York Settlement Agreements – Paedophile Charter

I can reveal that between 2015 and 2019 City of York Council (CYC) issued 26 Settlement Agreements relating to school-based staff.

Settlement Agreements

Settlement Agreements must not be used in cases that have any safeguarding implications, even if an employee proposes to resign before or during a disciplinary process.

This is because where there may be genuine grounds to believe that an individual is responsible for a breach of safeguarding rules, concluding matters via a settlement agreement would allow that individual to work at another school without any reference to the concern that was raised, which could obviously put others at risk in the future.

A settlement agreement which prevents the school from making a DBS referral when the criteria for doing so are met would likely result in a criminal offence being committed as the school would not be complying with its legal duty to make the referral.

There is no reason to agree to a settlement agreement with school-based staff unless there are safeguarding implications.

Are Children Safe?

In a local context 26 settlement agreements could have shocking consequences.

For example: A teacher who signed a settlement agreement may have breached safeguarding at a York School and could now be working at a Tadcaster School without the school in Tadcaster having any knowledge of the teachers past.

How is it possible for there to be 26 school-based settlement agreements without safeguarding implications?

Ian Floyd – Investigation Requested

I have requested Ian Floyd,  Temporary Chief Executive, CYC to:

  1. Undertake a full investigation into the issuing of the settlement agreements to school-based staff.
  2. Refer all 26 cases to the Police to ensure there is no breach of statutory requirements.
  3. Ensure CYC cease to issue settlement agreements to school-based staff.
Posted in Children

Richard Bradley SBC Director – False Slur

Richard Bradley, Commercial Director, Scarborough Borough Council (SBC) believes it acceptable to make false slurs and then decline the opportunity to apologise.

Richard Bradley, Commercial Director, Scarborough Borough Council

Richard displayed a questionable command of the English language by claiming that my undertaking of one action fell within the definition of unacceptable behaviour under the Council’s Persistent and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants Policy!

When invited to explain how this was possible not only did he decline the invitation and fail to offer an apology he also never had the decency to reply himself. In what appears to typify his conduct and that of SBC it was passed to a faceless Complaints Officer who informed me:

“I refer to your comments below and would state that the  Council now considers the matter to be closed, and therefore has no further comment to make. Kind regards, Complaints Officer”

I do love the irony of “Kind regards”. It gave me a chuckle.

For further information  please read Accused Of Breaching Out Of Date Policy

Seeking Employment

A mutual acquaintance of Richard and I informs me that Richard is now attempting to leave SBC rather hastily by seeking new employment.

I would like to offer Richard my best wishes in his search and politely advise him that in future he does not make false slurs against members of the public that are unfounded and which he cannot substantiate.

I doubt his new employer will have a SBC “turn a blind eye” policy to such conduct of their employees.

Leaving Present

As a leaving present for Richard, I share with him my one lawful action that he claimed fell within the definition of unacceptable behaviour under the Council’s Persistent and Unreasonably Persistent Complainants Policy.

All I did was record a telephone conversation.

Bon voyage Richard.

Posted in Scarborough

Covid 19 Legislation – Fundamentally Flawed

Over the past couple of weeks, I have sat back and observed how the Covid-19 legislation is fundamentally flawed. The wrongful convictions in Newcastle and Tooting demonstrate that Police Forces have no idea how to apply the legislation.

Lee Freeman, Chief Constable, Humberside Police

I am of the firm belief that there should never be a two-tier legal system, yet the Covid-19 legislation is just that. Those who can afford legal representation or understand the basics of law will not be successfully prosecuted, whilst those without such knowledge and finance could be.

Being mindful of this and the wrongful convictions cases I expose the failures in the legislation, I start by stating two simple points:

  • I remain of the opinion that all Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are unenforceable and that the Government is fully aware of this. My direct action over many years against various Government bodies has confirmed this. I have never received a FPN as a result of my direct action – despite my best endeavours to receive one.
  • Under the Covid-19 legislation, no Police Force will ever be able to achieve a conviction unless the member of the public “self convicts”.

The Health Protection (Coronavirus) Regulations 2020 (please click on the link to read) under Offences states:

  • (1) A person (“P”) commits an offence if P— fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a restriction or requirement imposed under regulation.
  • (3) A person who obstructs, without reasonable excuse, any person carrying out a function under these Regulations commits an offence.

Let us consider “reasonable excuse” and “obstructs”.

To prove obstruction, intent must be proven. A typical example of this is a car parking on a footpath that allegedly obstructs the use of the footpath for pedestrians. The key reason this is very rarely prosecuted in the UK, outside of London, is that the intent to obstruct must be demonstrated. This is impossible without a confession.

To discuss “reasonable excuse” let us hypothetically say that it appears I have driven into Pocklington and sat on a bench for 40 minutes.

A Humberside Police Officer, who I will call Bobby, approaches me within two metres and asks what I am doing. At this point the Newcastle case is of relevance:

“Marie Dinou, 41, from York, was arrested at Newcastle Central Station on Saturday after she allegedly failed to tell officers why she needed to travel.”

and my statement above

“Under the Covid 19 legislation, no Police Force will ever be able to achieve a conviction unless the member of the public self convicts.”

Marie did the right thing. She said nothing.

I now go back to Bobby. I cannot obstruct Bobby by not replying without reasonable excuse. The excuse is simple and every court in the land must accept it:

“I did not reply to the officer as I had not spoken to my legal representation.”

But surely the case still stands Strangeway as:

“A person (“P”) commits an offence if P— fails, without reasonable excuse, to comply with a restriction or requirement imposed under regulation.”

and here you are just sat on a bench for 40 minutes.

I am permitted to take exercise. This does not state physical exercise.

As per the Government guidance, I have taken a maximum 1-hour exercise. This is taken in the form of a maximum 20-minute return drive to Pocklington to sit on the bench to have my view and the drive as the subject matter of my meditation. This is my one hour of mental exercise.

Case dismissed – without even getting into my knowledge as to why all Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) are unenforceable, or my Human Rights.

Of course, as always I am happy to respond to any challenge from the powers that be. In this instance, I challenge any Chief Constable of a UK Police Force to prove me wrong.

Why do the Government continue to pass legislation that those who understand how law works can expose the failings in it before taking breakfast?

Why does the Government never request help from such folk?

Conclusion

Say nowt and enjoy your meditation.

Posted in Covid 19, Humberside Police

Peterborough Height Barrier – TRO Consultation Begins

Having agreed that the height barrier at the entrance to Car Haven Car Park, Peterborough is in breach of legislation due to there being no Traffic Regulation Order (TRO) for it the City Council has now confirmed the required process to introduce a TRO will beginning on Thursday.

The City Council confirmed:

“That is was taken up with the network team and the process for introducing a traffic regulation order has commenced.  This involves the order being placed in the local paper commencing at earliest next Thursday for three consecutive weeks and thereafter the order can then be formally made.”

The height barrier must be at the required height, with the height stated on the barrier and warning signage in place on the approach access to the barrier.

As there are significantly fewer vehicles on the network at present due to virus restrictions, not to mention other risks created if the height barrier were to be removed while the order is being made the barrier will remain. I believe this pragmatic approach is appropriate.

I encourage anyone who would like to contribute to the consultation to do so.

Given that the required TRO is now actioned my role as a campaigner in this is now completed.

I have thanked Peterborough City Council for agreeing to ensure that the height barrier is lawful.

Posted in Peterborough

Emergency Plans – Profound Thinkers Required

In effect, an Emergency Plan is a risk assessment as all that is required is to identify, own and mitigate. What could be simpler?

Alan Bravey, Emergency Planning Manager

In 2016, Pocklington Town Council (PTC) refused to allow me to have a copy of their Emergency Plan – even though I was the Independent ERYC Ward Councillor for Pocklington and my contact details appeared in the plan.

I finally secured a copy via the Freedom of Information legislation. Upon reading it, was obvious why PTC did not want to make it public. It was flawed to the core. This was typified by the claim that in an emergency, in twos, the Town Council would knock on every door in Pocklington in case a resident was vulnerable!

I immediately raised concerns about the Pocklington Emergency Plan as it was not fit for purpose because it:

  • Failed to have a register of those requiring assistance in an emergency
  • Failed to have a register of those able to assist in an emergency
  • Was not made public (even to the local ERYC Ward Councillors)

PTC disagreed when I stated the above – and did nothing. My opinion was discussed and attacked on local a Facebook Group.

I then held a meeting with Alan Bravey, Emergency Planning Manager at Humber Emergency Planning Service. Alan is the main person responsible for Emergency Planning in the Humber region. He disagreed when I stated the above, supported PTC – and did nothing.

I then held a meeting with ERYC Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, Paul Bellotti. Paul disagreed when I stated the above, supported PTC and Alan also did nothing.

ERYC Failure To Refer

What should have happened is that the Humber Emergency Planning Service and ERYC should have referred this up to Westminster and requested that Emergency Planning in the UK was given a full overall review.

Sadly, as on numerous occasions, those at County Hall were so obsessed with silencing Strangeway instead of accepting that he was the only profound thinker regards the Emergency Plans this did not happen. Yet again, ego took over their senses.

23 March 2020 Lockdown

On 23 March 2020, the UK went into lockdown without any Emergency Plans that were fit for purpose. This meant:

  • Yorkshire Parish/Town Councils were told to stand down their Emergency Plans
  • PPE was inadequate
  • No temperature screening took place at UK airports
  • Not enough tests have taken place

All of this could have been averted if ERYC had referred up and then Westminster referred back down.

Knee-Jerk Response – Is Crap

The Government’s knee-jerk response has resulted in the UK having the worst Coronavirus curve. I am astounded that the Government went into lockdown with no clear exit strategy. This is basic schoolboy chess.

ERYC sent out a letter to residents on March 30 which I received on April 7. Please see ERYC Covid 19 Letter 300320 (click on the link to read). This can only be described as crap and insulting to residents. There is no need to explain why.

Offer To Help

As PTC, Alan Bravey and Paul Bellotti have all demonstrated they lack the profound thinking required, none are qualified to revisit the Emergency Planning system.

As I have clearly displayed profound thinking, I will consider any request for help from ERYC, Humber Emergency Planning Service or Westminster to address this failure moving forward.

I have informed Caroline Lacey, ERYC Chief Executive, and Sir Greg Knight MP of my offer.

NB: Photos of the refurbishment of Committee rooms at County Hall, Beverley are invited.

Posted in Covid 19

Police Flummoxed Over Anti-Social Behaviour

On the 27 January, I reported Inspector Sarah Sanderson of North Yorkshire Police (NYP) for condoning the Leeming Bar Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO) banning overnight parking as overnight parking is not defined as anti-social behaviour and thus the PSPO is a misuse of legislation.

Inspector Sarah Sanderson

For background please read Police Condone The Closing Of All Roads (click on the link).

Despite NYP assuring me on 3 February that an Officer would be in contact as per the Independent Office for Police Conduct Statutory Guidance sadly over two months later I have heard nothing.

To save resources I have politely suggested to NYP that a couple of simple phone calls to both the Thames Valley Police and  Metropolitan Police will confirm that remaining in a vehicle is not anti-social behaviour. Thus the Leeming Bar PSPO is a misuse of legislation and should not have been supported by North Yorkshire Police.

I appreciate not knowing what anti-social behaviour is is rather embarrassing for both North Yorkshire Police and Inspector Sarah Sanderson. But looking on the bright side at least the misunderstanding will not occur in the future. As my Grannie used to say worse happens at sea.

Posted in Hambleton, Police

Closing Cemeteries – Are Pocklington Residents At Risk?

After yesterday’s post Covid 19 – Closing Cemeteries I received various emails that resulted in more questions than answers.

Credit is due to Market Weighton Town Council who replied promptly to my initial enquiry and informed me that: “We act on the guidance of the Government via NALC and ERNLLCA and are currently following their advice.”

(NB: For information about NALC and ERNLLCA please click on the links)

In reply to MWTC I asked: “I am fully aware of the relevant legislation but I am unaware of any such “guidance” of the Government to close open spaces. Could you please forward me copy?”

Given my concerns I also contacted ERNLLCA to raise my concerns: “I am surprised to learn that ERNLLCA are giving advice to Parish/Town Councils, that they are acting upon, which is not in line with the thinking of Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick. Could I please request that you revisit this as a matter of urgency?”

I await a reply from both MWTC and ERNLLCA.

Further Research

As a result of further research and with modest access to the required information it appears that the Government have stated all cemeteries must close.

If this is correct and the statement above from Cllr Peter Hammerman, Market Weighton Mayor, is also correct it suggests that MWTC may indeed have acted correctly.

If this is this case Pocklington Town Council, having failed to close the Pocklington Cemetery, are putting Pocklington residents at risk. Of course, closing the Cemetery and keeping the right of way open would require the simple measure of “roping off” the Cemetery from the right of way.

Government – Left and Right Hand

Would this mean that the statement of the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick made should be filed under “Left and Right Hand”?

“The Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that closing parks and open spaces in lockdown should be ‘last resort’.

He added: “This is [the councils] decision, but I have asked them to be very judicious in taking that step and only to do that where they feel it is impossible to maintain social distancing rules within their parks or open spaces.””

Email To ERNLLCA And Greg Knight East Yorkshire MP

Sent: Wednesday, April 8, 2020 10:41 AM
Subject: Covid 19 – Closing East Yorkshire Cemeteries

Dear Greg and ERNLLCA,

Could I please refer you to (link) and the emails below?

Between yourselves can you please decide are Market Weighton Town Council (MWTC) or Pocklington Town Council (PTC) acting as per the Governments position regards Cemeteries?

Has MWTC been over-exuberant or have PTC misunderstood what is required?

Given the seriousness of the situation could I please request that this is resolved by close of business today?

Could I please request a statement for publication?

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in Covid 19, Market Weighton, Pocklington

Covid 19 – Closing Cemeteries

I would like to thank everyone who contacted me after I published Coronavirus – Failed Policy And Questionable “Facts” last Sunday. Firstly I would like to confirm that my opinion remains the same.

Pocklington Cemetery – Open As Usual

More than a week has now passed so over the next few days I will share my thoughts and the information I hold in relation to Covid 19.

A simple search of “covid 19 closing cemeteries” will reveal the extent to which various councils are closing cemeteries. In essence, the standard strapline appears to be:

“Cemeteries are temporarily closing to the public as a result of the Covid-19 coronavirus pandemic. The cemeteries will remain closed until further notice to help limit the risk of exposure.”

How can this possibly be a reasonable decision especially as the public footpaths remain open?

Many Grandmothers are already banned from seeing their Grandchildren. A stroll to be with their late husband in the cemetery for a few minutes would be not only a suitable form of exercise but most importantly assist her mental health.

So why have these Councils, which include Market Weighton Town Council (MWTC), not considered this before closing the open space?

Whenever I visit a cemetery I have always witnessed social distancing before the term was even known. This makes cemeteries essential open spaces for undertaking a daily exercise of both body and the mind.

My opinion is supported by the Government. Only yesterday the Communities Secretary, Robert Jenrick, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that closing parks and open spaces in lockdown should be ‘last resort’.

He added: “This is [the councils] decision, but I have asked them to be very judicious in taking that step and only to do that where they feel it is impossible to maintain social distancing rules within their parks or open spaces.”

I believe MWTC and all other Councils who have acted against the Government thinking should revisit their questionable decision and follow the example of Pocklington Town Council (PTC) who have not closed the Pocklington Cemetery.

Credit to PTC. I have congratulated PTC and asked MWTC to revisit their decision.

Posted in Covid 19

Height Barrier Confirmed An Unlawful Hazard

Peterborough City Council has confirmed that the height barrier at the entrance to Car Haven Car Park, Peterborough is in breach of legislation as there is no Traffic Regulation Order for it.

On 13 February  Gillian Beasley, Chief Executive, Peterborough City Council informed me that:

“I confirm that I have asked Andy Tatt, Head of Peterborough Highways Services to look into your concerns and he will respond to you in due course.”

Andy Tatt did not respond to me and the unlawful height barrier is still an unlawful hazard to road users.

Given the current situation with Covid-19, we must all avoid tying up Emergency Services and the NHS when they are needed the most. To ensure this I have requested Gillian to action the removal of the height barrier before the close of business Friday to prevent a serious accident at the height barrier.

If this is not actioned I will have no option than to report the unlawful hazard to the Police to deal with. Public safety is paramount.

Further Information

The height barrier at the entrance to Car Haven Car Park, Peterborough is a hazard to road users and in breach of legislation.

All height restrictions on a public road should be clearly identified and marked.

The standard minimum clearance over every part of the carriageway of a public road is 16 feet 6 inches (5.03 metres). When the clearance over any part is less than this, standard warning signs both on and prior to the structure should be provided. The stated clearance should be at least 75mm less than the measured height.

Heights of vehicle likely to be encountered are 4.2 metres high (i.e. A standard container on a suitable flatbed vehicle). Minimum headroom provided should be 4.65 metres exclusive of any additional space required for lighting units. Where emergency vehicle access is required, the height of such vehicles should be confirmed with the relevant emergency service. Additional clearance will be required if there is a requirement for an overlay in the future. Changes in gradient may also reduce the effective headroom for long vehicles.

Peterborough City Council (PCC) has failed to:

  1. Introduce a Traffic Regulation Order for the height barrier
  2. Install standard warning signs both on and prior to the height barrier.
  3. Comply with Highways Act 1980 Section 137 which states: “If a person, without lawful authority or excuse, in any way wilfully obstructs the free passage along a highway he is guilty of an offence”.

Due to these failures by PCC the height barrier is currently a hazard to road users and must be removed immediately.

Posted in Peterborough, PSPO

A166 Bollard Repaired – Systems Review Requested

I am pleased to confirm that ERYC has repaired the bollard on the A166 at Stamford Bridge.

Email To Paul Bellotti

I have sent the following email to ERYC Director of Environment and Neighbourhood Services, Paul Bellotti.

Sent: Wednesday, April 1, 2020 4:38 PM
Subject: A166 Bollard Repaired – Systems Review Requested

Dear Paul

Could I please refer you to the attached?

Thank you for actioning the required works to the A166 Stamford Bridge bollard as requested.

Given that this remained unaddressed by ERYC for over six months could I suggest that Highways reviews their policy in how works are reported and actioned?

As I appreciate some may not notice the need for such works by “instinct” could I politely suggest, as all six ERYC Councillors failed to raise this, that Highways facilitates a training session for all members to advise what to look out for?

Thankfully it appears that this time there was no serious accident. You will appreciate that if there is a next time we may not be so lucky.

Finally, would it be advisable for all such bollards across the East Riding to be checked to ensure they are fit for purpose?

Regards,

Andy Strangeway

Posted in Stamford Bridge