Friday, 14 March 2014

One allegation was that 31 postal votes went missing - 31 votes were rejected on polling day because they failed the verification process - they were not unaccounted for.

Statement around electoral fraud allegations

The Council is aware of a number of allegations on social media sites concerning the outcome of the local election on May 2013 and in particular the Cowpen ward.
The Council is familiar with the concerns raised and has assisted Northumbria Police in its investigation.
One allegation was that 31 postal votes went missing - 31 votes were rejected on polling day because they failed the verification process - they were not unaccounted for.

In or around September 2013 a detailed file of evidence was submitted to the Crown Prosecution Service. Having reviewed the information available the CPS has taken the decision that there is insufficient evidence to provide realistic prospects of conviction for any offence.

We would like to assure the public that the council has well established and robust systems in place for managing local elections.

Day 2 - £30m Gross Development Value = £650,000 section 106 contribution?

Day 2 - £30m Gross Development Value = £650,000 section 106 contribution?
Is this 'some of the so called 'missing Blyth money'?

Labour - 'asking the questions residents want answers to'.

Wednesday, 12 March 2014

Maybe UKIP will call the database a 'waste of money which could be spent in Blyth' when it is launched. Other residents of Blyth are entitled to ask the question - why does a party represented by a property developer (who should know how section 106 works) have such an interest in a policy that, under their proposal, would see £9 out of every £10 of development cash spent out side out Blyth?

'Message to UKIP Blyth - in the running for this blog's most avid readers'

Section 106 - the logic and the UKIP argument

UKIP's plan is to make life better for three wards in Blyth they say.

At the moment, development monies get pooled in one central pot - that means everyone gets a fair deal and equal amount.

UKIP's plan would mean that Blyth would get development money from three wards rather than 67 it gets now.

The council's own plan, the LDF (which UKIP have ignored) sets out planned development across Northumberland for the next 25 years.

Less than 10% of that development will be in Blyth.

So under UKIP's plan - Blyth would miss out on 90% or more development cash.

So UKIP in Blyth, led by property developer Town Councillor Barry Elliott, wants to reduce the money fairly apportioned to Blyth over the next twenty five years by up to 90%.

That means £9 out of every £10 will be lost to Blyth under UKIP's plan.

Under his plan every other ward would lose out too.

Maybe we should ask the question - Can you list your elected councillor on Blyth Town Council, the esteemed Councillor Elliott to list his registered prejudicial interests on this blog since you don't list them on the Town Council website or anywhere else?

Since UKIP seem to be very keen to 'quote the law' yet the Localism Act 2011 states 'every town or parish council should maintain a register of members interests that is open to public inspection'.
So can we see Councillor Elliott's please?

That would be fair and transparent because all county councillors have listed theirs on the council's website wouldn't it?

Maybe he should tell us just how much section 106 money he's contributed to his community in his developments in Blyth over the many years of property development?

He should also know, as a seasoned property developer, that section 106 agreements are part of a planning application so can be viewed at any time by members of the public should they want to.

They are available as documents submitted as part of the planning process and just for UKIP, the council is spending thousands of pounds (which could be spent on your community) to put a database of section 106 agreements online so 'property developers can see, with ease', what their competitors are agreeing as part of a fully transparent planning process.

Maybe UKIP will call the database a 'waste of money which could be spent in Blyth' when it is launched. Other residents of Blyth are entitled to ask the question - why does a party represented by a property developer (who should know how section 106 works) have such an interest in a policy that, under their proposal, would see £9 out of every £10 of development cash spent out side out Blyth?

That's not 'standing up for Blyth - that's misleading the residents of Blyth.

Tut Tut UKIP Blyth, you really should be expected to know better.

Now we've answered your questions - what about answers to the above UKIP Blyth?

Tuesday, 11 March 2014

Councillor Dickinson said‘It’s clear that UKIP want to have their cake and eat it. What they are demanding would mean residents of my ward subsidising Blyth and I don’t think that’s fair or workable’

STORM AS UKIP CALL FOR SECTION 106 CASH TO BE SPENT IN BLYTH ONLY
Controversial call by UKIP to spend development cash in Blyth only brings fears that other areas would be starved
A UKIP Councillor on Blyth Town Council has come under fire for his controversial call for all section 106 money received by Northumberland County Council to be spent in Blyth only.
UKIP Town Councillor Barry Elliott who is a local property developer, made the call in various postings on his Facebook site and during a recent meeting of Blyth Town Council. Now he faces calls to explain whether that would mean other town council’s and wards across Northumberland being starved of monies ‘to pay for his promise to Blyth’.
UKIP in Blyth have called for section 106 development monies which are paid by developers as a contribution towards community infrastructure to be spent ‘only in Blyth’. Northumberland County Council, as the planning authority holds the receipts from developers in a central pot which have a combined value of nearly £10m since the formation of the unitary authority in 2008. Some of the combined value has not yet been collected because the agreements have not been triggered with only £4m spent to date. Under Section 106 agreement the pool has allocated around £6,000 per ward.

Now Labour councillors are challenging UKIP in Blyth asking ‘if you want to spend all section 106 monies in Blyth what about other communities across Northumberland?’.
Labour Councillor Scott Dickinson who represents rural Druridge Bay ward has joined forces with his Labour colleague Allan Hepple, whose portfolio area covers section 106 agreements, to demand UKIP come clean on their policy which would see all cash spent on 0.2% of the county population.

Councillor Dickinson said
‘It’s clear that UKIP want to have their cake and eat it. What they are demanding would mean residents of my ward subsidising Blyth and I don’t think that’s fair or workable’

Councillor Hepple who represents Cramlington said
‘I’m calling on UKIP to come clean about this stealth policy which would see money sucked from every part of Northumberland to fund vanity projects like a Blyth ‘football stadium. Every community gets a fair share from section 106 monies and UKIP’s plan would be unfair and unworkable. It’s clear that UKIP in Blyth are making promises they can’t keep’.
END
NOTES
• Section 106 agreements (planning obligations) are legally binding obligations between local authorities and developers linked to a planning permission and attached to a piece of land.
• The completed legal agreement is registered as a local land charge against that specific piece of land.
• Planning obligations are a mechanism which can make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms that would not otherwise be acceptable.
• Northumberland County Council have recently undertaken a review by Internal Audit on its Section 106 policy which was instigated after a complaint by UKIP Councillor Barry Elliott to the council’s external auditor. That review highlighted;
• Of the 602 Agreements on the Monitoring Spreadsheet, 426 were financial with a combined value of £9,864,322
• Of this amount the review identified that £4,098,108 had become collectable due to triggers having been met
• Of this amount the review identified that only £30,440 (0.7%) had been lost due to errors by the Council.
• The bulk of this (£25,000) related to a legal agreement on a 2007 planning application where the invoice had been raised after the development had started and the developer refused to pay.