Archive for the 'Exclusive' Category

29
Jul
09

highlights: council leader threatens a member of the public with his solicitor for daring to complain

BREAKING NEWS …

Mr Monkey has been told  by a source close to council leader Iain Malcolm that he’s desperately hoping that the controversy surrounding his election victory in 2000 will go away, especially as he still reckons there’s time to find a suitable Parliamentary seat in the forthcoming general election with so many MPs announcing their sudden retirement.

Bloggers will recall that Mr Monkey revealed that councillor Malcolm personally ordered his supporters to collect postal votes before opening them and destroying the ones for the Tory candidate, Pat Piggott. CLICK HERE, HERE and HERE.

It now seems that a member of the public was disgusted by councillor Malcolm’s antics, he had the audacity to write to his MP to complain about his ballot rigging antics. The MP forwarded the correspondence to Iain Malcolm who responded to the MP’s enquiry by saying that his solicitor would be getting in touch with the person who made the complaint.

Apparently this is a usual Malcolm response when things get too hot to handle.

Mr Monkey is looking into this matter and hopes to get his hands on the correspondence which he will of course publish on his blog. This chimp can’t wait to see whether the council leaders has abused his position once again by sending his correspondence on council letterhead.

15
May
09

councillor gibson is top of the class when it comes to expenses

'Caught! Who's paying for that Ernest?'

'Caught! Who's paying for that Ernest?'

Over the last 2 days Mr Monkey has revealed how Conservative group leader David Potts, and his colleague Jeff Milburn have milked the expenses system by pocketing nearly £7,000 in just 12 months. CLICK HERE and HERE.

Today Mr Monkey can reveal that screwing the expenses system is not exclusively a Tory thing. It seems that the local Labour party were keen to get in on the act; they have the greediest bastard of them all.

According to figures released earlier this week, Labour councillor Ernest Gibson, who represents Whiteleas, tops the list when it comes to expense claims. In 2008 – 09 he claimed nearly £5, 000 for travel, hotels and subsistence – that’s almost £100 a week. 

Councillor Gibson who is renowned for his love of freebies and can more often than not be found downing large quantities of alcohol and stuffing his ample frame at the buffet table – all funded by the taxpayer - claimed £3,431 in travel expenses and £1,500 for hotels and meals.  

It seems councillor Gibson’s appetite for all things free and his desire to screw the system knows no bounds, but then Mr Monkey reckons he’ll tell the public that it’s all within the rules – so isn’t it time the rules were changed Ernest?

13
May
09

tory councillor David Potts £12,000 expense claims

After yesterday’s pronouncements by the Conservative leader David Cameron concerning the dodgy expense claims of some of his colleagues i.e pay back the money or risk being booted out of the party, Mr Monkey can’t help wondering when councillor David Potts, the local Conservative group leader will join the newly formed  alliance of spineless progressives and the outcasts, who apparently want to be known as The Progressive Party and The Association on non Aligned Independent Councillors?

Regular readers of this blog will remember this post CLICK HERE

"After claiming nearly £12,000 in expenses he still can't afford a pair of sunglasses"

"After claiming nearly £12,000 in expenses he still can't afford a pair of sunglasses"

about councillor Potts record expense claim in 2005 when he claimed more than £2,251 – most of it was spent on First Class rail travel which just happened to be around the same time he claimed he was studying at Cambridge.

Mr Monkey can now reveal that councillor Potts has gone that extra mile in the last 12 months (2008 – 09) and has set another record by claiming a whooping  £3,393 in travel expenses and subsistence.

Interestingly this claim also coincides with the period that councillor Potts had been selected as the Conservative candidate to challenge Alistair Darling in Edinburgh – that is until Mr Monkey put paid to his political ambitions by revealing the sleazy alcohol fuelled antics of councillor Potts.

This chimp reckons that the people of South Tyneside unwittingly paid for his campaign jollies and will be stunned to learn that the council allowed him to get away with it.

Mr Monkey can also reveal that councillor Potts, who is allegedly in opposition has one of the worst attendance records on South Tyneside council,  but he’s still managed to claim nearly £12,000 in travel and subsistence since his election in late 2004.

This chimp reckons it’s time David Cameron turned his attention to some of his colleagues in local government, especially those who are blatantly ripping off the taxpayer with their exaggerated and probably fraudulent expense claims.

.. and Mr Monkey certainly intends to bring councillor Potts dubious expense claims to his attention.

07
May
09

exclusive: councillor sewell left out in the cold

EXCLUSIVE: Poor councillor Sewell the long suffering Labour member for Monkton faces the ultimate humiliation at Saturday’s Labour group meeting .

Apparently councillor Sewell who 12 months ago was forced out of the decision making cabinet and given a chair of a select committee with a salary of £10,000,  is set to receive absolutely nothing at Saturday’s gathering of the pigs – a clear sign that council leader Iain Malcolm intends to consolidate his grip on the reigns of power.

Many including Mr Monkey reckoned councillor Sewell would be made deputy mayor as he’s made no secret of the fact that he wanted to become mayor before he stands down.

It seems Iain Malcolm knew this and has decided to show his dominance by slapping poor old Jimmy in the face – never mind councillor Sewell, Mr Monkey has heard that the Independents are looking for a candidate in Monkton.

05
May
09

mr monkey is not the only one on the move

Councillor Steve Harrison who represents Fellgate and Hedworth and is up for re election in 2010 seems to have taken a leaf out of senior Labour councillor Tom Hanson’s book and quit.

According to Indy councillor Ahmed Khan’s twitter page, councillor Steve Harrison is set to leave the Indy Alliance for “a combination of reasons”. CLICK HERE.

His tweat has also been picked up by another local blogger who speculates why councillor Harrison has left the Indy Alliance.

Mr Monkey is still tied up settling into his new home but will be watching to see how things develop throughout the day – he can’t wait to see how the Gazette reports this one given the prominence way it buried the Tom Hanson story at the bottom of a page.

22
Apr
09

exclusive: Editor of the Gazette desperately tries to silence his critics

Yesterday Mr Monkey revealed that editor of the Shields Gazette and chair of the Northern region of the Society of Editors, John Szymanski had complained to council leader Iain Malcolm about the contents of a newsletter that criticised the Gazette’s less then healthy relationship with the ruling Labour group. CLICK HERE.

This chimp can now confirm that Mr Szymanski has brought his profession into disrepute by attempting to silence his critics. Unfortunately his actions have made a mockery out of his so called commitment to free-speech and has raised some serious questions about his integrity and judgement as well as his suitability to continue as a editor of the once proud Shields Gazette.

It seems that Mr Szymanski took exception to the following statement published in the spring edition of the Independent newsletter for Westoe: 

WITH ALL OF THIS ACTIVITY why is our local rag not full of accounts of all the questions, discussion and debate raised by the Independent Alliance? It has been suggested that the Gazette has become part of the Malcolm Fanzine Cavalcade. Since Cllr Iain Malcolm stepped out of the shadows and took on the role publicly that he has always had, leader of the Council, the editor of the Gazette is seen more often at the jollies previously mentioned than the Mayor! The Alliance has no need to depend upon the Gazette for reporting its activities, we can do it ourselves. As you know we distribute newsletters four times a year, produce special leaflets for specific issues e.g. Gypsies Green and the disappearing ballot boxes, knock on doors and talk to people throughout the year and hold public meetings. Never the less, it is sad to think that free press is not that free and has been bought for an onion baghee from the buffet! 

 … apparently the truth hurts.

A source close to Iain Malcolm has confirmed that he alerted Mr Szymanski to the article who in turn was so incensed by the critiscim he faced that he contacted the council leader to see if there was anything he could do about it. Councillor Malcolm told him there was nothing he could do officially and that the best course of action would be for him to make a formal complaint to the local Standard’s Board. Councillor Malcolm explained the process in more detail and even told him which sections to quote in his complaint.

Mr Monkey can now reveal that John Szymanski has complained to the Standard’s Board about councillor Jane Branley whose name was on the newsletter and that following a confidential report to a sub committee the matter will now be investigated further.

What councillor Malcolm didn’t tell John Szymanski was that when a complaint is made to the Standard’s Board the person who the complaint is lodged against is told who made the complaint. Poor Mr Szymanski thought he was making an anonymous complaint and that no one would find out about it, least of all councillor Branley and especially his own staff – nothing could be further from the truth.

Mr Szymanski’s desperation to silence his critics and his willingness to please his paymaster has back fired and he has been labelled a hypocrite with no integrity. He’s also become the laughing stock of his profession – but worse is to come.

Mr Monkey will be contacting senior managers staff at Johnston Press in Edinburgh and will be sending hard copies of this post to every member of the Society of Editors and not just in the North East.

Mr Monkey has also learned that a further 20,000 newsletters containing the same article have been distributed in Hebburn South, Whiteleas, Biddick and All Saints, Horsley Hill and Whitburn and Marsden - apparently there’s more to follow.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering how Mr Szymanski is going to explain this latest in a long line of gaffes to his senior managers? 

17
Apr
09

exclusive: tory councillor David Potts gets almost £1,200 for every council meeting he attends

'No wonder the bastard's smiling, he can afford an escort when he gets £1,176 for every council meeting he attends'

'No wonder the bastard's smiling, he can afford an escort when he gets £1,176 for every council meeting he attends'

Mr Monkey would like to thank the other local blogger for drawing his attention to the attendances of certain councillors.

He seems to have selectively singled out the poor attendance record of councillor Allen Branley, the not quite as bad record of councillor Jane Branley and the “ever present” records of councillor Victor Thompson and Ahmed Khan.

So Mr Monkey thought he’d take a closer look at the Hobbit’s hero – the King of Sleaze and ‘Totty Magnet’ – Tory Boy David Potts attendance record, and what an eye opener it was.

Below are Pudgy Face’s attendance rates up to 15 April 2009 and they have been taken from the council’s own website.

Clearly, he only attends full council meetings for the attention. He has no respect for sub committee’s, and cant be bothered to go to even 1 CAF meeting, they only council structure that deals directly with his ward members.

Labour council leader Iain Malcolm bought Tory Boy’s loyalty by giving him a Scrutiny vice-chair position, which the members allowance scheme shows pays £7056 in addition to his basic allowance of £7056  and this is how he conned more than £14,000 out of the public purse earned his money.

1. BOROUGH COUNCIL
11 MEETINGS
10 ATTENDANCES 
= 90 % RATE

2. LICENSING COMMITTEE
17 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCE  
= 0 % ATTENDANCE RATE

3. BOLDON CLEADON AND WHITBURN CAF
9 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCES
0 % RATE

4. REGULATORY COMMITTEE
8 MEETINGS, 7 CANCELLED
0 ATTENDANCES
0 % RATE

5. HUMAN RESOURCES COMMITTEE
8 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCES
0 % RATE

6. SELECT COMMITTEE ENVIRONMENT HOUSING AND TRANSPORT AND SAFER AND STRONGER COMMUNITIES COMMITTEE – VICE CHAIR
8 MEETINGS
2 ATTENDANCES
25 % RATE

7. APPOINTMENTS SUB COMMITTEE
8 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCES
% RATE

8. SCRUTINY COMMISSION ON ENVIRONMENTAL ENFORCEMENT – VICE CHAIR
7 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCES

9. SCRUTINY COMMISSION ON IMPROVING DELIVERY OF TRANSPORT AND PEDESTRIAN INFRASTRUCTURE -VICE CHAIR
2 MEETINGS
0 ATTENDANCES
0 % RATE

SUMMARY AS AT 15 APRIL 2009
POSSIBLE MEETINGS -71
ATTENDANCES – 12
OVERALL ATTENDANCE RATE % – 17%

Total amount that can be claimed by Pudgy Face, councillor David Potts is £14,112 or £1,176 per meeting attended – not bad work if you can get it!




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