Blog Image

Stockport Council News

I have written to the Chair and Board of Sport England

No Playing Fields Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 19:48:00

The LibDems say it is “vexatious” of me to question the missing playing fields at Harcourt Street, North Reddish, Stockport. Maybe the Chair and Board of the excellent Sport England are not “vexatious”.

The LibDem Executive Councillors refused for the umpteenth time to respond to a question about the missing replacement playing fields at Harcourt Street.

The toxic waste dump school development was in contravention of the town plan and only scraped through on the proviso that replacement facilities be provided for local people before the school opened. Two years on there is no sign of them and yet again this Tuesday, Roberts, Derbyshire, Candler, Meikle, Bodsworth, Alexander, et al refused to respond saying I was being “vexatious”.

I have, therefore, written to the Chair and every member of the Board of the excellent Sport England in the perhaps vain hope that the LibDems might not consider them “vexatious” to be raising the matter.

http://www.sheilaoliver.org/no-playing-fields.html



Redact

Council Gobbledygook Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 08:21:21

Redact:-

Has an interesting background – came into fashion around the time of the investigation into Westminster MPs expenses where claims/documents were “redacted” supposedly to edit them leaving them as there were meant to be – believe that one if you can!

In my case where I insisted I looked at the real thing and not even photocopies would have done – would “redacting” have done the trick? The remarks they made showed the cost of copying or “redacting”. Consider this to be a defence against showing the original meaning. Also, when documents are later “redacted” by an employee of the employer and acting under his (the employer’s) instructions – then of what value can they be?

Better to see the originals and soak up the time and effort yourself.



Stockport Homes – limited by guarantee

Stockport Homes Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 08:09:32

Stockport Homes is limited by guarantee i.e., no shares. Therefore, consider what happens if it fails.

Stockport Homes Ltd

NPS Stockport Ltd

SK Solutions Ltd

Individual Solutions Ltd

Whatever this strategy represents, why was it not left “in house”? Surely this indicates an ulterior motive unconnected with the prosperity of the citizens of Stockport – too overcomplicated to be straight. After all, SMBC should have had enough talent on the high payroll to run these, and then it would have been controllable.

The questionable “Arms Length” relationships with SMBC – e.g., guarantees on possible losses on pension funds.



Funding

Bypass Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 08:03:08

The Council was considering using the Greater Manchester Pension Fund to finance the new airport road. Pension funds are the only entities with any money around at the moment and are ripe for rifling. The LibDems in charge now seem to have been kicked into the long grass, fortunately.

They were also considering borrowing the money to fund the A6 to Airport Road from China! They would then be involved in currency risk – directly or indirectly – especially in the current unstable global markets. These are the people who failed to keep an eye on what was happening at SK Solutions and failed to ensure even basic accounting procedures were followed, so heaven help us all if they are let loose borrowing from China! Fortunately, that also seems to now have been kicked into touch.

What source of funding are we left with? They will build the road and over the next 60 years all the new businesses attracted into the Borough will all pay lots of business rates and that will fund the road. No, please don’t laugh – they are serious.

In other words the poor council taxpayer will shoulder all the debt and all the risks involved with this road, which it hasn’t even been proved is needed, and our children and their children be landed with the financial burden of paying this back.



Why was Stockport Homes created?

Stockport Homes Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 07:54:01

There is a broad question – Why was the hiving off considered necessary in the first place i.e., why where these activities not allowed to remain in-house at the Council? Why was extra administration added – specifically pension funds, outside contractors, third parties dealing with an organisation between them and the Borough Council? Legalities are doubled or tripled and potential misunderstandings can occur.



Money spent on Vale View School so far

Vale View School Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 07:48:59

Expenditure 2006 – March 2011 – £3,699,212.00

Expenditure 2010/2011 includes architects fees of £151,507.45 paid to the technically bankrupt NPS Stockport.

Expenditure 2011/2012£3,821.955.42 including £130,131.18 of architects fees paid to the technically bankrupt NPS Stockport.

I await the figures for 2012/2013.

This is one very expensive school and a nice little earner for NPS Stockport. The original cost was to be £5.5 million, although two months after that figure was officially published the cost of the school had gone up by another £2.5 million. “Why”, I asked? “Don’t be vexatous”, they replied – and they still do!

These documents can be more clearly viewed at – http://www.sheilaoliver.org/financial-irregularities.html



Failings at SK Solutions

SK Solutions/ISSK Posted on Sat, June 15, 2013 07:00:09

Looking after the assets at SMBC – they are owned via the Council and should be protected and not regarded as fair game. This not only applies to equipment, tools and the like, but other assets like stock and work in progress. I recall the utter shambles which crippled this SMBC satellite by misunderstanding the financial implications of lack of controls at SMBC and its subsidiaries.