Will the taxpayer be re-imbursed?

WARRINGTON North MP Helen Jones’ rhetoric, backed by five Labour councillors, Graham Friend, Kevin Bennett, Chris Vobe, Steve Roberts and Billy Lines-Rowlands, on calling for Andy Farrell, executive director of environment and regeneration at the council, to resign, is laughable.

In 2009/10 Mr Farrell was awarded a nine per cent pay rise and in the same year former chief executive Diana Terris was given a £7,105 pay rise. These council chiefs have picked up thousands in pay rises in the middle of a multi-million pound cost-cutting drive and during 2013/14 up to 190 jobs will be cut from WBC as it tries to save £14 million.

Yet Labour has always sold us the idea that to recruit the best in the public sector you have to pay the going rate to attract the best. So what has happened here in the case of Mr Farrell?

So the accusers say the application to develop Peel Hall has been simply ‘overlooked’ by the department and as executive director Mr Farrell is paid a significant sum to oversee and run the council department and with his inflated salary comes responsibility.

In a nutshell am I right to think that the aforementioned councillors and MP are saying that Mr Farrell is not the right person for the job? Therefore should we be re-imbursed his nine per cent rise from 2009, plus his salary and other benefits?

TONY FOX
Stockton Heath

Comments (46)

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2:39pm Thu 21 Feb 13

grey_man says...

I think he was clearly the wrong person for the job before he was appointed. Somebody within the council should have blocked his appointment based on his track record at Chester which was colourful to say the least.
I think he was clearly the wrong person for the job before he was appointed. Somebody within the council should have blocked his appointment based on his track record at Chester which was colourful to say the least. grey_man

3:16pm Thu 21 Feb 13

Karlar says...

You will also find it was the previous administration that hired Mr Farrall, when as grey_man says they should have blocked his appointment or considered him an unsuitable candidate on his previous track record alone.
Why do you think Tony Fox that those most stridently defending Mr Farrall in the face of the factually real concerns of Helen Jones, the five Labour councillors and the rest of us, are Lib Dem Councillors, namely Bob Barr and Ian Marks? For them to later agree Helen Jones et al were right would be tantamount to admitting the Lib Cons were wrong with their original selection.
You are right in saying Mr Farrall is unfit for purpose. But since the Lib Con administration voted him his 9% rise with added benefits in 2009, their successors had no power to rescind that decision. That unfortunately is the way our local government procedures work. So it is the Lib Cons you should be putting your questions to.
You will also find it was the previous administration that hired Mr Farrall, when as grey_man says they should have blocked his appointment or considered him an unsuitable candidate on his previous track record alone. Why do you think Tony Fox that those most stridently defending Mr Farrall in the face of the factually real concerns of Helen Jones, the five Labour councillors and the rest of us, are Lib Dem Councillors, namely Bob Barr and Ian Marks? For them to later agree Helen Jones et al were right would be tantamount to admitting the Lib Cons were wrong with their original selection. You are right in saying Mr Farrall is unfit for purpose. But since the Lib Con administration voted him his 9% rise with added benefits in 2009, their successors had no power to rescind that decision. That unfortunately is the way our local government procedures work. So it is the Lib Cons you should be putting your questions to. Karlar

10:34am Fri 22 Feb 13

Nick Tessla says...

If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal?


The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts.


The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally.
If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal? The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts. The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally. Nick Tessla

11:50am Fri 22 Feb 13

grey_man says...

It's all a waste of breath. if the council thought he was the best person for the job in spite of his horrendous track record in Chester, there's no hope now.

How long before the next scandal? I'm going for a Peel Hall related revelation shortly after March 7th.
It's all a waste of breath. if the council thought he was the best person for the job in spite of his horrendous track record in Chester, there's no hope now. How long before the next scandal? I'm going for a Peel Hall related revelation shortly after March 7th. grey_man

12:26pm Fri 22 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
It's all a waste of breath. if the council thought he was the best person for the job in spite of his horrendous track record in Chester, there's no hope now.

How long before the next scandal? I'm going for a Peel Hall related revelation shortly after March 7th.
You dwell on his mistakes dismissing all his vast range of experience in planning. The MP and some attention seeking Councillors are doing the same.

I agree with Nick Tessla's last comments and consider them to be an example of intelligent thinking.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: It's all a waste of breath. if the council thought he was the best person for the job in spite of his horrendous track record in Chester, there's no hope now. How long before the next scandal? I'm going for a Peel Hall related revelation shortly after March 7th.[/p][/quote]You dwell on his mistakes dismissing all his vast range of experience in planning. The MP and some attention seeking Councillors are doing the same. I agree with Nick Tessla's last comments and consider them to be an example of intelligent thinking. SAC_in_Warrington

2:53pm Fri 22 Feb 13

grey_man says...

Don't you think if we could rely on his 'vast experience' he wouldn't keep making 'mistakes'?

I believe that experience is not by itself much of a quality without competence and probity. It's one or both of those last two that are missing, not the first.
Don't you think if we could rely on his 'vast experience' he wouldn't keep making 'mistakes'? I believe that experience is not by itself much of a quality without competence and probity. It's one or both of those last two that are missing, not the first. grey_man

3:05pm Fri 22 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
Don't you think if we could rely on his 'vast experience' he wouldn't keep making 'mistakes'?

I believe that experience is not by itself much of a quality without competence and probity. It's one or both of those last two that are missing, not the first.
Most peole learn by making mistakes, in all probability so will you! Although probably not, from my observations of your past and current comments. You are still not offering a viable solution and I also observe that you are being very, verey selective in your comments and critical review.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: Don't you think if we could rely on his 'vast experience' he wouldn't keep making 'mistakes'? I believe that experience is not by itself much of a quality without competence and probity. It's one or both of those last two that are missing, not the first.[/p][/quote]Most peole learn by making mistakes, in all probability so will you! Although probably not, from my observations of your past and current comments. You are still not offering a viable solution and I also observe that you are being very, verey selective in your comments and critical review. SAC_in_Warrington

3:34pm Fri 22 Feb 13

grey_man says...

I have offered a viable solution and it's the same as yours. It is that councillors need to deal with the problems with the planning department. They have needed to do it for years and have refused or neglected to do it. They need to work with the council's management to ensure these things don't happen every few weeks as is currently the case. That requires a change of culture and the implementation of adequate management including acknowledgment of good work and disciplinary procedures for serious failures. We don't know whether those things are happening but we do know the department continues to lurch from one disaster to another so even if they are being introduced, it's not working.

I'm not being selective. My opinion is that a scandal-ridden department shouldn't have appointed somebody with Andy Farrall's track record to run it. What was needed was a new broom, not someone fresh from the High Court. I cannot begin to fathom what possessed somebody in the council to offer him the job given his track record. It simply beggars belief.
I have offered a viable solution and it's the same as yours. It is that councillors need to deal with the problems with the planning department. They have needed to do it for years and have refused or neglected to do it. They need to work with the council's management to ensure these things don't happen every few weeks as is currently the case. That requires a change of culture and the implementation of adequate management including acknowledgment of good work and disciplinary procedures for serious failures. We don't know whether those things are happening but we do know the department continues to lurch from one disaster to another so even if they are being introduced, it's not working. I'm not being selective. My opinion is that a scandal-ridden department shouldn't have appointed somebody with Andy Farrall's track record to run it. What was needed was a new broom, not someone fresh from the High Court. I cannot begin to fathom what possessed somebody in the council to offer him the job given his track record. It simply beggars belief. grey_man

3:48pm Fri 22 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
I have offered a viable solution and it's the same as yours. It is that councillors need to deal with the problems with the planning department. They have needed to do it for years and have refused or neglected to do it. They need to work with the council's management to ensure these things don't happen every few weeks as is currently the case. That requires a change of culture and the implementation of adequate management including acknowledgment of good work and disciplinary procedures for serious failures. We don't know whether those things are happening but we do know the department continues to lurch from one disaster to another so even if they are being introduced, it's not working.

I'm not being selective. My opinion is that a scandal-ridden department shouldn't have appointed somebody with Andy Farrall's track record to run it. What was needed was a new broom, not someone fresh from the High Court. I cannot begin to fathom what possessed somebody in the council to offer him the job given his track record. It simply beggars belief.
I agree that we have shared some of the basic information on this issue however we have come to differing solutions. We have even agreed that employment procedures are in place for the scrutiny of such appointments and i have no doubt that the Council have taken learned legal advice and are implementing it so much so that the person as you suggest will not be fired because the council have yet again muddied the waters by their own Council are obviously moving forward with the evidence and information that they have irrespective of whatever we care to comment on it or not.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: I have offered a viable solution and it's the same as yours. It is that councillors need to deal with the problems with the planning department. They have needed to do it for years and have refused or neglected to do it. They need to work with the council's management to ensure these things don't happen every few weeks as is currently the case. That requires a change of culture and the implementation of adequate management including acknowledgment of good work and disciplinary procedures for serious failures. We don't know whether those things are happening but we do know the department continues to lurch from one disaster to another so even if they are being introduced, it's not working. I'm not being selective. My opinion is that a scandal-ridden department shouldn't have appointed somebody with Andy Farrall's track record to run it. What was needed was a new broom, not someone fresh from the High Court. I cannot begin to fathom what possessed somebody in the council to offer him the job given his track record. It simply beggars belief.[/p][/quote]I agree that we have shared some of the basic information on this issue however we have come to differing solutions. We have even agreed that employment procedures are in place for the scrutiny of such appointments and i have no doubt that the Council have taken learned legal advice and are implementing it so much so that the person as you suggest will not be fired because the council have yet again muddied the waters by their own Council are obviously moving forward with the evidence and information that they have irrespective of whatever we care to comment on it or not. SAC_in_Warrington

5:47am Sat 23 Feb 13

MikeJT says...

"Yet Labour has always sold us the idea that to recruit the best in the public sector you have to pay the going rate to attract the best."

They should have gone looking for the best in the private sector. They would have got a better worker for probably less money.
"Yet Labour has always sold us the idea that to recruit the best in the public sector you have to pay the going rate to attract the best." They should have gone looking for the best in the private sector. They would have got a better worker for probably less money. MikeJT

9:50am Sun 24 Feb 13

grey_man says...

SAC

I'm glad you've jumped to those conclusions. I'll wait until I see some evidence of change before I reach them. The experience of them denying the people of Warrington the decision on Peel Hall makes me think it's all still a long way from being sorted.

And still, funny how all these mistakes benefit developers rather than hamper them, don't you think? I've always assumed mistakes tend to lead to random outcomes but obviously not.
SAC I'm glad you've jumped to those conclusions. I'll wait until I see some evidence of change before I reach them. The experience of them denying the people of Warrington the decision on Peel Hall makes me think it's all still a long way from being sorted. And still, funny how all these mistakes benefit developers rather than hamper them, don't you think? I've always assumed mistakes tend to lead to random outcomes but obviously not. grey_man

11:39am Sun 24 Feb 13

Karlar says...

SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.
SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough. Karlar

2:08pm Sun 24 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Karlar wrote:
SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.
It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos",

If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man?
[quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.[/p][/quote]It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos", If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man? SAC_in_Warrington

3:30pm Sun 24 Feb 13

grey_man says...

Could you be any more patronising?

I've actually met my councillor in person on this matter. And the local MP responsible for Peel Hall has the number of this department, doesn't she?

We know of illegal acts which went unpunished. We know of maladministrations that went unpunished. It's not the knowledge of illegality or maladministration that's the issue. It's the lack of action.

Of course justice should be done. But it simply isn't which is why we have to witness the council standing by while people's property and personal safety is being threatened by a developer, why breaches of planning consents go unpunished, why records are destroyed, why the department takes control of major planning issues away from the people of this town, why they sell council land off for a fraction of its value in very odd circumstances and why it all keeps happening over and over again.
Could you be any more patronising? I've actually met my councillor in person on this matter. And the local MP responsible for Peel Hall has the number of this department, doesn't she? We know of illegal acts which went unpunished. We know of maladministrations that went unpunished. It's not the knowledge of illegality or maladministration that's the issue. It's the lack of action. Of course justice should be done. But it simply isn't which is why we have to witness the council standing by while people's property and personal safety is being threatened by a developer, why breaches of planning consents go unpunished, why records are destroyed, why the department takes control of major planning issues away from the people of this town, why they sell council land off for a fraction of its value in very odd circumstances and why it all keeps happening over and over again. grey_man

4:31pm Sun 24 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
Could you be any more patronising?

I've actually met my councillor in person on this matter. And the local MP responsible for Peel Hall has the number of this department, doesn't she?

We know of illegal acts which went unpunished. We know of maladministrations that went unpunished. It's not the knowledge of illegality or maladministration that's the issue. It's the lack of action.

Of course justice should be done. But it simply isn't which is why we have to witness the council standing by while people's property and personal safety is being threatened by a developer, why breaches of planning consents go unpunished, why records are destroyed, why the department takes control of major planning issues away from the people of this town, why they sell council land off for a fraction of its value in very odd circumstances and why it all keeps happening over and over again.
You appear to have a monial view, I was simply suggesting further action you could take if your were closely involved in the issue. I am sure that by using yiur business acumin you should be able to put your case to the relevent parties, however you are unable to do so or are unwilling to risk using the discreditabl information that you are peddling. It is not entirely clear that you have a concreat case to present, there is considerable ammounts of information about the olanning department that you clearly do not have access to. Why havent you contacted your M.P. as I am sure that you would, in all probability have suggested that other people contact theirs? Perhaps more action than words on your and Karlar's part may be a better focus for your combined discredditing of the solitory group of people titled as The Planning Department or the LPA!
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: Could you be any more patronising? I've actually met my councillor in person on this matter. And the local MP responsible for Peel Hall has the number of this department, doesn't she? We know of illegal acts which went unpunished. We know of maladministrations that went unpunished. It's not the knowledge of illegality or maladministration that's the issue. It's the lack of action. Of course justice should be done. But it simply isn't which is why we have to witness the council standing by while people's property and personal safety is being threatened by a developer, why breaches of planning consents go unpunished, why records are destroyed, why the department takes control of major planning issues away from the people of this town, why they sell council land off for a fraction of its value in very odd circumstances and why it all keeps happening over and over again.[/p][/quote]You appear to have a monial view, I was simply suggesting further action you could take if your were closely involved in the issue. I am sure that by using yiur business acumin you should be able to put your case to the relevent parties, however you are unable to do so or are unwilling to risk using the discreditabl information that you are peddling. It is not entirely clear that you have a concreat case to present, there is considerable ammounts of information about the olanning department that you clearly do not have access to. Why havent you contacted your M.P. as I am sure that you would, in all probability have suggested that other people contact theirs? Perhaps more action than words on your and Karlar's part may be a better focus for your combined discredditing of the solitory group of people titled as The Planning Department or the LPA! SAC_in_Warrington

4:55pm Sun 24 Feb 13

Karlar says...

SAC_in_Warrington wrote:
Karlar wrote:
SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.
It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos",

If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man?
If we seem to be agreed that justice should be done and seen to be done, perhaps you would explain why so far it has not and why any actions towards that obejctive, if there are any, have proceeded at glacial pace?
My criticisms are not based on journalistic comments or opinions in the public domain. They are however based on indisputable facts or documents in the public domain and other documents shown to me by those who have been and continue to be on the receiving end of this unacceptable situation. All this information has been given to my local councillor and will I understand be put into the public domain.
[quote][p][bold]SAC_in_Warrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.[/p][/quote]It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos", If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man?[/p][/quote]If we seem to be agreed that justice should be done and seen to be done, perhaps you would explain why so far it has not and why any actions towards that obejctive, if there are any, have proceeded at glacial pace? My criticisms are not based on journalistic comments or opinions in the public domain. They are however based on indisputable facts or documents in the public domain and other documents shown to me by those who have been and continue to be on the receiving end of this unacceptable situation. All this information has been given to my local councillor and will I understand be put into the public domain. Karlar

7:28pm Sun 24 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Karlar wrote:
SAC_in_Warrington wrote:
Karlar wrote:
SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.
It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos",

If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man?
If we seem to be agreed that justice should be done and seen to be done, perhaps you would explain why so far it has not and why any actions towards that obejctive, if there are any, have proceeded at glacial pace?
My criticisms are not based on journalistic comments or opinions in the public domain. They are however based on indisputable facts or documents in the public domain and other documents shown to me by those who have been and continue to be on the receiving end of this unacceptable situation. All this information has been given to my local councillor and will I understand be put into the public domain.
The situation will probably remain in status quo, as no further evidence is clearly available for any further action, and particularly the actions that you have enthusiastically proposed. As I've previously observed you appear to have taken an insistently blinkered view on current and previous planning issues and you will without doubt, not be able to make any sense from whatever you may have read, seen or heard. There have been other people who were more capable and more qualified than you appear to be and who have published their findings. In addition they appear now to be not so concerned with the department you passionately condemn.
[quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]SAC_in_Warrington[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: SAC said "Most people learn by making mistakes..." Except that is if you are in some way associated with or employed in selected departments of WBC. Like many residents I have lost count of the number of times we have been told "lessons have been learned" as one planning maladministration follows another in a whole string of them and each internal inquiry offers up the usual worthless platitude. Rather than learning from their mistakes our lot seem to revel in getting away, or being allowed to get away, with their mistakes without ever being called to account. Evading responsibily and not being held to account for your actions have become an art form in this borough.[/p][/quote]It is my understanding that there is at least, always two sided to every story. Most of you seem to base your arguments on the journalistic comments and opinionsthat are in the public domain. I believe that there is much more information that has not and will unlikely be made public because if its private and confidential nature. Warrington has has a multitude of planninging applications considered durint the current tenure of its executive director, and the overwhelming majority of them have been dealt with in a proficient and correct manner. The evidence is on public record and available on the internet. Additional here does seem to be a monitorium on the council, its members and its officers not to be discussing the "Planning Fiascos", If you and gray_man are so closely affected by the Peel Hall issue then please contact the appropriate people i.e. your local councillor, your local Police Inspector, your local M.P., The Chief Executive and the Governt Minister responsible for planning regulations and I think you should take the time to present all the evidence of maladministration, any illeagal acts that you know about instead of waisting your time moaning and sniping here on this site. I am still of the opinion that Justice must be done and it should be absolutly be seen to be done! Is that askinf too much of you, and Gray_man?[/p][/quote]If we seem to be agreed that justice should be done and seen to be done, perhaps you would explain why so far it has not and why any actions towards that obejctive, if there are any, have proceeded at glacial pace? My criticisms are not based on journalistic comments or opinions in the public domain. They are however based on indisputable facts or documents in the public domain and other documents shown to me by those who have been and continue to be on the receiving end of this unacceptable situation. All this information has been given to my local councillor and will I understand be put into the public domain.[/p][/quote]The situation will probably remain in status quo, as no further evidence is clearly available for any further action, and particularly the actions that you have enthusiastically proposed. As I've previously observed you appear to have taken an insistently blinkered view on current and previous planning issues and you will without doubt, not be able to make any sense from whatever you may have read, seen or heard. There have been other people who were more capable and more qualified than you appear to be and who have published their findings. In addition they appear now to be not so concerned with the department you passionately condemn. SAC_in_Warrington

6:49am Mon 25 Feb 13

grey_man says...

You are funny. I've already told you I've actually met with one councillor and communicated with others. My MP doesn't represent the people most affected by the planning disasters, but the one whose constituents are involved is calling for the head of the department. Enough?

I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity, but this is a department that we know behaved unlawfully then covered up for it en masse. We also know the head of the department, who is indeed vastly more experienced than me, allowed a factory to be built without planning permission. Forgive me if I don't accept that we should now trust them.

Even the people defending this department are saying that it still needs major changes. Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it?

And what does monial mean?
You are funny. I've already told you I've actually met with one councillor and communicated with others. My MP doesn't represent the people most affected by the planning disasters, but the one whose constituents are involved is calling for the head of the department. Enough? I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity, but this is a department that we know behaved unlawfully then covered up for it en masse. We also know the head of the department, who is indeed vastly more experienced than me, allowed a factory to be built without planning permission. Forgive me if I don't accept that we should now trust them. Even the people defending this department are saying that it still needs major changes. Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it? And what does monial mean? grey_man

9:50am Mon 25 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
You are funny. I've already told you I've actually met with one councillor and communicated with others. My MP doesn't represent the people most affected by the planning disasters, but the one whose constituents are involved is calling for the head of the department. Enough?

I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity, but this is a department that we know behaved unlawfully then covered up for it en masse. We also know the head of the department, who is indeed vastly more experienced than me, allowed a factory to be built without planning permission. Forgive me if I don't accept that we should now trust them.

Even the people defending this department are saying that it still needs major changes. Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it?

And what does monial mean?
First, I am pleased that I've at least amused you somewhat. Yes, I am aware that you have stated many times that you have met with your councillor(s). Yes, I do understand that you still haven't met with your MP and you insist that you have no intentions of doing so, that is also very clear. You postulate so often on this issue without all the necessary facts to firm up your information base and therefor you are without any or very little good reasoning. Then you so naïvely come to so many frustrating and mostly inaccurate conclusions, then furthermore you compound this action with asking other people why things have not happened as you so emphatically expected. That is unless you have sight or hearing of information that is confidential, perhaps from a Warrington Borough councillor or officer who is connected with the issues that you, and Karlar, so effortlessly, and in some way so inaccurately describe without all the facts! I therefore remain inexorable on both your and Karlar’s comments.

As for you stating that, “I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity.”; this is yet another assumption on your part because we have agreed in the past that clearly things have happened and some form of disciplinary action should have been applied. However it may well have been applied in private, but again not to your satisfaction as a “business man” and an employer.

You go on to state, “Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it?”. This is another one of your statements that is part of your postulations and is in my opinion so spartan of any true accuracy. Is this every few weeks in the tenure of someone, from the establishment of the LPA or some other time period you plucked from your mind? Perhaps then we will agree on your suggestion of letting them get on with it as I dare to suggest that this is your best and most logical piece of advice or suggestion so far in you comments.

And finally the best way to look up words that you are not familiar with would be to use a common research technique for such an experienced person, like using a dictionary. These are available in stationers, book shops, at office suppliers and on line. I don’t propose to do your research for you as you obviously need the practice.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: You are funny. I've already told you I've actually met with one councillor and communicated with others. My MP doesn't represent the people most affected by the planning disasters, but the one whose constituents are involved is calling for the head of the department. Enough? I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity, but this is a department that we know behaved unlawfully then covered up for it en masse. We also know the head of the department, who is indeed vastly more experienced than me, allowed a factory to be built without planning permission. Forgive me if I don't accept that we should now trust them. Even the people defending this department are saying that it still needs major changes. Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it? And what does monial mean?[/p][/quote]First, I am pleased that I've at least amused you somewhat. Yes, I am aware that you have stated many times that you have met with your councillor(s). Yes, I do understand that you still haven't met with your MP and you insist that you have no intentions of doing so, that is also very clear. You postulate so often on this issue without all the necessary facts to firm up your information base and therefor you are without any or very little good reasoning. Then you so naïvely come to so many frustrating and mostly inaccurate conclusions, then furthermore you compound this action with asking other people why things have not happened as you so emphatically expected. That is unless you have sight or hearing of information that is confidential, perhaps from a Warrington Borough councillor or officer who is connected with the issues that you, and Karlar, so effortlessly, and in some way so inaccurately describe without all the facts! I therefore remain inexorable on both your and Karlar’s comments. As for you stating that, “I admire your faith in everybody involved behaving with probity.”; this is yet another assumption on your part because we have agreed in the past that clearly things have happened and some form of disciplinary action should have been applied. However it may well have been applied in private, but again not to your satisfaction as a “business man” and an employer. You go on to state, “Still we encounter some new disaster every few weeks. But we're all supposed to let them get on with it?”. This is another one of your statements that is part of your postulations and is in my opinion so spartan of any true accuracy. Is this every few weeks in the tenure of someone, from the establishment of the LPA or some other time period you plucked from your mind? Perhaps then we will agree on your suggestion of letting them get on with it as I dare to suggest that this is your best and most logical piece of advice or suggestion so far in you comments. And finally the best way to look up words that you are not familiar with would be to use a common research technique for such an experienced person, like using a dictionary. These are available in stationers, book shops, at office suppliers and on line. I don’t propose to do your research for you as you obviously need the practice. SAC_in_Warrington

10:35am Mon 25 Feb 13

grey_man says...

I'll consider myself well patronised shall I?

I haven't plucked anything from my mind. Just dealing with the facts as they appear coupled with the knowledge that when faced with genuinely major problems, big organisations habitually try to hide them. Read the news today.

My concern with this is that the failures in planing not only harm the people immediately affected, it undermines democracy in the town. Even now the planning team has created a situation in which the people of Warrington can't decide what happens with their own land. But that's all right by you, along with a quick tug of your forelock to the council.

My view is that if they are taking action - and they might be - it isn't working. I can infer that from the fact we keep seeing them screw up.

Oh and thanks for your advice about dictionaries. Can you be more specific and tell me in which one 'monial' can be found. I might be using the wrong language.
I'll consider myself well patronised shall I? I haven't plucked anything from my mind. Just dealing with the facts as they appear coupled with the knowledge that when faced with genuinely major problems, big organisations habitually try to hide them. Read the news today. My concern with this is that the failures in planing not only harm the people immediately affected, it undermines democracy in the town. Even now the planning team has created a situation in which the people of Warrington can't decide what happens with their own land. But that's all right by you, along with a quick tug of your forelock to the council. My view is that if they are taking action - and they might be - it isn't working. I can infer that from the fact we keep seeing them screw up. Oh and thanks for your advice about dictionaries. Can you be more specific and tell me in which one 'monial' can be found. I might be using the wrong language. grey_man

11:26am Mon 25 Feb 13

Karlar says...

Monial = mullion in a window (orig. Middle English from Old French moinel)
It is wrong and impolite to deny people the right to express their views whatever they are. Whether they arise from a failure to understand the nub of the argument, or the need words taken from The Meaning of Liff dictionary to clarify their meaning, or even from ignorance.
Monial = mullion in a window (orig. Middle English from Old French moinel) It is wrong and impolite to deny people the right to express their views whatever they are. Whether they arise from a failure to understand the nub of the argument, or the need words taken from The Meaning of Liff dictionary to clarify their meaning, or even from ignorance. Karlar

12:03pm Mon 25 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Karlar wrote:
Monial = mullion in a window (orig. Middle English from Old French moinel)
It is wrong and impolite to deny people the right to express their views whatever they are. Whether they arise from a failure to understand the nub of the argument, or the need words taken from The Meaning of Liff dictionary to clarify their meaning, or even from ignorance.
Karlar, these are your chosen monial thoughts and your terms of expressing them, and not mine. I understand that we agree then, on the rights we all have of free speech! However I do think it is wrong and impolite to deny people and institutions the right to justice and correct information. Additionally I sincerely hope that we could agree on that particular point, and one that I have so often stressed in my past comments.

Just one personal point I want to make clear. I have a vocabulary that doesn't require me to use either a dictionary or a thesaurus when making comments, expressing my opinion or making speeches. Non the less I still have copies available should the need ever arise.
[quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: Monial = mullion in a window (orig. Middle English from Old French moinel) It is wrong and impolite to deny people the right to express their views whatever they are. Whether they arise from a failure to understand the nub of the argument, or the need words taken from The Meaning of Liff dictionary to clarify their meaning, or even from ignorance.[/p][/quote]Karlar, these are your chosen monial thoughts and your terms of expressing them, and not mine. I understand that we agree then, on the rights we all have of free speech! However I do think it is wrong and impolite to deny people and institutions the right to justice and correct information. Additionally I sincerely hope that we could agree on that particular point, and one that I have so often stressed in my past comments. Just one personal point I want to make clear. I have a vocabulary that doesn't require me to use either a dictionary or a thesaurus when making comments, expressing my opinion or making speeches. Non the less I still have copies available should the need ever arise. SAC_in_Warrington

12:23pm Mon 25 Feb 13

Karlar says...

John Precott has a vocabulary and no doubt a dictionary. But most times it does not make him any easier to understand. No slight intended in your direction.
It seems we are agreed justice must be done, but the disagreement is how this might best be achieved and at the same time restore trust to an organization in which it is singularly lacking. This has been so for more years than most Warringtonians can remember.
In the currect climate of pass the local authority responsibility parcel we seem to be going nowhere.
John Precott has a vocabulary and no doubt a dictionary. But most times it does not make him any easier to understand. No slight intended in your direction. It seems we are agreed justice must be done, but the disagreement is how this might best be achieved and at the same time restore trust to an organization in which it is singularly lacking. This has been so for more years than most Warringtonians can remember. In the currect climate of pass the local authority responsibility parcel we seem to be going nowhere. Karlar

12:25pm Mon 25 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
I'll consider myself well patronised shall I?

I haven't plucked anything from my mind. Just dealing with the facts as they appear coupled with the knowledge that when faced with genuinely major problems, big organisations habitually try to hide them. Read the news today.

My concern with this is that the failures in planing not only harm the people immediately affected, it undermines democracy in the town. Even now the planning team has created a situation in which the people of Warrington can't decide what happens with their own land. But that's all right by you, along with a quick tug of your forelock to the council.

My view is that if they are taking action - and they might be - it isn't working. I can infer that from the fact we keep seeing them screw up.

Oh and thanks for your advice about dictionaries. Can you be more specific and tell me in which one 'monial' can be found. I might be using the wrong language.
Grey_man, you may feel well patronised, if that is what you want, it is not I that controls your feelings.

The facts as they appear are clearly incomplete and the remaining facts that you seek are not in the public domain. Is that not obvious to you? Therefore in my considered opinion to make a case on incomplete information is diabolical on your part, however I can accept that it is your personal opinion that you appear also to share the same opinion that is consistent with that of other people. In my opinion your postulating does not make it correct, therefore your argument becomes dislocated and unjust.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: I'll consider myself well patronised shall I? I haven't plucked anything from my mind. Just dealing with the facts as they appear coupled with the knowledge that when faced with genuinely major problems, big organisations habitually try to hide them. Read the news today. My concern with this is that the failures in planing not only harm the people immediately affected, it undermines democracy in the town. Even now the planning team has created a situation in which the people of Warrington can't decide what happens with their own land. But that's all right by you, along with a quick tug of your forelock to the council. My view is that if they are taking action - and they might be - it isn't working. I can infer that from the fact we keep seeing them screw up. Oh and thanks for your advice about dictionaries. Can you be more specific and tell me in which one 'monial' can be found. I might be using the wrong language.[/p][/quote]Grey_man, you may feel well patronised, if that is what you want, it is not I that controls your feelings. The facts as they appear are clearly incomplete and the remaining facts that you seek are not in the public domain. Is that not obvious to you? Therefore in my considered opinion to make a case on incomplete information is diabolical on your part, however I can accept that it is your personal opinion that you appear also to share the same opinion that is consistent with that of other people. In my opinion your postulating does not make it correct, therefore your argument becomes dislocated and unjust. SAC_in_Warrington

12:40pm Mon 25 Feb 13

grey_man says...

I'm still trying to work out what monial means before I can even begin to work out what that's all about. You can't just throw words at a screen and hope they make sense.

Let's just agree on this. I have more reason to believe that whatever they are doing to improve the planning department isn't working than you have to believe it is. The reason is simple. They have just screwed up the Borough's most important planing issue in favour of a developer.

Whereas the evidence you have that all is hunky-dory is.... none existent.
I'm still trying to work out what monial means before I can even begin to work out what that's all about. You can't just throw words at a screen and hope they make sense. Let's just agree on this. I have more reason to believe that whatever they are doing to improve the planning department isn't working than you have to believe it is. The reason is simple. They have just screwed up the Borough's most important planing issue in favour of a developer. Whereas the evidence you have that all is hunky-dory is.... none existent. grey_man

11:23pm Tue 26 Feb 13

Geoff Siddall says...

Nick Tessla wrote:
If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal?


The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts.


The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally.
I agree with Nick concerning a police investigation.
Would the the end result of the police investigation bge made public.
Warrington Police have not made public via the local newspaper / radio a serious incident that occurred on 19th February 2013 in Woolston Park, About 05.15 hrs as a 60 year old man walked to work he was attacked by a gang of six welding crow bars leaving him seriously injured and battered in -3 temperatures. He was able to get up and walk the few yards to his work place where the police and ambulance were called.

This group had been seen on previous occasions. This man could have died and the public have a right to know about serious incidents inorder to asist the poilce and to be aware of whats going on in their neighbourhood. The Warrington guardian tell me that they have contacted the police and to date not received any details.

So returining to the article I ask would the police investigation into the Council be made public?
[quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal? The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts. The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally.[/p][/quote]I agree with Nick concerning a police investigation. Would the the end result of the police investigation bge made public. Warrington Police have not made public via the local newspaper / radio a serious incident that occurred on 19th February 2013 in Woolston Park, About 05.15 hrs as a 60 year old man walked to work he was attacked by a gang of six welding crow bars leaving him seriously injured and battered in -3 temperatures. He was able to get up and walk the few yards to his work place where the police and ambulance were called. This group had been seen on previous occasions. This man could have died and the public have a right to know about serious incidents inorder to asist the poilce and to be aware of whats going on in their neighbourhood. The Warrington guardian tell me that they have contacted the police and to date not received any details. So returining to the article I ask would the police investigation into the Council be made public? Geoff Siddall

12:38am Wed 27 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
I'm still trying to work out what monial means before I can even begin to work out what that's all about. You can't just throw words at a screen and hope they make sense.

Let's just agree on this. I have more reason to believe that whatever they are doing to improve the planning department isn't working than you have to believe it is. The reason is simple. They have just screwed up the Borough's most important planing issue in favour of a developer.

Whereas the evidence you have that all is hunky-dory is.... none existent.
Karlar has offered a dictionary definition for monial. However I may have also used the words skeletal, partial, limited or scant. I don't believe that I have just thrown together random senseless words in my comments.

I can not possible agree that we know what Warrington Borough Council councillors and officers are doing to improve many of its departments because we the public do not have any access to confidential information. They appear to the general public, to have several issues with the LPA. In my opinion you certainly appear to be basing the foundations of your point of view and your arguments on speculation, conjecture, assumptions and unsupported theories. We may both be able to agree that there are some known published facts and actions, but that is all.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: I'm still trying to work out what monial means before I can even begin to work out what that's all about. You can't just throw words at a screen and hope they make sense. Let's just agree on this. I have more reason to believe that whatever they are doing to improve the planning department isn't working than you have to believe it is. The reason is simple. They have just screwed up the Borough's most important planing issue in favour of a developer. Whereas the evidence you have that all is hunky-dory is.... none existent.[/p][/quote]Karlar has offered a dictionary definition for monial. However I may have also used the words skeletal, partial, limited or scant. I don't believe that I have just thrown together random senseless words in my comments. I can not possible agree that we know what Warrington Borough Council councillors and officers are doing to improve many of its departments because we the public do not have any access to confidential information. They appear to the general public, to have several issues with the LPA. In my opinion you certainly appear to be basing the foundations of your point of view and your arguments on speculation, conjecture, assumptions and unsupported theories. We may both be able to agree that there are some known published facts and actions, but that is all. SAC_in_Warrington

6:23am Wed 27 Feb 13

grey_man says...

I agree that we don't know what they're doing with the planning department to out things right. What we do know is that it's not working.

I'm not basing anything on unsupported theories. The facts are that this department is routinely involved in mistakes, scandals and disasters of various sorts, all of which benefit the developers who stand to make money from them. Those are the facts.

What you can draw from these facts is either that the department is incompetent - which is the council's official line - or that it is corrupt. I don't know although I do think the mass destruction of records points one way. That is my personal view based on the facts and it may well be incorrect.

So that's my view - I don't know whether they are incompetent or corrupt - but I know there is no third choice. What I also know is that if the official explanation is correct, the Peel Hall debacle shows that whatever action is being taken to deal with their incompetence isn't working.

This is a department who were prepared to stand by and ignore police advice about the personal safety of Warrington residents. That fact is in the public domain, you can find it yourself. How much more serious do you need it to be than a department that is prepared to endanger the people of the town, break the law and ignore the police? Those are facts.

So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you.

As for all these 'things we don't know about'? You're absolutely right. There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite. I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly.

Oh, and nice try with the 'monial' thing.
I agree that we don't know what they're doing with the planning department to out things right. What we do know is that it's not working. I'm not basing anything on unsupported theories. The facts are that this department is routinely involved in mistakes, scandals and disasters of various sorts, all of which benefit the developers who stand to make money from them. Those are the facts. What you can draw from these facts is either that the department is incompetent - which is the council's official line - or that it is corrupt. I don't know although I do think the mass destruction of records points one way. That is my personal view based on the facts and it may well be incorrect. So that's my view - I don't know whether they are incompetent or corrupt - but I know there is no third choice. What I also know is that if the official explanation is correct, the Peel Hall debacle shows that whatever action is being taken to deal with their incompetence isn't working. This is a department who were prepared to stand by and ignore police advice about the personal safety of Warrington residents. That fact is in the public domain, you can find it yourself. How much more serious do you need it to be than a department that is prepared to endanger the people of the town, break the law and ignore the police? Those are facts. So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you. As for all these 'things we don't know about'? You're absolutely right. There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite. I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly. Oh, and nice try with the 'monial' thing. grey_man

1:55pm Wed 27 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
I agree that we don't know what they're doing with the planning department to out things right. What we do know is that it's not working.

I'm not basing anything on unsupported theories. The facts are that this department is routinely involved in mistakes, scandals and disasters of various sorts, all of which benefit the developers who stand to make money from them. Those are the facts.

What you can draw from these facts is either that the department is incompetent - which is the council's official line - or that it is corrupt. I don't know although I do think the mass destruction of records points one way. That is my personal view based on the facts and it may well be incorrect.

So that's my view - I don't know whether they are incompetent or corrupt - but I know there is no third choice. What I also know is that if the official explanation is correct, the Peel Hall debacle shows that whatever action is being taken to deal with their incompetence isn't working.

This is a department who were prepared to stand by and ignore police advice about the personal safety of Warrington residents. That fact is in the public domain, you can find it yourself. How much more serious do you need it to be than a department that is prepared to endanger the people of the town, break the law and ignore the police? Those are facts.

So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you.

As for all these 'things we don't know about'? You're absolutely right. There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite. I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly.

Oh, and nice try with the 'monial' thing.
grey man says ... "So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you."

This is not my suggestion, however it appears to be the third option that the Council prefers to take, but you don't acknowledge it, and it seems to be as viable as the other observations and suggestions that you have made.

grey man says ... "There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite."

To clarify something for you. I insist that I am not assuming that at all, the general public like me, simply do not perceive from the facts available to us to know, or make any reasoned judgement on this issue, we simply don't have all the facts. I have now reiterated this point several times in and about previous comments. It is a point that you seem to refuse to accept it at fact.

grey man says ... "I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly."

No doubt you are also waiting for her to actually do something or get others to actually do something. That could depend on how much it will affect her political party and its cohort(s) then.

We actually agree on more than you think. I also realise that we have very little influence on public opinion or within the supposedly British democratic processes!
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: I agree that we don't know what they're doing with the planning department to out things right. What we do know is that it's not working. I'm not basing anything on unsupported theories. The facts are that this department is routinely involved in mistakes, scandals and disasters of various sorts, all of which benefit the developers who stand to make money from them. Those are the facts. What you can draw from these facts is either that the department is incompetent - which is the council's official line - or that it is corrupt. I don't know although I do think the mass destruction of records points one way. That is my personal view based on the facts and it may well be incorrect. So that's my view - I don't know whether they are incompetent or corrupt - but I know there is no third choice. What I also know is that if the official explanation is correct, the Peel Hall debacle shows that whatever action is being taken to deal with their incompetence isn't working. This is a department who were prepared to stand by and ignore police advice about the personal safety of Warrington residents. That fact is in the public domain, you can find it yourself. How much more serious do you need it to be than a department that is prepared to endanger the people of the town, break the law and ignore the police? Those are facts. So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you. As for all these 'things we don't know about'? You're absolutely right. There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite. I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly. Oh, and nice try with the 'monial' thing.[/p][/quote]grey man says ... "So whatever your opinion, the response isn't 'oh well let them get on with it', as you suggest. Councillors don't believe that, a local MP doesn't believe that and the government's inspectors don't believe it. It's just you." This is not my suggestion, however it appears to be the third option that the Council prefers to take, but you don't acknowledge it, and it seems to be as viable as the other observations and suggestions that you have made. grey man says ... "There are lots of things we don't know but you're assuming these unknowns will put the planning team in a good light when it's just as likely - perhaps more so - that they will do the opposite." To clarify something for you. I insist that I am not assuming that at all, the general public like me, simply do not perceive from the facts available to us to know, or make any reasoned judgement on this issue, we simply don't have all the facts. I have now reiterated this point several times in and about previous comments. It is a point that you seem to refuse to accept it at fact. grey man says ... "I think it's extremely likely that Helen Jones knows and thinks far more than she can admit publicly." No doubt you are also waiting for her to actually do something or get others to actually do something. That could depend on how much it will affect her political party and its cohort(s) then. We actually agree on more than you think. I also realise that we have very little influence on public opinion or within the supposedly British democratic processes! SAC_in_Warrington

2:53pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Nick Tessla says...

Geoff Siddall wrote:
Nick Tessla wrote:
If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal?


The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts.


The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally.
I agree with Nick concerning a police investigation.
Would the the end result of the police investigation bge made public.
Warrington Police have not made public via the local newspaper / radio a serious incident that occurred on 19th February 2013 in Woolston Park, About 05.15 hrs as a 60 year old man walked to work he was attacked by a gang of six welding crow bars leaving him seriously injured and battered in -3 temperatures. He was able to get up and walk the few yards to his work place where the police and ambulance were called.

This group had been seen on previous occasions. This man could have died and the public have a right to know about serious incidents inorder to asist the poilce and to be aware of whats going on in their neighbourhood. The Warrington guardian tell me that they have contacted the police and to date not received any details.

So returining to the article I ask would the police investigation into the Council be made public?
Well we've heard nothing more about the investigation involving Chris Vobe and alleged hacking - so I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you.
[quote][p][bold]Geoff Siddall[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Nick Tessla[/bold] wrote: If he were to resign would he be in a position to claim unfair dismissal - the actions of the member mentioned above amounting to constructive dismissal? The Planning Department is appalling and there needs to be a Police investigation to establish whether anyone committed criminal acts. The statements by local politicians may well be made with the best of intentions and do make fine sound-bites, but they should consider whether a failure to follow correct procedures may well end up costing the council, and maybe themselves, personally.[/p][/quote]I agree with Nick concerning a police investigation. Would the the end result of the police investigation bge made public. Warrington Police have not made public via the local newspaper / radio a serious incident that occurred on 19th February 2013 in Woolston Park, About 05.15 hrs as a 60 year old man walked to work he was attacked by a gang of six welding crow bars leaving him seriously injured and battered in -3 temperatures. He was able to get up and walk the few yards to his work place where the police and ambulance were called. This group had been seen on previous occasions. This man could have died and the public have a right to know about serious incidents inorder to asist the poilce and to be aware of whats going on in their neighbourhood. The Warrington guardian tell me that they have contacted the police and to date not received any details. So returining to the article I ask would the police investigation into the Council be made public?[/p][/quote]Well we've heard nothing more about the investigation involving Chris Vobe and alleged hacking - so I wouldn't hold my breath, if I were you. Nick Tessla

4:57pm Wed 27 Feb 13

grey_man says...

Geoff

Ignore Nick. You hold your breath for as long as you like.
Geoff Ignore Nick. You hold your breath for as long as you like. grey_man

5:00pm Wed 27 Feb 13

grey_man says...

SAC

I'm not waiting for Helen Jones to do anything. The whole things a minefield and we don't know half of it.

I think we either need somebody to come out with more information about what the department is really about, possibly a whistleblower, or we need yet another scandal to blow things wide open and even then we would still need our councillors to display the cojones they've lacked so far.
SAC I'm not waiting for Helen Jones to do anything. The whole things a minefield and we don't know half of it. I think we either need somebody to come out with more information about what the department is really about, possibly a whistleblower, or we need yet another scandal to blow things wide open and even then we would still need our councillors to display the cojones they've lacked so far. grey_man

6:35pm Wed 27 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Nice one, gray man, "cojones", a good word, well used and perfectly relevant.
Nice one, gray man, "cojones", a good word, well used and perfectly relevant. SAC_in_Warrington

8:55pm Wed 27 Feb 13

Karlar says...

Regardless of SAC’s Donald Rumsfeld like assessments, of "known" and "unknown unknowns", we do know several facts about those responsible for planning and their behaviour which often benefits developers while being unhelpful to residents, to the extent it misleads them.
# They have been at too long now for their actions to be explained away as incidental lapses into basic mistakes. Have a look at www.aie.org.uk/vault
/wbc.htm and www.lgcplus.com/.../
local-government-omb
udsmen...reports these show they had as little regard for binding agreements entered into even when the Council was a party to the agreement, as they still do.
# The Marton Close disgrace confirmed the darkest side of our planning, the planners and those managing them. The failure to fully investigate what was thrown up by that investigation and the four year cover up, in the later inquiry reinforced many of the views of original report.
# If there truly was an intention to restore integrity and trust to what is a dysfunctional service, those in charge (I think it is those we elect, but I really am not sure) would have moved heaven and earth to show what went wrong and why.
# By failing to do that the Council, in its many forms has shown it is more intent on keeping a tight hold on what went wrong rather than showing it has integrity and is worthy of trust.
# The assurances we have been given over the years, some quite recently, that lessons have been learned are meaningless, because clearly have not.
#Now to put a different spin on things and add a sheen or respectability about the latest fiascos it has recently been said our experienced, highly paid planners are too inexperienced for the work they are doing.
# If this is so why are those who were involved in the previous mismanagement of planning are still being used to brief and advise councillors? Why are they involved in any way on the Peel Hall scheme?
Regardless of SAC’s Donald Rumsfeld like assessments, of "known" and "unknown unknowns", we do know several facts about those responsible for planning and their behaviour which often benefits developers while being unhelpful to residents, to the extent it misleads them. # They have been at too long now for their actions to be explained away as incidental lapses into basic mistakes. Have a look at www.aie.org.uk/vault /wbc.htm and www.lgcplus.com/.../ local-government-omb udsmen...reports these show they had as little regard for binding agreements entered into even when the Council was a party to the agreement, as they still do. # The Marton Close disgrace confirmed the darkest side of our planning, the planners and those managing them. The failure to fully investigate what was thrown up by that investigation and the four year cover up, in the later inquiry reinforced many of the views of original report. # If there truly was an intention to restore integrity and trust to what is a dysfunctional service, those in charge (I think it is those we elect, but I really am not sure) would have moved heaven and earth to show what went wrong and why. # By failing to do that the Council, in its many forms has shown it is more intent on keeping a tight hold on what went wrong rather than showing it has integrity and is worthy of trust. # The assurances we have been given over the years, some quite recently, that lessons have been learned are meaningless, because clearly have not. #Now to put a different spin on things and add a sheen or respectability about the latest fiascos it has recently been said our experienced, highly paid planners are too inexperienced for the work they are doing. # If this is so why are those who were involved in the previous mismanagement of planning are still being used to brief and advise councillors? Why are they involved in any way on the Peel Hall scheme? Karlar

9:55pm Wed 27 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

Karlar wrote:
Regardless of SAC’s Donald Rumsfeld like assessments, of "known" and "unknown unknowns", we do know several facts about those responsible for planning and their behaviour which often benefits developers while being unhelpful to residents, to the extent it misleads them.
# They have been at too long now for their actions to be explained away as incidental lapses into basic mistakes. Have a look at www.aie.org.uk/vault

/wbc.htm and www.lgcplus.com/.../

local-government-omb

udsmen...reports these show they had as little regard for binding agreements entered into even when the Council was a party to the agreement, as they still do.
# The Marton Close disgrace confirmed the darkest side of our planning, the planners and those managing them. The failure to fully investigate what was thrown up by that investigation and the four year cover up, in the later inquiry reinforced many of the views of original report.
# If there truly was an intention to restore integrity and trust to what is a dysfunctional service, those in charge (I think it is those we elect, but I really am not sure) would have moved heaven and earth to show what went wrong and why.
# By failing to do that the Council, in its many forms has shown it is more intent on keeping a tight hold on what went wrong rather than showing it has integrity and is worthy of trust.
# The assurances we have been given over the years, some quite recently, that lessons have been learned are meaningless, because clearly have not.
#Now to put a different spin on things and add a sheen or respectability about the latest fiascos it has recently been said our experienced, highly paid planners are too inexperienced for the work they are doing.
# If this is so why are those who were involved in the previous mismanagement of planning are still being used to brief and advise councillors? Why are they involved in any way on the Peel Hall scheme?
Perhaps you should convey these thoughts via a letter to the acting Chief Executive, the Council "Leader" and the main spokesperson for each of the Political parties. I therefore say this tongue in cheek, you may even get a response, coherent or otherwise. They, one or all, may even just ignore your heartfelt thoughts and not comment on anything but incidental and vaguely connected information.

However, whatever happens I am still waiting like most of the Warrington General Public for Warrington Borough Council to confirm the known truth and the unknown truth before I consider if any Justice in the alleged and actual planning insurrections that have happened and those you have commented on is placed in the public domain.

Just thought that it would be better to put your comments in writing to those mentioned, and to some degree culpable in your considerably described debacle. I personally think that it would much better to pursue this alternative strategy than only lodging it on this impotent, Warrington Guardian comments site.
[quote][p][bold]Karlar[/bold] wrote: Regardless of SAC’s Donald Rumsfeld like assessments, of "known" and "unknown unknowns", we do know several facts about those responsible for planning and their behaviour which often benefits developers while being unhelpful to residents, to the extent it misleads them. # They have been at too long now for their actions to be explained away as incidental lapses into basic mistakes. Have a look at www.aie.org.uk/vault /wbc.htm and www.lgcplus.com/.../ local-government-omb udsmen...reports these show they had as little regard for binding agreements entered into even when the Council was a party to the agreement, as they still do. # The Marton Close disgrace confirmed the darkest side of our planning, the planners and those managing them. The failure to fully investigate what was thrown up by that investigation and the four year cover up, in the later inquiry reinforced many of the views of original report. # If there truly was an intention to restore integrity and trust to what is a dysfunctional service, those in charge (I think it is those we elect, but I really am not sure) would have moved heaven and earth to show what went wrong and why. # By failing to do that the Council, in its many forms has shown it is more intent on keeping a tight hold on what went wrong rather than showing it has integrity and is worthy of trust. # The assurances we have been given over the years, some quite recently, that lessons have been learned are meaningless, because clearly have not. #Now to put a different spin on things and add a sheen or respectability about the latest fiascos it has recently been said our experienced, highly paid planners are too inexperienced for the work they are doing. # If this is so why are those who were involved in the previous mismanagement of planning are still being used to brief and advise councillors? Why are they involved in any way on the Peel Hall scheme?[/p][/quote]Perhaps you should convey these thoughts via a letter to the acting Chief Executive, the Council "Leader" and the main spokesperson for each of the Political parties. I therefore say this tongue in cheek, you may even get a response, coherent or otherwise. They, one or all, may even just ignore your heartfelt thoughts and not comment on anything but incidental and vaguely connected information. However, whatever happens I am still waiting like most of the Warrington General Public for Warrington Borough Council to confirm the known truth and the unknown truth before I consider if any Justice in the alleged and actual planning insurrections that have happened and those you have commented on is placed in the public domain. Just thought that it would be better to put your comments in writing to those mentioned, and to some degree culpable in your considerably described debacle. I personally think that it would much better to pursue this alternative strategy than only lodging it on this impotent, Warrington Guardian comments site. SAC_in_Warrington

7:41am Thu 28 Feb 13

grey_man says...

SAC

That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them. I can assure you of that. Some councillors even contribute, often to turn everything into some daft political point scoring rather than dealing with the issues. Ian Marks is the worst for that in my opinion, but he's not alone.

My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat. But everything we know about them proves this is not the case. Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No.

He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag.

I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting.

This is the same way they have treated the issue of John Earle. Generally people only destroy records for one reason. In his case he was routinely working with developers who had a lot of money at stake and planning is open to corruption like few other local government functions. That is why he should have been investigated by the police, not some internal report signed off by people with a vested interest in its conclusions.

If he is innocent, that would then be an end to it. But if he is guilty then it would blow up in the face of the council. That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open.
SAC That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them. I can assure you of that. Some councillors even contribute, often to turn everything into some daft political point scoring rather than dealing with the issues. Ian Marks is the worst for that in my opinion, but he's not alone. My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat. But everything we know about them proves this is not the case. Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No. He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag. I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting. This is the same way they have treated the issue of John Earle. Generally people only destroy records for one reason. In his case he was routinely working with developers who had a lot of money at stake and planning is open to corruption like few other local government functions. That is why he should have been investigated by the police, not some internal report signed off by people with a vested interest in its conclusions. If he is innocent, that would then be an end to it. But if he is guilty then it would blow up in the face of the council. That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open. grey_man

10:13am Thu 28 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
SAC

That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them. I can assure you of that. Some councillors even contribute, often to turn everything into some daft political point scoring rather than dealing with the issues. Ian Marks is the worst for that in my opinion, but he's not alone.

My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat. But everything we know about them proves this is not the case. Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No.

He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag.

I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting.

This is the same way they have treated the issue of John Earle. Generally people only destroy records for one reason. In his case he was routinely working with developers who had a lot of money at stake and planning is open to corruption like few other local government functions. That is why he should have been investigated by the police, not some internal report signed off by people with a vested interest in its conclusions.

If he is innocent, that would then be an end to it. But if he is guilty then it would blow up in the face of the council. That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open.
grey man says... “That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them.”
You seem to have this perception, non the less my comment is true, however the councillors and council officers will not discuss the issues fully and collectively, certainly haven’t offered any solutions to the current issues or explain their bewildering actions here, I am therefor still of the view that this is an impotent site with regard to any possible specific positive action by Warrington MPs, Warrington Borough councillors or its officers.
grey man says... “My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat.”

This is entirely a figment of your imagination and truthfully not my assumption as you suggest. You have clearly not understood some of the themes of my comments.

grey man says... “Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No.”

Warrington Borough Council clearly didn’t see any viability in dismissing its staff for the all the alleged or proved misdemeanors at issue. However the Council both currently and in the past, do not consider these to be severe enough to warrant such action as you persist in suggesting.

grey man says... “He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag.”

I don’t think that Warrington Borough Council would have deployed this action because of any counter legal action that would undoubtedly have been deployed under current employment rights and legislation. Did you once say that you were, or are an employer, then I would certainly expect you to have a working knowledge of such current employment legislation.

grey man says... “I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting.”

As I have suggested many times, that we in general do not posses enough of the facts, and that includes private and confidential facts that are not in the public domain to be able to make any full and positively accurate judgements on this issue, especially given your observation of a possible Council moratorium on discussions about the issues that so greatly concern you, and others.

grey man says… “… That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open.

I have absolutely no need at all to be clutching at any straws on this issue, your belief is unfounded. Being open and honest in my experience is not often a strategy that such institutions or corporations use, as by its very nature it would reveal far too much information and therefore convince their critics of any of their perceived or demonstrated indiscretions, faults and weaknesses.

I want to make it perfectly clear that I fully support our rights to free speech and certainly any positive action towards Justice for all.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: SAC That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them. I can assure you of that. Some councillors even contribute, often to turn everything into some daft political point scoring rather than dealing with the issues. Ian Marks is the worst for that in my opinion, but he's not alone. My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat. But everything we know about them proves this is not the case. Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No. He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag. I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting. This is the same way they have treated the issue of John Earle. Generally people only destroy records for one reason. In his case he was routinely working with developers who had a lot of money at stake and planning is open to corruption like few other local government functions. That is why he should have been investigated by the police, not some internal report signed off by people with a vested interest in its conclusions. If he is innocent, that would then be an end to it. But if he is guilty then it would blow up in the face of the council. That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open.[/p][/quote]grey man says... “That's not exactly true. Councillors and council employees read these pages and are aware of what is said in them.” You seem to have this perception, non the less my comment is true, however the councillors and council officers will not discuss the issues fully and collectively, certainly haven’t offered any solutions to the current issues or explain their bewildering actions here, I am therefor still of the view that this is an impotent site with regard to any possible specific positive action by Warrington MPs, Warrington Borough councillors or its officers. grey man says... “My problem with your viewpoint is you're assuming the council plays with a straight bat.” This is entirely a figment of your imagination and truthfully not my assumption as you suggest. You have clearly not understood some of the themes of my comments. grey man says... “Two years ago a senior member of the planning team was found by the LGO to have covered up over a period of years for the unlawful act of the destruction of records and also lied to councillors about the Marton Close scandal about what the police had asked him to do. Was he sacked? No.” Warrington Borough Council clearly didn’t see any viability in dismissing its staff for the all the alleged or proved misdemeanors at issue. However the Council both currently and in the past, do not consider these to be severe enough to warrant such action as you persist in suggesting. grey man says... “He should have been sent on his way the same day the report was published. They can mess about with systems all they like, but I guarantee the best way to get people to shape up would be the sight of a senior member of the planning team being escorted off the premises with his stuff in a bin bag.” I don’t think that Warrington Borough Council would have deployed this action because of any counter legal action that would undoubtedly have been deployed under current employment rights and legislation. Did you once say that you were, or are an employer, then I would certainly expect you to have a working knowledge of such current employment legislation. grey man says... “I cannot think of a more obvious case for dismissal on the ground of gross misconduct but doing that would be to concede there was a problem, and the council would rather fiddle around on the edges of the issue in private rather than deal with it head on. as is needed. It's naive to think they'll do anything like what you are suggesting.” As I have suggested many times, that we in general do not posses enough of the facts, and that includes private and confidential facts that are not in the public domain to be able to make any full and positively accurate judgements on this issue, especially given your observation of a possible Council moratorium on discussions about the issues that so greatly concern you, and others. grey man says… “… That is why they won't address the issue publicly and also why I believe you're clutching at straws asking them to be open. I have absolutely no need at all to be clutching at any straws on this issue, your belief is unfounded. Being open and honest in my experience is not often a strategy that such institutions or corporations use, as by its very nature it would reveal far too much information and therefore convince their critics of any of their perceived or demonstrated indiscretions, faults and weaknesses. I want to make it perfectly clear that I fully support our rights to free speech and certainly any positive action towards Justice for all. SAC_in_Warrington

10:48am Thu 28 Feb 13

wa1 resident says...

I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC !
I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC ! wa1 resident

11:02am Thu 28 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

wa1 resident wrote:
I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC !
I certainly recognise that I am not the only commentator in this thread. Do you have anything to add to the comments on the issue in question? It would be good to share it with Warrington Borough Councillors, Officers and other thoughtful members of the public on this site.
[quote][p][bold]wa1 resident[/bold] wrote: I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC ![/p][/quote]I certainly recognise that I am not the only commentator in this thread. Do you have anything to add to the comments on the issue in question? It would be good to share it with Warrington Borough Councillors, Officers and other thoughtful members of the public on this site. SAC_in_Warrington

11:10am Thu 28 Feb 13

grey_man says...

wa1 resident wrote:
I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC !
:)

So long as the word isn't 'monial'.

SAC

I write about employment law as part of my living. There's no question that what that planning officer did as reported by the LGO constituted gross misconduct. None whatsoever. The council chose not to dismiss him when they could have, presumably (I don't know, of course) because of how it would be perceived.

I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly.

That's WBC's prerogative. But if I were a senior council employee, I'd be reassured to know that I could lie to residents and councillors, dismiss the police, break the law, cover up for it and possibly take bungs from developers and the worst that would happen is that I would be asked to retire or find another job in my own time.

If you want to know why this problem won't be sorted by this approach, we're now two years on from the LGO report and still planning officers are 'making mistakes' in favour of developers with the CEO of the council putting it down to the fact that 25 years experience in the job is still not enough for them to expect it to be done properly.

I've told you I've communicated directly with councillors, we know they read this website and are aware of what's said. What I would be worried about if I were them is that a lot of people in Warrington are now of the view - myself included - that if employees can do what they like without consequence, including denying the people of this town the right to determine what happens with their own land - we may as well give up voting because it won't change the people who really run Warrington.
[quote][p][bold]wa1 resident[/bold] wrote: I'm guessing this will be another forum where the last word will be that of SAC ![/p][/quote]:) So long as the word isn't 'monial'. SAC I write about employment law as part of my living. There's no question that what that planning officer did as reported by the LGO constituted gross misconduct. None whatsoever. The council chose not to dismiss him when they could have, presumably (I don't know, of course) because of how it would be perceived. I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly. That's WBC's prerogative. But if I were a senior council employee, I'd be reassured to know that I could lie to residents and councillors, dismiss the police, break the law, cover up for it and possibly take bungs from developers and the worst that would happen is that I would be asked to retire or find another job in my own time. If you want to know why this problem won't be sorted by this approach, we're now two years on from the LGO report and still planning officers are 'making mistakes' in favour of developers with the CEO of the council putting it down to the fact that 25 years experience in the job is still not enough for them to expect it to be done properly. I've told you I've communicated directly with councillors, we know they read this website and are aware of what's said. What I would be worried about if I were them is that a lot of people in Warrington are now of the view - myself included - that if employees can do what they like without consequence, including denying the people of this town the right to determine what happens with their own land - we may as well give up voting because it won't change the people who really run Warrington. grey_man

11:57am Thu 28 Feb 13

Karlar says...

SAC said "Just thought that it would be better to put your comments in writing to those mentioned, and to some degree culpable in your considerably described debacle. I personally think that it would much better to pursue this alternative strategy than only lodging it on this impotent, Warrington Guardian comments site."
Of course they would be culpable if they knew of the events the Ombudsman's investigation reported and did not act upon that knowledge for some years or even a few months. We are talking about senior, experienced (well their salaries reflect that status anyway), professional officers and others who know too well what the standards expected of them in public life if they freely choose to involve themselves in it. They would be as culpable as was the senior planner who said he knew and was unhappy records had been destroyed but decided to not to raise the issue with senior management. You surely are not reverting to monial mode and claiming that only John Earle and the other officer - who knew but decided to play dumb - were the only people who were aware of the unlawful destruction? Documents in the public domain prove otherwise. In that situation what is the point of sending letters to people who obviously knew what happened, but continually buried their heads in the sand and failed to deal with it appropriately or proportionally?

grey_man said "I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly." It may make sense for the organization he was leaving but it makes no sense at all for the organization he went to. That is what this thread is all about, our council employed someone who came with a lot of unpleasant baggage. And he arrived at an organization which already had very large question marks over its probity, integrity and trustworthiness.
SAC said "Just thought that it would be better to put your comments in writing to those mentioned, and to some degree culpable in your considerably described debacle. I personally think that it would much better to pursue this alternative strategy than only lodging it on this impotent, Warrington Guardian comments site." Of course they would be culpable if they knew of the events the Ombudsman's investigation reported and did not act upon that knowledge for some years or even a few months. We are talking about senior, experienced (well their salaries reflect that status anyway), professional officers and others who know too well what the standards expected of them in public life if they freely choose to involve themselves in it. They would be as culpable as was the senior planner who said he knew and was unhappy records had been destroyed but decided to not to raise the issue with senior management. You surely are not reverting to monial mode and claiming that only John Earle and the other officer - who knew but decided to play dumb - were the only people who were aware of the unlawful destruction? Documents in the public domain prove otherwise. In that situation what is the point of sending letters to people who obviously knew what happened, but continually buried their heads in the sand and failed to deal with it appropriately or proportionally? grey_man said "I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly." It may make sense for the organization he was leaving but it makes no sense at all for the organization he went to. That is what this thread is all about, our council employed someone who came with a lot of unpleasant baggage. And he arrived at an organization which already had very large question marks over its probity, integrity and trustworthiness. Karlar

1:11pm Thu 28 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

gray man says …”So long as the word isn't 'monial'.

I hadn’t realised that one word would have had such dramatic effects in this comments stream.

gray man says … “I write about employment law as part of my living. There's no question that what that planning officer did as reported by the LGO constituted gross misconduct. None whatsoever. The council chose not to dismiss him when they could have, presumably (I don't know, of course) because of how it would be perceived.”

I thought exactly that you had some idea of employment legislation, and I thought that you were aware of the processes for dealing with judgements of gross misconduct and issues of capability. To my knowledge there is a scale of disciplinary or management action that can be justifiably applied and it will specifically attempt to dispel any possible counter action for unfair dismissal if applied correctly, don’t you agree?

gray man says … “I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly.”

It is also consistent with Warrington Borough Councils perceived and much publicised, “Wait and see” strategy for dealing with such issues, don’t you agree?

gray man says … “But if I were a senior council employee, I'd be reassured to know that I could lie to residents and councillors, dismiss the police, break the law, cover up for it and possibly take bungs from developers and the worst that would happen is that I would be asked to retire or find another job in my own time.”

Certainly if you were to be employed in such a capacity then you would certainly be exposed to all the internal pressures that current council employees experience from their employers, the Council. I certainly have experienced such pressure from council members when enforcing legislation upon their relatives and colleague councillors in two local unitary authorities, needless to say I won the day once they realised my knowledge and expertise with regard to specific legislation. The pressure to do nothing and disregard the primary legislation was tremendous. Following further investigation on my part I came across a very serious child protection issue, that resulted in action by the local safeguarding board and court action resulting in a prison sentence for this friend of two Borough Councillors. He had set up opportunities to groom their daughter for pedophile activity. I didn’t receive or expect to receive any thanks for my efforts in this case just bad feelings and unwarranted criticism from the several councillors, but that is not uncommon within local government circles. I could quote many more incidents but will refrain from doing that in this instance.

gray man says … “If you want to know why this problem won't be sorted by this approach, we're now two years on from the LGO report and still planning officers are 'making mistakes' in favour of developers with the CEO of the council putting it down to the fact that 25 years experience in the job is still not enough for them to expect it to be done properly.”

Please could you clarify the specific approach you are referencing, as it is not clear to me in this comment.

gray man says … “I've told you I've communicated directly with councillors, we know they read this website and are aware of what's said. What I would be worried about if I were them is that a lot of people in Warrington are now of the view - myself included - that if employees can do what they like without consequence, including denying the people of this town the right to determine what happens with their own land - we may as well give up voting because it won't change the people who really run Warrington.”

Yes, I do understand that you have said several times that you have directly contacted Councilors, though whether they have committed their reply to paper recording it as an official Council or a Party Political communication is not clear in your comments. That action might just confirm their culpable attitude and behaviour that you were possibly predicting and therefore expecting, judging from your many previous and intuitive comments.

We can now celebrate that something positive has happened in this issue and an employee has moved on to pastures new. I just wonder if he has taken a golden handshake in the process, as I have experienced this happening with several local authorities in the past.

I wish you good luck with your continued campaign, that is if you are still up for it the Warrington Borough Council in my opinion needs this resolute public scrutiny it sharpens their swords and hopefully stops any notions of complacency on their part. It is additionally good to see that we now agree on so much more than when we first started to share our own thoughts and debate this issue.

Sincerely and truthfully, thank you for this opportunity it has helped me a great deal and more than you will ever think possible.
gray man says …”So long as the word isn't 'monial'. I hadn’t realised that one word would have had such dramatic effects in this comments stream. gray man says … “I write about employment law as part of my living. There's no question that what that planning officer did as reported by the LGO constituted gross misconduct. None whatsoever. The council chose not to dismiss him when they could have, presumably (I don't know, of course) because of how it would be perceived.” I thought exactly that you had some idea of employment legislation, and I thought that you were aware of the processes for dealing with judgements of gross misconduct and issues of capability. To my knowledge there is a scale of disciplinary or management action that can be justifiably applied and it will specifically attempt to dispel any possible counter action for unfair dismissal if applied correctly, don’t you agree? gray man says … “I have heard from those more in the know that he has now been moved on and that would make sense. It is in the nature of large organisation to remove a problem quietly rather than deal with it properly.” It is also consistent with Warrington Borough Councils perceived and much publicised, “Wait and see” strategy for dealing with such issues, don’t you agree? gray man says … “But if I were a senior council employee, I'd be reassured to know that I could lie to residents and councillors, dismiss the police, break the law, cover up for it and possibly take bungs from developers and the worst that would happen is that I would be asked to retire or find another job in my own time.” Certainly if you were to be employed in such a capacity then you would certainly be exposed to all the internal pressures that current council employees experience from their employers, the Council. I certainly have experienced such pressure from council members when enforcing legislation upon their relatives and colleague councillors in two local unitary authorities, needless to say I won the day once they realised my knowledge and expertise with regard to specific legislation. The pressure to do nothing and disregard the primary legislation was tremendous. Following further investigation on my part I came across a very serious child protection issue, that resulted in action by the local safeguarding board and court action resulting in a prison sentence for this friend of two Borough Councillors. He had set up opportunities to groom their daughter for pedophile activity. I didn’t receive or expect to receive any thanks for my efforts in this case just bad feelings and unwarranted criticism from the several councillors, but that is not uncommon within local government circles. I could quote many more incidents but will refrain from doing that in this instance. gray man says … “If you want to know why this problem won't be sorted by this approach, we're now two years on from the LGO report and still planning officers are 'making mistakes' in favour of developers with the CEO of the council putting it down to the fact that 25 years experience in the job is still not enough for them to expect it to be done properly.” Please could you clarify the specific approach you are referencing, as it is not clear to me in this comment. gray man says … “I've told you I've communicated directly with councillors, we know they read this website and are aware of what's said. What I would be worried about if I were them is that a lot of people in Warrington are now of the view - myself included - that if employees can do what they like without consequence, including denying the people of this town the right to determine what happens with their own land - we may as well give up voting because it won't change the people who really run Warrington.” Yes, I do understand that you have said several times that you have directly contacted Councilors, though whether they have committed their reply to paper recording it as an official Council or a Party Political communication is not clear in your comments. That action might just confirm their culpable attitude and behaviour that you were possibly predicting and therefore expecting, judging from your many previous and intuitive comments. We can now celebrate that something positive has happened in this issue and an employee has moved on to pastures new. I just wonder if he has taken a golden handshake in the process, as I have experienced this happening with several local authorities in the past. I wish you good luck with your continued campaign, that is if you are still up for it the Warrington Borough Council in my opinion needs this resolute public scrutiny it sharpens their swords and hopefully stops any notions of complacency on their part. It is additionally good to see that we now agree on so much more than when we first started to share our own thoughts and debate this issue. Sincerely and truthfully, thank you for this opportunity it has helped me a great deal and more than you will ever think possible. SAC_in_Warrington

3:47pm Thu 28 Feb 13

grey_man says...

SAC

There is no need for a scale of disciplinary action in cases of gross misconduct which is defined as anything that causes a complete breakdown of the relationship between an employer and employee. I think breaking the law, covering it up and lying on a range of issues including threats to members of the public falls well within this definition.

We'll see now won't we? Personally I'll give it till the second week in March before we hear more about this department.
SAC There is no need for a scale of disciplinary action in cases of gross misconduct which is defined as anything that causes a complete breakdown of the relationship between an employer and employee. I think breaking the law, covering it up and lying on a range of issues including threats to members of the public falls well within this definition. We'll see now won't we? Personally I'll give it till the second week in March before we hear more about this department. grey_man

7:28pm Thu 28 Feb 13

Karlar says...

They have worked themselves into a corner from which there is no way out other than to try and bluff us that no serious wrong doing has been done, when patently there has and it is sticking to far more tails than expected. When will these public sector managers stop awarding themselves pay levels way beyond their competence levels and obvious lack of ability, in the mistaken belief they are the match those in the private sector? And when will elected our elected members stop falling for that myth, because they are selling the electorate short when money for all of us is tight? We cannot afford to be paying for repeated incompetence. By keeping them on board that is what is happening. There is no doubt, had any private sector managers done what has been allowed to happen here, their line managers would not have been excusing "inexperienced staff making basic mistakes", especially after so many. The whole department and any hangers-on would have been sent packing long ago.
They have worked themselves into a corner from which there is no way out other than to try and bluff us that no serious wrong doing has been done, when patently there has and it is sticking to far more tails than expected. When will these public sector managers stop awarding themselves pay levels way beyond their competence levels and obvious lack of ability, in the mistaken belief they are the match those in the private sector? And when will elected our elected members stop falling for that myth, because they are selling the electorate short when money for all of us is tight? We cannot afford to be paying for repeated incompetence. By keeping them on board that is what is happening. There is no doubt, had any private sector managers done what has been allowed to happen here, their line managers would not have been excusing "inexperienced staff making basic mistakes", especially after so many. The whole department and any hangers-on would have been sent packing long ago. Karlar

7:28pm Thu 28 Feb 13

SAC_in_Warrington says...

grey_man wrote:
SAC

There is no need for a scale of disciplinary action in cases of gross misconduct which is defined as anything that causes a complete breakdown of the relationship between an employer and employee. I think breaking the law, covering it up and lying on a range of issues including threats to members of the public falls well within this definition.

We'll see now won't we? Personally I'll give it till the second week in March before we hear more about this department.
There may be no need for a scale of disciplinary action as you say and recollect, however it is still available to all employers, sorry if I am stating the obvious. The Council, it seems to me have used this scale instead of dealing with the offending officer as you so advise.

In local government circles the end of March and the beginning of April is often the period when major changes take place, because it is the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next, and when a new annual budget comes into operation. The news that you are alluding to, and can't obviously reveal here, will undoubtedly be expected, and is considered by some to be long overdue.
[quote][p][bold]grey_man[/bold] wrote: SAC There is no need for a scale of disciplinary action in cases of gross misconduct which is defined as anything that causes a complete breakdown of the relationship between an employer and employee. I think breaking the law, covering it up and lying on a range of issues including threats to members of the public falls well within this definition. We'll see now won't we? Personally I'll give it till the second week in March before we hear more about this department.[/p][/quote]There may be no need for a scale of disciplinary action as you say and recollect, however it is still available to all employers, sorry if I am stating the obvious. The Council, it seems to me have used this scale instead of dealing with the offending officer as you so advise. In local government circles the end of March and the beginning of April is often the period when major changes take place, because it is the end of one fiscal year and the beginning of the next, and when a new annual budget comes into operation. The news that you are alluding to, and can't obviously reveal here, will undoubtedly be expected, and is considered by some to be long overdue. SAC_in_Warrington

8:54pm Thu 28 Feb 13

grey_man says...

That's not what I'm referring to. March 7th is when the people opposed to Peel Hall get a chance to submit objections to the outside agency that will now be making the decision rather than our elected representatives thanks to the incompetence / whatever of certain people in the planning department.

We can expect more news about what has been going on with planners and their friends at Satnam after that point. We already know they've held meetings with them that they wouldn't admit to until it was forced out of them through an FOI request, so we'll see what else crops up.
That's not what I'm referring to. March 7th is when the people opposed to Peel Hall get a chance to submit objections to the outside agency that will now be making the decision rather than our elected representatives thanks to the incompetence / whatever of certain people in the planning department. We can expect more news about what has been going on with planners and their friends at Satnam after that point. We already know they've held meetings with them that they wouldn't admit to until it was forced out of them through an FOI request, so we'll see what else crops up. grey_man

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