Thursday, January 25, 2007

Labour councillors claim credit!

Sometimes the "brass nerve" is just too obvious

The Shields Gazette (which has removed the link to Curly's Corner Shop on it's new website) gives us an opportunity to throw the accusation of collusion and acquiescence with the local Labour barons this evening. Following my disclosure yesterday that South Tyneside Primary Care Trust had withdrawn it's planning application for a change of use of the caretaker's house at Temple Memorial Park, South Shields we are presented with the happy smiling faces of two Labour councillors claiming that their intervention had won the day!

Cllrs. Gibson and Brady are even made to look like environmentalists under the headline "Green campaigners celebrate as Temple Park GP plan is withdrawn", and since when were these two gentlemen accurately described as "green campaigners"?

The truth of the matter is all rather different. Independent Candidate Stephen Pattison had discovered one of three statutory notices displayed on a lamp post at one of the edges of Temple Park, while out walking by pure chance, so he had the good sense to raise the matter publicly after contacting other members of the Friends of Temple Park pressure group, someone else had the good sense to make additional copies of the notice available for passers by in a bid to raise awareness. The matter became public after Mr. Pattison had contacted the Shields Gazette. Perhaps he, and not the "chuckle brothers" from Whiteleas should have headlined tonight's story, instead of being dumped down near the foot of the article (but he won't have as much influence as two Labour councillors, and besides, local editors don't want to fall out with the controlling party do they.)

What irks even more is the tacit acknowledgment that the "chuckle brothers" are totally out of touch with events in their ward, indeed on their doorstep. Cllr. Gibson is quoted as saying:

"We were very disappointed that the first we heard of this was when we read about it in the Gazette."

Perhaps, being a councillor, with a computer and broadband access provided by us the council tax payers, he ought to have known about the application by checking his own council's website, and their Planning Explorer - here! Better still, if he had spent some time walking around his ward, and the edge of Temple Memorial Park, then he too would have seen one of the statutory notices on a lampost. To demonstrate so admirably that he is unaware of the current state of play in his ward would be enough to cause deselection in some parts of the country, he certainly deserves to be taken to task by someone in the party for being so blissfully ignorant.

However, the balance of probability is, that this is NuLabour news management (spin) at work again, with the compliance of an ever helpful editor, the "chuckle brothers" are dressed up and brought to the park for a photo-opportunity, after complaining that Mr. Pattison had his moment of glory a couple of days earlier, "we need to be the headline act", you can imagine them saying. The Leadership of South Tyneside's Labour Party would have been pulling the strings of course, they certainly did not want a political issue brewing up at Temple Park with the local elections so close - did they?


"I think its very funny that these two councillors must feel desperate to get in the local Gazette about the outreach surgery on Temple Park , that they stoop this low and try and take credit for something they said they knew nothing about. The credit for this application being rejected should go to all the people of South Shields who originally put their names to the petition to stop the "super school" going onto Temple Memorial Park because
that's what let everyone know what these councillors wanted to do to THE LAND GIFTED TO THE PEOPLE OF SOUTH SHIELDS.
I`ve heard of jumping on the band wagon but this is just down right desperate.."

Steve Pattison

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