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Stockport Council News

LibDem planning corruption at Stockport – Monitoring Officer fine with this.

Vale View School, Vicki Bates, Monitoring Officer, Stockport Council Posted on Sat, September 14, 2019 07:54:02

The Stockport Council assistant monitoring officer Michelle Dodds and Vicki Bates, Strategic Head of Service & Monitoring Officer (Legal, Democratic Governance and Estate and Asset Management), say I am vexatious to have ever raised this issue.  Ms Dodds and Ms Bates obviously care nothing for children’s safety.

The Stockport then-entirely LibDem Executive decided to build the new 500 pupil, still gassing toxic waste dump school at this location where traffic was already horrendous:

Most of the cars  from the houses within the red lines on the photo below, which have to exit their housing estate along narrow Mill Lane past the new, still gassing toxic waste dump primary school, were ignored at the planning meeting. What about the traffic from all these houses I asked and asked?  Don’t be vexatious they replied, and they still do –  Ms Dodds and Ms Bates, Stockport Council panjandrums.

Within weeks of the new school opening the police had complained about the dangerous traffic situation, which I had previously warned the Council about:

The school was issuing letters to parents and residents about the dangerous traffic situation, but still my questions on the subject were and still are “vexatious”.

It would be bad enough that Ms Dodds and Ms Bates, Monitoring Officers, don’t care about children’s safety enough to allow questions to be asked about the traffic situation, but my young son died in a traffic accident aged just 16.  For these women to call a mother who lost her child in a traffic accident “vexatious” for correctly identifying the dangers to primary school children is so offensive to me as to be off the scale.

My son

Vicki Bates, Stockport Council Monitoring Officer – contamination questions are “vexatious”.

Vale View School Posted on Wed, August 28, 2019 20:13:20


Vicki Bates, Strategic Head of Service & Monitoring Officer(Legal, Democratic Governance and Estate and Asset Management) at Stockport Council claims all questions regarding contamination on the site of a new primary school at Stockport are vexatious. I think she is dangerously wrong.

There was a Jackson’s brickyards site in North Reddish.  These sites are notorious for their contamination.  When they stopped making bricks they filled the dug-out claypits with rubbish at a time when no records were kept of what was dumped.  In 1974 new regulations were brought in and this site was no longer viable as a tip. The land was grassed over and left.  In 1974 three planning applications were lodged to build housing on the site, but Stockport Council refused these as the land was too dangerous to build on.

Stockport Council, at that time a completely LibDem run council, decided to build a new primary school on the site.  Local people objected saying the site was tipped land and contaminated.  The council was forced  by public opinion to do contamination investigations. What they did was a very paltry one borehole, which they thought they could get away with.

An excellent contaminated land officer at Stockport Council called Alison Bardsley wouldn’t accept this report, to her credit, and insisted further contamination investigations were carried out.

The further contamination report was seriously flawed.  It found contamination which the council intended to deal with by planting prickly bushes on to keep the children away from it. The plants would have soaked up the contaminants and lost their prickly leaves.  No solution whatsoever.

The council’s own contamination report for a sister Jackson’s Brickyards site at Adswood Tip, where they wanted to prevent development, stated that a site shouldn’t be developed if it were gassing more than 0.5% v/v Carbon Dioxide.

The proposed new primary school was gassing 14.7% v/v Carbon Dioxide.

No investigations were done where the school was actually going, which was directly over the old rubbish-filled claypits marked /////// on the map below, just around the periphery.  The CBR investigations (California Bearing Ration) are to do with ground stability and nothing to do with contamination

Under BS 10775 they should have done contamination investigations on a strict grid pattern but they didn’t disturb the football pitch, which covers a lot of the site where the school was built.

They found toxic hotspots on the site, so they should have considered the entire site to be contaminated and should not have made the decision not to disturb the football pitch, which was exactly where the new primary school was going.

BS 10175, which the Council and Greater Manchester Geological Unit (part funded by Stockport Council) claim to have complied with, states the contamination investigations should be carried out on a strict grid pattern. This was not done and GMGU admitted that they didn’t bother to investigate under the football pitch, which is where the school was going. “You have not complied with BS10175”, I objected. “Don’t be vexatious”, they replied. Weldon, Goddard, Schulz, Sager, Khan, Pantall, Smith, Candler, Khan, Derbyshire, Bodsworth et al.

I was pointing out at the time in council meetings and with FOIA questions that what they were proposing was unsafe for children. Their response – the entirely LibDem council executive – was that I was being “vexatious” for raising these issues and publicly defamed in council meetings and on the Internet as being vexatious and causing council officers and councillors work.  I have in writing from a previous council Chief Executive that I have never been rude or offensive.

I went to see the Environment Agency in Warrington with all my  documentary evidence and fortunately they took me seriously.  However, when Stockport Council was told how to act by the Environment Agency, they simply ignored it.

A councillor, who was a chartered chemist, wrote to the local paper claiming the site was clear enough,  and he denigrated my efforts to get the contamination properly dealt with.

I kept asking and asking whether the actions demanded by the Environment Agency had actually been carried out and the response from the LibDem executive at council meetings and the response to FOIA/EIR 2004 questions was that I was vexatious and they refused to respond.

Local people claimed four footpaths across the site.  The Council applied to have those diverted in order to build the school.  I objected as I felt the footpaths might be being diverted into areas of contamination, so for the resulting public inquiry and for that inquiry only further contamination investigations were carried in November 2009 which found that the site was entirely contaminated with lead, arsenic and brown asbestos.

The words of an amazing gentleman who was assisting me in this fight:

“It is inconceivable that the school would actually be built following “failure to detect toxics” – the tests were obviously unreliable especially having failed and caused the reckless plans to go ahead.  By then the financial aspects of this new project were too great to resist, especially backed by the extraordinary claim by the Council that the old industrial tip site could be made safe and used.

The Council had commissioned soil tests and found no contamination! There was the influence of the Government grant of £2.2 million already in the till and even spent on something else.  But more soil tests, only carried out because the Council had to prove to a diversion of footpath public inquiry that the site was not contaminated found a variety of chemicals – lead, arsenic and brown asbestos. What on earth were the previous experts – Greater Manchester Geological Unit –  doing to have missed all this or should the question be who was in the pocket of whom?”

Contractors then sifted the deadly material by hand –
Come on!  How could they recognise the material, especially when the experts couldn’t?

Because the school was on a toxic site, over an important aquifer, draining into a fishing pond the Environment Agency stipulated £200k should be spent on drainage.  What is left of the site for public use is often sodden and unusable.  How much was actually spent on drainage?  “Vexatious” of me to ask.

Lethal Stockport LibDems

Vale View School Posted on Mon, February 29, 2016 10:46:07

Lethally dangerous LibDem Executive Councillors Goddard/Derbyshire/Pantall/Weldon/Meikle/MacAuley/Alexander/Roberts et al say it is “vexatious” to ask questions about a new primary school they put on a lethally contaminated site from which brown asbestos fibres were not removed. The school is on a sister site to these:

Stockport LibDems put new school on sister site to this contaminated one

Vale View School Posted on Mon, February 29, 2016 06:42:36

Stockport Council put a new primary school on a sister site to this one pretending the site wasn’t contaminated and failing to removal lethal brown asbestos.

Again, no political pressure put on councillors, no siree

Vale View School Posted on Mon, September 21, 2015 19:59:22

Mrs Oliver ,

The committee did not describe the design as shoddy as
the minutes will recall . Other members may have made design comments but did not describe them as shoddy . Cllr
Harding may have made such a comment, but the planning permission was granted
by a large majority .

Again Mrs Oliver you are quick to condemn others without
any factual basis . If you believe I deliberately misled the meeting then
please take it up with the monitoring officer.

There was obviously no attempt to imply political
whipping was involved. To extrapolate this

from my comments would be beyond even the most ardent conspiracy
theorist, as it would involve Cllr Scott, the leader of the Labour group and a
Reddish Councillor being subject to political pressure from a Lib Dem
Executive Member, as he also supported the
. Absolute nonsense as we all know !


Mark Weldon

—–Original Message—–

“sheilaoliver” <>

To: “Cllr Mark Weldon” <>

Cc: “Peter Devine” <>;
“Leader” <>;
“John Schultz” <>;
“Barry Khan” <>;
“Jane Scullion” <>

Sent: 21/07/08 20:18

Subject: Lies told at Executive meeting

Dear Councillor Weldon

I have double checked with people who were present at the
Harcourt Street planning meeting.
Several members of the planning committee, and not just or primarily
Cllr Harding, expressed concern about the shoddy design, particularly regarding
the tin roof. This, as I understand it,
meant that as a planning condition changes had to be made to the design of the
building. Consequently, your assertion
at tonight’s meeting that it was just “one rogue” councillor – presumably
you were referring to Councillor Harding – who complained about the shoddy

Firstly, do I understand from your comments that any
member of the planning committee who doesn’t completely toe the line and vote
as per instructions, and please remember there are a large number of official
complaints in about the planning committee and also with respect to them being
subjected to political pressure, is to be considered “rogue”?

Secondly, what official procedure should be followed when
an Executive Councillor tells lies in an Executive Meeting? Is it strengstens verboten for we plebs to
utter any comment in protest?

I really look forward to hearing from you so we can sort
this knotty problem out for when future lies are told .

I note from are previous correspondence that you are
actively seeking wisdom. I shall be on
my knees praying tonight that you might achieve it.

With warmest best wishes



This email, and any files transmitted with it, is
confidential and intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to
whom they are addressed. As a public body, the Council may be required to
disclose this email, or any response to
it, under the Freedom of Information Act
2000, unless the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in the

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Weldon and Sager met me, read the evidence, did nothing.

Vale View School Posted on Mon, September 21, 2015 19:52:45


Dear Mrs Oliver,

indicated in your question to me at the Executive meeting last Monday that you
had documents relating to the proposed site at Harourt Street. Subsequently you
also expressed in an email the concern that you would not wish these documents
to leave your possession. To get around these concerns is it possible for you
to present your documents to myself and Donna Sager at CYPD next Thursday 28th
February at 4.00pm.? If you present yourself at the reception at the town hall
Ms Sager and myself will meet you there. If this is not convenient other times
and dates are available.



No political pressure brought to bear on planning committee

Vale View School Posted on Mon, September 21, 2015 19:27:21

“STOCKPORT Council officers who failed to alert their own standards body of an e-mail which called for “political pressure” to be brought to bear on councillors over the controversial school at Reddish’s Harcourt Street, have been rapped over the knuckles.

The email exchange was revealed after anti-Harcourt Street campaigner Sheila Oliver requested the release of documents under the Freedom of Information Act on negotiations between outside contractor GVA Grimley and NPS, an arms length Council firm.

The email from GVA Grimley’s Rob Peters to NPS’s Chris Woolard came just three weeks before a decision was made on the school on the former dump site by the Tame Valley Area Committee on July 30, 2007.

In the email Peters asks Woolard if anyone at the Council can ‘help out’.

Peters states in the email: “It may be worth considering whether anyone can apply political pressure to the Committee Members, through lobbying in advance?”

When the e-mail came to light, Mrs Oliver and residents opposed to the new school, complained to the Standards Committee about possible breaches.

In a ruling made last month, a Standards Committee decided that while there were no attempts to influence the decision in favour of building a school at Harcourt Street, it ruled the authority’s monitoring officer should remind officers of their responsibilities.

It stated: “When consultants are engaged in the future to carry out work for the Council on planning and development related activities, that they are made fully aware that any action intended to put members under political pressure to determine issues in a particular way is totally inappropriate and will not be tolerated.”

Mrs Oliver who first brought the e-mail to light said: “To be honest the ruling by the Standards Committee raises more questions than it answers. For instance, why was this approach suggesting applying ‘political pressure’ by an outside consultant not brought to the attention of the committee by a Council officer?”

Council Labour group leader, Councillor Peter Scott, said he was alarmed by the approach of the outside consultant adding: “I think this is something we would want to look into and I would like to see a thorough investigation.”

A Council spokesman said: “Council officers are unable to control what is written or suggested by people outside the local authority. However, senior officers in the Council are fully aware of the processes for dealing with planning applications, and as a consequence the suggestion presented by the consultants in the email was ignored. The Council strongly refutes any allegation that political pressures were put on any members of Tame Valley Area Committee.”

A spokesman for GVA Grimley said: “Any applicant for planning permission and/or any third party has the opportunity, legitimately as part of the planning process, to engage with democratically elected members who sit on a Planning Committee.”


Dear Mrs Oliver,

reasons I gave you the verbal answer and forwarded on a copy of my text was
given in the very first sentence of my response. I could not, / would
not allow your assertions to go unchallenged.

can also assure you no political pressure was put on any councillors from
any party to secure the planning permission.This underestimates the quality and
independence of councillors from all parties. Indeed could you seriously
imagine that I or anyone else could pressurise for example Cllr Hogg into
accepting an application against his judgement ?



From: sheilaoliver
Sent: Tue 19/02/2008 20:47
To: Cllr Mark Weldon
Cc: Donna Sager
Subject: Re: Executive Meeting

Dear Councillor Weldon

One way round this impasse is to give me written answers, as I requested.

Your transgressions are forgiven, of course.

I have no reason to trust Ms Sager and I don’t think she will be able to
understand the complex issues without explanation.

I was thinking of writing a letter to the Stockport Express, explaining the
question I asked you last night and pointing out that you really couldn’t
have cared any less. I have documentary evidence that on a sister site,
which the Council admits has nothing dangerous on it even 25 years ago the
investigations were carried out to a much higher standard – the standard
which should have been applied at Harcourt Street regarding a strict grid
pattern (BS10175) and wasn’t. Do you want to head me off at the
pass? I am
quite willing to show you the evidence I have which has convinced the press
and the two councillors on the planning committee who strained themselves to
look at it (the LibDems couldn’t be bothered, but it would appear they were
subjected to political pressure to vote the way they did). We shall see
regarding that point in the fullness of time.

Lots of love

—– Original Message —–
From: “Cllr Mark Weldon” <>
To: “sheilaoliver” <>
Cc: “Donna Sager” <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 7:36 PM
Subject: RE: Executive Meeting

Dear Mrs Oliver,

Please accept my apologies. It did not register with me that I was only a
“cc” recipient of your previous email, and not the target of your

In my defence I have often been accused by you of misdeeds and / or of
having said something of which I was completely innocent.

On a not unrelated point you quoted me from last night that I’d arranged for
a meeting with Mrs Sagar, whereas I had done no such thing as my written
response shows.

I did however ask for you to send copies of any correspondence relating to
the Harcourt Street site to Mrs Sagar. I would happily arrange the refund of
the photocopying costs.


Mark Weldon

—–Original Message—–
From: “sheilaoliver” <>
To: “Cllr Mark Weldon” <>
Cc: “Donna Sager” <>
Sent: 19/02/08 17:34
Subject: Re: Executive Meeting

Dear Councillor Weldon

You have again misrepresented what I emailed; that is why I always keep
copies of your correspondence. My email was addressed Ms Sager (stating
Dear Ms Sager) and it was she who colluded with the illegal FOI refusal.
She knew it was only maybe four of her folders. How could that take 84
hours to read through and “redact” before I could see them?
That prejudiced
a legal hearing. The issue is with the Information Commissioner. I
mention you with regard to FOI abuses and I am delighted you are a supporter
of the Act.

Due to your interminably long and waffling replies, I am convinced these
misunderstandings will continue. I have told you before that you
keep things simple, especially with your unintelligability. I am
sure you
mentioned the word meeting. I would have no intention of leaving my
documents with Ms Sager, and I doubt she would be able to understand them
without explanation. Are you saying that no meeting will now take place?
Then I shall have to keep questioning you on the subject until it does.

Kind regards


—– Original Message —–
From: Cllr Mark Weldon <>
To: sheilaoliver <>
; Donna Sager
Cc: John Schultz <>
; Jane Scullion
Sent: Tuesday, February 19, 2008 12:44 PM
Subject: RE: Executive Meeting

Mrs Oliver,
You have again misrepresented what I said at the executive meeting. I stated
quite clearly that if you were in possession of any documentation relating
to the Harcourt street site that were not in the possession of the council
for you to send copies to Mrs Sagar at CYPD.

I attach a copy of my statement which I read out to show that you again have
not taken on board the meaning of my response. This is why I keep a copy of
my responses to avoid all the unnecessary confusion.

I must protest that you allege I have colluded with denying any FoI request.
I have always been a strong supporter of FoI . This is despite the danger
that persons misrepresent documents and estimates from the past as some
sort of proof of some imagined misdeeds and conspiracy, whereas it merely
shows an evolving complex situation being dealt with as reasonably and
professionally as possible.



From: sheilaoliver []
Sent: Mon 18/02/2008 21:26
To: Donna Sager
Cc: Cllr Mark Weldon; John Schultz; Jane Scullion
Subject: Executive Meeting

Dear Ms Sager

Cllr Weldon stated at tonight’s executive meeting that you would meet with
me to go through documents not already in the possession of the Council
which show the Harcourt site has not been thoroughly investigated for

Whilst, unfortunately, I have no reason to believe in your honesty given
that you colluded in the refusal of FOI documents supposedly which would
take 84 hours to read, when you must have known the maybe four folders of
your documents would not have taken that long to read, I welcome this
opportunity to put these contamination documents in front of a senior
council officer, so that when further expensive testing becomes necessary,
the Council will not be able to deny knowledge of the facts.

I will come at a time to suit you.


PS I must make time to bring to the public’s attention that I have been
waiting for an explanation of this appalling behaviour, which prejudiced a
legal case, from Mr Schultz and Ms Scullion since last July. I note the
Leader stated responses must be given within 10 working days, no matter how
exalted the personage involved.

This email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
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2000, unless the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in
the Act.

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But the boreholes weren’t situated in accordance with national guidelines

Vale View School Posted on Mon, September 21, 2015 19:18:28

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I can confirm that the previous
answer I gave to you at the last Executive meeting regarding the site
boreholes was correct. I have been in contact with one of the geologists who
worked on the report and she confirmed over the telephone the boreholes
were situated in accordance with national guidelines.

I of course stand by my response
last night that notwithstanding the same commercial ownership of the
sites, geologically
every site has to be treated as unique for development purposes, and we have to
rely on the qualified experts opinion.


Mark Weldon BSc (Hons) App. Biol

Executive Member CYPD

From: sheilaoliver
Sent: Fri 28/09/2007 19:13
To: Cllr Mark Weldon; Leader
Subject: Sister sites

Dear Councillor Goddard

I don’t want a written apology from
Cllr Weldon regarding last night, but I do need written confirmation from the
Council of the relationship between the two sites at Adswood and Harcourt
Street. Apart from the documentary evidence I hold from the Council’s own
archives, I have today got rock solid proof from Stockport Library.

So, I asked a question to which
Cllr Weldon was not in a position to reply as he didn’t have sufficient
knowledge. He should have acknowledged that fact and obtained a truthful answer
for me. Instead he lambasted me and I have already received comments
regarding this from shocked onlookers. Well, it turns out that what he
was accusing me of was untrue. I do do my research and I do usually know
what I am talking about. If I don’t then I ask. We have had an instance
before at a meeting when Cllr Weldon felt qualified to comment that site
wide boreholing had been carried out at Harcourt Street without bothering to
check his facts. This council is a stranger to truth and honesty, as we
have seen with all the illegal FOIA refusals – 84 hours to read
documents which actually took 2 hours, the FOI officer claiming he had shredded
documents which I had already seen and I was wasting his time asking to
see them again. When I demanded to see them nothing happened,
then with one threat to complain to the Secretary of State it turns out these
vital documents never existed in the first place. And that was one
half of what you based your case on for not building the school at the Fir Tree
site – complete lies.

So, as I understand it councillors
are not allowed to be rude to council taxpayers. I have enough witnesses from
the full council meeting. What I was saying was totally correct abut the
sites. It was a very important question. If I don’t get the
confirmation requested above, a complaint will be going in about Cllr Weldon to
the Standard Board. I don’t mind either way. As the Germans say, it
is all sausage to me. I will give you a week to respond.

Kind regards


This email, and any files transmitted with it, is confidential and
intended solely for the use of the individual or entity to whom they
are addressed. As a public body, the Council may be required to disclose this
email, or any response to it, under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, unless
the information in it is covered by one of the exemptions in the Act.

If you receive this email in error please notify Stockport e-Services via and
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