Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Greater Manchester Pension fund in £25m property deal. Speculation or safe investment?

The Local Government Chronicle carries an interesting article in its current edition. Not my usual reading but this was brought to my attention:-

"A partnership between Manchester City Council, Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) and the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) will create more than 240 houses across five locations.
The three organisations revealed they had signed the contract to create the joint venture company called Matrix Homes which they claim is the first of its kind.
The model will work by using land owned by Manchester City Council plus a site offered by the HCA. The Greater Manchester Pension Fund is providing £25m to finance the build." Full article here

Councillor Kieran Quinn in his capacity of chair of the pension fund said  “The current economic climate has seen homebuilding slow down to an almost standstill, with levels of development not keeping up with the demand throughout Greater Manchester. This new innovative model tackles these issues by promoting development opportunities while at the same time ensuring new attractive, affordable homes are available for our residents.”

In furtherance of this scheme two companies, both with Registered Offices given as the Tameside Council Offices, were formed on 11th April 2014 (4 days ago). They are"Matrix Homes Limited Partnership" and "Matrix Homes General Partner."

The latter company has six directors whose addresses are either Manchester or Ashton Town Halls.


DOWDALL, PADDY                

HALL, ANDREW                 

PAVER, RICHARD MR          Manchester





We shall be keeping a close eye on  this development, if only because my pension is provided my GMPF and I don't want my pension lost in property speculation!

Point to note. 240 houses are promised by this scheme, some for rent, some for sale.

Monday, 14 April 2014

Denton South gets thousands of pounds in extra funding via charity. Is local Independent candidate a threat?

Local Independent candidate Carl Simmons has done remarkably well in Denton South. Coming second with 672 votes in 2012 . We wonder whether this may be the reason for the spending by some local charities on Denton South. The Annual Return of T3SC (Tameside Third Sector Coalition) for the year ending 
31-03-2012 states:-

"During the year T3SC continued to provide intensive community development work in Denton South.
This aims to facilitate and strengthen community engagement and influence in local partnerships
networks and help local residents to improve services."

With formal effect from October 2012 T3SC joined with Volunteer Centre Tameside to form Community and Voluntary Action Tameside.(Registered Charity 1148056). This made no change to Denton South. The Report of the Trustees for the period 31/01/12 to 31/03/13 stating:-

"~ During the year CVAT continued to provide intensive community development work In Denton South.
This aims to facilitate and strengthen community engagement and influence in local partnerships
networks and help local residents to improve services, in particular to early years."

The funding was provided by TMBC and appeared in the accounts as a "Restricted Fund " and an "Incoming Resource" of £16250. See:-


Enquiries made with CVAT by this blog learned that the money is spent on Denton South because it is a "Deprived area" The only one in Tameside if  the fact that it is the only one to receive this special funding means anything! They have been receiving it since at least 2009 according to returns submitted by T3SC, so it is clearly not working!

So. Clearly the "community" is not "engaging" - whatever that means!
Or it could be due to a local Independent candidate getting too popular.

Saturday, 12 April 2014

30 year old case 'cracked' byTameside Citizen? Chief Constable informed.

Some months ago this blog published the picture we reproduce here. We stated that it was of a man who had committed a serious offence. Investigations have been carried out and the story can now be told.

On the 1st March 1985 the then Home secretary, Mr Leon Brittan, visited Manchester University Students Union to address the Conservative Students. Violence broke out involvng police and demonstrators, Following the violence complaints were made against the police. Following the complaints two students were intimidated and assaulted by men claimed to be policemen. These men were never identified at the time.

The two students were Mr Stephen David Shaw and Ms Sarah Hollis. The Citizen has contacted them both but they do not wish to get involved again in the affair.

The Citizen has investigated this affair. Mr Shaw was assaulted by a man who amongst other acts stubbed a cigarette out on his face.  Mr Shaw subsequently made a complaint which resulted in him being threatened with prosecution.

Nearly thirty years later the Tameside Citizen blog has uncovered someone who fits the description of one of the two assailants. So sure are we that we have sent details to the Chief Constable of the GMP , Sir Peter Fahy, requesting action. The guilt or innocence of the man concerned we leave to the courts, what we do say is that the description given by Mr Shaw fits the man concerned perfectly.

But what is more disturbing is that if a mere writer, an amateur sleuth. can put a name to the alleged assailant, why couldn't the GMP?? Are we in the realms of collusion here?

Wednesday, 9 April 2014

Hardly "The Great Escape" but a potential tragedy none the less.

Tameside citizen apologises for the long wait since the last posting but he has been working on a very interesting and important story. A potential national story. Watch this space.

We at Tameside Citizen have numerous sources for our stories, whistle blowers, other news outlets, members of the public and general observation of life in Tameside. But this story quite literally just walked into the blog.

Regular contributor to the blog Tonydj (Local writer and political activist David Jones) was sitting at home last week when he heard a knock on the open window of his lounge. He looked and was surprised to see 22 year old Jamie , the son of a friend of his. He was surprised not least because he knew that Jamie should have been in Tameside hospital. In fact he had been 'sectioned' under section 3 of the mental health act so he was REALLY surprised.

Jamie asked to come in and asked if David knew where his mother was and could he have a drink. David gave him a drink, told him he presumed his mother was at home and tried to call her on the mobile phone. Her phone was switched off. they chatted for a while before Jamie left. 

The story has a happy ending in that Jamie was reunited with his mother and is again undergoing medical treatment. But that surely is not the point?

People are 'sectioned' because they are ill and need treatment, need help. They need to be supervised for their own safety yet here again is an example of "Shameside" hospital making a serious error. Yes I know that patients have rights and are not criminals but they deserve better looking after, better supervision. They sometimes need protecting from themselves..........but they should not need protecting from their protectors. 

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Greater Manchester Police's handling of domestic abuse causes "Serious concerns"

In a damning report by Her Majesty's Inspectorate of Constabulary, (HMIC), four UK police forces are severely  criticised for their handling of domestic abuse and domestic violence cases. One of the four is Greater Manchester Police (GMP).

Greater Manchester's Chief constable stated that this was a "complex area" with 170 incidents daily. HMIC highlighted what they described as two "key weaknesses" in the police handling of domestic violence incidents, these were a lack of time spent on the victims of Domestic abuse and a focus on offenders.

This last comment is particularly apt for GMP. Last year they were one of 4 UK police forces who were tasked with testing a new method of dealing with domestic abuse, the DVPO, domestic violence protection order. By this legislation a violent partner can be evicted on the orders of a senior police officer. see here for original post

But we must be careful not to pin the blame on just the police. Breaches of DVPO's are civil offences and not criminal offences. Accordingly it is up to the victim to deal legally with breaches and not the police. This situation is the fault of our lawmakers and not the police.

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Give us this day our daily bread...

For once, a good story about New Charter.

 New Charter Homes has set up a scheme with bakery company  Greggs to run healthy breakfast clubs in schools in Tameside. Both organisations are funding the clubs at New Charter’s sponsor school Silver Springs Academy in Stalybridge and Broadoak Primary School in Ashton-under-Lyne. The scheme is to run for two years.

Greggs will donate fresh bread daily from a local store and the cash funding will help to buy cereal, fruit, toasters and crockery for the clubs.

The scheme will utilise parent volunteers who will join "work clubs" to gain work experience on the scheme.

The two breakfast clubs will be two of approximately 260 similar clubs which Greggs have around the country.

Anything which helps the ordinary citizen in these stringent times is to be welcomed. But are we being too  cynical if we reflect that this announcement has come at a very convenient time for New Charter homes, whose charitable status was the cause of some comment and questions?

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Where have all the flowers gone....?

I don't know what is going on with the TMBC horticultural centre on Cemetery Rd in Denton. It used to be a hive of activity and a riot of colour at this time if year in preparation for http://www.tameside.gov.uk/inbloom but now it is totally abandoned.

Tameside could be justifiably proud of it's success in the "Britain in Bloom" competition but alas no longer. Presumably "The Cuts" will be blamed, possibly even "The TORY cuts". In the meantime the councillors will continue to receive an increase in their allowances.

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Charity begins at home?

Throughout Tameside people are receiving their council tax bills, which the council claimed would not be increased this year. While this claim is, strictly speaking,  accurate it does not mean that some residents are not paying more than last year.

First of all there is a 1.99% rise in the cost of policing. This is beyond the control of the council and so no comment will be made. The same cannot be said of the next occurrence, the increase in the cost of tax for empty property. The 25% single person rebate for empty property has been abolished. (It was abolished last year in a quiet manner, so this year is the second year people have to pay more for having empty property.)

But this year sees additional letters going out threatening action against fraudulent claims of single occupancy. It is cheaper to have a house occupied by one person rather than have it empty.

Except in the case of a RSL (Registered Social Landlord) which is also a charity. THEY can have property empty for six months and still have nothing to pay.

The council has not considered methods of checking whether RSL's are genuinely charities. They are apparently trusted.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Belgian Government votes to murder their own children.

On Sunday 2nd March the Belgian King Philippe signed into law legislation which will permit the euthanasia (killing, murder) of sick children.

The first thing that I think most people will say is "What!? I didn't hear of this!"

I will reply "Exactly. Neither did I".

Imagine if the pre-Nelson Mandela South Africa had done this?  we would not have heard the last of it. We all know that The Third Reich are heartily condemned for their Euthanasia policies, but I have often thought that it was euthanasia that was smeared by association with Hitler and not Hitler that was condemned for introducing euthanasia.

It is the silence from our leaders which I find repugnant. If Belgium were to refuse to treat HIV sufferers the outcry can be imagined. We have seen the outrage (sic) against Vladimir Putin because of his policies on Homosexuals (none actually killed). But Belgium prepares to kill it's own children and we hear nothing.

Who next? The incurable sick? The pensioners who don't work? Me?.......


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Restricted Document related to "National Security" put on internet by Tameside school.

The form shown above was discovered on the internet HERE . It varies slightly from the version which appeared on the internet a few weeks ago and which is reproduced later in this posting.

We thought long and hard before we decided to blow the whistle on this apparent faux pas. What convinced us to expose this error was the fact that Droylsden Academy was the source of the leak. An establishment which is a limited company and chooses not to reveal it is so should be careful. The academy was built by Inspired Spaces, a combination of Carillion and other companies, as part of the building schools for the future (BSF) programme. So was New Charter Academy, and there the similarity ended. It is regrettable that Droylsden seem to now be playing the "Spies r Us " game. We hope this is an aberration.

"Restricted - National Security" Walter Mitty or George Smiley?