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Aug 30 2013

Melanie Says: Whitchurch Fields Rumbles On…

whitchurch_fields_22Dear all

Just to let you know that I am still waiting on the recommendation of the Inspector. As soon as I know anything, you will know.

In the meantime, my complaint about the Council’s behaviour rumbles on. Their answer as to Mrs Winstrom’s, (Headteacher of Whitchurch First School and Nursery) letter, where she witters on excitedly about the swimming pool and states that she doesn’t know what a Town/Village Green status means, but she objects to it anyway, was that “it was a compilation of various letters she had written over the years!”

So, basically, it would seem they are saying they pulled bits from different letters she had sent the Council to make one letter that said what they wanted it to say. That really doesn’t exonerate them in my book, it just makes it worse!

Now that the Department of Education know that Harrow Council tried to dispose of Education Land without the Secretary of State’s permission, they are not happy. Harrow Council will, if we don’t win, have to go through the lengthy process of getting permission to have the land developed. I’ve had a very long chat with one of The Right Honourable Michael Gove’s minions, and he explained the procedure that the Council will have to go through to get permission. He stated that a full consultation with local residents has to take place and the Council has to show that paperwork to the Department of Education, and if everyone is happy and there are no stumbling blocks, than getting permission takes between 10-12 months. If nothing else, we’ve slowed the development right down. We just have to hope that the Consortium get fed up of waiting!

Only once Harrow Council have permission to dispose of the land can they put it out to tender, so they’ve been caught out and they are not happy with it. Andrew Connell has requested permission from the Council to sue me personally for defamation of character in court. My answer was “Go for it!”, after all, he wouldn’t give evidence at a Public Inquiry, I can’t wait to hear his evidence in open court!

I also discovered that when Andrew Trehern was quickly made redundant, less than 4 months before he was due to retire anyway, and got his £175,000 severance deal, before he left, he destroyed all his paperwork and corrupted the hard drive on his computer. When the new head took over she did not have a scrap of paper in relation to this development. I can think of many reasons why one would destroy all the paperwork and corrupt your hard drive when you leave a job, but none of them are because you’ve done thorough and excellent work that you are proud to pass on to your successor!

I hope you all had a lovely summer, for those that celebrate, have a Happy New Year next week and stay in touch.

Best wishes

Melanie

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6 comments

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  1. All things good

    Well done Melanie you should be very proud!

  2. Krishna Lathia-James

    Perhaps this gives Harrow people some Idea why 9 councillors chose to form Independent labour group.The time has come to Hold people to account in the real sense and not just in rehotric.

  3. 4Democracy

    Thank you Melanie for updating us and also for not giving up in your tireless efforts in trying to stop this. The longer it goes on the more alarming it’s becoming and what you discover is even more shocking. I don’t see I Labour supporting you in this or commenting , the council should be ashamed of themselves and you should be proud of yourself, good luck!

  4. Melanie

    There are so many questions that need to be answered when it comes to the behaviour of certain council officers. However, every time I ask a question I get a phone call from Mike Howes telling me that Lockwood/Peart/Connell are all queuing up to personally sue me. Maybe I should get a ‘nom de plume’ as Melanie Lewis isn’t working for me! Any suggestions?

  5. Praxis Reform

    A couple of things occur to me, firstly that if what you say is true, then it sounds to me like the council aren’t complying with the Local Government (Access to Information) Act.

    I’m not sure what the penalties for that are, but if it can be proved the council is systematically failing to keep records, then I’d imagine it’d likely be grounds to sack Lockwood / Peart / Connell that you’re complaining about. Also, I’d guess any action to sue you would fail on the grounds that what you said would then be “fair comment”.

    Before you get too litigious though, I believe Cllr Hall frequents this site from time to time, so maybe she can suggest something for you. Otherwise, if you haven’t already spoken to them, try the Local Government Ombudsman, who I’d expect would be experts on cases like this.

  6. Concerned Harrovian

    Harrow Council will get a hundred per cent satisfaction score if every complaint against the council or its officers is gagged by the threat of legal action. Destroying paper records. disabling computer hard drives what on earth is going on at Harrow Council?

    We have had GawnGate(fraud), BrianGate(downloading child pornography) and last but not least HusainGate. I bet the only records that are kept meticulously are those in parking enforcement. I think the good ship Harrow has hit the rocks.

    Is there an investigative journalist, councillor who will step forward to find out what is going on in the shambles of Harrow Council? It may be that they are just inefficient. I hope there is nothing more sinister happening.

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