Archive for the 'Comperhensive Performance Assessment' Category

30
Jul
09

highlights: council leader Iain Malcolm rigs ballot to cheat tory Pat Piggott out of victory

council Iain Malcolm

Election fraudster - council leader Iain Malcolm

Mr Monkey would like to take readers back to April 2000.

Councillor Iain Malcolm was up for re-election and it was widely believed that he faced a tough fight against Patricia Piggott, a strong Conservative candidate.  

 

Many people including Iain Malcolm believed that he would lose his seat to the Conservative so he decided to take matters into his own hands and rig the ballot to ensure he won and there was no better way to do this than by manipulating the postal vote – Labour’s recently introduced new election fixing tool. 

Councillor Iain Malcolm ensured that every elderly person in his ward was registered to vote and encouraged them to vote by post. He assured them that there was nothing complicated about the process especially as he and his associates would be on hand to fill the ballot papers in for them and even offered to post them on their behalf.

Councillor Iain Malcolm particularly targeted care homes, sheltered accommodation and OAP bungalows. As a sitting councillor no council employee was going to deny him access so he was free to come and go as he pleased.

 

As the election was nearing its climax, councillor Iain Malcolm was increasingly worried about the reaction on the doorstep and decided that it was time for drastic intervention otherwise he would lose his seat.

 

Around the same time the sitting MP for South Shields, Dr David Clarke was planning to retire at the next general election which was due to be held within the next year or so.

 

The only problem was that councillor Iain Malcolm had been selected to sit on the Parliamentary panel and was likely to be selected to replace Dr Clarke as Labour’s parliamentary candidate at the forthcoming election – something Dr Clarke was desperate to avoid, he even raised the matter with the then Prime Minister Tony Blair.

 

Dr Clarke despised everything Iain Malcolm stood for, he didn’t trust him and questioned his integrity. It wasn’t long before Dr Clarke was proved right.

 

Prior to polling day councillor Iain Malcolm instructed all Labour party members in Horsley Hill to go around people’s homes collecting any postal voting envelopes that hadn’t been posted on the pretext of “we’ll post them for you”. But instead of posting them he asked his supporters to hand them over to him.

 

A crucial part of Iain Malcolm’ strategy was to ensure that the postal votes from care homes, sheltered accommodations and OAP bungalows were collected in person. He entrusted this task to an unsuspecting Labour party member called Tom Taylor. He told him to take all the envelopes to his house and that he would come and collect them later.

 

After he had collected them he called Iain Malcolm to tell him that he had finished his task and that they were at his house awaiting collection. Shortly after Iain Malcolm arrived.

 

Tom’s wife Mary, asked Iain Malcolm to step inside the house and when he saw that Tom was as good as his word and had collected a large number of envelopes he sat down and started to sort through them. Then to the total and utter dismay of these life long Labour supporters he started to open the envelopes in their front room and removed the ballot papers. Any votes for Labour were returned to the envelope and resealed for posting and any votes for Pat Piggott, the Conservative candidate were destroyed.

 

In the early hours of May 5th the election result was announced and as people had predicated it was a close run thing. Iain Malcolm was declared the winner with 785 votes with Pat Piggott polling 709 votes, a difference of just 76 votes.

 

Iain Malcolm celebrated his victory by announcing to a handful of associates that he had cheated Pat Piggott out of victory by destroying her votes and said that he’d done what he’d needed to do to ensure that no Tory took his seat.

 

WHAT HAPPENED NEXT? Part 2 of this disgraceful act of betrayal will follow shortly.

 

UPDATE: Saturday 28th March at 10.35am

Yesterday was a record breaking day for Mr Monkey’s Blog with 4,163 hits being recorded. Bloggers also helped set an all time record for the highest number of hits on a single post.

 

UPDATE DATE: Friday 27th March at 20.55pm
Apparently Mr Monkey’s blog was mentioned at yesterday’s meeting of the full council and by all accounts it caused quite a stir. Some councillors appeared to want a hole to open up and swallow them. Others managed to raise a wry smile but sadly one or two just sat there with a blank expression on their face.

26
Mar
09

exclusive: an investigation into election fraud and ballot rigging in South Tyneside

'Council leader Iain Malcolm and the South Shields Labour party are under investigation for election fraud'

'Council leader Iain Malcolm and the South Shields Labour party are under investigation for election fraud'

About 2 months ago Mr Monkey received some disturbing information about a culture of election fraud within the local Labour party.  

At first Mr Monkey thought that the allegations were being made by a disgruntled political opponent of the ruling Labour group but decided to take investigate the them further, especially as they concerned the leader of the council Iain Malcolm who several months earlier had been implicated in the scandal surrounding a payout of around £8 million pounds to two former employees of Newcastle Airport when he was the chair of the remuneration committee. 

Mr Monkey’s investigation has taken over month to complete. He has interviewed many witnesses including some of those either knowingly involved or unwittingly conned in to doing someone else’s dirty work. Mr Monkey’s investigation left no stone unturned and took him to Newcastle, London, Hull and he spoke to people in Brussels, Strasbourg and Spain.  

Within days of investigating the allegations Mr Monkey realised that they were coming from a source that witnessed the events and that the motivation for exposing the culture of election fraud within the local Labour Party had nothing to with politics but everything to do with a exposing the truth about the shocking way Labour has lied, cheated and fraudulently held on to power in South Tyneside. 

For years Mr Monkey has heard rumours about election fraud, ballot rigging, fraudulent selection meetings and the manipulation of party membership lists by a group of individuals desperate to hang on to power at all costs. 

 

Mr Monkey can now reveal that the culture of election fraud is much wider than he first thought and was orchestrated at the very top by council leader Iain Malcolm but it didn’t stop there.  

 

Others implicated include; Ed Malcolm, Michael Clare, Rob Dix, Ann Walsh, John Anglin, John Wood, Ed McAtominey, Nancy Maxwell, Mark Walsh and Neil Maxwell – and Mr Monkey suspects that this is just the tip of the iceberg. 

 

The findings of Mr Monkey’s investigation are too long to be included in a single post so he will be posting on this subject over the next week or so – make sure you don’t miss out by visiting Mr Monkey’s Blog frequently.  

 

Part one of Mr Monkey’s investigation will be posted here later this morning.

10
Mar
09

ticking boxes gets council 4 stars

Last week the Audit Commission, the people who monitor councils, announced the results of the latest Comprehensive Performance Assessment (CPA) of Local Authorities and awarded South Tyneside Council 4-stars council, which means that the council has been judged “Excellent.”

But, alas, CPA is not the panacea which Miss Piggy and the Dominatrix are claiming. In fact, CPA is being abolished at the end of this month, to be replaced by something better. Being graded “Excellent” in a flawed process is better than being graded “Poor.” But the process is flawed, and the the Labour council shouldn’t get carried away.

As the title suggests, Comprehensive Performance Assessment is a comprehensive way of assessing services. But the way that it does so is very much to do with performance statistics, which can mean the targeting of resources to meet targets and tick boxes rather than to respond to what resdients on the street actually want. It’s a flaw which has long been evident yet never been properly corrected.

This is evident in South Tyneside where, for instance, Neighbourhood Services score very highly. The department’s staff do their job well and do indeed hit their targets. But whilst the Audit Commission might judge that there’s success, Mr Monkey wonders if they’d have the same view if they actually lived in the borough and had to deal with litter un-swept, graffiti un-cleaned, and roads un-repaired? Mr Monkey doubt’s it.

These problems aren’t to do with bad staff, there to do with mis-directed money and the result of local people being ignored – CPA doesn’t have anything to say about that.

CPA has always lacked enough emphasis on service user satisfaction, relaying on tightly-worded tri-annual surveys rather than mystery shopping or the experience of councillors. The process has also been far too heavily weighted to national priorities at the expense of local ones, and has put adherence to government wish lists ahead of proper local scrutiny.

09
Mar
09

the audit commission gives council top marks for losing £10 million

'Rewarding failure'

'Rewarding failure'

Council leader Iain Malcolm Miss Piggy and the borough’s Dominatrix, Irene Lucas might want to put their celebrations on hold following last week’s announcement by the Audit Commission that South Tyneside Council is rated a 4 star authority.

Mr Monkey has learned that the Audit Commission and it’s inspectors have become a laughing stock after they announced that Cambridge City Council won top marks for sound financial management and value for money – despite investing £9 million in Icelandic banks and a potential loss of £618,000 on Cambridge Folk Festival ticket sales.

The top score of four marks was awarded by the Audit Commission for the council’s use of resources and it was one of the 13 top performers in the country.

The award focused on strategic financial management, sound governance, effective financial reporting and giving taxpayers value for money.

Council leader Cllr Ian Nimmo-Smith said: “The Audit Commission is aware of the financial issues in relation to the Icelandic deposits, which affect many councils, and the Folk Festival tickets. I can’t say to what extent they have been taken into account.”

He added: “I’m very pleased the successful way which we run things in Cambridge has been recognised by the Audit Commission. This endorses the recent survey results that showed that residents in Cambridge rated the city council as providing value for- money services at a higher level than other districts in the county.”

At the recent budget setting meeting, Cllr Lewis Herbert, Labour group leader, likened the Liberal Democrats’ management of council finances to a “road crash” with Cllr Nimmo- Smith at the wheel.

He said the Icelandic investment and Folk Festival losses, after an internet ticket sales company went into liquidation, were “self-inflicted”. He said he was surprised the council still received a four-star rating.

He added: “Losing £9 million in Icelandic investments and over £1 million in interest and the Folk Festival tickets represents a shocking failure of the council’s control systems.”

For the second year running, the finance and value for money element of the inspection gave the county council the top score of four.

Cllr John Reynolds, cabinet member for corporate services, said: “I am delighted that our inspection found that the way we manage our budget and spend council taxpayers’ money is of the highest order. We continue to work within an extremely tight financial climate but this score shows we are among the best councils in the country when it comes to financial management.”

These weaknesses are now most evident. For a Council to be declared “excellent” in the same week that it cuts services and raises taxes, and in the same year that it slashes staff pay, is crazy.

The Council have released a special issue of their staff newsletter to congratulate everyone on the achievement.

At the top of the list of high performing services are the Revenues and Benefits service, who deal with Council Tax payments and the administration of benefits to the needy. They too have received a top 4 star rating and yet a mixture of bad laws, bad government and crazy local decision making has seen many of the staff in that department lose a crushingly large proportion of their salary this year.

There’s nothing about this in the congratulatory press releases issued by the Council, the Audit Commission and the government.

Mr Monkey can’t help wondering what South Tyneside is hiding?

05
Mar
09

a 4* star con

'Another stage managed picture - but was the inspection?'

'Another stage managed picture - but was the inspection?'

Miss Piggy aka, council leader Iain Malcolm and the borough’s dominatrix, aka council chief executive Irene Lucas are no doubt celebrating their apparent success at being awarded 4* star status following the CPA inspection.

There’s bound to be loads of back slapping and self congratulation and no doubt Miss Piggy will arrange a few freebies for his little piglets at the the public’s expense of course.

Apparently the Audit Commission doesn’t give stars for hospitality at the tax payers expense – if it did Mr Monkey reckons South Tyneside council would be the only authority in the UK with a 7 star rating.

Mr Monkey will be posting an alternative view to the arse licking version in today’s Gazette Malcolm Fanzine and bloggers can be certain it will contain a few home truths.

Keep an eye on Mr Monkeys Blog for what promises to be an interesting post.

26
Sep
08

CPA Inspectors Would Like To Hear From You

Over the last two weeks South Tyneside Council has been undergoing a Comprehensive Performance Assessment Inspection by a team of inspectors from the Audit Commission. 

Some of the inspectors work as ‘self employedconsultants’ for the Audit Commission (jobs for the boys) and go around the country inspecting local councils before submitting a report about their findings and recommending a star rating and something called the direction of travel.

Mr Monkey has been looking into the background of some of the inspectors and has uncovered a few interesting facts not least of which is that one of them is councillor Jon Collins, the Labour Leader of Nottingham City Council CLICK HERE and works as a consultant .. that should guarantee his impartiality and objectivity then!

Mr Monkey thought that residents of the borough might appreciate the contact details of some of the inspectors rather than wait for an invitation from the council – you’ll never get one because you can’t be trusted to keep your mouth shut.

Perhaps there’s also an officer of the council out there who would like to blow the whistle on something that has been bothering them, well now’s your chance.

You never know there might even be an odd councillor out there who might take the opportunity to have a confidential chat about what really goes on behind closed doors, assuming they’ve got the balls to do it, that should rule most of them out then!

If you’d like to get in touch with councillor Jon Collins you can e-mail him on: jon.collins@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Alternatively you can contact Michael Hudson, one of the other inspectors who is currently the Director of Corporate Resources at Hull City Council, he can be contacted at:

The Guildhall
Alfred Gelder Street
Hull
HU1 2AA

Tel: (01482) 300 300

Mr Monkey would like to remind anyone thinking of contacting an inspector to do so now, whilst the inspection is still live.