In 2006 the then Chief Exec of the Council banned me from asking any council meeting questions or talking to any council officer. It was supposed to be an indefinite ban. He claimed I had been rude and offensive to council staff. No evidence was ever produced and there was no appeal process. When I threatened to sue, the Council said in writing I was not rude or offensive. This ban meant I was not allowed to ask the planning officer if he had contacted the Environment Agency to see if they had told them about the contaminated site for a proposed new primary school. He hadn’t.

I went to the Environment Agency and proved how contaminated the land was and they put further planning restrictions on the Council in January 2008 which for some reason weren’t done until October 2009, paid for by the developers, which showed the entire site to be contaminated. When the EA told the Council not to decide the planning application on grounds of contamination, the Council “forgot” to tell the planning committee that fact.