Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Frederick Street (West) Sunderland ... now the ticket machine is 'broken'

Just a little update for those Sunderland motorists and observers wondering how the situation is developing.

If you can recall ...Sunderland lost in the appeal at the Frederick Street (West) location. The adjudicator declared that the TRO was wrongly drafted.
NCP kept issuing saying that the Council had told them to continue.
Mark xxxxx appealed to NPAS at the same location ... and won ... TRO wrongly drafted.
NCP continued issuing.
Sunderland took exception to the NPAS decision and requested a review (despite not doing this in my case). The review was rejected. The third Adjudicator agreed with the decision of the other two.
NCP kept issuing.

But there has now been a development. Free parking for the last week at this location ... NCP PAs have been avoiding the area. They have been told not to issue.

However, the Pay and Display machine has been turned off (it is not out of order) ... and NCP are claiming that this is the reason why no PCNs are being issued.

I have over 30 tickets issued at this location AFTER I won the case at the Adjudicator.

How many others have had tickets illegally?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Parking Adjudicator made mistakes

Sunderland Echo
Letters page
29th January 07

Read Neil Herron's latest letter here

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Is your local authority 'playing politics' with public money?

By way of example, in advance of the North East referendum for an elected assembly an investigation was conducted by the District Auditor with regard to the subscriptions paid by local authorities to the unelected NEA who then used that money to promote a pro assembly prespective.

As a result of our complaint the assembly was censured but the auditor held back from further action after all the brochures were removed and the assembly's website was re-done and reassurances were given by the Director of the NEA that in future they would remain neutral.

If you want to check the Code of Recommended Practice on Local Authority Publicity you can see the guidelines here

Some individuals and organisations are now investigating housing stock transfers to see whether there have been any breaches there.
Remember, you can use the Freedom of Information Act to request copies of all brochures, leaflets, questionnaires and circulars sent out by the local authority in advance of any stock transfer vote, as well as requesting all the financial details and costings.

Should you feel it in order to raise a complaint then contact needs to be made with the District Auditor.
Some case studies and background info can be seen here here here here and here reported here

Hope this helps ;-)

Bank gets the Bailiff treatment

Daily Mail

A man who was fed up with paying massive bank charges decided to give one of the high street giants a taste of its own medicine.
When Royal Bank of Scotland refused to refund £3,400 charges that Declan Purcell believed he was owed, he sent in the bailiffs. more...

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Britain open to terror suspects in EU loophole

Sunday Telegraph
By Ben Leapman, Home Affairs Correspondent, Sunday Telegraph
Last Updated: 12:02am GMT 21/01/2007

Foreign terrorist suspects are free to enter Britain because an EU "wanted" list cannot be checked by British immigration officers.

Police chiefs have warned Parliament that the loophole is putting national security at risk. Ministers have asked Brussels to grant Britain access to the list, but the request has been blocked by a legal wrangle. The revelation comes as a further blow to John Reid, the Home Secretary, who is battling to restore his reputation after it emerged his department failed to record on the police national computer the names of 27,500 Britons convicted overseas.
Details of the latest security lapse were revealed by the same senior police officer who blew the whistle on the overseas convictions fiasco.

The new row centres on a 15-country database which holds 15 million entries for suspected criminals including terrorists, individuals wanted for extradition, missing persons, crime witnesses and stolen cars and passports.
If a terrorist suspect wanted by French police arrived on a long-haul flight at a German, Spanish or Italian airport, for example, immigration officers could match his details to the database and he could be detained or turned away. But if the same individual landed in Britain, there would be no check on the database and he could walk undetected into the country.

Paul Kernaghan, the Chief Constable of Hampshire and spokesman on international affairs for the Association of Chief Police Officers, warned that travellers entering Britain "are not checked against a criminal record database or a police database. It is against immigration databases, so there is a gap. At this point in time we do not have effective border control."

Bill Hughes, the director-general of the Serious Organised Crime Agency, told the Commons home affairs committee that under the present system, an individual travelling from Britain to France could be stopped at the border, checked against the database and refused entry "on the grounds that the French officer is aware that he is a threat to national security".
"That French officer can turn that individual back without us having access to that same information," Mr Hughes said.

The database, known as the Schengen Information System (SIS), was introduced in 1995 as part of the Schengen treaty agreement, which also led to most EU countries dropping border controls for travel within the union. The countries participating are the pre-2004 EU members excluding Britain and Ireland, plus Norway and Iceland. During the first decade of SIS operation, France caught 1,900 travellers wanted in other countries, while 2,000 French suspects were detected abroad.

Under the last Tory government, Britain opted out of Schengen Agreement while retaining the right to take part in some of the associated projects such as SIS.
But a section of the treaty prevents some information on the database from being shared with countries which are not full Schengen members. A compromise deal has been struck whereby Britain is sent "alerts" about some individuals on the database, so they can be added to the "warnings list" used by British immigration officers.

However, police chiefs believe the system is hugely inadequate because foreign authorities only send alerts when they have particular reason to believe a suspect may try to enter Britain.
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said: "There is no reason why we cannot co-operate with our allies and have access to this -information."

A Home Office spokesman said negotiations over SIS were "ongoing". But it has emerged that Joan Ryan, the Home Office minister whose job is on the line, sent a letter to Chris Mullin, the Labour MP, last June, in which she admitted: "The UK Immigration Service is unable to routinely access details of a European Economic Area national's personal information or criminal record in their country of origin."

Last week Mr Reid announced a "root and branch" review of criminal databases after a senior Home Office official was suspended over the conviction records affair. An internal inquiry has been launched.
Three terrorist suspects on control orders who were due to be deported to Algeria had their flights cancelled at short notice by the Home Office, sources said. No new date has been set. A fourth control order suspect has also agreed to go back to Algeria.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Westminster tracing top ten parking fine evaders

Now before you consider the points raised below just hold these thoughts:
- most members of the public believe that local authorities act within the law. Many have not, including Westminster who as recently as March last year were using tickets and paperwork which did not comply with the requirements of the 1991 Road Traffic Act.
- the DVLA data base 'claims' to be 97% accurate. Even taking this figure to becorrect, which it isn't (based on the number of vehicles changing hands / postal delays and effectively the whole database dependent on the goodwill of the public) still leaves 320,000 vehicles not correctly registered. Someone could have moved home and the post is being sent to a previous address.
- most local authorities signs, lines and Traffic Regulation Orders are flawed ... the degree varies from Council to Council.
- the registered keeper is the person responsible for paying any fines but may not be the owner and may not be the driver. The vehicle could belong to a guy whose son is a student and is racking up the tickets.

Now read the article and consider that the locall authorities who issued millions of illegal tickets have yet to repay any money...
Publisher: Pam Caulfield
Published: 23/01/2007 - 09:26:12 AM

Westminster City Council is tracking down a top ten list of parking fine evaders who owe a total of £110,000.
Since the turn of the year Westminster’s parking team have caught and taken off the road the top offender who had accumulated 213 parking tickets.
In November and December alone, this vehicle racked up over 90 tickets, the equivalent of 1.5 parking fines every day.
Of those the council is still tracking down, the most wanted is a Volkswagen Black Polo registration W152 NAX who owes over £15,000. Since April, this vehicle has racked up over 150 parking tickets.
In total, the top ten hit list owe £110,000 in 1110 unpaid parking fines and their details have now been fed into the hand-held computers carried by Westminster's parking attendants.
Councillor Danny Chalkley, Westminster's Cabinet Member for Transportation and Economic Development, said,"These vehicles we are targeting are a hardcore group of evaders who simply refuse to pay despite being sent reminders."
"No one likes getting a parking ticket but most motorists play fair and either pay or appeal. Yet this tiny minority feel the rules do not apply to them."
"We will pursue these persistent evaders to recover the money owed to us because often these vehicles are not properly licensed or they are displaying fake or stolen disabled blue badges."
"For instance, the number two top parking evader who has now stopped picking up tickets, has previously leapt onto a moving parking removal truck to recover a disabled blue badge displayed in the window whilst leaving their previous vehicle to rot in the pound."
"We also know that half of the the top ten offenders are abusing the present disabled badge scheme."
The full top ten persistent are:
VRM PCNs Common Street CPZ Make Colour
1 L361HYP 209 Kendal Street[F4] F4 Nissan Serena Grey
2 W152NAX 151 Porchester Place [F4] F4 Volkswagen Polo Black
3 S877RLE 129 Crawford Street [F2] F2 Renault Laguna Black
4 KY04KHH 114 Porchester Place [F4] F4 Peugeot 307 Blue
5 BG52JMX 106 B5 Ford Transit White
6 HT52PMX 96 Maida Vale [C1] C Mercedes Benz A Class Green
7 P767RGN 93 Princes Mews [B3] B3 Volkswagen Polo Blue
8 LA04VRL 72 B3 Vauxhall Zafira Blue
9 H592ALG 70 Jermyn Street [E1] E1 Volkswagen Golf Blue
10 J87VVC 70 Whitcomb Street [G1] G1 Rover 200 range White Total 1110

Total Number of Persistent Evaders = 2,055 Approximate Value = £1,633,300

Chief Constable ... Free Movement of People consequences

Friday, January 19, 2007

No hiding place from car clampers

Daily Telegraph
By David Millward Transport Correspondent

Motorists with three unpaid parking tickets could have their cars clamped anywhere in the country under plans due to be unveiled by the Government within the next few weeks.
The same threat will apply to motorists who have three unpaid penalty notices imposed for failing to pay the London congestion charge.

The Department for Transport wants to get tough with drivers who recieve many parking tickets but never pay
The proposals could see parking attendants issued with handheld computers which would have access to the register of persistent offenders, or they could ring their control centre which would make the check on their behalf.
Ministers are looking to roll out London's data base of rogue motorists to the rest of England although it will be left to local authorities to pay for the scheme and implement it. The powers, contained in the Traffic Management Act, will come into force this year.
While councils are under pressure to stop clamping first time offenders, the Department for Transport wants to get tough with motorists who run up a string of parking tickets but never pay.
However, the move was condemned by motoring organisations who feared that innocent owners of second-hand cars could be clamped for offences they did not commit.

Should parking attendants come across a car with at least three parking offences recorded against it, they would summon a clamping van. The vehicle would then be immobilised until all the outstanding debts are settled. In the case of a motorist claiming the fines were the responsibility of the previous owner, the council which clamps the car could demand a bond of around £250 before releasing the vehicle.
This would be returned if the driver was found to be telling the truth. But it would be up to the motorist to prove the car had changed hands, while the local authorities claiming the money would have to provide evidence that they had already made other attempts to secure payment. Such powers are already contained in the London Local Authorities and Transport for London Bill and they could be rolled out across the rest of the country.
In London the main problem is foreign drivers, who ran up an estimated £12 million in unpaid parking fines in 2005. Although their vehicle details could be entered on the data base, local councils would still have to prove they had tried to collect the cash through the courts.
A number of issues still have to be worked out, including how the recovered money would be distributed.
A number of options are possible, including paying a bounty to the council which finally catches the rogue motorist. The rest would then be paid to other authorities who are owed money.
Other difficulties include the accuracy of data bases. Last year, in a survey in which 5,000 vehicles were stopped, police found that six per cent were incorrectly registered.
It has taken London about 10 years to set up a data base covering the capital and the Government believes that other councils could be invited to join it as it extends throughout England.
"There is a huge risk that local authorities will be using an out of date data base," said Paul Watters of the AA Public Affairs. "It is a huge concern.
"Drivers could find they bought a car thinking it was problem free and then finding they are clamped for fines run up by the previous owner. Already some of the paperwork being used by bailiffs is months, if not years, old.
"Motorists should receive proper compensation if their cars turn out to have been incorrectly clamped."
The plans were backed by Keith Banbury, chief executive of the British Parking Association. "We are talking about a huge amount of money, some people think it could be as much as £30 million owed in unpaid fines.
"It is a lot of money to councils and the decent law-abiding motorist who does pay up is subsidising the dishonest one who doesn't."

Sunderland Council and the Department for Transport

The following response now shows the FoI published.

However, the rest of the information which came from the Government Office of the North East cost me over £1000 and highlights some very serious stuff. It will form part of the evidence bundles to be handed to the Police.

Dear Mr Herron,

Freedom of Information Act 2000 - Reference F0002656

The data that you were provided with under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 has now been published on the DfT website and can be viewed at the following address here

Yours sincerely,

Jxxx Bxxxxx
Traffic Management Division
Department for Transport
Great Minster House (3/21)
76 Marsham Street
020 7944 6483

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Sunderland's Parking Regime and Councillors blogs

Rob Ford
The Letters Editor
Sunderland Echo

16th January 2007

Dear Sir,

Sunderland City Council's 'Parking Enforcement' regime

As the press seem to be maintaining a low profile on the issue further information needs to be placed in the public domain in order to assist those motorists illegally fined by Sunderland City Council who may now wish to raise their own complaints.

In August 2006 the High Court decreed that Penalty Charge Notices (PCNs) which did not bear the date of issue (as well as the date and time of the contravention) were invalid. The Judge stated that 'if the PCN is not correctly worded then no financial liability arises.' Sunderland City Council issued 75,000 such PCNs ... over 12,000 AFTER the Assistant City Solicitor had ordered NCP to correct the wording.

In late 2006 I received information from the Department for Transport and the Government Office for the North East that highlighted the fact that Sunderland were ignoring the law and using illegally marked bays. One example was in Holmeside where the illegal bays were only some 1.55m wide ... not enough to fit a car in, never mind the 13 tonne+ lorries which park there. Perhaps the detractor who wrote complaining that people should stop measuring and just pay their fines may have a different view if a child was knocked down because a lorry parked in an illegal bay (which had actually been placed within the zigzags of a pelican crossing) obscured theirs and the drivers view. The bays were hastily remarked ( again incorrectly) ... an admission that they were not legal. If you have had a ticket in Holmeside have you had your refund yet?

There is lots more information to come and not always reported in the press. All this and more is posted on the blog

Nice to see our Labour councillors have their own blogs too ... and as Councillor Les Scott wrote "Members of the Labour Group took a decision considered over three months to devote a percentage of their allowances to promote Labours achievements in Sunderland and to establish individual websites and blogs for its councillors."
After all, in this new computer age it is important that anyone wishing to see if their councillor is value for money can do so at the click of a button. Let's see how our money is being spent...Here are the results of the Cabinet members blogs for example:

Councillor Bob Symond's blog ... 1 posting on 4th September 2006
Councillor Dave Allen's blog ... 1 posting on 27th September 2006
Councillor Joseph Lawson's blog ... 0 posts (perhaps too busy investigating the failures of his portfolio)
Councillor Bryan Charlton 's blog... 1 post on 11th October 2006 saying he was off to the gym. Is he still there? Is he in Rocky 6?
Councillor Mel Speding's blog ... 2 posts He writes: "Hopefully, I can master the bloggers guide and produce a blog that is informative and useful. I intend to update regularly and hope to give an insight into both my role as a ward councillor and as a cabinet member."
Councillor Paul Watson's blog ... 2 posts, last one 4th October.
Councillor H Truman's blog ... 1 post 11th December
Councillor Pat Smith's blog ... 0 posts
Councillor Eric Timmin's blog ... 1 post 11th December promote the work of Sunderland councillors! I think that just about sums it up

Well done to Councillor Kath Rolph who appears to be the only portfolio holder taking the responsibility for informing the public of her activities seriously.

Yours sincerely,

Neil Herron
12 Frederick Street

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Berwick Council Metric Sign Clanger

STOP PRESS: Here is Berwick Council's explanation. The sign is not metric its in 'bike miles!'

A charity to promote cycling is getting a rough ride from Scots after placing a sign in a disputed Border town which points to a place where the Jacobite Rebellion collapsed. more...

Looks like someone in Berwick Council is having a dig at the Scots.

A sign just outside the town centre points to Edinburgh ... and Derby, which was as far as Bonnie Prince and his Jacobites got on 4th December 1745, leaving on 6th.

Trouble for the Council is that the sign gives the distance in metric, which does not therefore conform to the legislation ... the Traffic Signs Regulations and General Directions 2002...the legal rerequirement is that distances be given in miles, not kilometres ( and even the distances when converted into miles are wrong)

Metric Martyrs Campaign Director Neil Herron states, " I am aware that the Department for Transport is monitoring the metric changeover in Ireland ... but would face massive resistance here. But for a Council in England to attempt to do it one sign at a time may take a while. On this occasion I do not suspect a deliberate attempt by the Government to metricate the country by stealth. Their last attempt to try the stealth approach with pounds and ounces ended up with them slipping on a pound of Steve Thoburn's banana skins.
I think it may well be a snub by Berwick Council at the Scots following the latest BBC poll which suggests that a slight majority of Scots want independence and a majority of English want their own Parliament.
Berwick Council's dig at the Scots may not only cause embarassment because of a little cross-border conflict it will also be embarassing because the sign is in metric which renders it illegal."

Sunderland Labour blogs ... stop laughing!

Sunderland Labour Councillors' blogs
... good value or another complete waste of taxpayers money?

Nice to see our Sunderland Labour councillors have their own blogs too ... Councillor, and Deputy Mayor Leslie Scott wrote "Members of the Labour Group took a decision considered over three months to devote a percentage of their allowances to promote Labour's achievements in Sunderland and to establish individual websites and blogs for its councillors."

After all, in this new computer age where the public are ditching the newspaper to get information online it is important that anyone wishing to see if their councillor is active and value for money can do so at the click of a button.

It does trouble me however, that it took them three months to consider this.

It also concerns me that, as they wish to promote Labour's achievements in Sunderland we can rule out the following ... the loss-making Port, the Vaux site, the parking shambles, the abandoned and derelict estates, the state of the City centre, the illegal speed humps... need I go on

Let's see how our money is being spent...after all, they must have something to celebrate ... they spend enough on the free hospitality every year at the AirShow, unless that's where they drown their sorrows that they have singlehandedly and collectively failed the people of Sunderland.

Here are the statistics...

Cabinet members blogs:

Leader of the Council, Councillor Bob Symond's blog ... 1 posting on 4th September 2006
Councillor Bryan Charlton's blog... 1 post on 11th October 2006 saying he was off to the gym. Is he still there? Is he in Rocky 6?
Councillor Dave Allen's blog ... 1 posting on 27th September 2006
Councillor Joseph Lawson's blog ... 0 posts (perhaps too busy investigating the failures of his portfolio)
Councillor Mel Speding's blog ... 2 posts He writes: "Hopefully, I can master the bloggers guide and produce a blog that is informative and useful. I intend to update regularly and hope to give an insight into both my role as a ward councillor and as a cabinet member."
Councillor Paul Watson's blog ... 2 posts, last one 4th October.
Councillor Kath Rolph's blog ... 17 posts. The only one in the Cabinet who seems to be doing something.
Councillor H Trueman's blog ... 1 post 11th December
Councillor Pat Smith's blog ... 0 posts
Councillor Eric Timmin's blog ... 1 post 11th December

Here is the full list of Labour don't laugh at the number of posts.

However, fear of technology cannot be used an excuse 'cos some are dab hands at using the laptop. Read how here

Councillor Tommy Foster ... 0 posts
Councillor Leslie Mann ... 0 posts
Councillor Bob Heron ... 0 posts
Councillor Joan Carthy ... 0 posts
Councillor Juliana Heron ... 0 posts
Councillor Elizabeth Gibson ... 0 posts
Councillor Mary Smith ... 0 posts
Councillor Tommy Martin ... 1 post
Councillor David Tate ... 0 posts
Councillor Florence Anderson ... 0 posts

Councillor James Blackburn ... ... 1 post
Councillor Dennis Richardson ... 0 posts
Councillor Joe Lawson ... 0 posts
Councillor Kath Rolph ... 17 posts
Councillor Colin Anderson ... 0 posts
Councillor Celia Gofton ... 0 posts
Councillor Paul Watson ... 2 posts
Councillor Amy Wilson ... 0 posts
Councillor Paul Stewart ... 0 posts
Councillor Richard Bell ... 0 posts

Councillor Bryan Charlton ... 1 post
Councillor Ross Wares ... 0 posts
Councillor Ronald Bainbridge ... 0 posts
Councillor Eileen Handy ... 0 posts
Councillor David Allen ... 1 post
Councillor David Forbes ... 0 posts
Councillor James Scott ... 0 posts
Councillor Mel Speding ... 2 posts
Councillor Anne Hall ... 0 posts
Councillor John Scott ... 1 post

Councillor Phil Tye ... 1 post
Councillor Peter Gibson ... 0 posts
Councillor Pat Smith ... 0 posts
Councillor Norma Wright ... 0 posts
Councillor Maureen Ambrose ... 0 posts
Councillor Margaret Higgins ...admits she would rather talk to people in person
Councillor Tom Wright ... 0 posts
Councillor Patricia Bates ... 0 posts
Councillor Susan Watson ... 1 post
Councillor Leslie Scott ... 9 posts

Councillor Stuart Porthouse ... 13 posts
Councillor Denis Whalen ... 0 posts
Councillor Eric Timmins ... 1 post
Councillor Derek Sleightholme ... 0 posts
Councillor Neil MacKnight ... 1 post
Councillor Bryan Williams ... 0 posts
Councillor Peter Young ... 0 posts
Councillor Jill Fletcher ... 0 posts
Councillor James Walker ... 0 posts
Councillor Peter Walker ... 0 posts

Councillor Graeme Miller ... 0 posts
Councillor Linda Williams ... 0 posts
Councillor Joan Gray ... 4 posts
Councillor Jean Stephenson ... 0 posts
Councillor Bill Stephenson ... 0 posts
Councillor Harry Trueman ... 1 post

So there you have it. Councillor Sidaway quit the Labour Party in protest at the enforced 3% levy on councillors allowances to be paid into Labour Party funds here
Councillor Symonds however appearing on Newsnight said the cash was a "political contribution to the group" which was needed to pay for it's work and that 56 others were happy to pay up.

Well, Mr. Symonds, a total of 54 posts in the 4 months by 56 Councillors since the site was set up in September 2006. The Sunderland ratepaying public must be really grateful.

Let some sleuth ask how much of their allowances went on the sites and then we can work out what perhaps the Guiness Book of Records will confirm will be the most expensive blog posts ever.

Parking Outrage

How officials' free spaces have cost you thousands
Evening Chronicle

Free city centre parking passes costing taxpayers tens of thousands of pounds have been dished out to public bodies.
Newcastle City Council chiefs were under fire today after handing out free parking to the North East Assembly and the Association of North East Councils.
While thousands of motorists have to pay to park in town, 11 free permits worth £1,000 each have been handed out for the past 20 years, the Chronicle can reveal.
Details of the free parking deal have caused embarrassment to the city council, which is trying to reduce traffic congestion by persuading workers to leave their cars at home.
The new row follows the disclosure both organisations were allowed to occupy their offices at the Guildhall rent-free at a cost to taxpayers of between £230,000 and £250,000 in lost income over the years.
Read the full story here

Monday, January 15, 2007

Notice to Owner: Another Sunderland Clanger

Pity the Sunderland Echo is again dragging its feet in passing information on to the motoring public in the City.

Sunderland City Council is now just releasing Notice to Owners from alleged contraventions after June 2006.
Why so long you may ask?
Well, it appears as though the penny has dropped that they were not legally worded and therefore there was apotential prejudice for the appellant. However, taking such a long time to inform a motorist that he has received a parking ticket compromises the right to a fair hearing. Anyone who has received a PCN after more than 5 months will soon be able to find the defence to force the council to cancel the ticket.

Bigger problem for the Council is that the BIG APPEAL that went to NPAS where they brought in a QC to fight my outstanding tickets all rely on Notice to Owner which are not legally worded.

My request for a review has gone in and is likely to end up in the High Court. ... reliant on documents issued by Sunderland that have now been changed to convey the correct information to the appellant.

How long before they finally put their hands up?

There is a phrase - 'when you are in a hole stop digging' ... Sunderland Council's implement procurement department simply oredrs more shovels.

Police force reveals there is no way to check an EU national's criminal record

Posing as an employer tendering for a local authority contract we contacted a Police force (who shall currently remain nameless) to see if we could have potential staff CIB checked

Their Criminal Justice Department Central Information Bureau carries out:

Vetting - carries out computer checks on a variety of potential employees on behalf of the Criminal Records Bureau.

After a long period on hold they came back and said that they had no way of accessing the data of any EU national outside the UK ..." Do you mean Scotland?" was one of their questions. They did suggest that any EU national seeking employment should bring his own ... well that's alright then. Job sorted.

If ACPO's 4 man team is working round the clock trying to trace those Britons convicted abroad what chance do they have of checking the records of those 665,000+ who have arrived here since May 1st 2004 ... by contacting the other 26 Member States in 13+ different laguages with different criminal categories.

They would require the release details of ALL prisoners and then have to marry them up with National Insurance numbers given out to those registered for work, then check back with their country of origin for address and family details and then contact the local Police force who may have further intelligence on background and known associates ... AND details of if and when they entered the country from passenger manifests.

...But no-one keeps a record of who comes in and when they leave.

Self-employed not registered and no NI Number?

The fools that govern must be challenged and questioned ... and held fully responsible and accountable.

This is the end game for our relationship with the EU ... question is how do you ever get the milk out of the coffee?

The catalyst will be an event BUT ... John Reid ... you know and you are avoiding the question. Let us hope that some of the press are ready to start asking the difficult questions.

Foreign criminals ... penny slowly starting to drop ...

Our story breaks in today's Telegraph ... not big enough and it will be a week before the whole of the media circus begins to realise the massive implications, but meanwhile we will sit back and wait.

EU criminals 'can't be checked'
By Brendan Carlin and Caroline Davies, Daily Telegraph 15/01/07

Welcome to the Hunt for forgotten offenders
By Caroline Mcclatchey and Ben Leapman, Sunday Telegraph

North East Assembly Parking Outrage ... more abuse of public money

Parking outrage
Jan 15 2007
By Peter Young,

The Newcastle Evening Chronicle

Council chiefs were blasted today for giving free parking passes to two public bodies.
While thousands of drivers pay to park on Newcastle Quayside, free passes went to North East Assembly and Association of North East Councils members.
More ...

EU criminals 'can't be checked'

Daily Telegraph

By Brendan Carlin and Caroline Davies
Last Updated: 11:40am GMT 15/01/2007

A fresh row over criminal databases broke out last night with the revelation that immigration officials frequently cannot check on the criminal past of European Union citizens entering Britain.
The admission is contained in a letter seen by The Daily Telegraph and written by Joan Ryan, the Home Office minister caught up in the criminal records row.
John Reid, the Home Secretary, yesterday announced a "root and branch" review of criminal databases as a senior Home Office official was suspended over the affair.
That came after the official "volunteered information" about the department's failure to enter details of the convictions of Britons abroad on to the national police computer.
Mr Reid, with his ministerial colleagues Miss Ryan and Tony McNulty, have been under increasing pressure since last week over the failure to update the police national computer with details of more than 500 British serious offenders who committed crimes overseas.
It emerged that there was a backlog of 27,500 cases that had not been entered.
Last night, the row broadened to include access to criminal records on people from the entire European Economic Area (EEA) – including all EU states – coming into Britain.
In a letter dated last June and addressed to the Labour MP Chris Mullin, Miss Ryan admitted: "The UK Immigration Service is unable to routinely access details of an EEA national's personal information or criminal record in their country of origin."
David Davis, the shadow home secretary, said the admission showed "shocking complacency towards the matter of stopping dangerous criminals at our borders". At the weekend, a judge reportedly called for an EU-wide criminal record system after problems checking previous convictions on two Lithuanians convicted of gun-running.
By coincidence, Miss Ryan is in Dresden today to argue with other EU interior ministers for better criminal record sharing.

Legal battle looms for parking ticket millions

Ham & High 24
Katie Davies

EVIDENCE is mounting in the campaign to make Camden Council pay back every parking ticket issued before August 2006.
Lisa Hyams, from Fitzjohn's Avenue, has won her case against a ticket issued in October 2005. A parking appeal ruled it was illegal because it failed to carry two dates - the date of contravention and of the notice.
And campaigners are claiming the judgment could open the floodgates to millions of pounds worth of other fines.
Ms Hyams said: "It is nice to get one over on the wardens. They are so strict about their regulations - if you get back to your car one minute late they slap a ticket on it - so I am delighted."
Camden Council changed its tickets in August to include both dates but the London Motorist Action Group, whose supporters include Hampstead actor Tom Conti, says all tickets before then are invalid.
Chairman Alex Henney said: "For anyone who has a ticket from before August which is still being enforced - going through stages of appeal or to bailiffs - there is no doubt their tickets should be stopped. What is not yet clear is whether we can get them to pay back paid-for tickets.
"I think the council deserves its comeuppence for its incompetence. It would give me a great deal of pleasure because it has been so very unpleasant for such a long time. The council had been advised it was legally safe but this statement is pretty clear."
In making his decision in Ms Hyams' case, the adjudicator from the Parking and Traffic Appeals Service (Patas) used the precedent of an appeal won by Golders Green resident Hugh Moses in March. In Mr Moses' case, Mr Justice Jackson ruled tickets given in Barnet were invalid because they didn't carry the two dates.
Ms Hyams' solicitor, Franklin Price, said: "It is not enough to have just one date and that is the important part of the decision. Mr Judge Jackson said there was no financial liability as a result and that would enable people who have fines and all other charges to reclaim them. Camden Council is denying it will be forced to pay anything as other adjudicators have found in its favour.
"I am currently taking Barnet Council to court in another case for Ms Hyams. We got a letter from them this morning. They said in the Jackson case the adjudicator was only able to overturn two PCNs because Mr Moses appealed within the appeal time limit.
"I am not worried about that argument at all - it is ridiculous. If the PCN is not valid why should you need to appeal? How is there a time limit? The PCN has to be valid before you can do anything - therefore everything since, including the warrant of execution and bailiffs, is invalid.
"If it is not valid, they may as well just put a piece of toilet paper on your car and call it a PCN."
A Camden Council spokeswoman said: "Any decision made by an individual adjudicator does not set a precedent and, indeed, other adjudicators including the Chief Adjudicator have found in Camden's favour on this issue. We will therefore continue to contest any challenge made over the validity of our PCNs and are satisfied that our PCNs were, and continue to be, fully compliant with the Road Traffic Act."

Sunday, January 14, 2007

£250,000 rent lost on city building

Council lets prestige offices site for free over 20 years
Evening Chronicle
Thursday 11 January 2007
By Peter Young

Critics are calling for an investigation after Newcastle Council allowed prestige city centre offices to be occupied rent-free for 20 years.

It's now been revealed that the potential cost in lost rent to city taxpayers is between £230,000 and £250,000 and there's a call for the independent public spending watchdog, the District Auditor, to investigate. Read the full story here

Saturday, January 13, 2007

Judge exposes EU Criminal record problem

I do believe that this is called synchronicity!

The penny is starting drop, and this will be the straw that breaks the camel's back.

The politicians have created a country called Europe without ever gaining the consent of the people. The practicalities of living as one country means the day to day stuff must fit together and now we are reaching the Project's end game the harsh reality that the dream is unachievable is beginning to strike home.

If the Judge in the breaking story below had had a moment's reflection when he called for an EU wide criminal records system he would have realised that without borders, a single Police force, a common language and set of ideals, morals and principles, a common set of laws and criminal justice system, and one government then it would be impossible to achieve ... cat out of the bag yet?

Do we really want to wait until Lithuania's criminal records systems are on a par with ours before we are safe?

No other country in the EU has a Sex Offenders Register that parallels ours, and many have no such register.

EU Man (or woman) can walk out of prison in their home country, pick up a bag and travel freely wherever they like ... with an ID Card or passport ... and we are aware that there is a massive black market in those two commodities.

Are we to wait until there is a series of child murders by a citizen from an EU Member State by a paedophile who has been released from a prison after a ten year term who simply walked into this country through passport control with a bag of tools and a suitcase? The Police's job is difficult enough after the latest Home Office clanger without having the massive problem of not being able to access the criminal records of any one of the 665,000+ who have registered for work legally after moving from one of the 26 other Member States.

Consider this:
Serial killer on the loose. Five bodies found. Police check records of known offenders in the area. Police records checked, known offenders in the area are checked, there is a match, evidence is gathered and someone is arrested. It could also be that someone is stopped for an unrelated matter ... perhaps by a Traffic Cop for having a tail light out. Vehicle Reg checked with DVLA data base. Records are checked with the Police data base. Name recorded. Body found next day man arrested.

Consider if that man was a paedophile from an EU Member State without any ID driving a car with foreign plates. Would he be arrested for having a tail light out? (has he ever been pursued for a parking ticket or speeding fine ... trouble free parking and trouble free driving?). There is no requirement for him to produce any ID roadside...and why? Nothing suspicious about a broken tail light to justify an arrest. Body found next day. ... now what did that man look like? What did he say his name was? Where do we check that car registration number?

The practicalities of functioning as a country do not mix with the free movement of people agreed by EU treaties. The madness of this greatest ever of political deceptions will be the practicalities that make normal civic society function.

Game over John Reid. There are no excuses you can come up that will that will fool us.

The Home Office knew of the potential consequences yet agreed without a whimper to allow unfettered access after May 1st 2004 (and the predictions of 13,500 migrant workers a year show how out of touch you guys really are)
Home Office Consultation Paper on the Review of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997: here ...
"the free movement of citizens within the EU adds a further layer of complexity. Passport controls on EU citizens entering the UK are now minimal.""Where it was known that they (a convicted sex offender) had committed a serious sex offence, they could, depending on the serious nature of the offence, be refused entry but this would be more difficult in the case of citizens of EU countries, who do not need to complete landing cards before entry."

You all buried your heads in the sand Mr. Reid...and you continue to do so.

Your primary concern as Home Secretary is to guarantee the safety and security of the citizens in this country. You and your Government can give no such guarantee.

We want a referendum on raising our borders again Mr. Reid and the strict and secure border controls that come with it.

We want to welcome with open arms those fellow Europeans who wish to live and work amongst us and contribute to our ecenomy and society.
We want to know that the people who we wish to welcome into our country can enjoy the same peace and security that we expect from those tasked with that responsibility.
But most of all we demand to know that we have not imported rapists, criminals and paedophiles to work and live alongside us without ever asking the questions before they were allowed in.

We want you to do as we say ... you have given away our country without our consent. We want it back

Judge calls for EU criminal records system
Richard Ford,
Home Correspondent
The Times January 13th 2007

Lithuanian gang jailed for 32 years

'Countries must share information'

A judge called yesterday for an EU-wide criminal record system after warning of serious difficulties in getting accurate information on the previous crimes of foreign offenders.
Judge Stephen Robbins said that it was a “matter of pubic concern” that the courts in England had difficulty receiving details of convictions from foreign states.

He said that the process of checking previous convictions on two Lithuanians convicted of gun-running had shown how “very difficult it was to glean details, let alone precise details” from their home country.

The judge said: “We know there is much concern at the moment in the press about convictions of British nationals coming from abroad, but here we have nationals from a country that has recently joined the EU . . . and who are free to visit Britain.”


Sex Offenders, paedophiles and criminals ... the questions to the Home Office

Below is the letter that was sent to Labour Constituency MP (Sunderland South) by the campaign's Colin Moran.

We were aware that Chris Mullin would have to refer the matter hence the request:
" I would be grateful of if in turn you pass to the Minister for Europe, Right Honourable Geoff Hoon MP, and the Right Honourable John Reid, Home Secretary."

Remember, this was May last year.

We were acutely aware that honest answers to the questions would help expose that the politicians were aware of the problem, and aware of the fact that it couldn't be fixed.

Follow the questions and then see the post below to see how the Minister wriggled around in order not to expose how they have placed everyone in this country at risk.

The blood of the murdered and the pain of the victims is already on your hands Mr. Reid.

Colin Moran
C/o 12 Frederick Street

Chris Mullin MP
House of Commons

Dear Chris,

In view of the latest revelations from the Home Office about who should and should not be in our country, I am prompted to write expressing my concerns and requiring answers on this subject. It is quite some time since my last correspondence between yourself and the then Minister for Europe, Denis McShane, so I hope you consider it reasonable to raise this matter with you again.

Neil Herron and myself are increasingly aware of the consequences of the Single European Act, the cornerstone of the European Project, and other agreements allowing the right of the free movement of people throughout the 25 member states (soon to become 27) of the EU.

Our campaign group, many other groups around the country are now witnessing the fact that the public are now waking up to what is taking place in their country. In fact questions are now being asked about is it a country or are we slowly being drowned in globalism.

I have therefore submitted a number of practical questions, which I would be grateful of if in turn you pass to the Minister for Europe, Right Honourable Geoff Hoon MP, and the Right Honourable John Reid, Home Secretary.

As you know we have no political axe to grind, and we hold our 3 main parties equally responsible for the necessity to ask these questions.

I wish to submit the following questions:

The unacceptable situation of foreign nationals committing serious crimes in our country and then being allowed continued circulation with the general public on release from prison, has brought the media and public opinion to boiling point I hope you agree.

So in view of this unravelling situation would the Ministers please provide answers to the following questions:

1. Can Britain deport EU foreign nationals, in view of the right of ‘free movement’, which the European Single Act and other agreements confer on all EU member state citizens?

2. If the answer is yes, how can such people be prevented from re-entry? EU member state passport holders, it appears, can enter the UK on the same status as UK citizens returning home, and in the same queue.
For your information:
Free movement of people is a basic pillar of the single area the European Union (EU) has been building since its creation … …the notion of "free movement" is used in two senses. First, in the traditional sense of free movement and secondly in the sense of being able to cross the internal borders without undergoing checks.
Source: Europa
3. Have any steps been taken to prevent known criminals from EU countries entering the UK? Is there a central register of everyone who has committed a serious criminal offence in any EU Member State?

4. Do UK authorities have records of people entering the UK who have been convicted of paedophilia or any sexual offence in their own country?

5. Are these people placed on the National Sex Offenders’ Register? I hope this question has a positive answer. It is simply unthinkable that a Government would admit such people within the ‘free movement of people’, but at this moment in time it is far from clear how any exclusion is possible.

6. Within all of the treaties and agreements made over the last 33 years, has any provision been made to control and prevent Europe’s criminal class entering other countries undetected, with the obvious serious consequences for public safety?

7. Considering the right conferred on EU foreign nationals to enter this country, are records available identifying crime levels committed by those who can enter without, it appears, restrictions?

8. If we accept that the Government’s first responsibility is to safeguard its citizens, how can it surrender its duty to know who is in the country by allowing anyone with an EU passport absolute, unchallenged entry?.

As always I would appreciate a prompt reply to these questions and I really implore you for straight answers. Some statements given to me by Mr McShane have already proven to be, at best, incorrect.

Thank you and the Minister for time in dealing with this matter.

Yours sincerely

Colin Moran

Friday, January 12, 2007

Under Secretary of State Joan Ryan and that letter

Road Pricing Petition ... please sign

The government's proposal to introduce road pricing will mean you having to purchase a tracking device for your car/bike and paying a monthly bill to use it.

The tracking device will cost about £200 and in a recent study by the BBC, the lowest monthly bill was £28 for a rural florist and £194 for a delivery driver. A non working Mum who used the car to take the kids to school paid £86 in one month.

On top of this massive increase in tax, you will be tracked.

Somebody will know where you are at all times. They will also know how fast you have been going, so even if you accidentally creep over a speed limit you can expect a NIP with your monthly bill.

If you care about our freedoms and stopping the constant bashing of the driver/rider, please sign the petition on No 10's new website.

Please pass this on to anyone who owns a car/motorcycle. It affects them

Sunderland needs a Solicitor ... help !!!

Sunderland City Council appears to be close to admitting that the Decriminalised Parking Enforcement regime that they have created is a legal as well as an operational shambles.

This advert was placed in The Newcastle Chronicle yesterday (11th January 2007) but funnily enough, not the Sunderland Echo.

So, the City Solicitor and his Assistant need help ... with the complex legal processes of drafting Traffic Regulation Orders ....

But Leader of Sunderland City Council, Bob Symonds recently stated that the regime was legally robust and enforceable and that anyone parking on a yellow line would get a ticket!

He declined my offer of a walking tour of the City highlighting defective TROs, lines and signs.

But Bob, if the regime is lawful why the expense of another Solicitor?

But Bob, all the TROs are correct ... Sunderland City Council told the Department for Transport that they were in their DPE application in 2002 ... and since it came into force in 2003 over £3m has been extracted from the City's motorists pockets ... then why the need for another Solicitor?

But Bob, what if the Solicitor is being brought in to identify the hundreds of mistakes in the City's TROs ... will wholesale refunds begin then?

Nice to know another documentary is going to be aired ... again about Sunderland, again about the parking shambles. This time it is going national and looks like there are some serious revelations.

Upon reflection perhaps the best way to have dealt with this would have been to admit everything when first caught out and then invite the Department for Transport to assist with starting again and putting it right.
Instead the shambles gets bigger as do the implications.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Parking Mad

Sunderland Echo
Thursday, January 11, 2007

CALL centre staff are being forced to pay two weeks wages to remove clamps on their cars because there are only 400 parking spaces for 1,800 workers. Full story here

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Newcastle City Council exposed offering rent free building to North East Assembly

£250,000 rent lost on city building
Jan 11 2007
By Peter Young, The Evening Chronicle

Critics are calling for an investigation after Newcastle Council allowed prestige city centre offices to be occupied rent-free for 20 years.
It's now been revealed that the potential cost in lost rent to city taxpayers is between £230,000 and £250,000 and there's a call for the independent public spending watchdog, the District Auditor, to investigate.
The row involves a decision by Newcastle City Council to allow the unelected North East Assembly and the Association of North East Councils to occupy offices at the historic Guildhall, a Grade I listed building on the Quayside, rent-free for around six years.

Who will be the patsy for this blunder? Political duplicity could now finally be exposed by this EUlephant in the room.

Below is a copy of our press release on the potential implications of the Free Movement of People ... remember this was in May 2006. The damning response and admission from the Minister will be posted tomorrow.

Why are the Conservatives not asking the questions? Could it be that this will be the straw that breaks the elephant in the room's back?

Hopefully the press will finally grasp the implications and start asking the questions and DEMAND answers.

The questions which were put to the Minister can be seen here

The responses will be posted tomorrow.

Press Release

The People's No Campaign / Metric Martyrs

11th May 2006: Immediate

"European Agreements Allow Convicted Paedophiles and Sex Offenders Unfettered and Unchallenged Access to Britain"

In view of the latest revelations from the Home Office regarding who should and should not be in our country, and the problems arising from convicted foreign nationals being released and allowed to roam freely and unchecked, there is one glaring omission.

It is an omission, which will dwarf the problems that led to the downfall of Home Secretary Charles Clarke.

The 'free movement of people' across the 25, soon to be 27, Member States of the European Union allows any EU passport holder free and unfettered access to this country.

The subject of illegal immigration is a completely separate one and must not be confused with the free movement of people

As the European Union's website states:

Free movement of people is a basic pillar of the single area the European Union (EU) has been building since its creation…
…the notion of "free movement" is used in two senses. First, in the traditional sense of free movement and secondly in the sense of being able to cross the internal borders without undergoing checks.

As it appears the Home Office does not know the whereabouts of many serious and dangerous foreign criminals released from British prisons, the major concern now is how serious criminals, including paedophiles and sex offenders released from prisons within EU Member States are monitored.

There are no checks at passport control. Many EU countries do not have a sex offenders register.

There appears to be no requirement to go on the UK Sex Offenders Register and no explanation from the Government as to how many potential paedophiles and serious sex offenders have entered the country perfectly legally under the free movement of people.

How many paedophiles and sex offenders, convicted in their own or another EU Member State, are in this country?

If there are no checks at passport control and no requirement to declare any criminal convictions, how can they be monitored?

How many, if any, are any on the UKs National Sex Offenders' Register?

How many people have taken advantage of 'free movement' since the 10 accession countries joined the EU on May 1st 2004 and how many of those had criminal convictions for sex offences?

Attached is an open letter from the campaign to both the Home Secretary John Reid, and the Minister for Europe Geoff Hoon.

Neil Herron states, "The EU issue is unmanageable from a nation state perspective. It is incredible that the consequences of allowing 450 million people free, unfettered access through our borders without any checks as to their background appear to have never been seriously thought through."

Colin Moran states, " We have been put in a position where we are no longer in control over our borders. Serious questions must be asked of this Government as to why this has been allowed to happen. How many innocent people will become victims before the penny drops?"

Dr. Richard North states, "The Human Rights Act has become the Criminal Rights Act. We have given the right of access to murderers, rapists, child molesters, robbers, fraudsters."

As a matter of protocol the contents of the letter have been raised with respective constituency MPs for answers from both Ministers. The questions and matters raised are too important to wait for the normally pedantic ministerially response.

We urge concerned citizens everywhere to raise this matter with their MP and demand answers.



Neil Herron
Campaign Director
Colin Moran
Strategy Director and Spokesman

The People's No Campaign
12 Frederick Street

Tel. 0191 565 7143
Mob. 07776 202045 (Neil Herron) 07802 448 635 (Colin Moran)


Websites: and also

Notes for Editors:
Free Movement of Persons A fundamental right of EU citizenship, allowing citizens to travel, live and work freely throughout the EU. The Treaty of Amsterdam communitised the area, giving the Commission a greater role in proposing initiatives.

(See EU citizenship: Right to move and reside freely, Freedom to travel, Judicial-civil)
Freedom Security and Justice(from the Europa website)

New legislation will simplify conditions and administrative formalities for applying EU citizens' right to travel and reside freely throughout the European Union

Directive 3004/38/EC

Is the PM also unaware of massive 'Sex Offender and Criminal' problem caused by EU Treaties?

Now when you read the story below this question may also spring to your mind ... perhaps you can raise it with your own MP before 'events, events, events' highlight the practical consequences of our membership of the EU.

"Dear Tony ... under our EU treaty obligations, signed and agreed to without the consent of the British people, citizens from the other 26 Member States of the EU are allowed 'free movement' within the EU to reside, work and travel.
If you cannot manage the simple task (where you are actually supplied the information of convictions) of alerting the Police when a Briton has been convicted abroad then how on earth can you monitor people with criminal convictions from other EU Member States ... who travel, live and work here? This quite unbelievable state of affairs makes a mockery of our Sex Offenders Register."

- Remember, there are no requirements for any EU national to do anything other than show a Passport or ID Card when he comes into this country. Do you expect a convicted sex offender from another EU country to voluntarily place themselves on the Register?

- Remember, do you know if any of the other 26 Member States has a Sex Offenders Register? Lat year the BBC reported 'EU criminals' freedom to roam.' Check the report out here

- Remember, Home Office estimates for the numbers that would take advantage of the Free Movement of People once the accession countries joined in 2004 were around 13,500. They were wrong by a factor of 50 !!! ... and that is only the ones who registered for work.

- Remember, 430m people have the right to live and work here should they so wish. Restrictions were discussed in 2003 but this was prior to the Free Movement of People. Read the discussion in the Commons here where concerns were raised here and in the Lords here

A country called Europe has been created without ever gaining the consent of the people. History will remember this as the greatest ever political deception.

Shortly I will be releasing the questions that were asked of the Minister 8 months ago ...along with the Press Release ... and the response from the Under Secretary of State, Joan Ryan which will prove that John Reid and the Home Office is fully aware that they have no control whatsoever.

A time bomb waiting to go off. Let us hope that it is not the murder of children that will bring the politicians to their senses and expose what they have all been party to ... it is essential that every one of the Members of Parliament is made to understand what the potential human consequences of our membership of the EU could be.

PM defends Home Office in convict controversy
10 January 2007

Tony Blair has spoken about reports that records of crimes committed abroad by British residents were not inputted into the police database.

Some criminals may have been cleared to work with vulnerable people in the UK after committing serious crimes overseas, police chiefs have claimed.

Responding to a question at Prime Minister's Question Time, the PM admitted there was backlog of cases caused by incomplete information.

Mr Blair told MPs:
"All the people for whom there is sufficient information are on the Police National Computer.
"But those who are part of the backlog of cases, where the information was delivered to us, when it was only voluntary, not compulsory, there may be some of those for whom there is insufficient information. That is not the fault of the Home Office."

Home Secretary John Reid told the Commons he had met the President of the Association of Chief Police Officers (ACPO) and the chief executive of the Criminal Records Bureau, explaining: "I have asked ACPO to ensure that every one of the most serious offenders that they have identified and on whom there is sufficient information has now been entered on the Police National Computer. I have been given that assurance."

The Permanent Secretary at the Home Office will now set up an inquiry into the Home Office's handling of these notifications, he said:
"This will include: a chronology of events; the practices and procedures in place at different times, whether appropriate action was taken; and the lessons to be learned."

Further Information and Commentary:

Open Europe: The Free Movement Directive here
Guardian: Bid to Curb Paedophile Sex Tourists here
The Tayside Courier: A spokesman for Tayside Police said, “A local police force will endeavour to obtain information relating to any previous offences of any accused, whether a UK or EU citizen, or indeed from a country outwith the European Union.
“This can be straightforward, at times problematic, and on occasions extremely difficult, depending on the country of origin.”
...but is only after a crime has been committed!
Home Office Consultation Paper on the Review of Part 1 of the Sex Offenders Act 1997: here ... this Paper was published in July 2001 and higlighted the problem then, way before the mass movement westwards post May 1st 2004
"the free movement of citizens within the EU adds a further layer of complexity. Passport controls on EU citizens entering the UK are now minimal."
"Where it was known that they (a convicted sex offender) had committed a serious sex offence, they could, depending on the serious nature of the offence, be refused entry but this would be more difficult in the case of citizens of EU countries, who do not need to complete landing cards before entry."
Daily Mail 22nd November 2006 "A blunder for which we'll all pay the price" by Sir Andrew Green here

Sunday, January 07, 2007

North East Assembly 'Squatters' do a runner!

How much do you think the North East Assembly paid Newcastle City Council over the past six years in rent for the prestigous Guildhall building (left) situated on Newcastle's Quayside?

The estimated market rent is £25k per annum...equating to £150,000 over the six years.

Go on, have a guess ... and remember, the amount of rent received offsets the amount of Council tax Newcastle residents will have to pay.

Perhaps it will come as somewhat of a surprise that the North East Assembly, legal personality is an 'unincorprated association' has not paid a penny!

The Freedom of Information response from Newcastle City Council is somewhat revealing and shows a frivolous regard for the residents and ratepayers of Newcastle.

The responses to a number of questions are shown below:

Further to this, there was £280,000 spent on 'improvements' to the Guildhall to meet 'the current and short term requirements by the NEA.' £250,000 of this was to be met from the Corporate Resource Pool in order to 'retain this key regional function within the City.'

This has created an annual cost burden to the ratepayers of Newcastle City Council of £29,348 for the next twenty years.

The North East Assembly has now 'done a runner' and moved to premises in Gateshead!

I am sure that this failure to look after public money will now be the subject of a complaint by residents of Newcastle who may wish to bring it to the attention of the District Auditor.

I am sure that the Council tenants would not get such favourable terms from the City Council...

Friday, January 05, 2007

EU stealing the crown of the great British pint | News | This is London

Yet more EuroCreep. The end to the pint is in sight. Don't say you weren't warned!

EU stealing the crown of the great British pint News This is London

York Drivers Happy With Parking Fines (from York Press)

I wonder how transparent the Council is with regard to informing motorists of their right to appeal to the adjudicator, or could it be that most parking tickets are handed out to tourists unfamiliar with the area and its parking regime and who simply pay up as the perceived hassle of appealing is simply not worth it.

I have yet to meet a motorist who is 'happy' to receive a parking fine.

York Drivers Happy With Parking Fines (from York Press)

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