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Sunday, 29 September 2013

Shocked , Shocked we were ....

Oh, OK then, no - we weren't really.

Prepare yourself for a generous dollop of indignation

One has to suppose that there's some pretty curious accounting going on at the Environment Agency in order to "justify" putting several hundred people out of work and ruining a business off the back of a pack of lies.

The story of Nigel and Philip England caught our eye as victims of  what one must assume is yet more EA perpetrated wild invention and the whole all too familiar nasty carnival of tricks and bureaucratic banditry we've come to expect from an organisation as out of control as the EA.

Click to enlarge (and get indignant)

Can law enforcers show restraint when pocketing the proceeds?  Crikey - that's an understatement and actually misses the point by a country mile - can officials make up a sump of toxic kerrap and then try to drown you in it whilst simultaneously stealing the contents of your bank account? - is more like it. 

Using heaps of taxpayer's money to indulge in legal bullying and epic dishonesty spiced up with the colossally full-on irony that they are trying to prosecute a third party for something that The Environment Agency negligently actually failed to do themselves in the first place?

The EA - strangers to integrity, honesty, competence etc., etc.

We hope that the Englands are going after the individual officials that perpetrated this - but having spent £400,000 defending themselves from these gits one has to assume they're a bit circumspect about the whole matter...

Truly a shameful episode that deserves wider coverage

Even if you can rely on the BBC to parrot your self serving guff
(and leave out the  £1,200,000 legal bill to the taxpayer)

A copy of the BBC report on the "not guilty on 11 charges" report is archived here 
just in case it disappears...

No smoke without fire some might say and I'd agree -
only the smoke isn't coming from Siteserv 

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Financial Infidelity?

Watching egregious and wilful waste of our taxes happen is a very, very frustrating experience - some people want to make it a criminal offence - it's patently obvious that simple complaints about waste are ignored. This is not a trivial matter - some estimates have the amount wasted by government as high as 50%. Imagine what would happen if you withheld 50% of your taxes?

You'd have to be deaf and blind at the moment to miss the bleating emanating from the House of Commons Public Accounts Committee at the moment with the BBC gleefully pointing at other people getting a small thrashing with expired lettuces from Margaret Hodge MP et al. for irresponsible waste of the public funds they have been entrusted with - no doubt, we'll hear that "lessons have been learnt" - yawn.

In Germany at the moment there is a movement to introduce a new crime -
public financial infidelity

Rather than reinvent the wheel and to avoid redundant typing - if you are curious, take a look at Richard North's two recent articles focusing on the subject.

Financial Infidelity  (Sept 2013)

Criminalising Government Waste (15th June 2013)

Should wilfully burning our money or handing it out to mates / cronies be made an imprisonable offence?

It doesn't have to be the one sided setup we are presently enduring with accountability almost non existent and one getting the distinct impression that the individuals both perpetrating the waste and benefiting from it are thumbing their noses at those who are forced to pay and watch.

It seems that there are two very different sets of standards out there. There is a relationship - and trust is being abused - "public financial infidelity" seems rather appropriate.

Friday, 13 September 2013

Avoncliff vs. Damascus 

Glad other things are more difficult to explain than the debacle here at Avonclifff. 
Try getting your head around this.

Ever topical we are ...

Tuesday, 10 September 2013

Just Epic Incompetence and Worse

Nearly four years ago the builders at North Mill and a number of commenters in the formal public consultation process highlighted / tried to draw Environment Agency officials attention to a quite literally show-stopping feature of the application for a hydro power installation at Weaver's Mill. 

Environment Agency officials were simply dismissive and continued to wilfully and arbitrarily promote the Weaver's Mill scheme, spending literally hundreds of thousands of pounds of public funds on contriving "evidence" to try and ensure their chosen outcome. International consultancies were commissioned by the EA officials to produce "independent" reports - those consultancies apparently couldn't see  what is entirely obvious to a layman looking at the weir at Avoncliff. - or perhaps, these companies - whose entire business essentially relies on public bodies were told not to look / mention anything "difficult"?

The Environment Agency's arrogance and hubris has been of such proportions that they did not even formally research the show-stopping issue alluded to above - not at all. It would seem that officials were so focused and intent on imposing their choice that they didn't actually bother to explore the technical and legal issues  believing - one actually has to assume - that with a bottomless wallet filled with inexhaustible public funds that they would get their way by using the tactics of massively outspending anybody with the temerity to challenge their whim and controlling the story by bullying the legacy media into accepting their "authoritative", "official" story via threats issued by an overactively inventive PR department.

So here we are - four years down the line and considerably in excess of £1,000,000 of public money spent ( quite a bit more by some estimates - not ours!) and the original proposed scheme at Weaver's Mill absolutely, categorically cannot be implemented - a fact which has been pointed out to EA officials repeatedly over nearly four years....

The fact that the lower EA "customer facing"officials have changed in those four years - but the strategy deployed has endured indicates that somebody in middle or more likely (very) senior management is behind this - and we intend that that person be exposed. The repeated failure to address substantive issues and a miserable parade of broken promises  (and what must be assumed to be lies) from senior EA officials can can now really only be interpreted as deliberate evasion and flagrant dishonesty - incompatible we believe with relatively high public office... 

Incompetence rarely travels alone - it is customary for other less savoury companions to be along for the ride.

It's a quote from somewhere that I can't reference - but that doesn't diminish it:

It is quite true that any organisation, if it is provided with continuous funding and little or no independent oversight, will rapidly go 'off the rails'. It will increase its powers, diminish its competence and ignore both legal rules and the fundamental principles of morality. It will become completely divorced from its original purpose and create new, unjustified reasons for its existence in self-perpetuating cycle.

I leave it to you to figure out who I think it might be a good fit for.....

We have deliberately not published a lot  (most) of the communications between ourselves and Environment Agency officials - in the hope that keeping things "confidential" would engender some degree of trust and freedom to speak plainly and give the EA "room to move". This gesture has been roundly and consistently abused. There have been egregious failings - promises were given - in hindsight it is abundantly clear that there was no intention to behave honourably or honestly and the EA book of mendacity is beginning to look like an Argos catalogue.

EA officials are supposedly obliged to share information about applications and their contacts with applicants to ensure transparency - it has come to our attention that EA officials have been doing work and guiding the actions of the applicant at Weavers Mill for some considerable time without advising us of the details - whilst simultaneously insisting that we follow full disclosure...   and officials have advised him on how to re-present his scheme so that they can approve it!!! (Since the one they've been pushing for four years and spent over a million quid of your taxes on has "crashed and burnt")

One can only tolerate so much deliberate provocation  - so - copies of communications between ourselves and the gentlemen below are coming here to the blog.

Our present unfortunate "single point of contact"  Ben Johnston
"Water Manager" John Sweeney
National Operations Director David Jordan (Linkedin)
Chief Executive Professor Paul Leinster  (Linkedin)

Gentlemen - you brought this on yourselves.