Tuesday, 19 May 2009

THE FUTILITY OF WRITING TO A CORRUPT MINISTER


Gordon Brown has yet to sack Hazel Blears, even though The Speaker has been 'hung out to dry' today. Here is what Gordon Brown had to say about the 'flipping', ACA claims and avoidance of Capital Gains Tax by his clearly corrupt Secretary of State:
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Ms Blears has admitted not paying capital gains tax on the profit from selling a flat repaired with taxpayers' money and has agreed to repay £13,332.
Tackled about whether further action should be taken against Ms Blears at his monthly press conference in Downing Street, Mr Brown said: "Hazel Blears has paid the money back. She has done so on the advice of me and others.
"But she has not broken the law, she has not broken the rules of the House of Commons.
"It is unacceptable behaviour and she has accepted it as unacceptable behaviour."
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So is it surprising that when a corrupt politician is sent a letter about unacceptable activity about a planning application, NO ACTION IS TAKEN? I show below a letter sent to this corrupt politician in her capacity as Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government.
==============================================
Rt. Hon. Hazel Blears MP
Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government
Elland House
Bressender Place
LONDON SW1E 5DU 15th October 2008


Dear Secretary of State,

THANET DISTRICT COUNCIL PLANNING APPLICATION F/TH/08/0400

You will be aware that I wrote to you on the 30 Jul 2008 concerning the above application. On Thursday 9th October, TDC in Full Council passed this application subject to conditions being referred back to Planning Committee of TDC.

You will be aware that since I wrote to you in July, even more public concern has been expressed in relation to the proposed further development of Manston Business Park, Ramsgate, Kent for redistribution warehouses and related purposes.

We are aware that this land is zoned for industrial use in the Local Structure Plan, has job creation potential and is potentially of importance to the local economy. We do not therefore seek to oppose development of any kind on this location.

However, on the basis that ‘The China Gateway’ proposals have considerable implications for Thanet’s natural aquifer providing potable water to Thanet (the Environment Agency has highlighted this); that the plan would impact on a much wider area than the site itself with upto 5,600 HGV movements envisaged per day (greater than Dover Docks) and that it involves the participation, albeit at arms length of The Chinese Government and that Phase 2 and 3 lie outside the terms of the Thanet Structure Plan, we believe that this application should not be determined by Thanet District Council but should be ‘called in’ for full and detailed enquiry by The Secretary of State.

I would also like to draw your attention to some extraordinary aspects surrounding this application:

1. The applicant first began enquiries in 2006 with TDC Planning and was lead to believe that a suitable case could be made for a development outside allocated development land (CGP’s AIM Document refers).

2. In early 2007 a political donation was made to Steve Ladyman MP and South Thanet Labour Group by Mr Ken Wills of CGP of £25,000. It has come to our attention that at or about the same time donations of £12,500 were offered to each of North Thanet and South Thanet Conservative Associations but were declined.
3. In June of this year TDC announced that CGP (the applicant) had made a donation of £12,500 to TDC’s ‘Big Event’ held in Palm Bay which was accepted by TDC’s Cabinet.

4. In May of this year, Acol Parish Council received a donation for its Fete of a DVD player and flat screen television from the applicant CGP.

5. In November 2007 the Leader and Deputy of TDC and Senior TDC Officers were hosted by CGP on a trip to China (admitted by Mr Ken Wills on the BBC Programme Inside/Out on Wed 8 Aug 2008.) This was shown in a TDC Press Release as organized and paid for by Chinamex and The Chinese Government and declared as such in relevant ‘Interest’ declarations by The Leader and his Deputy without any mention of CGP’s hospitality.

6. In August of this year documents found on Acol Hill regarding the relationship of TDC to CGP were handed to The Serious Economic Crimes Unit of Kent Police at Maidstone for investigation.

7. In March 2008, TDC and KCC formed East Kent Opportunities LLP and agreed to pool their holdings of land at Manston Business Park and at Eurokent. The Deputy Leader of TDC is TDC’s appointed director. It has come to our attention that EKO/TDC/KCC has agreed to sell 5 acres of its holdings on Manston Business Park for £1.25 million and a ‘ransom strip’ for £1 million. This makes TDC a beneficiary of granting its own planning consent.

8. A FoI request has revealed that in 2008 alone, CGP held regular monthly meetings with the applicant CGP from 4 Jan onwards with The Leader or his Deputy attending with Senior Officers and yet none of these meetings was formally minuted.

9. On 9th October, despite all CGP’s own statements on the subject both written and spoken (Mr Wills of CGP on BBC Inside/Out Programme of 8th Oct) and the evidence of the way the application was presented in 2007 for scoping and in 2008, TDC Full Council flew in the face of all the evidence and presented the application to Full Council as a ‘Stand-Alone ‘ application, when it is clearly the first Phase of a at least a 3 Phase application.

10. It has come to our attention that TDC, through EKO LLP, is proposing that the Eurokent Site be allocated for ‘housing’ instead of employment and has set in motion the request to then claim that TDC has insufficient employment land and will then need to re-designate land at Manston adjacent to Manston Business Park that just happens to have been purchased in 2006 and in 2007 by CGP, the applicants.

11. It has come to our attention that KCC has carried out a financial probity examination of the applicant, CGP, presumably in connection with purchases regarding land at MBP ‘owned’ by KCC and that areas of concern were raised but that this report has been left unactioned and suppressed.

12. At the TDC meeting on 9th October, the Chair suppressed the proposal by two Councillors that the re-location of two sensitive X type buildings be made a condition of granting outline planning consent due to the activity proposed (redistribution sheds with 100s of HGV movements) actually located on SPZ 1 of the aquifer and closest to the inhabitants of Acol. This matter is to be raised by Councillors but what was extraordinary was that the TDC Case Planning Officer admitted that ‘he had requested the developer to re-site these X type buildings and they had declined to do so’. I would argue that to allow the redistribution operation to be be sited on the NW corner of this site where it poses the greatest threat to the aquifer and maximum impact on the lives of people of Acol shows utter disregard to the precautionary principle in Planning Law, lack of due diligence and the lack by TDC of its duty of care as the LPA. You may wish to request the recordings of this Full Council Meeting. It is our understanding that no transcript will be made of the meeting as a record!

I urge The Secretary of State to ‘call-in’ this application for all the reasons outlined above. Not only does this whole ‘project’ have major implications for the ground water resources that are already in a parlous state but in terms of HGV movements, will have serious implications outside of Thanet.

There is clearly a lack of impartiality , evidence of bias and lack of independence in the way TDC has handled this application. If TDC has, as decision maker, a financial or other interest in the outcome of this application as cited above, then it cannot be, or seen to be impartial. My understanding is that lack of bias and impartiality “must be observed strictly to maintain public confidence in the decision making process.” This is clearly not the case here. There is a distinct appearance of bias in favour of the applicant that is contrary to the public interest and on such a basis I would suggest that the matter be placed in the hands of an Independent Inspector urgently.


Yours sincerely,
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Why rake over the ashes? The point is simply this. We expect a Secretary of State to act with integrity. How can we expect integrity in decision making when the integrity of the decision maker is non-existent? We need a General Election as soon as possible to rid us of this 'den of thieves' who claim to be our Government.

9 comments:

Hugin said...

Do we now expect a Secretary of State, or any other politician, to act with integrity Bertie? Comments by Joe Public, heard in the street and on the TV and radio, suggest to me that many of the electorate look upon all politicians as having no integrity, which is an injustice to those who do.

A General Election will do no good if, in the public's eyes, it just replaces one 'den of thieves' with another.

Anonymous said...

I've heard Tory after Tory saying 'general election' as if that will solve the problem. MPs saying 'Sorry' to the electorate before an election then being selected again to stand solves nothing.

The ones who have said they'll step down are in safe Tory seats so Cameron knows it's unlikely to change the outcome as he's odds on to win anyway.

What may affect things more dramatically is the new set of rules on claims so we may find some current and would-be MPs realising it's no longer a 'gravy train' and deciding to go off and do something else. An MP's salary and modest expenses won't fund the lifestyle many are used to or aspire to.

Michael Child said...

Bertie I think the first stage here is for the House of Commons to publish MPs expenses in full with receipts.

That those MPs who have abused the system should be made to stand down as MPs and we should have a by-election day fairly soon to replace them.

I would say that any immediate election would contain a considerable protest vote that could be damaging to the country in the longer term.

Then we need options produced for government and parliamentary reform, these could include an elected prime minister, upper house, proportional representation, pay and expenses reform for all politicians and civil servants and local government reform, this should then be followed by a referendum.

I think you would be hard pushed at the moment to find many people with confidence in our governance at any level.

Anonymous said...

I am now assuming all guilty of tax evasion will be provided with the same leniancy? Pay up, interest and fine free, and all will be forgiven?

Richard Card said...

Bertie

The country really needs to have a serious constitutional position look at itself.

Just two issues that you know about in Kent to illustrate:

(1) General De Chasterlain sought advice on his terms of decommissioning reference to see if he could deploy to Kent. To look at paramilitary groups here. The defining law, it seems to me, is the Unlawful Drilling Act 1819.

This is the law under which George Maison and a number of other TA soldiers were arrested in 1987.

This is the law which I cite, amongst others, in seeking Kent Police investigation of the Combat Training Team Deal Barracks out of which grew the "INternational Bodyguards Assn and the International Law Enforcement Training Agency ... private enterprises offering live fire training.

In 1999 Jack Straw refused to use his power as Home Secretary to compel inquiry by Kent Police that had already been called for by Sir John Grugeon Chair Kent Police Authority.

Now as Justice Minister and whilst inquiries under the Act are being sought .. he is slipping it into the Lords for repeal. An Act which enshrines Crown Authority to authorise training at skill at arms.

(2) The role of Law Lords in the House of Lords. They are the Monarch in Parliament. The Court of Last resort for example to discharge Common Law Obliagtion to the Crown to report acts which would weaken the defence of the Realm. Under the Supreme Courts Act I think the Law Lords will get a new Civil Service type home this Autumn.

We have to really think. The balance of powers between Crown and Parliament is being changed. Power is shifting to a Parliament who are recognising EU as their master and not the Crown (the people of this country)

The Crown is the authority for the independent administration of Justice and the authority by which no man can be above the law.

The Queen is being badly advised. I think she has tried her best to honour her Coronation Oath by which she became sole fount of Justice but she has been badly advised.

Above are examples you know about. Crown Authority for Arms. Crown Authority for Justice. And the sneaky hand of Jack Straw is undermining both constitutional principles.

Anonymous said...

Any chance of banning Richard Card from the blogsphere.

I read the interesting comments and then get fed up with his continual winge, which is usually to take reader off topic onto his hobby horse!

Bertie Biggles said...

A little harsh 17.58. Richard is making a valid point at the end of his comment, is he not?

Anonymous said...

Indeed Richard...why even Hilary Benn would not respond to a perfectly legitimate letter on the Aquifer matters for Thanet - and even that good old waste of public money organisation GOSE would not get involved? The point here is that we pay these organisations to actually prevent fraud and yet they positively encourage it? Thanets allotment issues are part of that decision making process (if you can call it that)?

17:58 does not want the public to know the truth Richard does he?

Malcolm

Anonymous said...

No 17.58 is happy to support Richard on his website with his windmill tilting.

I just get fed up with his continual hi-jacking of other peoples sites.

He has valid points, and good luck to him. But other people have their own threads to write, and concerns to bring into the public domain. And that does not mean that he can then come on and rant all over them.

It's called being polite, and not being an obsessive bore.