the Port of Tyne was not lost on some in the planning office of STC and was simply because Rights of Way are not a planning matter. Bridle and coastal paths etc. are no different and the planning officer who was later in charge of the development of the UtilityWise Center into riverside accommodation on Long Row, South Shields, gave part of the English Coastal Path to its developer. The riverside footpath then became became riverside gardens for the people residing on the ground floor of the two blocks of flats. The contact for the development of the redundant car park downstream, was by 2021 was the same officer who had given Readheads Landing to the Port of Tyne, Mr Peter Cunningham.

71 and 72 Greens place, South Shields

Here is a modified extract from Shed and Corruption – Part 2 (pages 2 and 3).

It started with a Planning Officer and her misapplication of the planning guidelines, SPD9 which were ignored.
72 – I was told by the building inspector, Mr Telford that the single dormer that occupied nearly the whole of the roof width of 72 was not a material consideration but discovered later that was just an opinion. Mr Telford was applying different standards to No 72 to those being applied to No 70.
If anyone had bothered to check, the Listing of No 70 was specific to the frontage and the door in particular, not to any materials used for modifications to the back. I should have questioned the addition of conditions 3 & 4 but as the planning section’s grudge against the previous owners of No 70 was well known and still hung over the place, I just paid the extra for the bricks, which the builder went to some trouble to match. We both agreed that if they tried to enforce metal gutters they would be open to ridicule!
71- When I mentioned that Mr Haig had not even followed the permitted plans, the Ombudsman had said that as I had not taken the complaint thought the Council’s Complaints Procedure (CCP), she was not able to consider it. This was the first indication that the Council and LGO were working in unison to stifle complaints.

1

I had noticed as I progressed through the CCP the justification for my complaint against the demolition and rebuild of 71 Greens Place had disappeared. Primarily the planning officer in charge of the development had not followed the guidelines outlined in SPD9. The other setback was that Mr Haig had lied to his solicitor when he said that a party wall agreement was in place and I had to force him into one. It turned out to be a waste of time and money as it was never honoured and in this, he required the assistance of the building inspector, Mr Telford.
I did take the Ombudsman’s Inspectors advice and that led to Mr Haig having to put in an application for permission for his two roof gardens to be granted retrospectively. It was a little short on detail although the agent did mention construction of various patio walls (there were two walls that ran along side the yard of 70 Greens Place under consideration, one on each of the first and second floors).
This was pointed out in response to the Planning Manager’s view and note that ST/0749/13/FUL had referred to retrospective content and it did not, four months later. The Planning Manager had written ‘retrospective’ out of consideration and the revised job passed to a planning officer and acknowledged on the 12th November.
I mention all this because what had started life as an application for retrospective planning permission had by the time the Planning Manager, Mr Atkinson given it approval on the 5th December 2013, had become one which bore no reference to any retrospective planning application.
It had become ST/0749/13/HFUL and its predecessor, ST/0749/13/FUL, had completely disappeared. Since there is no way the Council will allow ST/0749/13/FUL to be recovered there is very little I can do about 71 Greens Place, its first floor patio garden to the rear and its roof top balcony to the front, except to say that if one wants to view some examples of the of the corruption endemic in the Town Hall in South Shields, just take a stroll down Greens Place or its back lane.
The development of 71 Greens Place started with a Planning Officer’s misapplication of the Guidelines in SPD9, which led to Inspector for the LGO being fed misinformation and continuing with the owner Mr Haig who ensured that the Party Wall Agreement would fail so that he could build a longer and or taller walls on our shared boundary.

When someone had recognised the fact a retrospective application would have to be made and raised ST/0749/13/FUL this did not suit Mr Haig, the planning officer involved nor her manager, Mr Atkinson. Nor did it suit the building inspector, Mr Telford and so ST/0749/13/FUL was deleted and replaced with ST/0749/13/HFUL.

72 Greens Place: the two separate dormers had been drawn so large that the gap between them was not wide enough to allow inner sides to be safely clad. There is now one very large dormer filling about 90% of the roof.

Both Messrs Haig and Watson had built an extra story onto each mid terrace properties by ‘bending the rules’ and they got away with it for a mixture of reasons, Mr Watson’s development was fairly discrete and Mr Haig by persuading South Tyneside Council to withdraw the requirement for the redevelopment of No. 71 to be looked at retrospectively.

A better and much more visible example of this sort of corruption, is UK Docks’ shed a little way downstream and easily viewed by the Haigs from their rooftop balcony. This is important to bear in mind because UK Docks should have applied for permission to build the shed we see today sometime between 2001 and 2013. Retrospectively; a) because the foundations had been laid a meter wider and 5.5m longer than planned b) it needed to be taller than planned.

2

Town Hall Meeting: 25-Nov-13

About six months after the first complaints about the height of the shed went in, we noticed that some of responses were marked [PROTECT], and we mistakenly thought that it was because the information it contained was confidential. I noticed that there was a profusion of them around about the time the Tyne Gateway Assn folded, which I believe was a bit more than coincidental.
I checked the use of them with Customer Advocacy around about the time the rewrite of the second Stage of my complaint by the Head of Development Services as they had started to appear again and discovered that the ‘protect’ was for internal use by the Council Staff and that I could publish them.

It was put into use by Mr Cunningham from the beginning to hide the fact that he was being disingenuous:-
From: Peter.Cunningham@southtyneside.gov.uk
To: Resident of Greens Place
CC: 6 Residents; cllr.john.anglin@southtyneside.gov.uk;
cllr.audrey.mcmillan@southtyneside.gov.uk; cllr.john.wood@southtyneside.gov.uk;
Date: Mon, 9 Sep 2013 16:00:04 +0100
Subject: RE: Approved
* boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields
This email has been classified as: PROTECT
Hello – I stamped these drawings on the day they were handed to me in reception, as I explained these are copies of drawings passed in 1996 by the T&W Development Corporation the only difference is that these drawings do not have the approved stamps on them.
I attach a link to the Council’s website explaining the complaints procedure.
Complaints Procedure
Regards
Principal Planning Officer

 * The drawings did not have approved stamps on because they had not been approved.

Emails post Town Hall Meeting 25th November (explanations in italics)
Continue reading Town Hall Meeting: 25-Nov-13

Shed and Corruption – Part 15

Date: 09/05/22, 09:16:44 BST
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
To: Jonathan Tew
Cc: Nicola Robason, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Alison Hoy, Hayley Johnson, John Rumney
Attachment: Detail-SandC-15.pdf (64 KB)

Dear Mr Tew,

Please accept my apologies for not including you in the circulation of my the email/letter of the 29th April to your Monitoring Officer about the height of UK Docks’ shed on their slipway off River Drive. I was about to correct it when I received a response from Alison Hoy, your Information and Feedback Officer, within 15 minutes of sending shed and Corruption – Part 14.

Ms Hoy’s response appears to answer the question posed at the end of the email [to NR] and it seems to be the officer in charge of Customer Advocacy if it is not herself:-

Mr Swales had retired by the time of Paula’s false accusations so who asked them to be made.I believe and sincerely hope it was not you.

To save me sending S and C- Part 14 again, your Monitoring Officer, Ms Hoy or Mrs Johnson should be able to pass you a copy.

I had hoped to be giving details of the exchange of correspondence I had with the MP’s Office Staff in Part 15 but the ill considered interruption [by AH] meant I had to reinforce many of the points raised in the previous episodes or parts.

It looks to me that a decision was made to hide the fact that the shed was nearly 3m taller than planned so that UK Docks could get their longer shed by avoiding  having to make a planning application retrospectively.

It meant that someone had to give misinformation to the Ombudsman and because they were caught doing so, a scheme was hatched by your predecessor to first malign the good citizens of South Shields and then to misuse a section of your staff code that deals with unacceptable behaviour: e.g. aggressive, abusive or offensive language or behaviours to discredit me. *

I had hoped that some reforms might be taking place, particularly when when I had a response from Leah on behalf of Ms Robason on 24th December 2020:

Thank you for your email regarding complaints you have raised with the Council. I am writing to acknowledge receipt and confirm that this matter will be looked into and you will receive a response week commencing 4th January.

I heard nothing until Paula Abbot’s email of the 29th April 2021 prompted, I believe by my review of the timeline that I had shared with Customer Advocacy since the Summer of 2014, Shed and Corruption – Parts 1 and 2.

Sadly Ms Hoy’s extension of misuse of Section 7 allows your staff to say whatever they like about UK Dock’s shed and myself for another year. Please see Shed and Corruption – Part 15 (Detail) which I have attached.

I hope you have enough control to put a stop to the corruption and I wish you luck.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

* to discredit me –  was missing from the original email.
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 15

Shed and Corruption – Part 14

Covering Email
Shed and Corruption - Part 14
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 29/04/2022 (16:27:49 BST)
To:   Nicola Robason
Cc:   Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, 
      Paula Abbott, Alison Hoy, Hayley Johnson
Attachment: Shed and Corruption - Part 14.pdf

Dear Nicola,

Please see the attached file. I hope my condemnation of the two planning officers needs no explanation. *

When Mrs Johnson first accused me of being unreasonable in my attempts to bring the truth about UK Docks’ shed to everyone’s attention, one of her claims was that I had 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;

I responded:- I have not written to the local police, independent auditors or the Standards Board which you are implying. 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 wrote to my ward Councillors because they, apart from the Chairman of the Planning Committee(Cllr Wood), attended the meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’.  Are you suggesting that the Councillors should not be told that they were misinformed by a Principal Planning Officer of the Council?

I included members of the Residents Group Committee as well because I had to relay the ‘facts’ to a meeting with them a few hours after the same meeting where we were told the shed was ‘legal’. I did not believe what I had been told by the Officer and it took me 2 months and numerous emails to prove that shed was not ‘legal’  or should I say compliant. Are you suggesting that members of the Residents Group should remain ignorant of the fact that the shed was not compliant and built without planning permission?
Continue reading Shed and Corruption – Part 14

Shed and Corruption – Part 13

Shed and Corruption - Part 13
From: mick.dawson@theharbourview.co.uk
Date: 14/04/2022 (16:36:41 BST)
To: Nicola Robason
Cc: Jonathan Tew, Anne-Marie Trevelyan MP, Emma Lewell-Buck MP, Hayley Johnson, Gill Hayton (Solicitor)
Attachment: SandC-Part-13.pdf

Dear Nicola,

Manipulation of the Adopted Complaints Procedure by STC

Please see the attached letter. It is principally about UK Docks and the Council saying that the enclosure or shed built over the last slipway still in use on the Tyne, had been built to an approved plan and the local residents protesting that it had not, when the argument should have been between UK Docks and the Council.

From the very beginning our complaint was that, UK Docks’ shed was taller than permitted and someone with authority in the Planning Department must have agreed with our point of view because work stopped on it for two and a half months so an enforcement order must have been in place and the argument should have been whether UK Docks removed it, rebuilt it to the proper size or asked the Council to reconsider an application (for a taller and wider shed) retrospectively.

The first emails put out by the planning officer in charge of the slipway development were titled:- Approved boat repair shelter at Tyne Slipway, River Drive, South Shields but others and I knew that it was unlikely to have been approved because we could estimate from the drawings he provided that it was taller than approved or guessed it was not because he would not answer the direct question posed about the height being 12 or 15 meters and referred the questioner to the complaints process.

When I said nothing had changed, foot of page 4, I was referring particularly to the width because it implicates the building inspector directly, it would have been he, Mr Telford, who checked that stanchions were set correctly onto the baseplates. He had, by approving them hidden the fact that they were further apart than permitted. When we started questioning the height and the dimensions were measured by the Principal Planning Officer mid September 2013 he had the choice of correcting things but did not take it.

It appears that he did need to correct it because he knew that by the time the complaint got to the Ombudsman he could rely on a Senior Planning Manager giving misinformation to the Ombudsman so she would find for the Council rather than the local residents of whom I was one. From her Summary, 15-Apr-15:-

There is no evidence of fault in the way the Council dealt with the breach of planning control and its decision not to take enforcement action. It kept residents informed throughout the process.

The evidence of any fault in the Council’s handling of the breach had been destroyed by the Principal Planning Officer with the help of successive managers until it got to the Ombudsman and it looks she was easily persuaded to ignore the evidence I tried to put to her and when I tried to present the evidence to an MP, the Council’s Corporate Lead had to falsely accuse others and I of making allegations before she was able to repeat to the MP for Berwick on 25 June 2015 :-

The Ombudsman did not uphold the complaint, finding that the Council had acted appropriately in our approach relating to the planning application and subsequent action, full details of which would have been sent by their office to Mr Dawson.

A year later she said, 5 October 2016:-

I can again advise that there is no evidence to suggest that there has been deliberate misinformation provided by Council officers to the Local Government Ombudsman.

I concluded:-

“This bring me to the question of its planned vs. actual width. The width was never in doubt as it was clearly shown on the drawings held by both UK Docks and the Council but what they both had not realised the width could, with surprising accuracy, be determined from Greens Place. This was because UK Docks had made the sides vertical and therefore pointed to the footings laid in 2001 and I found it to be nearly a meter wider than planned.

“The structure was measured in September 2013, the complaint that the shed failed to meet the second condition went to Planning Enquiries in January 2014 and the public meeting was held in March 2014 and the whole point of the meeting was to decide what to do after the Council had agreed that the shed was 2.7m taller than planned.

“I was tasked with writing to the Planning Manager to request removal of the shed and I took the opportunity of thanking him for his concession:- “Thank you also for confirming that the Slipway Shed is not built to the approved 1996 plans.

“Mr Tew and you, will now know that it was the people under Mr Mansbridge’ command who made it an issue between the residents and the Council when it should have been a simple matter of telling UK Docks to build their shed elsewhere.

“That or granting permission retrospectively and we all know UK Docks never asked for it because there was no need when they had the Principal Planning Manager at their beck and call from day one.

Kind regards
Michael Dawson

Planning Issues in South Shields