Wednesday, 15 August 2018

Tom Watson MP & the Bookies.

Local readers will appreciate what a nasty piece of work Tom Watson is. A loathsome bully who, inter alia, hounded a man (a Jew) to his death with false allegations of the vilest kind. A man who will seemingly do virtually anything for money or freebies. A man who pretends to be a "socialist" but who takes money from a PAWNBROKER! A man who lives in London and has done sod all for his sh*thole constituency in the dire West Midlands.

This blog was the first media outlet to expose that Watson is so thick that (like Corbyn) he couldn't manage to get a degree. Unlike The Terrorists' Friend, however, Watson had actually completed a course at Hull Uni (though he himself says he was pissed up for a lot of the time there on the most perfectly-named beverage for this venomous low-life, "snakebite".)

We were also the first to expose that Watson's bookie-bashing campaigns and support for "fairer gambling" (whatever that is) was not altruistic in that he was receiving substantial donations from millionaire Derek Webb. Webb made his money from gambling but now runs the so-called "Campaign for Fairer Gambling." Here is is  metaphorically arse-licking his wealthy donor outside Parliament:

Before Unite saw Watson for what he really is, their hard-working members forked out huge sums for the former fat man to pursue his ridiculous vendetta against Rupert Murdoch. (The GMB are now Watson's main trade union benefactors). More on Murdoch anon...

Watson has been a good boy for his millionaire donor and put down a host of silly (because he could research the answers himself) questions to the Department of Health and Social Care to look good [sic] and keep the cash rolling in eg:

2018: what is the recent estimate of people who are at risk of developing a gambling addiction (or how long is a piece of string...):

2018: what is the estimate of the number of people under 18 who have a gambling addiction?;

2018: does the Dep't have plans to recognise gambling disorder and addiction as a mental health condition?;

2018: what is the effectiveness of responsible gambling messages in tackling problem gambling?

And on and on it goes. If you are included in the 36% of scum in West Bromwich who still votes for this London resident perhaps you should have a whip round (ask Max Mosley "lol") since if you can supply cash to your MP he seems to be able to at least pretend to take some action!

But Watson runs (or waddles) with the hare and hunts with the hounds wherever possible and so, given his relentless bookie-bashing it came as no surprise when this appeared recently in his Register of Parliamentary Interests recently:

 "Sky Betting" was, as any fule kno, part of Sky - prop R. Murdoch Esq. In 2015 Murdoch sold 80% of the Company to another lot Labour profess to hate, a private equity firm. CVC Capital Partners set up a tangled web of companies to hold its 80% stake mostly based in the tax haven of Jersey eg Cyan Blue Topco Ltd (Jersey), Cyan Blue JerseyCo (Jersey), Bonne Terre Limited (Alderney), Cyan Bidco Ltd (UK), Cyan Blue Holdco 2 Limited (Jersey). Murdoch, via Sky, retained a 20% stake. The two main directors, Messrs Flint and Proctor were ex-Murdoch employees at BSkyB (though they have played a blinder here as we shall see)..

The UK Company number the former Walrus of Lurve has given in respect of the donation is, in fact, the number of Hestview Limited who are the Leeds-based face of Sky Bet. The Deputy Leader "lol" of the Labour Party and alleged scourge of the bookies took his tickets from a company whose latest accounts state:

The company's principal activity during the year was that of bookmaker...".

(The 2017 accounts show an actual tax payment equivalent to 11.6% of profits - well under the "headline" rate for Corporation Tax but one wouldn't expect a "socialist" to care about that would one?)

In April, 2018 CVC sold Sky Bet to Canadian gambling giant Stars Group of Toronto who want to break into the UK sports betting market and other countries where Sky Bet operate. They said in an investor presentation at the time of the takeover that they see this as a great opportunity to hook UK mug punters to their online poker and casino games - something that Derek Webb no doubt fully endorses (!)

(Curiously a lot of the legal niceties don't appear to have been completed until July which was after Watson had his tickets. If that is the case - and most records are offshore and unavailable - then Tommy snatched his day out from a company still part owned by his sworn enemy Rupert Murdoch!!!!)

CVC and Murdoch's Sky sold Sky Bet to the Canadian giant for a colossal profit. CVC had given the bookie an enterprise calculation of £800m but already recouped at least £300m by way of dividends. It sold to the Canadians for a cash and stock deal at, wait for it, £1.9 BILLION (or more if the shares do well). No doubt most of this windfall was whisked away via the Jersey companies and those in other tax havens so that the poverty-stricken drones in Watson's grim constituency will see little benefit. Of course, whilst it looks like the Murdochs sold too cheap in 2015 they also made a killing on the sale of their remaining shareholding. Trebles all round at Wembley Tommy?

To complete the picture, Stars Group appear to be keen on tax havens too and part of this deal seems to have been routed through a Dutch company - Star Holdings BV. (Holland is a low corporate tax country).

People who perceive they have a gambling problem can "self-exclude" themselves from sites and from being targeted with marketing material. Watson has lost a lot of weight (folk locally refer to a new squeeze....). I wonder whether "Single Belly" (formerly "Ten Bellies) questioned his hosts whilst filling his face at Wembley about their one million pound fine in, er, March of this year (ie just two months before this freebie) where Bonne Terre Limited t/a Sky Gaming and Betting allowed 736 self-excluded gamblers to open new accounts and sent marketing material to 50,000 (yes, 50k) self-excluded punters. These nice folk also failed to return monies in accounts of the self-excluded and this was not just a few but 36,748!!!! They also profited from people who were trying NOT to gamble. No wonder they could afford four £98 tickets for Tommy and his pals (at least until The Gambling Commission caught up with them)!

The question for this vile man now is stick or twist? "Stick" with rimming Derek Webb's anus in the hope of more dosh and continue to attack the bookies or "twist" and switch to where the really big money is and get plenty of dosh and jollies for sucking some more Canadian cock? (Other nationalities available...).

Info Please:

I am still trying to find out the actual address of the Westminster mansion flat which Watson shared with Ian Wright MP a few years ago. Anyone know?

(Of course, the Skidder also accepts donations. See button on the side panel (go to web version if you are viewing by mobile phone.)


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Tuesday, 7 August 2018

URGENT - Save Londonderry Fields!

Before reading on please note that the Save Londonderry Lane Playing Fields Campaign is holding a public meeting on Sunday evening at 6. Please go along and support them:

Sunday 12th August at 18.00
The George Pub, George Road, Oldbury B68 9LN.

Sandwell Labour is now waging war on open green space in the heavily-urbanised Borough. The amazing Sandwell Valley is sacrosanct and, because they are a favourite of "leader" Steve "The Milkman" Eling when he is not living in bucolic Derbyshire, so are Warley Woods. But the so-called socialists are determined to try and concrete over every other bit of green space going including the 19ha fields at Lion Farm. They need money to keep their sinking and stinking barge afloat and to waste on nonsense like the £6k they just blew on the canal boat p*ss-up.

But Londonderry is different as the corrupt comrades themselves want to destroy it for a multi-million pound vanity project - a huge swimming pool for the Commonwealth Games (closing two other local ones in the process). The finances for this white elephant are opaque. Money is supposed to flow in from the Games Committee and others but us taxpayers are ultimately on the hook. Already the cost of the contract has gone from £15m to £30m to, er, £60m! It is all pure guesswork and the people of Sandwell and beyond will end up paying through the nose for this sheer folly for years to come.

Sandwell Labour have fallen out with Sandwell Leisure Trust at least twice. SLT is supposed to be an "arms-length" charity but as it relies for most of its income from bent Sandwell Council it has to jump to what the comrades say or go out of business. They have been under pressure as it is and have recently made folk redundant. But Labour have already given them the contract to run the Games pool without putting it out to tender! Another possibly disastrous hostage to fortune.

If the pool gets planning permission (see below) the contract to build the wretched thing has already been given to big Tory donors, Wates Construction, via a so-called existing "framework" agreement so that, once again, the deal does not have to go out to proper tendering. This whole nonsense is ALREADY a "red-risk" project at the Council and common-sense says that if Wates come up with reasons why the Pool might not be ready in time OUR money is going to be thrown at them to get the required result! Prepare to be shafted folks!

The comrades decided on this masturbatory exercise with minimal consultation (as per usual) (and what they did was seemingly related to mostly asking people if they would like a nice new pool rather than explaining what a disaster this is likely to be). The decision was rushed through and Labour's pet media blazed the "good news" bullsh*t across Sandwell.

On 23rd January, 2018 no less a figure than Jan Britton (the dismal "head" of Sandwell's bent paid service) got round to writing to local residents who stand to lose their valuable green space. Britton described the pool project as "exciting" and confirmed that the only consultation to date had been with Sport England and Swimming England. He announced "we WILL be hosting the swimming and diving..." (ie before any "consultation" with affected parties and before any application for planning permission). He then backtracks a bit saying "you will have the opportunity to make comments and raise any concerns that you may have and all comments will be considered by the planning committee". This is, of course, a joke as corrupt Labour have 70 of the 72 seats and they have already made the decision to try to force this through at all costs (and cost it will if you don't stop them folks).

There was no reference at all in Britton's letter, of course, of the costs of any of this.

Image Express and Star (annotated)

As with Lion Farm, however, there is a small problem. Parts of both green spaces are held in Trust for the people in Sandwell by "Fields In Trust" a national charity (FiT). Indeed the bent Council actually put the spaces in Trust in the first place to replace other green space they wanted to build on ie where Portway Leisure Centre is now in Oldbury. They managed to con FiT only 6 years ago that by building on green space at Portway they would put other fields in trust but they are now trying to renege on that deal in respect of both  Londonderry and Lion Farm!

They are now apparently saying to Fields in Trust that they will simply move the Trust deed protection to other areas of green space but where? Maybe to the all ready sacrosanct areas as a ploy? How on earth does that help local people and organisations that use the Fields like the Warley Football League?

Now it gets odder. The sleazy "Socialists" are panicking about the time scale for carrying out this project. Thus they are trying to bounce FiT into making a rushed and ill-considered decision to transfer the deed's protection (although WE, locally, still don't know where to!) They are trying to force FiT's board to consider the transfer at their Board meeting at the end of August which is crazy when nothing is in the public domain. I, for one, have written to FiT requesting that their Board do not consider this matter until all the information is publicly available.

But soft - what is this? Fields in Trust wrote to the Save Londonderry Playing Fields Campaign Group saying "we have now received a request ro build on part of the protected section of the field... I understand that local people had their chance to have their say when Sandwell Council mailed 800 properties in the area so if anyone wants to write to us it would be useful  to know if they responded to the consultation."

The problem with this (apart again from not saying where the alleged "protection" would be transferred to) is that Sandwell Council has seemingly told them a massive porky since none of the local residents has actually received the mythical consultation letter! Who was responsible in Britton's bent paid service for this outright lie?

The problem is that FiT say they must receive representations by no later than Thursday, 16th August, 2018 for them to be considered by the Board (although given the misinformation about the consultation they may wish to review their own constitution as to whether they can legally proceed to discuss the matter).

Accordingly I urge you to write or email Field in Trust as a matter of urgency and to say:

1 you object to the lack of any consultation whatsoever in respect of this matter;
2 you have not been told where the protected area would be transferred to; and
3 in any event you object to the transfer as you wish to retain Londonderry Lane Playing Fields as playing fields and community open space.

Email to marked "Save Londonderry Lane Playing Fields" or

Write to Fields in Trust , Woodstock Studios, 36 Woodstock Grove, London W12 8LE.

I expect if you attend the meeting on Sunday evening they may have some pro-forma objection forms or similar but time is of the essence here. You must object by Thursday 16th August!

If you write independently it would be helpful if you could let the campaign group know so that they can keep a tally of objections.

Don't forget the Campaign Facebook group: Save Londonderry Lane Playing Fields".


I have not seen it myself but I am told Steve Eling has been quoted in the Sandwell Chronicle of 2nd August as saying "we have got planning permission". Milko never tells a lie "lol" and so he must have been misquoted since this is also, er, not actually true!


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG

Racist GMB Man Finally Goes?

I wrote about Steve Dawson on 22nd March, 2018 and told the tale how, in 2015 (yes 2015!), he had racially abused a co-worker in front of an independent witness. In the real world he would have have faced immediate disciplinary action but he was "one of the boys" in Jan Britton's bent paid service and was duly protected.

Just three days ago I blogged about Jan Britton's close association with Unison's main man in the corrupt Labour Council, Tony Barnsley, and we all know now about how the GMB have sold out their members in the benighted Council. (There is, of course, no connection between this and the GMB's Darren and Sarah James being given a council house - alleged via the influence of a Labour councillor close to Tom Watson MP.)

Dawson had apparently been a Unite Rep but switched to the feeble GMB. And so it came to pass that Jan decided to stand by his man and A LABOUR COUNCIL took the decision not to discipline Dawson but also to fight the compensation claim brought by his unfortunate victim ie the chap who was racially-abused! Not only did this poor man have to suffer the initial incident but he was then forced to fight his case for THREE YEARS as Jan made sure his claim was blocked despite the crystal clear facts. Absolutely sickening.

Jan Britton fought the case for three days at an Employment Tribunal this year and, inevitably, lost. The victim was awarded £16,000 of our money thanks to Dawson and god knows what legal fees Britton caused US to pay too. This was in February, 2018. In the meantime Dawson had retained his job and enjoyed his high salary throughout!

The decision of the Tribunal acknowledged that Dawson was continuing to work as a manager in Jan's bent paid service and made two further orders:

1 Mr S. Dawson to be provided with equality and diversity training within two months of 22/02/18; and

2 Mr S. Dawson should not be permitted to line manage the Claimant EVER as from 22/02/18!

Two reputable sources have now contacted The Skidder to say that the taxpayer duly forked again for Dawson to undergo "Equality and Diversity" training but then sacked him last Friday. Sources say that Jan Britton was perfectly comfortable with his racist abuse but his man had to go because of "bad publicity" surrounding the Council which reflected badly of his already sh*t-smeared Council!!!!! (As ever, more info welcome and if you are too scared to use some of the contact points below you can write to Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG).

Addendum 7th August, 2018: I have received a threatening letter from Jan Britton regarding this post. He says he was not "perfectly comfortable" with Dawson's racist abuse and I am happy to put his comment to you to consider. As ever Britton has referred this matter to West Midlands Police.

Incidentally, I have also been contacted to say that the initial investigation into this matter (possibly by a Mr Greenhouse) was a, er, whitewash. It found no case to answer against Dawson despite the independent evidence!!!!

Britton imagines that Sadwell has a reputation to protect. If it has, it has sunk even lower....


The sun seems to have got to "socialist landlord" Cllr John Edwards who recently took to Twitter to attack Comrade Tom Watson!

Edwards is a greaser of the first order who was notorious for arse-licking Cooper and, er, Watson as long as he kept his remunerative job as Chair of the West Midlands Fire Authority. He behaved rather in the manner of a common prostitute - doing anything they asked as long as the money kept rolling in. His Fire position has continued under the Labour "leadership" of Steve "The Milkman" Eling - another wealthy man very fond of the folding stuff. In return, he is The Milkman's enforcer as "chief whip". Thus Sandwell-watchers were slightly bemused when Jedward (who claims to be anti-Israeli but not anti-semitic) put this tweet up:

Jedward claims not to like Labour folk abusing each other but this seems to only apply to MP's since, as Sandwell Labour Group Chief Whip, he has done everything possible to protect Eling from #spunkgate. For new readers, Cllrs Eling and Marshall met with me to get this blog to attack Eling's political opponents (and, as it turned out, Council employees who crossed Milko). They set up a WhatsApp account to send info to me which included the comment that Labour Cllr Ian Jones should "spunk" over, er, Labour Cllr Maria Crompton "in her bikini" as it would be better than him "doing" his wife - Labour Cllr Olwen Jones! This was about 10 months ago and Edwards has done diddly squat to discipline The Milkman despite formal complaints from Eling's victims. We shouldn't shield abusive Councillors either Jedward but as ever, he who pays the greedy piper (no pun intended) calls the tune....


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.


Saturday, 4 August 2018

Did Sandwell Unison F*ck Own Member?

On 1st March, 2017 I heard that the head of Sandwell's bent paid service, Jan Britton*, had been personally involved in firing a long-standing and popular SMBC employee with nearly 40 years service at the behest of his Labour puppet-masters. I asked Cllrs Eling and Marshall about it but they claimed not to know (but see further below).

A few days later an informant contacted me and named the unfortunate employee as Jez Hall. I was told:

"He was asked to do report on some Smethwick Councillors and when this report was shown to Britton he was asked to take out the names of three certain councillors and add another's name. he refused to this and was then subjected to a trumped-up charge to get him out. When these charges obviously didn't stick he was personally called into Britton's office and made an offer that he couldn't and didn't refuse (subject to a confidentiality clause)."

(We have, of course, seen pitiful liar, Steve "The Milkman" Eling recently claim that corrupt Labour did not use gagging clauses which was a porkie of epic proportions and his untruthfulness was speedily exposed.)

The usual caveats apply. I know this particular informant but facts can become distorted and caution should be applied to unproven allegations (but see further below....). I should add that although I have attempted to contact Mr Hall himself via a third party but without success and he has played no part in the production on this post.

It is a testament to Mr Hall's seeming popularity within SMBC that other employees complained to me that he had been stitched-up by Britton "for political reasons". But as I couldn't speak to Mr Hall it was difficult to take this further.


Addendum 06/08/18: Following the publication of this post some other people have contacted me to praise Mr Hall's abilities:

LB: "I would like to say that Jez is one of the most professional people I have met. He was a brilliant Local Government Officer...."

TS: "I worked with Jez on several occasions when he was Town Manager - Smethwick. I found little fault with his work."

RD: "I knew Jez for many years, most recently as the Town Team Manager....Jez always came across as on of the straightest, most capable and competent guys I have ever had the pleasure of working with."

Then a senior Tory (yes, you did read that right, Tory) in the Borough also contacted me outraged at how Mr Hall had been treated. His version was:

"[Mr Hall] used to be a town manager, or acting as such, but in more recent times he was overseeing a funding stream. A number of councillors were trying to have a slice of the funding without adhering to the criteria. He made representations to the chief executive and went on leave. When he came back he was told his job had gone. However, I gather there are some undercurrents.....he was paid off with the usually confidentiality clauses."

Following a conversation with another employee and in the absence of any contact from Mr Hall I put in a Freedom of Information (FOI) request as long ago as 18th January, 2018. I asked for a copy of Mr Hall's report that Britton and others took exception to and the one that replaced it. Jan Britton has been stonewalling me ever since - demanding that I identify the report I was referring to. I replied in April:

"You are uniquely aware of the reasons disciplinary action was taken against Mr Hall leading to his departure from the Council. The request is what Mr Hall is alleged to have done wrong leading to this action being taken. I understand that Mr Britton is fully au fait with the facts of this matter."

Still no reply was forthcoming and I requested an internal review. The time period for that has also expired and I am now forwarding the whole matter to the Information Commissioner's Office to have them force Britton or his replacement to comply with the law.

Many of you are now worried about contacting me by email in case WMP are still interfering with my communications and are writing to me at home - which is fine. (Write to Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG.) Today I have received just such a letter and part of it reads as follows:

"Jez Hall was one of the good guys and stood up to Marshall about the Smethwick Xmas lights procurement. He was suspended for a few months but was exonerated, however was still hounded out by JB [Jan Britton]. Jan's next door neighbour is a sandwell Unison rep and he went to Jez with paperwork about his retirement that he was given 24 hours to think about so he couldn't refuse - as the rep made it clear that JB [Jan Britton] wanted him out. Jez had a lot of backing from well wishers who knew what was going on."

How many times has this blog asked why the unions have failed to protect their members at corrupt Sandwell Council whilst happily collecting their dues? We have seen the GMB sail staff down the river whilst its Darren and Sarah James were mysteriously given a SMBC council house. (They even failed to get GMB member Amy Hodgkins a deal. She was one of seven secretaries unlawfully suspended by Darren Carter - an ongoing story. Unite represented six of the secretaries and they were all reinstated with compensation).

The Unison rep referred to is the top man locally - Tony Barnsley. Unless either has moved recently he is, indeed, the neighbour of Britton!

Clearly there is sufficient information to warrant a full investigation by SMBC and Unison into what has happened here. How can a supposedly "socialist" Labour Councillor treat a very long-standing and well-liked employee is this appalling manner? Surely even some of the ovine Labour Councillors will want to demand a full and independent inquiry? Did Britton act as a tool (!) of his political masters? If yes, what disciplinary action will he now face? How much was Marshall involved in all this (and we all know Marshall was Eling's "enforcer")? How did a well-paid senior trade unionist become involved? Did he really stitch up a Union member at the request of Jan Britton? If yes, what disciplinary action will he face if this is proven?

If the evidence of three people (backed by comments from others) and this blog shows a prima facie case will the feeble Milkman suspend Britton? Will Unison suspend Barnsley?

Milko has the charisma of a wet fart but should grow a pair and immediately assure Mr Hall that SMBC will waive any rights it has under the gagging clause and ensure an independent party takes a full statement from him which is then made public. He should also ensure that my outstanding FOI request is answered first thing Monday morning.

*Jan Britton was the grossly under-qualified choice of Chief Exec by Cooper, Eling and Hussain. He has presided over widespread fraud, corruption, cronyism and incompetence but remains in his £160k a year post despite his laughable claim that he was simply unaware of what was actually happening in the bent Borough!!!!


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Cllr Hackett - Help Please?

Many of you have been anxious about contacting The Skidder since bent West Midlands Police took my phone to try and hinder production of the blog.

The phone number - 07930 361831 belongs to a phone that the police did not grab and is safe. The email has had a password change and should be safe.

Some of you are now kindly writing to my home address and that is fine. Please send stuff to Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG - anonymously if you wish.

Some screenshots have been sent to me at home regarding the property of Cllr Simon "The Sandwell Slasher" Hackett's mother. This has featured in past posts. Mrs Hackett bought her council property and then tried to sell it back to SMBC. The following appear to be the relevant entries where Cllr Hackett was involving himself in various aspects of the dealings with the property but do not fit in with the timings considered by the Standards investigation into the proposed buyback. Am I missing something here (other than that Hackett never declared any interest in respect of this property but WAS involved in various dealings with it)?

16/08/07 "Name checked from A***** to Hackett as info from Sandwell states that lease has always been in Hackett's name."

05/04/12 "I have returned cllr Hacketts call today."

29/01/13 Partial message: "Message left on sons answerphone as possible L"

19/05/15 "Called Ms Hackett advised her that we have not received notification from SMBC or her solicitor of property sale. Advised that Cllr Hackett's secretary had called yesterday and I had advised the same...."

10/06/15 "Called Ms Hackett as requested............"


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Post:  Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG


Thursday, 2 August 2018

Sandwell's £6,000 Boat Piss-Up!

When the Local Government Association came to Brum recently it was inevitable that pathetic pygmy Steve "The Milkman" Eling and his arse-rimmer in chief would be attempting to "cut the big" in front of the great and good of Town Hall glitterati. And of course, you know with bent Sandwell Labour who was going to pick up the bill - YOU!

The megalomaniac Milko hired a canal boat for a curry and piss-up. Even though Serco has a multi-million pound contract where WE pay them handsomely to clean the sh*t-smeared streets Eling couldn't  let his "colleagues" see what a dump the benighted Borough is and so yet more money was robbed off us to pay for an extra clean-up!

(Of course, Eling frequently escapes from the awfulness of Smethwick to a second home in a pretty Derbyshire village whilst lecturing local morons about what a great place Sadders is!)

Eling is like a broken record moaning about cuts to services being down to "The Tories" but the so-called "socialists" continue to spend like, well, drunken sailors! The bill that you and I paid for this w*nkfest was £1,100 for the boat, £2,828.35 for the curry and booze and £1,942.62p to clean up the route. A grand total just short of £6k at a mere £5,870.97p.

I think the crazed Captain should walk the plank don't you me hearties?

I am indebted to a SMBC whistleblower and to Lorraine Binsley for this shocking story. Thanks guys!


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Monday, 30 July 2018

The "Legend" of Lion Farm....

Those of you familiar with the works of John Le Carre will know that one aspect of spycraft is the creation of "legends". A spy is given a fake history with forged documents etc to mask their true identity. Last Thursday the morons at Labour Sandwell Council tried to create a "legend" to cover-up the bent nature of their deal to sell the freehold of Lion Farm Fields to big Tory donor, Jeremy Knight Adams. The plan was to replace the original bent deal with a new "squeaky-clean" deal. And it all went spectacularly wrong.....

Two things before we move on. Firstly,there is some detailed stuff about Lion Farm that needs to be put in the public domain but I appreciate that not all of you will want to plough through all that. And so I have put as much of that as possible in a technical blog via the following link for the hard core brigade and for local Labour Councillors ("lol"):

Secondly, I recently put up a blog on 27th June: "Lion Farm Scandal - Who Did Kerry Tell?" This told how Jeremy Knight Adams had mysteriously failed to register the option bent Labour gave him over the Fields. (This could have been an error but is a massive one for an experienced property developer with hot-shot lawyers to make or else his shady deal included promises from the corrupt Council that registration was unnecessary). Thus from 2013 to late summer 2017 the option was unregistered. Then Cradley Speedway took an interest in the site and were in communication with SMBC employee Kerry Jones. Just three days later Knight Adams registered the option! Once again, this occurrence may have been a total coincidence but it is much more likely noting the crookedness of the "comrades" and Jan Britton's bent paid service that someone tipped him off. I posited the question - WHO did Kerry tell? It may be another amazing Sandwell coincidence but Kerry Jones is married to Neil Jones who works in.....go on, have a guess.... Sandwell Council's Legal Department - *just saying*!

If the Police ever pull their fingers out and get involved in all this they need to find out what went on inside the Council at this time.

Several weeks ago I proposed a conspiracy theory. In 2012/2013 Sandwell Labour fraudulently entered a legal contract with Knight Adams. For whatever reasons he was "land banking" and did nothing. Cradley Speedway put a spanner in the works. The useless Labour tossers then found they couldn't get out of the contract without a substantial payment to the developer (which they wouldn't mind as it is not their money and they love nothing more than pissing OUR money up the wall) and, more importantly for the comrades, considerable loss of face. Given the bizarre ramblings - especially of Dr Alison Knight (more anon) this theory looks more and more like being "on the money". What came out - insofar as it made any sense - was that the first option was, somehow, two options - a preliminary option and a secondary option - and the first phase is complete. The Cabinet and the full Council have now agreed to give Knight Adams a, er, brand new option WHICH HAS YET TO BE SIGNED! I am sending this post and the technical post to a number of Councillors since this second bent deal must be stopped NOW. At the very least, the second option should be considered in detail by the FULL Council (there is no question of commercial confidentiality since Cllrs Eling, Moore and Co have locked the whole of the rest of the world out of the deal to ensure their Tory donor pal hits the jackpot.)

I know excitement must be building but please contain yourselves a little longer since another important matter arises. Below is the footage from my phone of the hearing. I have complained to Jan Britton - the pathetic "Chief Executive" who has presided over years of fraud, cronyism and incompetence - about the crap sound in the Council chamber so that it is incredibly difficult to hear much from the public gallery. Last Thursday members of the public (including myself) complained that they could not hear what was going on. Cllr Liam Preece threw off the complaints by saying the meeting was being webcast and we could watch it later (hardly satisfactory nor compliant with our democratic right to attend and HEAR meetings).

I don't expect you all to plough through the video and the sound quality is terrible but do dip in, say, half way through as the performance of Dr Alison Knight is hilarious. The Chief Auditor Peter Farrow (a bloke who has several jobs which may explain how he has f*cked up in Sandwell where he and his "team" have missed fraud and false accounting for many years - including the £15m hole in the accounts which was repeated over many years) introduced his own whitewash report but as soon as questions started he did a classic body swerve and deferred to Ms Knight to answer. As this blog has disclosed Knight has been re-employed by the corrupt comrades despite being deeply involved in a monumental f*ck up first time round. (Labour sources say she is a member of the tiny group that constitutes the "Friends of Mrs Eling" which I am sure had nothing to do with her being re-employed despite her record!)

If you watch a bit of the video  you will see her bumbling and stumbling performance. Take a look at the body language! Surjit Tour, Sandwell's highly controversial Monitoring Officer has to jump in and bail her out twice and you will see Darren Carter (the one who recently unlawfully suspended seven employees on false grounds) is also seen desperately whispering instructions to her. What an asset to the bent paid service!

With very, very careful listening through headphones I can make out much of the fiasco as it unfolded but as this bent deal will inevitably end up in court it is vital that the better sound on the webcast (which is also crap as it has a constant buzzing noise on it) is available but "lo and behold" bent the Sandwell webcast coverage starts AFTER this disaster. Coincidence or cover-up? I wrote to the disastrous Chief Exec copying in the Chair. Liam Preece who was kind enough to reply:

Me to Britton:

"I wrote to you some time ago about the appalling sound quality at SMBC meetings.. Unsurprisingly you have done nothing about the problem.

Last night members of the public protested when they could not hear the proceedings of the Audit Committee. The Chair, Cllr Preece, became tetchy about interruptions  and said that people could listen to the webcast afterwards but that is not satisfactory as the public have a democratic right to attend  public meeting.and listen to what is going on. In any event part of the meeting was not webcast anyway including the all-important Lion Farm agenda item.

Unless I get a satisfactory response I will approach deafness charities with a view to them funding an action for disability discrimination (I am partially deaf).

Cllr Preece has said the Lion Farm item will be put on the SMBC website today (hopefully with no edits). Clearly the masterplan failed spectacularly last night. It is inevitable that Lion Farm will eventually be the subject of court action and so I also require your confirmation that SMBC will retain the webcast for future reference in any legal proceedings."

Reply from Cllr Preece:

"Good Morning Jules,

Thank you for you attendance at the audit committee last night. Firstly, I'd like to apologise for becoming as you rightly put it 'tetchy' with that member of the public. I did ask Mr. Crockett to pass on my apologies to her when we adjourned.

I think reason why I became annoyed was that if people can't hear, the best I can do is to ask members and officers to speak clearly into their microphones, which I did more than once, if the problem persists I can't do anymore than that when I'm halfway through a meeting. That being said, it's not acceptable if the meetings can't be heard from the public gallery. Perhaps we could either reposition our existing speakers or invest in some new ones, that may solve the problem. There will be a cost to that of course which will need to be taken into account.

I will be asking officers to inform me when the full webcast is available today. I will expect that to exactly reflect the recording you have.

Sorry again if I came across as frustrated but I couldn't do anything more than what I did in the meeting to address the problem, I had to make do with what I'd got. I hope you understand that I can't allow a constant back and forth from the public gallery and keep the meeting in good order.

See you soon no doubt."

A few weeks ago, before Pete Durnell shafted me and forced me out of the Save Lion Farm Campaign Group, he suggested to me that we should forget about attacking Jeremy Knight Adams and the "deal". I said he must be crazy. Last Thursday I spoke to Cllr Preece and he said that any discussion at Audit was purely about the deal and could not touch on planning issues. As the hearing started I made an application to him to speak at the meeting but this was refused. However, Durnell had got Brian Crockett to speak on behalf of the Campaign Group with a five minute slot.

Crockett had the same brief ie stay off planning issues but completely ignored this. He did not use his full five minutes and wasted time at the beginning distancing the Campaign Group from the toxic politics promulgated by himself and Durnell. He said nothing at all about the deal and how it had come about which was the sole purpose of the agenda item. He made one very good point that building work on the designer village (just 13 miles from Lion Farm) had already begun. Thereafter he drifted lamely off onto planning issues - air quality, traffic congestion etc. Unsurprisingly as he had ignored the brief there were no questions to him from the Committee. As the hard core who read today's technical blog will see there are a host of questions that remain unanswered.

They key point is the meeting when Hussain and Hackett approved this bent deal was only quorate as Hussain failed to declare his relationship with Jeremy Knight Adams and recuse himself from the hearing. The original decision was therefore unlawful and so nothing done afterwards can make it legal unless - as the liar Eling is trying to do - they give their Tory pal a completely new option!

After Crockett Peter Farrow introduced his whitewash report but, as above, quickly ducked any questions. Far be it for this blog to praise Cllr Bob Piper but, fair play, he did start asking pertinent questions and had "Dr" Knight looking like she had swallowed a powerful laxative. He was on the money when he asked how the circle of initial illegality could be squared with trying to create a legend now to put past wrongs right. He asked pertinent questions about the option but was greeted with a lot of absolute sh*te about original and secondary options. If you will forgive me - as this is all vitally important - I will borrow one part of the technical blog content as Tour and Knight are pissing down our legs and telling us it is raining and this goes to the core of the matter:

"Report paragraph 3.10 (very important): The agreement gave the developer 12 months within which to begin preliminary development steps, with an option to extend for a further 12 months. The agreement also provided for a secondary option agreement to be entered into between the parties, if the developer complied with the obligations set out above. Essentially this meant that the option agreement would be extended beyond the two year period whilst this was finalised. The original report gave a total of two years for the option (12 months plus a further 12 months) but the wording of the legal agreement meant this could be extended. This was agreed with the developer but was not returned to Cabinet until November, 2017. The main terms of the secondary option were included within the 2013 Agreement, but the detailed wording was to be agreed between the parties (and still is to be agreed.)

Question: This is absurd. The original decision of the Council Asset Management Committee (AMLD) was unlawful. But in the infamous two minute long Cabinet meeting of January, 2013 the decision was endorsed as follows:


(1) that the Director - Legal and Governance Services [Neeraj Sharma] be authorised to prepare and complete an option agreement for a period of 12 months from the date of the agreement with Jeremy Knight Adams of Hampton Properties in relation to Lion Farm Playing Fields Oldbury on terms and conditions to be agreed by The Area Director - Regeneration and Economy;

(3) that the Area Director - Regeneration and Economy be authorised to extend the twelve month period referred to in resolution (1) for a further 12 months.

It is extraordinary that a huge multi-million pound deal could be dealt with in this way but the fact remains that neither the AMLD, Cabinet or full Council delegated power for more than 24 months (ie to May, 2015). Thus Sharma and Bubalo had no power delegated to them to extend the option beyond May, 2015 whatever agreement they secretly made with the developer. In the premises, the so-called "supplementary option" was ultra vires their powers and so unlawful.

What appears to be the case here is that SMBC have made a hash of wording the 2013 agreement and JKA is trying to assert his rights hence "but the wording of the legal agreement meant this could be extended." The 2013 option was unlawful and also ultra vires. Have SMBC taken independent legal advice from external solicitors and/or Counsel on the legality of (a) the option and (b) the option after it had lapsed in May, 2015 and had NOT been extended by the AMLD, Cabinet or full Council? If not, why not? Was similar advice taken in respect of the alleged "secondary" option insofar as it was not, in fact, unlawfully part of the 2013 Agreement?

Has JKA his servants or agents threatened SMBC with legal action to enforce any rights he purports to have under the 2013 agreement? If yes, please provide details.

SMBC say there was no communication with JKA, his servants or agents, for several years so please explain how "this was agreed with the developer" ie that the option could be extended beyond 12 months? Who purported to agree the ultra vires extension? How was the agreement made? Was this approved by the AMLD, Cabinet of Full Council?"

As Knight floundered Tour made the admission that the "new" option or the alternative  "varied secondary option of the original option" (bollocks) had yet to be signed and so there is still time to revisit this deal with the matters set out in the technical blog being properly dealt with.

Another matter arises from Farrow's attempted whitewash. Remember the Cllr Ian Jones show trial? Farrow says it is perfectly lawful to sell Council property to a sole buyer (!) How the bent Council can show it has then complied with the law requiring it to get best value is not explained by the myopic auditor. So even though SMBC did not advance the argument that they didn't get best value when selling the Florence Road, Smethwick plot to Rouf's son, Jones was held to be in breach of standards for removing the property from auction (which he only did because the late Leader, Dickhead Darren Cooper ordered him to do). There has been no marketing of the property here nor any sort of competitive tendering - Hussain introduced his pal to SMBC and they did a deal with him cutting everyone else out. Farrow says this is all perfectly lawful despite the deal done between Hussain's son and JKA. Let's see when this matter eventually fetches up in Court!

The grand finale was spectacular on Thursday. The Chair, Cllr Preece, asked the flailing Knight if the original deal had not just been a terrible "mistake" (yes, is the answer and it is going to cost the people of Sandwell dear and cause irreparable harm to the Lion Farm community if the comrades do not see sense and get a grip.) The good "Dr" looked as if she had finally shed her load and plaintively whined that she had not been part of the original decision making process and the question was not appropriate to ask an officer (even though she IS the officer trying to ensure the destruction of The Fields)! This would all be very funny if it wasn't so desperate....

I will update this post with any accurate quotes when the webcast is available. Keep fighting folks - this is a bent deal and we - or the Police - have to stop it. Maybe some of the comrades will see sense and follow up the lead of Cllrs Piper and Preece but don't bank Rouf's house on it!

And where is Spellar MP in all this?


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Jules Saunders, 11 Chelworth Road, Birmingham B38 0BG