Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Only in "Sadwell"...

A little something to make you laugh (or cry) before the holiday....

People have asked why I refer to Sadwell Labour's Cllr Bill Gavan as "potty-" or "foul-mouthed". This all stems from when I first met him in Oldbury before he became one of the sheep and neither of us knew who the other was. Bill's very first sentence to me - as a total stranger - contained the "F-word" no less than THREE times! Even I was a bit effing stunned by this scatalogical tirade dear readers!

Bill's Register of Interests shows him as being "unemployed" like so many others of the comrades including the useless "leader", Darren Cooper, himself. The vast majority of the ghastly Labour Dictatorship are avowedly anti-business and have no desire to see capitalist wealth creation (which might actually help the poor) in the benighted Borough but seek to rely on handouts from Government and charities to just about do enough to keep their rotten regime propped-up. Hence the history of 40 years of dismal failure by Labour in Sandwell.

Sadwell - the "socialist" paradise!
The imbecilic Darren Cooper is always having a pop at academy schools who have seen sense and removed themselves from his North Korean-style governance and positively foams at the mouth at the mere mention of the even more independently-run "free schools". How nice then that Gavan has amended his Register of Interests to show his partner is doing a bit of mentoring at Perry Beeches II school. That wouldn't be "Perry Beeches II - The Free School" would it, socialist Bill?

Cllr Bill Gavan has been involved with a number of companies - no less than thirteen in fact - that have been dissolved by Companies House:

Birmingham Club Corporation Ltd

B & M B Ltd

Pride in the Park Ltd

Birmingham Gay Business Partnership Ltd

Birmingham Bloodstock Ltd

XS Maintenance Ltd

XS Entertainments Ltd

Subway City Ltd

The Office (Birmingham) Ltd

XS Beers Ltd

XS Beers (South) Ltd

Canalside Entertainments Ltd

Victoria Hotels & Leisure Ltd

On a website, Gavan says he was in a relationship for 25 years plus with a David Jilkes. You won't find him on Companies House records but if you try David Gilks you will find that he was also involved in some of the above companies plus another dissolved company named, and I kid you not, Effing Ltd.

Bill Gavan says his home address in West Bromwich is owned by his partner. The title is in the name of one Adam Richard Kennedy who was also involved in the dissolved Canalside Entertainments Ltd referred to above. He was also involved in these dissolved companies:

Creative Clubbing Ltd

Ark Entertainment Ltd

Pearce Entertainments Ltd

Subway (2000) Ltd

(There are also dissolved companies listed to an "Adam Kennedy" which may or may not be connected).

Why is this dismal history of dissolved companies relevant? Because the dimwitted and pathetic Darren Cooper has promoted the unemployed Gavan as - wait for it - drum roll please - Sandwell's "Business Ambassador"!!!! I'm sure the captains of industry who may create jobs and wealth in "Sadwell" will be well effing impressed!!!! ROFLMAO as they say.....


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com           facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:  07599 983737             twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Greenbelt Signs Update

Blink and you missed it! The decision to build two huge  - allegedly entirely speculative - "toblerone" signs on greenbelt land at Ray Hall Lane, Great Barr was entirely that of the Darren Cooper dictatorship and they have no prospective customer lined up! So says Nick Bubalo, the head of planning at SMBC, today and the man who has been so heavily involved in so many of the dubious land sales entered into by Cooper and his comrades.

As I pointed out in an earlier post, some years ago Sandwell Labour's planning committee rejected an application by international signage company J C Decaux to build a toblerone sign next to the elevated section of the M5 at Oldbury but Decaux appealed to the Planning Inspector and the decision was overturned. The sign was duly built, though not on greenbelt land.

The crafty comrades decided that they wanted more of these things to raise some cash but Bubalo claims there have been no negotiations with any potential customers (although, mysteriously, J C Decaux claim to have been "consulted" on this application even though they are "not involved"). What better way to push this along than for Sandwell Labour to authorise an application to itself for planning permission. Sorry, I am being cynical - Bubalo describes the comrades forcing through their own scheme as determining the issue in "an open and democratic manner" (I kid you not!)

So this decision was made at The Cabinet meeting of 19th August, 2015:

"the Council need to consider motorway advertising signage as a source of income, as previously, the Council had opposed such applications which have subsequently been overturned by the Planning Inspectorate. The Council would need to consider how such advertising could bring money to the Council, and therefore could help services continue to run" (Minute 143/15).

You will note despite the miles of motorway crossing "Sadwell" there is no mention whatsoever of the signs being placed on greenbelt land and the comrades are clearly nervous about the planning process. Clearly they acted very quickly as the planning applications were made in Bubalo's own name at the beginning of October just weeks after the August meeting. You will also see that there is a clear hint that this exercise will be likely to be repeated if the shifty "socialists" can get away with it.

The Cabinet members who approved this wheeze were -

Darren Cooper - the brutish leader [sic], Y. Davies; Crompton (recently caught out sharing Facebook propaganda from Britain First); Eling (who lied about the casino costs fiasco and was, seemingly, the sole architect of the disastrous Council Tax Benefit scheme which was slaughtered by a High Court Judge and which cost us taxpayers hundreds of thousands of pounds); Simon "Two Homes" Hackett whose Children's Services department faced such public ignominy yesterday and Paul Moore (who, happily, was able to confirm to The Skidder recently that one of his male Councillor comrades had been shagging the daughter of another).

The observers were the potty-mouthed Bill Gavan; Linda Horton, Trappist mother of the liar Cashmore; Peter Hughes, who did a letter of support in respect of the bent Wednesbury Celebrates grant application; Steven Jones, of the now infamous Wednesbury Jones family; Underhill and, last but not least, the weird Cllr Sandars (coming to a necropolis near you real soon...).

So that looks like 12 votes to despoil the greenbelt in the bag straight away from this ghastly galere alone!

Don't forget you can attend the site visits tomorrow at 1.50pm on Ray Hall Lane or at 2.15pm at the corner of Andrew Road/Manorford Avenue, Great Barr. You can also attend the actual planning committee meeting chaired by Cooper's great mate, the multiply-named Steven Frear, from 5pm at the Oldbury, Kremlin.

I wonder whether the advertising contracts will be put out to tender once this has been forced through, eh readers? We shall see.....


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com            facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737                twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Monday, 14 December 2015

Greenbelt Latest - Preece's Cock-Up?

Well I did try and warn you but you wouldn't listen.....

On a day when the results of 40 years of Labour misery for "Sadwell" are once again exposed with the Children's Services disaster, it is sad to report that the Darren Cooper dictatorship is pressing on with the plan to force through the erection of 2 colossal "toblerone" advertising signs ON GREENBELT LAND at Ray Hall Lane, Great Barr.

Let us look at the story so far. Sandwell Labour have decided to build these signs but are flatly refusing to say who is going to benefit from all this. It would be bizarre if they have not already done a deal with someone for these wretched things but the obvious candidate, J C Decaux, have said they are NOT involved (although in a curious twist, they say the comrades did CONSULT them about this project!) Just in passing I should just mention that I was on the M5 on Saturday night and the "toblerone" sign J C Decaux DO have next to the elevated section at Oldbury (which is NOT on greenbelt land) was in total darkness just 2 weeks before Christmas!!!!

Sandwell Council's head of planning, Nick Bubalo (who, curiously, has appeared via his post in most, if not all, of the land sale scandals rocking the Council) has applied to his own Council for planning permission. As the Dictatorship have 71 of the 72 seats - thanks to the moronic electorate of the Borough - this was obviously intended to be a mere formality despite the green belt issue. What Cooper and Hussain want, they get.

For reasons unknown, time is of the essence (but seemingly confirming my hypothesis that a deal has already been secretly done with a third party) and so an application of 5th October is being rushed through and was put before a Planning Committee on 18th November with a recommendation for a site visit. This was agreed on that date and the visit will take place this Wednesday (see further below) before the Committee, in all probability, nod this through at their 5pm meeting. It seems that this matter has to go before the full Council and so this all has to be sorted this Wednesday so that the sheep at the meeting on 12th January, 2016 can also do the honours.

But soft! There is what purports to be rebellion in the air with the three Charlemont and Grove Labour Councillors allegedly opposing the application. But are they really?

In my first post on this "socialist" stitch-up, I pointed out that Labour Cllr Liam Preece had started a petition against the signs but I specifically warned locals not to rely on this but to make specific written complaint to the Council since these objections would, as a matter of law, have to be recorded and taken into consideration:


Well we know what Darren Cooper thinks of petitions don't we folks? He abused and mocked the thousands who signed the petition about The Public and filed it in the waste bin.....

Preece's petition now has 179 signatures but take a look at the planning report for Wednesday's meeting and see if you can find mention of it? Here it is but to save you the bother of going through it here are the "lowlights":

1  Because people have followed Preece and signed the petition rather than doing as I advised, the Committee report lists just 11 (eleven) objections although it is also stated "Councillor Preece has also expressed concern about the proposal from amenity and public safety points of view". (No mention, note, of any concerns from the other two C & G Labour Councillors, Phillips and Giles?)

2  The Police Central Motorway Group have yet to reply but as we know how close West Midlands Police are to the crafty comrades, this is unlikely to be a problem; and

3  As above, there is no mention of the petition (which is not complete as Preece hasn't hit his target) and the 179 people who have signed it. They are non-persons as far as your local caring Labourites, and more particularly those on the Planning Committee, are concerned.


It gets worse. Preece is actually ON the Planning Committee but as a result of personally signing his own petition he is now unable to vote on the application!!! Some may think this was a spectacular cock-up by another dismal Labour Councillor but I have also asked Liam whether he is trying to run with the hare and hunt with the hounds.

Anyone who crosses the vicious and monstrous Darren Cooper will know that his attempted retribution will be swift, savage and vindictive. Surely it could not be the case that Preece has played the hero with his voters whilst seeking to appease Kim Jong-Cooper by deliberately ensuring that his protests will be ineffective? I am sure Preece would not sink so low but regret to say that he has not seen fit to respond to my email to him on this subject and so I cannot supply you with his considered response (I also sent a chaser on 2nd December which he has also ignored). Furthermore, Preece is refusing to say what Cooper knows about the commercial side of all this and whether there has been a "backroom" deal we are not allowed to know about (and "we" includes the pathetic grovellers who make up the Labour Council voting fodder).

Here is the email of 26th November which he has chosen not to reply to:

"Dear Cllr Preece,

The decision on whether there should be a site visit to the greenbelt land at Ray Hall Lane fell to be considered on 18th November, 2015 but the SMBC website is not yet showing the result. Can you kindly confirm what happened.

I note that you appear to have shot yourself in the foot in that you had to declare an interest in this matter as you had signed the petition against the two applications. You were debarred from voting on the issue and I assume that will remain the case from now on?

Can you please say for the benefit of Skidder readers:

(a) Did you realise when you signed the petition that you were debarring yourself from discussions on this issue? In other words, did you make a monumental mistake?; or

(b) Did you deliberately sign the petition so as to pretend to your constituents that you were against the scheme but knowing that you would not be able to vote against it and thus upsetting Darren Cooper and his cronies who run Sandwell?: or

(c) If neither (a) nor (b) what was your thinking on this?

I still cannot find any record of any committee of Sandwell Council deciding on this project. Can you point me to where the decision is recorded please?

You must, by now, have had the opportunity to discuss with Cllr Cooper whether a commercial deal has already been agreed by SMBC with a third party. Do you actually know whether a deal has already been done and, if not, why do you not know? If a deal has been done can you release the details? If you cannot will you please explain to Skidder readers why this is the case?"

If you wish to protest against this con-job you can go to Ray Hall Lane at 1.50pm on Wednesday or to the corner of Andrew Road/Manorford Avenue, Great Barr at 2.15pm. Alternatively, you can attend the charade of the Planning Committee meeting at 5pm on the same day at the Oldbury Kremlin.

Even though Preece has accidentally, or purposefully, f*cked up big-style I would recommend that you still sign the petition just in case there are Labour councillors who have a spine and a conscience at their meeting in January - unlikely, of course, given the cant and sham-holiness of most of them:


It is sad that that the "socialists" who control you in Sandwell are prepared to argue, in a planning application, that Sadwell is sh*t and so there is no problem in making it sh*ttier still with these monstrosities. Strange too that an allegedly (!) hard-left - and normally strongly anti-business -Labour Council should be so keen on consumerism and forcing motorists to be bombarded (when they should be concentrating on the motorway ahead) with massive adverts for "stuff" they arguably don't need and probably can't afford. But that is the crazy world of "Sadwell" for you folks.


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com              facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737                  twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Thursday, 10 December 2015

WMP Cock-Up or Cover-Up?

Regular readers will know that besides the appalling trolling from Twitter accounts which Sandwell Council leader [sic], Darren Cooper, has deliberately chosen to associate himself with, The Skidder has also received many threats of extreme violence from persons unknown over the last two years - all from unidentified phones - concerning my investigations. Readers will also be aware of the apparently over-close relationship between Sandwell Police and elements within Sandwell Council.

The cognescenti will also know that this blog raised questions how Jan Britton's Council have apparently given a four bedroom council house in Judge Close, Oldbury to one Noreen Bi and her husband even though they already own a house just down the road in Century Road and that Sandwell Council are fully aware of this since they have a legal charge on the Century Road property in respect of a Council home improvement loan to Noreen and her husband! Noreen Bi is the daughter of Cllr Mahboob Hussain, formerly Labour's all-powerful Deputy Leader but that, of course, is entirely coincidental.

A few weeks ago. I received a report that there was "activity" at Century Road and went down to take a look. I was spotted by two persons removing stuff from the house. I then walked to Judge Close where there was no sign of life but a vehicle familiar to me was on the drive. I sat of the little low fence opposite to make a couple of written notes when a black car arrived at speed outside the house. The young Asian male driver spotted me and drove across the road at speed stopping the car just inches from me. I had not been taking photos (why would I when I have already put photos of the house on this blog?) but the driver got out and confronted me saying, "what are you doing taking photos of my sister's house?" and that I should "f*** ***". I put it to him that I could guess who he was. He told me not to bother about that but to "f*** *** back to xxxxx xxxxxx" which, of course, is where I live. He was right "in my face" and very aggressive and clearly I was concerned that I was about to face a violent assault but, in a moment of high farce, a traffic warden (employed by Sandwell Council) appeared and told him to move his car as it was blocking the road!!!!

The traffic warden realised there was an incident and backed away a couple of yards but was recording the registration number of the vehicle on his machine whilst the young male continued to threaten me. At one point I said to the traffic warden, "Are you hearing all this" but, before he could respond, the aggressor said these (or very similar words) to me, "He's not hearing anything. We run Oldbury. You're not in f****** xxxxx xxxxxx [where I live] now. If I see you in Oldbury again I will smash your face in or do you want us to come over to xxxxx xxxxxx to sort you out?"

I managed to beat the retreat and as soon as I turned the corner I phoned a named senior officer at Sandwell Police who had said to contact directly if I was threatened at any time whilst in Sandwell (although that officer declined to speak to me even though he was on duty). An appointment was made for me to attend West Bromwich Police Station to give a statement that afternoon and whilst I was on the phone I spotted the traffic warden walking up and went across and got his badge number. He confirmed the registration number of the vehicle which I relayed to the police there and then.

When I went to give the statement, there was confusion with the civilian worker at the desk which I found perplexing until it became apparent that Noreen Bi was also actually there at the time making an unspecified complaint about me!

I assumed that as the aggressor had rather narrowed the field of investigation by his own partial "identification" of himself and that as the warden was an independent witness, there were good prospects of action being taken.

The statement was given and then one Sunday a PC phoned and said that the registered keeper of the vehicle did NOT fit the description I had given of the aggressor BUT he was quite sure they had identified the man concerned and he was voluntarily attending the nick on the following Wednesday for interview. Significantly, he said only the keeper was apparently insured to drive the vehicle which implies that the aggressor was not. He declined to identify the person to be interviewed but said that as he had no criminal record, was voluntarily assisting the police and there was no actual violence, they were minded to deal with the issue by way of "community resolution". I, very reluctantly, consented to this and then heard nothing more until this morning when I,  the victim in all this, received this appalling text:

"Ref: Crime number xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx, Dear Julian Saunders, I have interviewed keeper of the vehicle and am satisfied he is not the offender. However we are unable to identify anyone further, matter will now be filed. PC xxxxxxx Please do not reply to this text."

Besides running contrary to what the officer had already told me about the identity of the aggressor, how shabby is that? The text was received at 7.59 am but when I phoned 101 20 minutes later I was told the officer was "on leave". I eventually spoke to another PC who explained that the sending of the text must have been "delayed in the system" and the officer was, indeed, on leave. Significantly, this officer told me that the traffic warden (employed by Sandwell Council) has mysteriously declined to be interviewed and so it was my word against that of the aggressor (which suggests they do think they know who the aggressor was). Let's just hope it was cowardice on the part of the warden and that he had not been "spoken to" by anyone.....

In the meantime, you will now know that the police are intending to take no further action against Cllr Hussain's, Sandwell council employee. son in respect of some land sales authorised by Sandwell's "high command". There are strange rumours about all this including the alleged lack of any police interview and of the police themselves allegedly pulling the investigation. I am delighted that the Councillor's son will face no further action at the present time but that still begs the question who was responsible at Sandwell Council for these deals at an undervalue (plus others including the lifting of the covenant of the old SMO premises, the Plough Inn, the Rouf house etc) and whether there was criminal activity by other persons unknown.

On a slightly more positive note, regular readers will know that I made complaints against five councillors in respect of false entries in the Council's Register of Interests - ie against Cashmore, Meehan, Frear, Hussain (re the £100.000+ Five Star taxi contracts) and Rouf. After formal complaint to West Midlands Police their professional standards people upheld the complaints against four but not against Cashmore. They said that where the allegation was that a person was not living at an address they claimed to be living at, it was actually perfectly proper for a senior and highly-experienced DS to make a telephone appointment to meet the person at the disputed address and that, having met the person there, to conclude that they did, in fact, live there!!!!!

There was a vague suggestion that matters would be referred back to an officer at, er, Sandwell Police who totally failed to investigate these matters in the first place! I duly appealed to the Independent Police Complaints Commission (IPCC). In respect of Cashmore, I pointed out how ridiculous the alleged investigation into residence had been and that the police had also ignored the false declarations she made about her employment position (for at least part of her time as a councillor she was claiming to be unemployed when she was not and one firm she worked for was actually doing business with SMBC).

I am very pleased to say that the IPCC upheld my appeal adding "having reviewed the report of the Investigating Officer and available evidence I am not satisfied that all of your complaints have been properly addressed [ie by West Midlands Police]." It seems that the matter is being referred back to WMP for unspecified "further investigations" although it is not completely clear whether this will lead to WMP actually going back to the very beginning and actually investigating these things properly.

Sandwell Police always willing to suck up to Labour Councillors
As above, it seems a Senior Officer at Sandwell of all places was supposed to be looking into the allegations again but no-one has been in touch. Perhaps the new Chief Constable will be able to get to the bottom of all this? Don't hold your breath though folks - I was told on Judge Close who really "run" Oldbury.......


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:   07599 983737                  twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Tuesday, 8 December 2015

Would-be Metro Mayor's Nick Visit

It is reputed that the very highly-paid top "management" echelons of Sandwell (aka "Sadwell) Council are arse-lickers extraordinaire. I have personally seen a couple of them in fawning action and their obeisance to the grotesque caricature of a "leader", Darren Cooper, is truly nauseating. You too are likely to feel very queasy after reading this.....

Regular readers will know that the unemployed Cooper, laughably the Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel despite his close and deliberate association with at least 14 suspended Twitter troll accounts, voluntarily attended Steelhouse Lane Police Station in Brum on 14th September, 2015 where he was interviewed in respect of an allegation of harassment by a Birmingham woman. The file was passed to the CPS who decided to take no further action against "The Chair" in respect of the matter.

Even though he is, unfortunately, desperately dim, Cooper likes to hang around Sandwell Council House like a bad smell,  having the grovelling management do his constant bidding (which lately has involved them spending hundreds of hours on the new "Combined Authority" project where Cooper has ambitions now that even Labour cannot stomach the prospect of him becoming an MP). This strutting cock of the roost was insistent there would NOT be a metro mayor for the new talkshop even though it was an open secret in Sadwell that he coveted the job and, lo, now that there IS to be a mayor, Cooper has thrown his Baggies pom pom hat into the ring.

But when the ego landed at the Steelhouse Lane nick, he had not arrived by car or public transport for this private matter but by Sandwell Council's taxpayer-funded chauffeur-driven limousine. And it seems the public paid for the chauffeur to take him and a woman believed to be his wife back to the dog-sh*t capital of the West Midlands judging by this greasy letter from Sadwell's richly-remunerated "Director- Governance" (who had such an impressive career with Walsall Council back in the day):

"The only recorded detail available [for 14th September] shows that transport was booked for the Leader to travel to Birmingham City Centre at noon. On this occasion the Chief Executive offered and agreed the use of a council car for a private appointment by the Leader of the Council, because the Leader had a number of important council meetings on that day and using a council car was the best way to ensure that the Leader could attend all of these meetings and his private appointment on time. Authorisation to use Council cars in this way is very rare but it is sometimes the best way to meet all diary commitments in a busy day.

We do not hold any information on the mileage logs, any passengers transported or the purpose of the journeys."

Lets just analyse this b*llocks shall we?

Firstly, as with everything connected with Jan Britton's shambolic organisation, there seems to be a dearth of proper records kept. Cooper did have a female companion with him for the journey. If it was not his wife (as it is believed it was) then who was she being ferried about in the Mayor's limo? Why aren't mileage logs kept for Council cars? Did the chauffeur claim from the taxpayer for the parking charges whilst he was waiting for the Great Helmsman?

Secondly, haven't SMBC heard of taxis if time was of the essence? The former Deputy Leader, and still current Councillor, Mahboob Hussain operates a taxi firm and won over £100,000 in SMBC contracts in mysterious circumstances and having failed to declare his and his wife's interest in the firm and so you would have thought he could have laid one on at "very cheap rate" for his old pal!

Thirdly, Ms Sharma claims SMBC didn't know the purpose of the journey and yet the Chief Exec, no less, "offered" and authorised use of the limo for a private jaunt! What if Cooper and his wife (?) had just fancied going into Brum for a bit of shopping? Would Britton have taken his tongue out of Darren's backside long enough to say, "yes, Leader?" I think Britton should personally reimburse the taxpayer for this outrage, don't you readers?

Fourthly, there were no Council committee meetings that afternoon as shown below. Who books important meetings in Sadwell on a Monday afternoon? Why did Cooper allegedly book meetings when he would have had no idea how long he would be at the nick (I understand he was interviewed on tape and under caution and this can be a lengthy process)? Why are we paying Jan Britton over £160,000 per annum if he cannot manage one afternoon without the class dunce at his elbow? Perhaps Darren Cooper will make his diaries available to show all these "important meetings" - just as he, er, didn't when challenged to do so to show his taxpayer-funded "sessions" with former Brum Labour Councillor, Steve Bedser?

How would Sadwell have managed to cope if the Dear Leader had been delayed all afternoon at the nick and he had not have been there to add his guttural gruntings to the great issues exercising the Borough's bigwigs that day? Still, with this sort of 24/7 dedication to duty, Darren Cooper will obviously make an excellent metro mayoral candidate for what is left of the Labour Party.

Incidentally, Darren Cooper has just changed the profile picture on his infantile Twitter account to this - taken in Sadwell's Council chamber:

Why were so many  of the taxpayer-funded staff taken off duty to glorify the cult of the "leader"? Did Jan Britton authorise this stunt too? Who took the picture and were they paid?

There is a very grave danger, if people do not wise-up, that this doltish buffoon may actually become metro-mayor and turn our great city-region into a world-wide laughing stock (he is already deputy chair of the "shadow" authority). Still, if you elect him, don't be surprised if we aren't all forking out for a luxury "metro-mayoral limo" and chauffeur (or two)!


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com               facebook  Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:  07599 983737                  twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Monday, 7 December 2015

Nasty Smear from College!

Given my experiences over the last couple of years, I should now be aware that getting involved with the press is a perilous business (Halesowen News and a couple of other honourable media persons excluded). Generally, the local press are either too craven or too lazy to investigate "Sadwell" but The Skidder has been attracting some national interest of late.

The Skidder was recently approached by education mag FE Week about the problems with Sandwell College answering Freedom of Information (FoI) requests and I talked to them and sent them various documents. Today I feature (as, for inexplicable reasons, does my wife - twice) in that august Journal but there is an unfortunate insinuation at one point that I am "claiming" something - raising the spectre that the claim may be untrue - which is actually in the public domain for all to see. Further, FE Week have allowed an anonymous "College spokesperson" to make a ridiculous statement which appears not to have challenged in any way and to gratuitously put the boot in on me. But then I understand that FE Week get advertising revenue from Sandwell College whereas I don't pay them anything......

Here is the link to the article:

Dealing with this article first, before we have a look at The Skidder's FoI history with the College, my identity is well-well known and I can only imagine the reference by FE Week to my wife is an insinuation that these posts are in some way inaccurate and not objective because she (and a great team) ran The Public.

I have given FE Week all the documentation they have requested but yet they say, at one point, "One of Mr Saunders's FoI requests made on June 6 last year, got no response HE CLAIMED", before going on to say that there was eventually a reply on August 8. In fact, the final response (and a very important one at that) was not forthcoming until 3rd September, 2014 and anyone in the whole wide world can check out that my "claim" is absolutely true by simply looking at this publicly-available link:

FE Week are paid by the piper which MAY explain how someone who wished to remain anonymous was reported, unchallenged, with this garbage:

"These requests are from the same individual, the husband of the former managing director of The Public, which the college has transformed from a loss-making arts facility into Central Sixth, a highly successful sixth form centre in partnership with Sandwell Council".

Clearly there is another nasty smear about me and my wife again but the rest is also ridiculous. The Public was - by order of Sandwell Council - a (mostly) free to visit arts centre reliant on public subsidy. To say that it was "loss-making" is to say that the British Museum, Birmingham Orchestra or 99.9% of the arts organisations, museums etc in the land who rely on subsidy are also in that category. The Public was, quite simply, managed within the budget that had been set for it. But, of course, with this ludicrous reasoning there is another body in "Sadwell" which takes 99.9% of its massive income by way of public subsidy - yes, you've got it - step forward "loss-making" Sandwell College!

The claim that Central Sixth is "highly successful" is also patently false. Thanks to two of The Skidder's, er, FoI requests it now transpires that actual numbers in the second of the College's £70m buildings are very poor - as set out in full in my recent post, "College - Truth at Last":

But then we have also seen that the grasping Governors are desperate to get bums on seats and have resorted to this type of propaganda to deceive the thicker kids of the area into taking up places so that they can rake in more dosh. This has been linked to a deliberately deceitful advertising campaign. Again see my post, "Sandwell College - You Cynical B*stards!":

Let me just say, before moving on, that the College are STILL conniving with Sandwell Council in the lie that they are actually paying rent on the old Public whereas, in fact, they are receiving a massive hidden subsidy from the Borough. I will be blogging on this again shortly but just hold this formula in your mind until then, if you will. This is the proof that the College are paying no rent and comes from the actual lease between the two secretive taxpayer-funded bodies:

AR = (TC) x (25)
            25       Y

AR = Annual "rent"   TC = Total Cost (of works)   Y = period between rent repayment date and end of the contractual term.

And on the subject of the Lease, here is how the College told a massive porkie to another community activist, Mr Magher, who put in a FoI request about the bent Public deal. They refused to disclose the actual lease on the basis that it would soon be "publicly available" at HM Land Registry but this was a lie. They were so desperate to keep this "great news for Sandwell" from public scrutiny they went ahead and deliberately and specifically registered the lease with the Registry as a "protected document" so that, to this day, it is NOT, in fact, open to public consultation!

All this sort of thing seems to be condoned by the Governors who include the person who purports to be Sandwell Council's "Chief Executive", Jan Britton, and top local WMP cop, Basit Javid, who just happens to be the brother of the current Cabinet "high-flyer" and arch-Thatcherite Business Secretary, Sajid Javid (although, as we shall see, Basit does not always toe the Tory party line!)

You might expect a little humility on the subject of FoI's from an organisation that has been written to twice IN THE LAST SEVEN DAYS by the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) but, as we have seen from the FE Week article, all we get is self-pitying whining and personal abuse (sound familiar Cooper - watchers?). So let's take a look at The Skidder's FoI requests:

1. There is a batch of six which are inter-related. As above, the College is almost 100% funded by us taxpayers but has been remarkably reticent in publishing the minutes of its meetings. I have pointed out to the ICO that we live in a world of almost instant communications. What, therefore, is a reasonable time post-meetings for the publication of the minutes? I have suggested 28 days which, in my submission to the ICO, gives ample time for the minutes to be prepared and forwarded to the various Governors for approval. The College SEEMS to be arguing that it cannot publish the minutes until after the following Board meeting since the minutes need to be formally approved. Even if that is true they are not complying with this. And so in the last two years I have had to do FOUR FoI's to get the minutes which the College SHOULD HAVE PUBLISHED ANYWAY. They only have themselves to blame if the information has to be dragged out of them. The last of my four requests in this regard was dated 23rd July, 2015 which the College ignored and so I had to make an application for an internal review. They had just had a meeting on 13th July and, eventually, said they could not disclose the minutes for that meeting (which remain outstanding) but as at 23rd July no less than THREE other sets of minutes were still being deliberately kept secret dating back to 8th December, 2014 - seven and a half MONTHS before. This is just pisspoor governance of a public body whichever way you look at it.

The corollary to this is that when the minutes are eventually released they are often heavily redacted ie bits are missing. Now sometimes the Freedom of Information Act does permit this but the College has been trying to get away with blanket redactions of information IT would prefer the taxpayers and people of Sandwell not to see. And so there have been two further FoI's in to them about this and, hot off the press, this very morning the ICO has formally written to them asking them to supply the redacted information or to give SPECIFIC reasons for their claims to be able to lawfully withhold information pursuant to the Act. Watch this space....

2   An FoI about the Public Cafe elicited that the College were giving the contract to Catering Academy Limited without external tender until July, 2015 when they claimed it WOULD then go out to public competition. But this was another porkie and when I chased this up recently the College said the contract with Catering Academy had been extended for a further two years!!! Just like that!

3  At a time when the College could not afford new computer equipment for students and staff the College did NOT accept the lowest bid on computer equipment for Central Sixth according to an FoI reply but they will not say how much more the successful bid was for nor who got the contract!

4  When the sleazy College shafted the people over the Public it proposed that the taxpayer also fork out for a "celebratory dinner" with the Council chiefs to toast the bent deal. A FoI request showed that the person behind this obscene suggestion had been one of the principal architects of the project, one Sheryl Dowen. Fortunately this idea was dropped and Dowen has since been jettisoned.

5  An FoI showed that the College has left a provision in the accounts of no less than £330,000 in respect of costs associated with the lease of The Public! As both taxpayer-funded parties were trying to dress the whole bent deal up as a "concordat", the College alone spent £80,498.37 exc VAT on legal fees in an attempt to fool us all as to the true nature of the transaction.

6  At a time when the College was being handed a second £70m taxpayer funded building the new Principal, Pennington, was holding himself out as still also being "Deputy CEO" at Salford City College but, following a FOI request, it was confirmed that this was some sort of "mistake" and that Pennington was now engaged full-time with "Sadwell";

7  Despite all the propaganda on The Public bent deal there was a clause giving the College the right to use the building for mysterious "other things" (which rather defeats the object of the whole charade in the first place). In an FOI the College confirmed that such an option was available "if agreed with SMBC". So that's alright then.....

8  A really important one. As part of the bent Public deal and despite the fact that West Bromwich is awash with cheap office space the College was forced to rent office space from, er, Labour Party Properties Limited! The initial contract - before this was exposed - was for six months at a stonking £39,265 exc VAT. Before the outcry following the details becoming publicly known via an FoI request the College had paid £4.300 PLUS vat to Labour for new carpets even though they were allegedly only planning to use the offices for six months!!!! Strangely, Basit Javid was in on this wheeze as he is recorded as being present at the meeting. Quite what his brother makes of a publicly-funded body being screwed-over to give money to Labour is not recorded - yet! (Britton was only at part of this meeting and it is not clear from the minutes if he too was in on the deal to help his political masters).

9   FE Week let the College's shy spokesperson get away with saying that their gross delays in responding to requests were because the requests were often complicated and complex. What is complicated about any of the above? As we have seen, two FOI's were also put in about the number of Central Sixth students who sat A Levels last academic year and the number of students there now. These were reasonable requests noting the lies that were being peddled about it being a great success and the College would have this information available in seconds as they rely on income from these "bodies". You don't think they might just have been trying to conceal the bad news do you readers?

10  The College recently resorted an old trick to keep the public in the dark - holding a "special meeting" and then failing to disclose the minutes. My FoI has now forced disclosure and this will be the subject of another post. Suffice to say here, the College did not get a tranche of Education Funding Agency dosh it had been planning on getting and so it is going back with the begging bowl with, wait for it, a new venture in partnership with, er, scandal-ridden Sandwell Council! You couldn't make it up and I hope other local colleges are taking notice of all this and not losing out because of it eg the genuinely "outstanding" Walsall College.

11  In addition to writing to them today, the ICO also wrote to the College last week giving them 10 days to reply to a long outstanding FoI concerning the alleged arts provision now at The Public. Hot off the press again again, a reply has come in as I have been writing this, but that too will be detailed in a separate post. Once again, they have been having our public money for this and so the information should have been readily available but it has taken the intervention of the ICO to flush the facts out following their refusal to comply with the law of the land.

And finally, many of you may not know that at its original £70m+ taxpayer-funded building - the hideous "ski-slope" - we all stumped up again via our taxes to waste OUR money on a glorious "waterfall" feature down the whole height of the building replete with coloured lights.  Following an FoI request, it seems the cash-strapped College can't afford to switch it on. These jokers are adept at pissing our money up the wall but not, apparently, so clever at pissing it down it!


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com              facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:  07599 983737                 twitter  @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Saturday, 5 December 2015

"Three Degrees" Scandal Latest!

Regular readers of this blog will know the story so far of Jim Cadman's private business deal to bring a hideous, cartoonish, statue of three of my great WBA heroes to the dog sh*t - smeared streets of "Sadwell". Whilst councils around the country have had more sense than to get into bed with the "statue entrepreneur", this "salesman" was pushing at an open door when he persuaded the idiotic and childish "leader" of Sandwell Council, "Baggies-mad" Darren Cooper, to divert public money to this business wheeze. Cooper would use taxpayers' money to buy a turd if it was painted in blue and white stripes!

And so a big shindig with costly tickets was organised by Sunny Jim at Birmingham Town Hall with Frank Skinner as Master of Ceremonies. It is rumoured that Frank received a substantial fee but his management, Avalon, have refused to answer my email about this. Jim then tried to organise a "Laurie Cunningham" dinner in Birmingham but this failed due to lack of support and a smaller event was eventually held at The Hawthorns. Regulars will again know that Jim Cadman has refused to answer a detailed list of questions I sent to him about this business deal and that he has hitherto also refused to produce accounts to show where all the money he has raised so far has gone (a feature of many of Jim's statue "projects"). I again invite him to tell the public the facts and to let us see the figures.....

Now Sandwell is a Labour dictatorship and the comrades tend to do just as they please. But even they must have been worried about openly and democratically supporting a private business deal that Cooper was metaphorically masturbating about. Thus, instead of having the matter go before a committee or the full Council to publicly vote on funding this monstrosity, they diverted £30,000 from what are called "planning gain" monies and gave it to Jim. I mean, its not as if West Bromwich doesn't need money spent on infrastructure improvements (which is what the planning gain money was supposed to be for - mostly coming from the Tesco New Square development) is it folks?

It gets worse. When I put in a Freedom of Information (FoI) request about this scandal, Sandwell Council confirmed that £30,000 of public money had indeed been diverted to Jim's scheme but that it was not intended to put any more of OUR cash in. Oh well, that's that then - isn't it?

Sadly, no. Firstly, Cooper and his cronies arranged for £1,469.90p (some of which came from the Arts Council) to be diverted from the already pathetic "Sandwell Arts Festival" to a feeble and racist publicity stunt to advertise the, er, "anti-racism" statue (one sixth of the whole festival monies). Then, the SMBC budget appeared to show that - completely contrary to the legal answer to the FoI request - Darren Cooper and Labour were actually planning to spend up to a further - wait for it - £160,000 of our money on this private scheme despite Jim boasting to the press about how much money he had already raised!

Of course, Darren Cooper happily has a "small" version of the statue in his own office which is nice given the £31, 469.90p plus of community money spent so far......

Cadman and Cooper have been assiduous in dragging in former Baggies stars to promote this wretched thing. It is to be hoped that our heroes have not been duped about the true nature of this project by persons unknown. Also, I hope they have given their time voluntarily since if they were quietly receiving appearance fees, free tickets to dinners etc to support this private business with the knowledge that the taxpayer was ultimately to be ripped-off for most of the cost, then that would be a very big scandal indeed....

When I saw what was afoot in the small print of the Council budget I submitted a new and very detailed FoI request to Sandwell Council on 11th March, 2015 - nearly NINE MONTHS AGO. In the absence of a response I sent an appeal to the Office of the Information Commissioner (ICO) on 7th July. SMBC burst into life and claimed that they had never received the original request (even though the email had never "bounced-back"). Then on 30th July, 2015, a senior Sandwell employee wrote to say that the Council would reply "at the latest within 20 working days". Clearly, someone "higher-up" then decided to override this since no reply has been forthcoming. I contacted the ICO again and on 21st October, 2015 they wrote to SMBC demanding they file a full reply within 10 working days. Sandwell are continuing to break the law and failing to comply with the law and I am again chasing the ICO to take appropriate action to end this appalling breach and cover-up. Ask yourselves the question readers - why are Sandwell not replying and WHO is blocking the reply (ask Cooper if you see him at the match this afternoon....?). (And why aren't the lazy local media onto this....?)

Whilst all this has been going on, things have been a little less rosy for Jim oop North. Cadman and the sculptor involved in making these ghastly efforts, have had one great success. They placed a statue of the late comedian, Eric Morecambe, on the seafront at Morecambe in a comic pose. It is claimed by them (and others) that thousands of people are flocking to Morecambe just to see this thing which is ludicrous and like claiming that Leeds fans only visit Elland Road to see the statue of Don Revie they managed to get erected there. There are probably a handful of mentally-ill people who have travelled to Morecambe to see the statue being "Eric Morecambe fans" but most people who come across it are visiting Morecambe anyway. The statue is undoubtedly popular with people posing to have their photos taken in front of it adopting the same pose but it is hardly dragging folk in from far and wide for that specific person and thereby boosting the local economy. But Sunny Jim does not miss a trick after this "hit" and decided to start a new campaign to grace the Lancashire town with yet another Eric statue (or piece of "wall-art" as it is laughably called) but this time with Ernie Wise too (unlike Eric, I don't think Ernie had any connection with Morecambe whatsoever and, indeed, was one of the Lancastrians favourite people, a Yorkshireman!)

But the canny folk at Lancaster City Council have more brains than Cooper and Co (yes, I know what you are thinking....) and the project has hit the buffers (although Jim is desperately suggesting a new "Eric and Ernie trail" instead as local - LABOUR - politician Daniel Clifford has suggested the ultimate heresy ie that Jim GIVES BACK the money he has raised from local people and businesses!) Such is the bind that Jim finds himself in he has even produced some purported figures about the local fundraising effort although his sculptor "partner" appears to have thrown in the towel.

I attach links to two articles on this from the local paper, The Morecambe Visitor, and from another publication, The Bay. Whereas down here, you might have had the impression that the Three Degrees statue was some sort of community project with everyone acting for altruistic reasons (an impression that has been carefully fostered in some quarters), the cleverer Northeners have cut through the bullshit and set out what this really is - a private business project. You may be rushing off to the match as you read this but, if you do not have time to read the links until later, please just note this paragraph from a local Council spokesperson:

"Our position has not changed - as we have said all along, we support the principle of the project but we are not able to enter into any binding agreements at this stage and it is not within the council's remit to help a private entrepreneur fundraise for a self-promoted independent project".

This is exactly what I have been saying for a long time now but there is another subtle difference between the two projects. Lancaster City Council have no party in overall control (Labour are the largest party) and so are having to consult with and listen to the local population whereas, despite 40 years of abject Labour failure, the bloody fools in Sandwell continue to keep the Labour Dictatorship in absolute power and then wonder why Cooper and the comrades keep shafting them up the derriere whenever they feel like it! Once again "Sadwell" folk, you only have yourselves to blame.

And now all we need to know is what Mr Cadman has done with all the money raised to date.....

Oh, and three points this afternoon would be grand!



(Thanks to The Bay and The Morecambe Visitor and to all my Morecambe correspondents).


email:   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com             facebook:   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737                  twitter:   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Friday, 27 November 2015

Mayoral Candidate Deletes Tweets!

Yet again Darren Cooper has messed his pants and had to change them!

The ludicrous wannabe Mayor of the new Greater Birmingham combined authority is notorious for his infantile, illiterate and abusive outpourings via his own Twitter account and (at least) 15 troll accounts which he has chosen to associate himself with.

Back in the day, Cooper started to abuse my wife via Twitter in the forlorn hope that I would then close this blog down. Besides, threatening to confront her at her place of work for an unknown purpose, he also referred to her in a tweet as my "wifey". My wife made a formal complaint to Sandwell Council about his conduct copying him in but the Council dismissed it alleging that the Twitter account is purely Cooper's own private affair. This is despite the fact that he advertised his inane and vicious Twitter feed on the SMBC website and on official correspondence and uses the account name "sandwellleader". He also regularly uses his SMBC iPhone (funded by us taxpayers) to communicate with his troll associates. Here's an example from just the other day:

But Cooper was aware of my wife's concerns from her official complaint (enclosures not included but available elsewhere on this blog):

Darren Cooper then started associating directly with one of his associated troll accounts and holding "conversations" with the troll (something he has done with many other accounts), "Colin Duval" - note the childish patter:

I don't have the original tweet when he used this derogatory and sexist term but another Twitter user also complained on both occasions:

Ever since, Cooper personally, and his associated troll accounts have waged a very nasty abusive campaign against my wife and two charities she is associated with. Cooper personally has attempted to get her suspended or dismissed from her job for no other reason that to bully and to try and close this blog down. He has openly endorsed troll accounts that have made vile and highly defamatory allegations about her (on one single day alone sending 12 highly offensive tweets to her employers). Happily, Cooper, the Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel, appears to enjoy considerable protection from elements within West Midlands Police who have refused to investigate the troll network.

Cooper has form for removing tweets which he has so recklessly sent out and his lack of any sort of judgement is quite staggering for a "normal" person, let alone the would-be leader of our city-region. And so he had to have another offensive jibe at my "wifey" the other day but has now taken the offending tweet down. Fortunately, this blog has a very diligent archivist who screenshots everything and so I can share the "disappeared" message with you:

The "Ennabran" account is that of Andrew Hipkiss who Cooper is using as his "social media" spokesperson despite the fact that Hipkiss used to run at least one suspended troll account and claims to be "mentally-ill".

Such is Cooper's bond with his "guru" that he even volunteered to abuse his position to move some travellers on and away from his "worker":

Hipkiss spends huge amounts of time on Twitter and on writing an abusive and defamatory blog about myself (I say defamatory from what I have been told by reliable people as I haven't actually read it). But, despite ex-mental health nurse Cooper actively egging on Hipkiss, he has been careful not to retweet the defamatory blogs himself - er, except once! He is so reckless he makes mistakes and so he DID retweet one of the blogs before suddenly realising he was putting himself right in the frame for a libel action.Once again he has had to amend his timeline but too late again Cooper - we got it! Oh dear, oh dear.....

If Cooper continues to soil himself and the body politic so regularly the laundry bill is going to be very high indeed by the time this mayoral race is over! This is going to be good!

And finally, Darren Cooper has pledged allegiance to the rickety House of Corbyn in a nonchalantly sexist way:

Woe betide anyone (especially other Labour candidates for Mayor) who cross Cooper as they will get "the treatment" which the currently unemployed nurse is so adept at dispensing. And his new mouthpiece, the Enlightened One, has set down these helpful rules for anyone who doesn't agree with Corbyn either in the all-inclusive, non-shouty, "new" Labour Party (RIP):


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                 facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:  07599 983737                    twitter   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Monday, 23 November 2015

Message to Mayoral Candidate Cooper

This is an open letter which I have today sent to Cllr Darren Cooper, the leader [sic] of Sandwell Council and someone who has stated his intention to run for the Labour nomination as Metro Mayor for the new combined authority [sic] aka Greater Birmingham.

Labour have ignored, and even encouraged, Darren Cooper's activities but I hope wiser heads will begin to take notice now that there is at least a possibility of him becoming the Mayor and turning the region into a world-wide laughing-stock.

Recently, Brum's Jess Phillips MP suffered horrendous abuse via Twitter which was rightly condemned by colleagues such as Stella Creasy. It would be nice to think that such strong personalities will show further female solidarity and would take the abuse of my wife in particular up with the "powers" that be in the Labour Party to ensure that this sort of conduct by party members is no longer tolerated - particularly against innocent members of the public. We shall see....

Letter (redacted):

Dear Cllr Cooper,

I note that you took to Twitter over the weekend to write to your latest troll associate threatening to use West Midlands Police (WMP) again to silence The Sandwell Skidder blog.

We have, of course, been here before. You made the bizarre allegation that you were “alarmed and distressed” within the meaning of s. 2 Protection from Harassment Act, 1997 by use of the satirical and lampooning names “The Txxxxxxxxxx”, “The Txxxxx Txxxx” and “Txxxxx” to describe you and also because I used the factually accurate terms “wxxxx-xxxxxxxx xxxx”, “sxxx”, “txxxx mxxxx” and “bxxxx-xxx” about you.

As you know, I was hauled into Brierley Hill Police Station by your friends at WMP and grilled about this. In the hiatus that followed, I temporarily removed the above-mentioned words whilst I took legal advice (a process that is ongoing) and I specifically reserve the right to reinstate the original text at any time.

I explained to the Police that this was farcical and that you and your cronies (who the police took a dim view of you dragooning into making spurious allegations about me) would simply keep making more and more allegations every time I wrote a blog you disapproved of and have them threaten me
with criminal proceedings.

It is noteworthy that you are the Chair of the Police and Crime Panel and should be well aware of the fragility of police resources at the present time. You have never sought any civil remedy against me because you don’t have one - my blog being factually accurate. Rather, you have sought to use your position to have the police threaten my liberty and seek to act as censors of the common law of free speech and to curb my rights to freedom of expression pursuant to the Human Rights Act, 1998. Now you are claiming to be at it again.

You have never complained about anything in the blog in any logical way - just some abusive twitter. Now that you have announced your desire to seek the Labour candidature of the Metro Mayor position that you claimed to be so strongly against, all the media in the West Midlands (with the exception, of course, of your friends at the Wolverhampton Express and Star) will be holding your dubious abilities and behaviour up to the glaring light of scrutiny.

If you are going to seek to have WMP censor anyone who expresses opposition to you, may I invite you to reply with a list of words and expressions which you are likely to find “alarming and distressing” in the context of your personal and political record. At least media organisations, including my humble community news service, can then be aware that publishing same and criticising you may be a criminal offence liable to imprisonment.

I wish to take this opportunity to request that YOU now desist from associating with troll accounts on Twitter. It is now almost the first anniversary of your troll associates starting a vicious campaign against me and my wife. You have directly associated yourself now with 15 troll accounts which you are well aware have poured forth the most vile filth and abuse about me and, more particularly, my wife (who has no connection with my blog whatsoever). You, and your associate, have also harassed two Birmingham Arts organisations and hijacked a photograph of a brilliant group of volunteers at the Birmingham Hippodrome to try and attack me via my wife. You have directly sought to have my wife suspended or dismissed from her current post. This behaviour from a senior local politician really is “alarming and distressing” and I am publicly requesting you to stop it.

Whilst you have run to your friends at WMP weeping about “name-calling” you, yourself, have attacked and abused myself and my wife (even threatening to “confront” her at her place of work for unspecified reasons). I was able to supply evidence of this to the Police whilst defending myself including, by way of just one example,, three pages of instances of you describing me as “Skidmark” and my wife as “Mrs Skidmark”. WMP have at least given me some helpful advice with regard to all that.

You are also aware that my wife specifically complained to you and to Sandwell Council about your use of the sexist and derogatory term “wifey” to describe her and yet you were at it again over the weekend on Twitter. Once again, I publicly ask you to desist from this wholly inappropriate behaviour.

Julian Saunders

ADDENDUM 26/11/15:

Here are two emails which I sent to Mr Cooper on 24th November, 2015. I have had no response.

Dear Mr Cooper,

Further to my email of 23rd November, 2015, I am told that your social media spokesperson, Andrew Hipkiss, has put up another of his grossly defamatory "blogs".

For the benefit of the public, can you please confirm whether or not you authorised the blog and, if so, whether the contents represent your own response to the email sent to you?

I note that. to date, you have been careful not to retweet the defamatory "blogs" of Hipkiss and I would respectfully remind you that your purported waiver on your Twitter profile, "Re-tweets are not an endorsement", has no effect in respect of Defamation law. If you choose to ignore this you do so at your peril.

Julian Saunders


Dear Mr Cooper,

I need to correct my last mail as you foolishly HAVE retweeted blogs from Hipkiss.

Julian Saunders



email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com           facebook  Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no:  07599 983737              twitter  @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Saturday, 21 November 2015

Taxpayers' Chauffeur for Cooper, Please!

In 2012 the Labour Dictatorship of Sandwell (aka "Sadwell") splashed out a mere £70,000 for a brand new mayoral limo and Range Rover. Two chauffeurs are employed to ferry the great and the good of the "socialist" establishment through the dog-sh*t smeared streets of the Borough despite all the alleged "Tory cuts" about which the crazed "leader", Darren Cooper, moans ad nauseam.

It is tempting to view Kim Jong Cooper as a latter day Viv Ncholson with his "spend, spend, spend" philosophy save, of course, that Viv was actually spending her own (fortuitously-obtained) cash whilst Cooper and his "socialist" cronies are spending ours. Now the Brownite gravy train has well and truly hit the buffers so that Cooper and the comrades have simply resorted to borrowing the money to spend on the "leader's" grandiose projects - new leisure centres, The Albion Foundation etc etc.

The spending on sport has reached new, dizzying, heights whilst cuts are forced on frontline services - including on the most vulnerable kids in "Sadwell" who are already being let down so badly under the Cooper regime.

The dimwitted Cooper fancies himself as the "metro mayor" for the new "Greater Birmingham" talk shop and has thrown his hat into the ring. In normal circumstances, we could just laugh about this prospect and assume that even Labour are not stupid enough to let him run but can we now say this after the Corbyn debacle? It is ominous that the Labour Party's controllers, Unite the Union, have already started a "Coops4Mayor" campaign on social media via their "Regional Organiser".

(I have repeatedly pointed out that ANY involvement by Cooper in the "Combined Authority" [sic] is likely to be disastrous for the great arts companies in the region as Cooper has destroyed arts and culture in "Sadwell" for the simple reason that he "doesn't like it"! He has, notoriously, been very directly associated with at least 14 (now-suspended) Twitter troll accounts and famously used one to opine that "art is shit". Compare and contrast with his attitude to sports spending and look out CBSO, Birmingham Rep, BRB et al).

The "Camp Commander" and suppository of all wisdom with one of his private taxis.
Cooper is, of course, unemployed but the class dunce feels it necessary to interfere with all aspects of the running of Sandwell Council (which begs the question of what he knew about the dodgy land deals currently being investigated by the fraud squad). It also raises questions of why the taxpayer needs to fork out so liberally for the top tier of management [sic] in the paid service.

Recently, the Express and Star (aka "The Wolverhampton C*ck-Suckers") ran a piece that Sadwell, having got rid of top dogs John Garrett and, more mysteriously, Stuart Kellas in the last financial year were appointing a new top manager at around a hundred grand per annum "to help cut costs" (I kid you not!) Even the "suckers" seemed surprised at this but, as ever, gave the last word to Cooper and published his inane witterings without, of course, actually bothering to check the facts.

In true "Ed Balls-style" (remember him?) there was this from the Great Helmsman on the new post:

"Councillor Cooper said this position 'will pay for itself many times over' and the council's reduction in senior managers in recent years has saved more than £3 million a year."

This is, of course, what is politely called "b*llocks". Here is the page (freely available to "The Star" if they had bothered to look) of top SMBC management pay from the last accounts. It appears the numbers have been increased in the last financial year by substantial pay-offs to Garrett and Kellas. Yet the total top pay for 2013/14 was £1,586,731 but this had gone UP in 2014/15 to £1,801,764. "Tory cuts" - you are having a laugh at us yet again, Cooper! 

And no wonder these skilled (!) and obliging highly-paid managers at the top are so keen to do whatever Cooper and Hussain tell them to do when they are scooping up so much moolah!

The Sage of Smethwick has also claimed big reductions - £100,000 no less - are coming as the Councillors themselves have accepted reduced allowances. The "suckers" printed this and were happy to add this propaganda from their Commander-in-Chief, the dopey "leader" himself: "We are genuinely all in this together." Except not just yet.....

In 2013/14 the total allowances were £1,252,077.13p. After the "cuts" the figures in 2014/15 had not gone down but had actually gone UP to £1,260,643.31p! Yes its those nasty "Tory cuts" again but you only have yourselves to blame, Sandwell folk, as you do keep re-electing this shower!

And so, back to Cooper's private taxis. A while ago, West Midlands Police asked Darren Cooper to present himself to be interviewed in respect of an allegation of harassment by a Birmingham woman. It has to be said, straight away, that the matter was referred by the Police to the Crown Prosecution Service but they decided to take no further action against the Chair of the West Midlands Police and Crime Panel.

Unemployed Cooper voluntarily attended Steelhouse Lane Police Station in central Birmingham for interview on 14th September, 2015 with a woman believed to be his wife. Did they struggle onto the number 4 bus from The Oldbury Kremlin to West Brom and then take the tram into Town? As this was a purely private matter, and nothing whatsoever to do with Sandwell Council, did they hop onto the 120 bus by Londonderry Lane? Happily, they did not have to drive themselves or trouble with public transport as "Chief Executive" Jan Brittan laid of the taxpayer-funded mayoral limo and chauffeur for the Clown Prince to go to the nick!

So remember, Sadwell folks, if you are asked to attend a police station any time soon and want a free ride on the back of the taxpayer - phone "Jan's Cars" on 0121 569 3501!

Public transport at election-time only! But Balls-Up soon succumbed to the "Sadim" effect!
PS A kind reader has also sent me a nocturnal snap from the car park of Birmingham's Botanical Gardens where the chauffeur-driven taxpayer-funded Range Rover had taken some Councillors to an important event - a, er, Labour Party fundraising dinner! You may think this lot are a bunch of w*nkers but I couldn't possibly comment.....


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com            facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737                twitter  @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Wednesday, 18 November 2015


Altogether now....

"And now its,,,,

Springtime for Hitler and Oldbury....."

I am indebted to my esteemed colleague, Ian Carroll, of the excellent campaign to stop Sandwell Labour's slaughter of Canada Geese (because Cooper does not like them sh*tting in "his" parks) for some of what follows. Don't forget to check out his blog:


Ian pointed out that Labour were not only keen on goose-killing but also not averse to a bit of goose-stepping!

Here is Labour's Cllr Susan Downing sharing facebook posts from the extreme right-wing, Britain First:

And look who is now at it too! None other that Labour CABINET member and "Assistant" to Adrian "the Invisible Man" Bailey MP, Cllr Maria Crompton:

Sieg Heil as they say at Labour Group meetings....

Altogether now:

"How Do You Solve a Problem Like Maria??????"


email   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com             facebook   Julian Saunders

Confidential phone no  07599 983737                 twitter  @bcrover (Vernon Grant)