Archive for the 'Depression' Category

25
Jul
09

councillor’s mental health problems put to good use

'Councillor Potts uses his own mental health experiences to help himself'

'Councillor Potts uses his own mental health experiences to help himself'

Cleadon and East Boldon councillor David Potts who has a history of mental illness is hoping he can use his own experiences to change people’s perception of mental illness.

Councillor Potts, who is till trying to get his life in order after being detained under section 4 of the Mental Health Act following his deselection as the prospective Conservative Parliamentary candidate in the Labour held Edinburgh South constituency at the next General Election, is now backing a national campaign to get a section of the Mental Health Act, which states an MP can never sit in Parliament if they suffer a nervous breakdown while in office, changed.

Under Section 141 of the Mental Health Act 1983, an MP automatically loses their seat if detained under the Act for a period of 6 months or more.

He said: “how can this be fair? Basically what this says to people is, if like me, you’ve suffered from a mental health problem, your opinions will never be valid again”.

He went on to say, “this means that people who have the most experience of the system cannot change the system.

“When I was about 14 I started getting very depressed and became paranoid and I’ve had to cope with these feelings ever since. Things became extremely difficult for my family after I tried to kill myself and as you can imagine, I wasn’t a very pleasant person to be around”

“Eventually, my mam took me to the local hospital to see one of the doctors there and he said he wanted me to go into hospital. They basically said to me I could either go voluntarily, or I could be sectioned for up to six months.”

Councillor Potts, who is a self employed financial trader and lives in West Boldon, spent the next few months in hospital, is backing a national campaign by mental health charity Rethink, to raise awareness of mental health issues with MPs. 

He said: “I am taking a big risk being so open about my mental health problems and there are things people can and I am sure will, say, it could also be the end of my politial ambitions, but if you go through something like this, you should be allowed to have your say.

“It’s essential that people who have experienced the system should be allowed to shape it”.

23
Jul
09

councillor sectioned following sacking

'Councillor Potts cannot cope with his demons'

'Councillor Potts cannot cope with his demons'

A year ago councillor David Potts was a rising star in the Conservative party after being selected as the Conservative Parliamentary candidate to stand against the Chancellor, Alistair Darling at the next general election.

Many Scottish Conservatives reckoned that he was destined for great things and even councillor David Potts believed that he would – at the very least become a  minister in the new Conservative administration – that was until Mr Monkey revealed his antics here in South Tyneside to the world.

Within months of exposing the ‘real David Potts’ any ambitions he had to make it to Westminster were over. The Scottish Conservatives took the unusual step of effectively sacking him by removing him as their candidate and replacing him with Edinburgh councillor, Jason Rust who ironically had been pictured with David Potts on a number of occasions.

Councillor Potts found it difficult to come to terms with this rejection and his life quickly spiralled downwards.

Publicly he tried to convince the world that he had ‘resigned’ because of his father’s ill health and when it was pointed out to him by people who knew his father that this wasn’ttrue, he changed his story and claimed that the real reason he resigned was so that he could return to South Tyneside to fight the far right threat posed by the BNP.

He attended one meeting hosted by the leader of South Tyneside Council and to date no further meetings have been held.

Those close to councillor Potts feared for his safety and mental wellbeing as his behaviour became more erratic. They noticed that his drink problem had became more profound, he started to talk to imaginary beings and became increasing paranoid – he thought he was being followed by monkeys and started to see chimps everywhere.

This paranoia was coupled with depression, something he had suffered from as a child. He found it difficult to cope with and eventually retreated into his own world, he refused to answer his telephone, speak to anyone and then disappeared.

Some people thought he’d gone on holiday but Mr Monkey can now reveal that he returned to Scotland in an attempt to tackle his Edinburgh demons, but bottled it at the last minute and ended up in Glasgow.

He thought he was safe there where he could hide amongst the down and outs, tramps, alcoholics and drug addicts - that was until a jogger spotted him in the infamous Glasgow Green on the banks of the Clyde and called the police.

Apparently when the police arrived they found him unconscious on a park bench dressed in khaki shorts, a beige tshirt and a pith helmet. He was surrounded by a dozen toy monkeys, some of which had been mutilated and a fluffy chimp hanging from the tree above him in what appeared to have been a mock execution.

When the police roused him he refused to acknowledge their presence, pulled out a water pistol and started to ‘shoot’ the toy monkeys. He even tried to kiss and cuddle 2 blue monkeys which he kept referring to us Maggie and Smeagol.

At this point the police decided to ‘protect’ him and took him to the Gartnavel Royal Hospital where he was detained under section 4 of the Mental Health Act.

Mr Monkey can reveal that councillor Potts - who has a history of mental illness - is now hoping he can use his own experiences to change people’s perception of menal health and is campaigning for the law to be changed.

PART 2 WILL FOLLOW SHORTLY

06
Jul
09

how to recognise a coke head

Whether snorted, eaten, injected or smoked, cocaine is potentially deadly and no one can predict a fatal dose. Here are some perils of long-term, unresolved cocaine addiction and even short-term abuse in some cases.

  • Necrosis in nasal tissue. Snorted cocaine causes constriction of blood vessels; too much constriction means that tissue is being deprived of oxygen, which can lead to cell death.
  • Seizure.
  • Arrhythmia, heart attack and stroke. Cocaine puts an enormous burden on your cardiovascular system, dramatically elevating a user’s heart rate. Even recovered addicts face a likelihood of heart attack seven times higher than the average person. Risk of heart attack is substantially more elevated in the hours after taking a dose of cocaine.
  • Respiratory failure.
  • Kidney damage failure.
  • Serious infection or contraction of HIV/AIDS from contaminated needles.
  • Circulatory embolism from insoluble elements cutting the injected cocaine.

Cocaine is seen by many especially wannabe high flyers – as a hip, glamorous drug but true addicts are not burdened by those delusions, as they desperately focused on how to score their next fix.

Here are some ways to recognize cocaine addiction.

Constantly runny nose. Snorting cocaine can lead to rhinitis, a fancy term for the inflammation of the nasal membranes. Consequently, people who snort cocaine often have an uncontrollably runny nose. In addition to runniness, addicts often suffer nosebleeds or even a loss of their sense of smell.

Pronounced fluctuations in mood and energy levels. When high on cocaine, an addict experiences a rush characterized by hyperactive tendencies, euphoria (as mentioned above), fidgetiness and elevated heart rate. Cocaine highs produce these effects in varying length and amplitude, depending upon how the cocaine is ingested.

But cocaine abuse physically alters the brain’s ability to register pleasure by any other means than gradually escalating doses of the drug. Inevitably, the high gives way to an equally powerful low, characterized by irritability, lethargy and depression.

Sleeping problems. Cocaine addiction can lead to insomnia or oversleeping.

Paranoia and psychosis. Chronic abuse of cocaine can cause the user to become paranoid and anxiety-ridden or even spiral into hallucination and psychotic episodes.

Sexual clues. Cocaine users often report heightened libido, but cocaine abuse can also cause erectile dysfunction and impotence.

Grinding teeth. There’s even a term for compulsive tooth grinding – “bruxism.” This nervous tendency is a common consequence of smoking cocaine.

Short breath. Someone who smokes crack may suffer from shortness of breath due to lung damage from the smoke. No matter how it is ingested, cocaine raises your heart rate enough that, to keep enough oxygen pumping through the veins, a person often feels shortness of breath.

Hot and cold flashes. Cocaine abuse compromises our ability to regulate body temperature.

Weight loss. Cocaine acts as an appetite suppressant, to such an extent that some addicts ultimately suffer from malnutrition.

Needle tracks. A cocaine addict who injects the drug intravenously typically has a track of needle pricks visible on the forearm. Addicts often resort to wearing long-sleeved shirts even on ridiculously hot days in their efforts to hide the evidence of their cocaine addiction.

These observable characteristics do not necessarily indicate addiction to cocaine, but where several of the observations can be made, cocaine addiction is a distinct possibility. Successful treatment is an individualised process, but the first step is identifying the problem and encouraging the addict to find help.

Mr Monkey wonders if bloggers recognise any of the above signs, in thier local councillor perhaps?

17
May
09

iain malcolm dares you tell people about mr monkey!

Seems council leader Iain Malcolm’s obsession to silence Mr Monkey has taken a new twist.

Bloggers will already know that Miss Piggy, aka councillor Iain Malcolm ordered senior officers of the council to bar access to Mr Monkey’s Blog from all council computers in a desperate attempt to stop council employees and councillors from reading about his disgraceful antics and what really goes on behind the closed doors of his pen office. CLICK HERE.

If that wasn’t enough, he tried to ban access to Mr Monkey’s Blog on council owned Blackberrys that are used by senior officers and councillors. CLICK HERE.

And even his brother, councillor Ed Malcolm unsuccessfully complained to the police after he recived a Christmas card from a  naughty ape. CLICK HERE.

Mr Monkey has also learned that public money has been used to buy legal advice in an effort to silence this chimp - more on this will follow. CLICK HERE, and HERE 

A senior councillor has unwittingly told Mr Monkey that his ape antics are driving Miss Piggy mad and he’s frustrated that all his attempts to silence the chimp fail.

Apparently he’s now resorted to intimidation to silence anyone who dares mention Mr Monkeys Blog and has threatened to take disciplinary action against any council employee who dares mention Mr Monkey by name.

This chimp was now been told that councillor Iain Malcolm has stepped up his campaign of intimidation and is now using the council’s Standards Committee in a last ditch attempt to stop people referring to Mr Monkey’s Blog.

Apparently an opposition councillor has been reported to the Standards Committee for daring to refer to Mr Monkey’s Blog – the councillor has been charged with promoting a political blog that disrespects both councillors and council officers.

Mr Monkey reckons other local bloggers, newspapers (except the Shields Gazette who already do as they are told) and anyone who dares talk about local politics in their workplaces, pubs, clubs and even their own homes better beware, the fat sow in the town hall is out to get you.

16
May
09

the monkey clip returns

This time last week council leader Iain Malcolm, aka Miss Piggy was in his element sat in his pen with his tits exposed watching his piglets arguing over who’d get to suck on them first and he knew they’d all want to impress him because he was about to handout his yearly treats.

Now that the dust has settled and Miss Piggy’s tits are returning to normal, Mr Monkey thought he’d dedicate this week’s Monkey Clip to all those poor bastards who got fuck all.

Keep your eye on the little pig in the corner, he’s called Tom and it seems that the fat sow has rejected the poor runt and has decided not to feed him anymore and this chimp reckons it’s time Tom tried his luck elsewhere - give your mate Bernard a call and he’ll send a bus for you.

07
May
09

pigs set to gather at Iain Malcolm’s trough on saturday

After a hectic few days Mr Monkey is back in the swing of things.

Next Tuesday the people of South Tyneside will know the names of all the councillors that have either been bought off with paid positions and whose silence and obedience has been guaranteed for another year. 

Last year the then newly crowned council leader, Iain Malcolm broke with tradition and made a few more enemies within his own ranks by giving paid positions to a handful of opposition councillors all of whom gladly took anything that was on offer as long as it was paid.

Councillor Iain Malcolm’s motives were two fold – to prevent the opposition from uniting and to exert his dominance over the Jarrow Labour party by rubbing their faces in it- apparently he’s always promised his inner circle that when he grabs power he would put an end to the Jarrow Labour party and shut Jarrow town hall.

Mr Monkey reckons Saturday’s Labour group meeting will be a lively affair as many loyal party members are angry that they have either not been offered a paid position or that they have not been given what they want. This chimp has heard that resentment is growing and that if councillor Malcolm gives any paid positions to opposition councillors this will be seen as a slap in the face by some and will re-open many of the old wounds.

Followers of the local political scene will have noticed that Iain Malcolm’s leadership style has revived the old A and B team split between Jarrow and South Shields and that the infighting began within days of him taking the leadership last May.

The most recent example of this split is the sudden and dramatic departure of senior councillor and cabinet member Tom Hanson who resigned from his lucarative position in the cabinet less than 2 weeks before the new cabinet was announced. CLICK HERE.

'Saturday's gathering of the pigs round Iain Malcolm's trough promises to be a lively affair'

'Saturday's gathering of the pigs round Iain Malcolm's trough promises to be a lively affair'

It seems that once the news leaked out, councillor Malcolm was furious and has ordered an investigation into how this sensitive information got into the public domain. He’s also tried to silence councillor Hanson by threatening to remove him from the Integrated Transport Authority which is a well paid postion and gives him free travel.

Councillor Hanson now refuses to comment on the matter publicly but privately he’s telling everyone that he’s been treated very badly and has been “shit on”. He’s also telling peopel that if councillor Malcolm insists on trying to break up the Jarrow Labour party he will reveal what he knows about councillor Malcolm, his leadership style and what the real agenda in the town hall is.

Mr Monkey can’t wait for Saturday and is looking forward to witnessing Iain Malcolm’s pigletts fighting over who gets what from his trough and it will be interesting to see how many people levae the meeting with a bloody nose.

09
Apr
09

exclusive: council leader iain malcolm reported for ballot rigging .. who knew about it and why was it covered up?

council Iain Malcolm

council Iain Malcolm was reproted to the police for ballot rigging by the town's MP Dr David Clark

A fortnight ago Mr Monkey exclusively published the findings of his in depth investigation into allegations of ballot rigging by South Tyneside’s Labour council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.

Mr Monkey’s revelations confirmed what a handful of people already knew, and what many others suspected, councillor Iain Malcolm will stop at nothing to cling on to power, including rigging elections in his favour - in this case by deliberately destroying postal votes intended for other candidates. CLICK HERE to read Mr Monkey’s revealtions in full.

On 31st March, Mr Monkey posted a second article in which he revealed the dilemma faced by Tom and Mary Taylor. They’d witnessed councillor Iain Malcolm opening postal vote envelopes and destroying ballot papers intended for the Conservative, Pat Piggott. They agonised for months about whether or not they should tell anyone about what they’d seen before finally telling all.

Mr Monkey also revealed how Iain Malcolm was willing to sign off the local party’s accounts ‘on behalf’ of Tom Taylor (he was the party treasurer) without his knowledge or approval until Geraldine White (a then executive committee member) objected to councillor Malcolm’s proposals and suggested that she should visit Mr Taylor so that he could sign off the accounts in person. CLICK HERE for more details.

TOM TAYLOR REVEALS ALL ..

True to her word Mrs White visited Mr and Mrs Taylor to discuss the annual accounts and during the course of the conversation Mrs White mentioned that councillor Iain Malcolm had proposed signing off the party’s accounts in his absence. This angered Mr Taylor who then proceeded to tell her what he and Mrs Taylor had witnessed Iain Malcolm do in their front room and explained in detail how Iaian Malcolm rigged the ballot to ensure the result went his way.

Mrs White, whose loyalty to the party was unflinching and who was “taken in” by Iain Malcolm couldn’t believe what she was hearing but knew that both Tom and Mary Taylor were extremeley honest and she had no reason to question their integrity.

It was now Mrs White’s turn to agonise over what to do next. Should she put loyalty to Iain Malcolm above loyalty to the party? She choose the latter.

SOUTH SHIELDS MP, DR DAVID CLARK TOLD ABOUT IAIN MALCOLM’S ELECTION FRAUD

Mrs White was aware that the then member of Parliament for South Shields, Dr David Clark was hoping to stand down at the 2001 local elections and that he’d been offered a life peerage and a seat in the House of Lords by Prime Minister Tony Blair. The only thing that was stopping him was his contempt for councillor Iain Malcolm who he blamed for splitting the local party into several factions and for the infighting that resulted.

He did’nt trust Iain Malcolm and believed that he was dishonest, had no integrity, was devious and had been corrupted by power.

But what worried him most was that Iain Malcolm was on the Parliamentary Panel and would be the person most likely to succeed him if he was to quit at the 2001 elections – something he was desperate to avoid.

In the meantime Mrs White decided to put the party first and contacted Dr David Clark and told him what she’d been told by Tom and Mary Taylor.

Dr David Clark asked Mrs White to arrange a meeting with Mr and Mrs Taylor as he was keen to hear for himself what they’d seen Iain Malcolm do. He also wanted to know more about the methods he’d used to ‘fix’ the election result. 

A meeting was hastily arranged at which both Mrs White and Dr Clark listened intently to what Tom and Mary Taylor had to say. Tom confirmed that he’d been asked (by Iain Malcolm) to collect completed postal vote envelopes from care homes and sheltered accommodation and that he’d witnessed Iain Malcolm open the envelopes before either destroying or resealing them depending on who the person had voted for.

Dr Clark asked them to keep this matter confidential and reminded them that this highly sensitive was potentially very damaging for the Labour party. He also asked them if they were prepared to make written statements to support what they’d seen. To Tom’s credit and in spite of his illness, he agreed to provide as much information as possible and help in any way he could.

After the meeting Dr Clark and Mrs White discussed the matter at length and agreed a course of action. Dr Clark said he needed to take advise and thought that the party should be investigate the matter. However, he was deeply concerned that both the local and regional Labour party had been infiltrated by supporters of Iain Malcolm and his employer Alan Donnelly, who at that time was a member of the European Parliament and had close links at the highest levels of the Labour party.

Dr Clark felt Iain Malcolm’s antics had major implications for the party especially in view of the party’s support for postal voting. He was also worried about the press getting hold of the information and the damage that this would causes the party, especially with a General Election looming. 

He was concerned that the matter would not be investigated seriously at a regional level and opted to tell senior officials at Millbank House, Labour’s national office in London. 

A senior party official was subsequently asked to initiate an investigation into the matter and within days Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel of possible election candidates which put paid to any hopes he had of replacing Dr Clark as the town’s MP. 

Iain Malcolm had played right into the hands of the Labour party’s hierarchy and he was solely responsible for his own deselection. His ballot rigging antics had cleared the way for someone else to be ‘parachuted in’ and it seems that the Prime Minster, Tony Blair just happened to have someone in mind.

POLICE ASKED TO INVESTIGATE

Having taken advise from Labour HQ, Dr Clark and Mrs White contacted the police and arranged to make a formal complaint about the incident. They also agreed to be interviewed and to make written statements.

They were asked to do this separately; Dr Clark attended Jarrow Police station and Mrs White attended South Shields Police station where she was interviewed by a senior police officer called Gallop.

The police agreed to carry out an investigation into the matter and Mr Monkey can confirm that councillor Iain Malcolm was subsequently arrested and interviewed under caution.

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?

About the same time, senior officials within the Labour party decided that they could not risk details of the incident or the subsequent investigation being made public as they felt it would harm their election prospects, especially in South Shields were the Prime Minister’s chosen candidate was about to contest the seat.

Without warning the police contacted both Dr Clark and Mrs White and advised them that no further action would be taken because the complaint had been made outside of the permitted time frame. They were dismayed by this sudden and unexpected decision and whilst they didn’t understand it, they accepted it.

Tom Taylor discussed the matter with Mrs White and expressed his concerns. He felt the party was deliberately attempting to cover the whole affair and in his opinion Iain Malcolm had got away with election fraud. Mrs White in turn sought advise from Millbank House and Dr Clark and was assured that the investigation was ongoing although the General Election would now take priority.

A full investigation was promised after the election but this never materialised.

Mr Monkey has carried out some additional research and can confirm that there is a time limit of 12 months in relation to election matters if complaints are brought under the Representation of the Peoples Act. But this complaint was about a crimes involving fraud and the interception and interference of mail and therefore should have been treated differently.

There are numerous examples of people being charged with crimes committed decades ago - CLICK HERE for details of the latest example.

TONY BLAIR EARMARKS SOUTH SHIELDS AS A SAFE SEAT FOR RISING STAR DAVID ‘BRAINS’ MILIBAND

Meanwhile in Downing Street, Prime Minister Tony Blair had recently hosted a garden party and had pulled one of his senior advisers and head of his Policy Unit to one side and asked him join him in Parliament. He told him that a General Election was imminent and that he’d earmarked a traditionally safe Labour seat for him in a place called South Shields. Apparently he also mentioned that there some issues within the local party that needed sorting out. He assured him that he’d have the help of the sitting MP, Dr David Clark and a handful of reliable party members.

This rising star was none other than David Miliband, affectionately known in Labour party circles as ‘brains’ and now the Foreign Secretary and member of Parliament for South Shields.

WHAT HAPPENED TO DR DAVID CLARK?

Sources close to Dr Clark have confirmed that he intended to stand down at the 2001 general elections but publicly he continued to deny it – that was until Iain Malcolm had been removed from the Parliamentary Panel and before the then Prime Minister, Tony Blair announced the date of the General Election.

Within days of the election announcement, Dr Clark confirmed that he would after all be standing down. This effectively allowed Labour’s National Executive Committee to ‘parachute in’ Tony Blair’s chosen candidate and rising star, David Miliband.

Shortly after Labour won the 2001 general election, Dr Clark was given a life peerage and became Baron Clark of Windemere. He was also made chairman of the Forestry Commission and he quickly disappeared off the local political scene.

WHAT NEXT?

This murky affair raises a number of serious issues and brings into question the integrity and honesty of the council leader, councillor Iain Malcolm.

In the 2000 local elections he cheated his way into office and surely from that moment on the public has a right to question the validity of his position - once a cheat always a cheat .

It’s time for him to stand aside whilst this matter is investigated and he should actively be encouraging the appropriate authorities to dig deep in an effort to clear his name – if you’ve got nothing to hide councillor Malcolm what are you afraid of?

If like Mr Monkey, you are appalled by this shameful act of betrayal contact the Chief Constable of Northumbria Police and ask him to investigate the matter on the grounds of public interest. At the same time you might also like to ask for an explanation as to why the original police investigation was hastily brought to an end.

The local media has a major role to play in exposing the fraud that is councillor Iain Malcolm for the benefit of the people of South Tyneside.

For months the Shields Gazette has been cynically manipulated by councillor Iain Malcolm and his minions in the press office. It’s time for the editor to make a stand on behalf of the people. Its time for the Shields Gazette to give this matter the priority it deserves and for the whole editorial team to put it’s weight behind the growing calls for a full and open investigation into this despicable act of betrayal by the borough’s most senior local political figure.

A MESSAGE TO COUNCILLOR IAIN MALCOLM

If you think things can’t get any worse, think again - Mr Monkey will shortly be publishing details of some of your other exploits including how you used a dead man’s details to join him up as a party member and how you and a handful of people illegally deselected numerous candidates by fixing the selection ballot results.

09
Mar
09

gazette watch

Bloggers will have noticed that the local snooze paper has become the official voice of the borough’s Labour run council and that it’s editor Mr Dumpy, aka Papa John Szymanski has handed over editorial control to his paymaster council leader Iain Malcolm.

This has been a gradual process and at first Papa John paid lip service to his profession by at least appearing to be reporting things from a neutral perspective and even appeared to occasionally challenge the shit churned out by the Minister of Propaganda, Linda Fothergill, aka the council’s Head of Communications.

Miss Piggy, aka councillor Iain Malcolm, quickly realised how easy it was to manipulate Mr Dumpy – all he had to do was make him feel loved, invite him to council functions and make sure the fat bastard could stuff his face with free sausagee rolls – and the Gazette was his to control.

But over the last month Mr Monkey has noticed that Papa John Szymanski appears to have handed over editorial control to the local Labour party and they in turn seem to publish whatever they want with little or no involvement from the paper’s journalists, especially the so called council reporter Paul Myles Kelly.

Mr Monkey thought he’d test this theory by comparing the council’s latest press release about a possible reduction in council rents with Paul Myles Kelly’s article. CLICK HERE.

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

Housing Minister set to give away £175 million but Ed Malcolm wants the credit'

This chimp was astounded by the results and proves beyond doubt that Papa John Szymanski is nothing more than Miss Piggy’s plaything and that the Gazette is just another propaganda tool for the local Labour run council.

Judge for yourself – below is the press release issued by the council

COUNCIL RECONSIDERS RENTS FOLLOWING GOVERNMENT ANNOUNCEMENT

Council tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council has already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the Council is now reconsidering that figure following today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175 million to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The Council’s Lead Member Resources, Councillor Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government. Both the Council and the Board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time, and we have been pressing the Government to rethink its position. We are delighted that the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for Council tenants. I have instructed officers to assess the revised position following this afternoon’s announcement with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that Council tenants can benefit. We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”

The Council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy. This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As Council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full Council.

Now compare this to the article below that appeared in the The Labour Gazetteer, formerly known as the Shields Gazette. The differences between the 2 articles have been highlighted in red and amount to a change of title, the addition of 8 words and the removal of 2 others.

TENANTS IN LINE FOR RENT CUTS

COUNCIL house tenants in South Tyneside could be set for a major reduction in next year’s rent increase after the Government announced a new package of financial support for local authorities.

South Tyneside Council had already agreed a 6.84 per cent rise in rents for 2009/10, in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring guidelines.

But the council is now reconsidering that figure after today’s Government decision to slash its average guideline rent increase for 2009/10 from 6.2 per cent to 3.1 per cent.

The Government is providing up to £175m to local authorities in England in an effort to encourage councils to reduce the amount tenants would have to pay for the coming year.

The council’s lead member for resources, Coun Ed Malcolm, said: “This is welcome news from the Government.

“Both the council and the board of South Tyneside Homes wrote to the Government at the turn of the year to express our concerns that their average guideline rent increase was above what most people could afford at this difficult time.

“We have been pressing the Government to rethink its position, and we are delighted the Government has listened to our calls, and responded.

“We are keen to provide real help now for council tenants.

“I have instructed officers to assess the revised position after this announcement, with a view to making recommendations that will ensure that council tenants can benefit.

“We are aware that tenants have already received letters outlining next year’s rent increase, and will be contacting them again as soon as we are in a position to do so.”
 
The council’s existing rent increase of 6.84 per cent was agreed in accordance with the Government’s rent restructuring policy.
 
This policy aims to bring the amount council tenants pay into line with people living in properties managed by other registered social landlords, such as housing associations.

As council rents in South Tyneside are historically low, rent increases are often slightly higher than the Government’s guideline in order to close the gap with rents charged by other landlords.

Any change to the increase in rents for 2009/10 would have to be agreed by full council, at a meeting on March 26.
Well done Paul Myles Kelly, another worthwhile piece of investigative journalism worthy of your profession the Gazette.
08
Mar
09

monkey clip

Mr Monkey has been told that councillor Alan Kerr, aka Mr Tits didn’t look too well at the recent full council meeting so this chimp thought he’d cheer him up by dedicating this week’s Monkey Clip to the dirty pervert.

21
Feb
09

is Miss Piggy about to be spit roasted?

'Spit roast'

'Spit roast'

Miss Piggy, aka council leader Iain Malcolm has been having a few nightmares recently wondering what Mr Monkey is up to, especially since bloggers gave this mischievous ape some useful pointers of where to dig when he applied comment moderation earlier in the week – and Mr Monkey has been busy ever since.

Apparently Miss Piggy doesn’t just have an odd skeleton in his closet, he’s got a whole grave yard full and one voice he doesn’t want to hear is that of Mary Taylor - she’s got some pretty damning evidence about councillor Iain Malcolm’s hatred of the British democratic system.

Miss Piggy will be horrified to learn that this voice from his past has been whispering in Mr Monkey’s ear and that this chimp is set to reveal all, very soon.

No wonder Miss Piggy can’t sleep when there’s so many people wanting ‘spit roast’ their favourite piece of pork!




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