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Erewash Borough Council

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Can a developer really control the council and the police?

Money can certainly buy a lot of things, perhaps even council officers and the police ... make up your own mind after reading about this scandal.

Important legal development

Our correspondent writes ...

The only way to tell this farcical story of non-existent democratic accountability in local government - a story which seriously erodes even the most basic of Human Rights - is to start at the beginning of an abridged version of an extremely lengthy saga of immorality, self-interest and negligence at the expense of many tax-paying families.

rayden siteWe live in a high-risk Flood Zone 3 which has been eroded by heavy industrial expansion to such a degree that we are left with a tiny parcel of undeveloped land directly to the rear of 15 terraced homes and gardens. Not only did this small parcel of land afford us valuable flood protection, a number of mature trees on the land created a visual barrier between residential properties and the heavy industrial encroachment. (click the thumbnail image to see larger pictures of the site)

A small fraction of the land had previously been used as a fly-tip and, although Erewash Borough Council publicly pledged on their website to make offenders accountable, they were unable to remedy the situation even though they knew the perpetrator's name and address.

The tipped rubbish contained soiled mattresses, used nappies, asbestos and hypodermic needles but the council used the excuse that it was on private land and did not constitute a health hazard.

The whole stinking eyesore was left to rot for five years and four months until Erewash Borough Council suddenly declared this colonised mound to be a health hazard. In the interests of residential amenity they piled the debris into a huge mound ready for removal. All the residents saw this as an opportunity to improve the area by voluntarily clearing the remaining overgrowth with the intention of planting additional trees for the benefit of all home owners. We all worked on a voluntary basis and at our own cost to do this.

At this stage, Erewash Borough Council was heavily promoting 'Pride in the Community' through 'Greening our Communities' with a load of spiel about how valuable community efforts was towards improving the environment. We staked out and clearly marked the original boundaries of this land which appeared to be unregistered and without a traceable owner. So far so good!

The following day when all the residents were conveniently at work, and at exactly the same time as Erewash Borough Council (EBC) was finally taking the debris away in the interests of residential amenity, our industrial neighbour, Rayden Engineering, totally ignored the residents' obvious efforts and was busily erecting a massive steel palisade fencing around the entire site. Apparently the fencing contractors had been booked for weeks! When we opened our garden gate, all we could see was bars. The new fencing was barely feet from the boundaries of our properties.

But this was just the beginning - much worse was to come!

My first contact with Mr Matthew Hall, EBC's enforcement officer, did not go down well as he kept insisting that the steel palisade prison was perfectly legal and did not require planning permission. Furthermore he said a developer could snatch any land that took his fancy, even if it wasn't his, and there was not a lot the council could do about it.

Oh really? I then had to point this officer of the council in the direction of his own employer's website which clearly stated that security fencing of this height required planning permission. After I insisted, he backtracked through five years of planning permissions  to double check. He had tried to claim it probably had an old planning permit, in which case we wouldn't have been notified. Eventually Mr Hall reluctantly agreed he would come out to look at the offending eyesore, if he could find the time.

Meanwhile, we had started receiving visits from the police commencing on the same day the illegal fencing was erected. There had apparently been accusations of criminal damage to the fencing and the police were threatening to arrest us if the fencing was harmed in any way. EBC's solution to the problem? Easy ... paint the fence green to make it invisible then none of the residents would notice it!

We always suspected that Rayden Engineering would destroy the trees as it was Rayden's intention to expand his boundaries from 21 metres away to barely 3 metres away. Even at 21 metres away, he was never a considerate neighbour and he has never had to apply for any planning permissions as there are seemingly no terms and conditions attached to his operations.

From the early hours until late in the evening, seven days a week, we get the constant deafening noise of grinding, shot blasting and pressure testing - to such a degree that normal conversation in our own gardens is impossible. Even at 21 metres, employees in the engineering yard - which actually resembles an abandoned scrap yard of gigantic proportions  - frequently clamber on the metal structures and clearly invade the privacy that should be afforded to our gardens and homes. To add to this, we are constantly coated with carbon dust and red oxide particles.

When I wrote to EBC Enforcement informing Matthew Hall of Rayden Engineering's intentions, I was hopeful that positive action would be taken to prevent the destruction of the trees. After all, the trees were a frequent habitat for bats and were supposedly protected by law. According to Local Authority guidelines, they had a statutory duty and an obligation to ensure that, if bats were present, any developer had to have a full and independent ecological survey carried out. Was any action taken in this instance? What do you think?

Barely two months after the steel palisade was erected, Rayden Engineering totally annihilated every tree, leaf and branch in the previously mature copse. Total oblivion! Rayden then lied to the council and tried to blame McAlpine who had just moved into the area to construct a new bypass. He said they cleared the trees to park their plant on the land. As my husband is a civil engineer, he knew this was codswallop but McAlpine conducted a lengthy investigation and proved Rayden Engineering had been lying to conceal their own culpability.

By this time, the police visits had intensified. House-to-house inquiries were regular and the accusations flew freely. We had apparently tried to shoot Richard Hayden of Rayden Engineering several times; there were several allegations of criminal damage; and the police visited our home so regularly that the neighbours had even given up twitching their curtains!

One night, we even found ourselves surrounded by the Rapid Response Firearms Unit. Fortunately, the officers quickly established that it was impossible to fire any shots from our property as the angle was all wrong. The police also declined our offer that they could search our property for firearms.

As I mentioned at the start, this land was a high-risk Flood Zone 3 porous floodplain and, when the trees were scooped up, an uneven hardcore hard-standing with no drainage was laid in the place of the porous floodplain. After months of painstaking slog, EBC finally forced Rayden Engineering to apply for retrospective planning permission, at last giving us a chance to have our say in "the democratic process" about matters that so seriously affected the living conditions in our own homes.

In due course, EBC planners turned down the retrospective planning application with the recommendation that enforcement action be taken to move the palisade back to its original position so that the land could be reinstated as flood plain.

A cause for celebration? Unfortunately not!! For although the development did not comply with Building Regulations, the Environment Agency positively objected to it as it was such a high-risk flood zone. Rayden Engineering themselves admitted, in their own flood risk assessment, that the development would store and divert flood water - sneeringly dismissing this to be "a minor issue".

As it turned out, EBC Enforcement had an entirely different agenda to EBC Planning. After we pestered the enforcement section to comply with their own planning department's recommendations, Matthew Hall then wrote to tell us that the fencing would simply be taken down to its legally-required height. And the hard standing was to remain as it was an environmental improvement. He claimed the Environment Agency had raised no objections to this plan. Oh Really?

The Environment Agency was contacted, they in turn contacted EBC Enforcement who, by return of post, had a sudden change of heart. The hard standing was to be removed after all.

After months of waiting in vain for this miraculous enforcement to proceed, I eventually lodged an official complaint about Enforcements' obvious inertia. Naturally, the complaint was glossed over as I had to realise that enforcement action was taken according to seriousness and the number of people affected by the planning breach. By this stage I had sent EBC five letters, accompanied by photographic evidence, showing how the hard standing became a water-logged mess after only a nominal rainfall. Of course the letters were all ignored.

We had visited our MP on several occasions, and our ward councillors just weren't interested. Not really surprising as one of the three stooges happens to be a close neighbour and drinking buddy of Richard Hayden, the boss of Rayden Engineering. Another has connections with Derbyshire Constabulary, who mysteriously stepped up their visits to our home.

At this stage we had tried everywhere and contacted everyone we could think of. No-one wanted to listen or help us at all. Then, right out of the blue, the police arrived with a Transit van and an escorting police car, dragged my husband out of bed, handcuffed him and transported him miles away (complete with escort), strip searched him, DNA tested him, finger printed and photographed him before starting to interview him at midnight when he had been awake for a total of 20 hours! The heinous crime to warrant this sort of treatment? Rayden Engineering had discovered a broken pipe in the scrap yard he calls engineering premises a whole 46 days earlier.

By this time we had started logging all the police visits and complaints against us and I made an official complaint about police harassment which was subsequently investigated. A distinct pattern had emerged: if we gained a legal victory against Rayden Engineering, lo and behold, the police visited us making a false allegation. (Police harassment continues)

In the meantime, enforcement action had still not commenced.  Then the rains came. We watched with dismay and sinking hearts as the waterlogged puddles on the uneven, hardcore began to fill with excess run-off from Rayden Engineering's first higher extension of land - land taken through adverse possession. The water could not drain away as the hardcore was non-porous, nor could it follow the natural diversion away from our homes as all the natural drainage had been radically altered - precisely the outcome I had envisaged during the months I spent trying to convince Erewash Borough Council.

Although the River Erewash was on flood alert, it never actually breached its banks at the lowest point normally associated with flooding and none of the properties on the opposite side of the street - the side closest to the river - flooded at all. But we did! All 15 homes backing onto the unauthorised development - which EBC Enforcement had deemed to be of lower priority than other enforcement actions across the borough - flooded from the rear. The deep flood water remained trapped in our homes for more than 14 hours as it had nowhere to go. Its normal escape route had not only been radically altered but had also been dammed up by Rayden Engineering.

As we all stood in bewilderment during the early hours of that morning, surveying our ruined possessions, Rayden's vehicle went swishing down the street at speed, with him laughing and pointing at all the residents, including our 87-year-old neighbour who was standing on his doorstep, in tears over the devastation. If there was one small glimmer of hope, it was that, in showing his obvious merriment and glee about our ruined homes, he failed to notice the Borough Council Engineer. But the engineer certainly witnessed Rayden's obvious delight.

Enforcement? EBC suddenly served enforcement notices seven days after we were flooded. A happy ending at last? I think not!

The enforcement notices were suspended. Rayden Engineering immediately appealed against the refusal of planning permission and, would you believe it, it suddenly transpired that he had cited me as the legal owner of the land all along.

I contacted the Secretary of State and accused Rayden Engineering of submitting fraudulent documents to support an appeal. I also stated that, as a trespasser without the legal land owner's permission, Rayden would not have any right to appeal. In the event, it turned out that Rayden had relied on ordinary post for his last-minute appeal and it was received out of time. So with planning permission refused and his appeal refused, would the enforcement actions now become active again?

I think not!! The Borough Council's explanation was that Rayden Engineering was considered, by them, to be the actual owner of the land so the enforcement notices were not valid.

As I and my neighbours sit in homes that are stripped down to bare bricks and concrete, some without any form of heating, others without even basic household appliances, still awaiting major flood damage repairs, Erewash Borough Council are now in negotiations with Rayden Engineering over the illegal hard standing that was directly responsible for more than 300,000 worth of property damage. They say they cannot discuss these negotiations with us as presumably it does not affect us!

As I wait for the luxury of carpets and wallpaper in my home once more, secure in the knowledge that one day's heavy rain could undo months of rebuilding work, the hard standing with no drainage in a high-risk Flood Zone 3 remains. And the police have reopened the case, presumably of national importance, over the alleged broken pipe on Rayden Engineering's land.

We are still waiting for someone to assess damage that was caused solely by negligence but, it appears to me, none of the 15 affected families are considered to have any rights at all. I thought it was our human right to protect our homes; I thought it was our human right to have peaceful enjoyment of our possessions; I mistakenly thought it was our human right to be able to come home to the sanctuary of our own shelters without having to live like we have done, and will continue to do so for months. We are unable to protect our homes from future flooding through this ill-conceived development that flouts every planning and building regulation and we now look out onto a vast oasis of twisted scrap metal from every vantage point to the rear of our properties.

We venture through our garden gates to be greeted by invisible steel bars, we are constantly shrouded in red oxide dust and carbon particles (not a health hazard, of course) and we constantly have to shout to be heard above the almighty cacophony of noise generated by this neighbour from hell. Yet we have no rights whatsoever to any form of protection for our basic living and home standards! If we had money and influential connections, I suppose something would have been done long ago. But it's not so. We are simply non-existent - we are nobodies. Yet, if we all withdrew our council taxes tomorrow, no doubt Erewash Borough Council would acknowledge our existence immediately. They would be down on us like a ton of bricks, or perhaps even non-drainable hardcore!

I will never understand why an underhanded developer - one who has lied and deceived officers of the council and has submitted fraudulent official documents - continues to receive preferential treatment at the expense of, and to the detriment of, so many others. There have been many times when it seems that Rayden is not only dictating how the council is run but is also controlling the police force.

DC, Ilkeston.

Editorial Comment:

It's not the first time, and it certainly won't be the last time we hear of council officers falling over backwards for developers. It doesn't matter how black and white (totally devoid of grey areas) planning and building regulations are, it seems they can still be ignored or bent by officers of the local authority whenever it suits them, often supported by elected councillors who are, after all, mostly in it for the rich financial rewards they now get.

When people know you are campaigning against corruption, you hear many examples of instances where permissions cannot be granted until some official's palm is crossed with silver (or gold, or crinkly paper). And they get away with it because most councils are rotten to the core.

It's bad enough that we all fork out increasingly steeper council tax knowing most of it will be wasted, either on initiatives that are totally unnecessary or by employing idiots to do completely irrelevant jobs, all of whom benefit from the kind of gold-plated pension schemes the rest of us can't even dream about. But when greed enters the equation, too many of these useless bastards cannot resist the additional income from bribes. So the rule book goes by the board.
It's a sad indictment of the times we live in but the country is run by a bunch of crooks at Westminster and local authorities are their disciples.

Footnote: A quick check on Erewash's elected councillors shows 30 Conservative members, 18 Labour and 2 Lib-Dems. When Labour domination was badly hit in the last round of local elections, many thought it would be better with Tory-dominated councils. Well, I live in such a borough and there's little sign of any change now the Tories have control. It's just a different bunch of trough gobblers who don't want to know about the real issues, prefer to turn a blind eye to bureaucratic law-breaking, and won't do anything to get rid of the corruption.

I often wonder how other boroughs fared after the Tories took control and I wonder if David Cameron, with his declared intention to seek open and transparent government, will order his troops at Erewash to investigate this scandal. Somehow, I doubt it.

But if you feel the Erewash borough councillors should be doing something to stamp out the collusion between council officers and local businessmen, you can download the full list of the councillors' names and contact details by clicking here. Then you can bombard them with emails.


A bit more information has come to hand and we think it demonstrates the high degree of collusion between Rayden Engineering and Erewash Borough Council (EBC).

Since 2006, our correspondent has been completing dust and noise diaries for EBC's Environmental Health Department but she got no results.

Dust pollution

Three months ago, EBC finally came to their house with dust monitoring equipment comprising six white tiles and some Vaseline!! The tiles were placed at various points around the garden and were left for one month.

For reasons unexplained by EBC, the worst tile samples were never sent off for analysis - only the three with lesser deposits.

The subsequent report specifically stated that it was not a QUANTATIVE analysis but was simply to identify the claimed pollutants. The Report identified fibreglass particles in concentrated amounts and microscopic shards of metal - consistent with hot metal work.

Despite Rayden's epoxy sleeve repairing process working three metres away from the garden boundaries, EBC stated that residents should expect this type of pollution as they lived in an industrial area. As a result, they would be taking no further action. However, the black deposits literally coat the windows and doors and find their way into the house.

So why were the tiles with the heaviest pollution not sent for analysis?

Noise pollution

The processes Rayden use are identified by HSE research as reaching 135 decibels.

Our correspondents have two years of video evidence to show the effect this high level of noise pollution has on them. Conversation in the garden is virtually impossible and, in summer, they are unable to venture outside, sit in the garden, or even open the windows for ventilation. The noise permeates every room of the house even with all the windows and doors battened shut!

A few weeks ago, noise monitoring equipment was installed by EBC and was left in-situ for one week. From the moment it was set up, until the time it was removed, there was absolutely no noise from Rayden Engineering! How coincidental! Either the owner of Rayden Engineering is telepathic or, far more likely, some corrupt official at the town hall tipped him off.

The minute the sound monitoring equipment was installed there was TOTAL silence for the entire week. Not to be outdone though, Rayden Engineering took to silently smoking us out with billowing clouds of industrial black smoke instead. Despite completing a fumes and dust diary for EH this time - again no action was taken at all to remedy the situation.

The deafening noise and industrial smoke continues to this day and Rayden has now taken to surrounding MY garden with portacabins stacked two high (again with no planning permission) blocking out our natural light and what little view we had left which Rayden had not already destroyed.

After 14 months we finally obtained a copy of the illegal CCTV tape proving Rayden was spying on our every movement inside our own private property. The CCTV tape proved that my husband was only putting rubbish in the dustbin and not committing the criminal act Rayden had falsely accused him of. After a year of doing battle with the Information Commissioner - Rayden was found to be in breach of the Data Protection Act on four counts. However the IC believed that Rayden had now incorporated safeguards to "black out" our property. Oddly enough we are still watched by that pair of swivelling red eyes when we venture outside.

The police had advised Rayden to install this CCTV and it had been running to their satisfaction. When challenged over why the police deemed it acceptable to illegally invade privacy and be in obvious infringement of the Data Protection Act (thus breaking the law - the police breaking the law??) they have decided NOT to respond to our reasonable questions and we have been met with a wall of silence by Derbyshire Constabulary. We also discovered that the police - public servants paid for by the public to serve the public - had been advising Rayden in a personal capacity over what was obviously civil matters. Again a wall of silence!!

After nearly 3 years of pursuing justice we simply video everything now and put it on our web site in the hope others will realise the truth behind "democracy" in modern day Britain where fraudulent liars and thieves are protected and shielded from justice to the detriment of their innocent and honest law abiding victims.

I close by sincerely thanking everyone who has taken the time to follow events through this excellent site, our own website and read our story.

DC, Ilkeston

Information sought from the Health and Safety Executive

We have emailed the HSE helpline asking them to tell us the acceptable noise levels for such a process. We have also asked how H & S legislation is applied to neighbouring residential premises. Unfortunately, we have to wait ten working days for a reply. 

Meanwhile, we note that Rayden employees are given ear defenders and respirators so we assume that their processes are not quite as safe as Erewash Borough Council would have residents believe. At the same time, it seems health and safety is not something Rayden employees take seriously as they are often seen swinging or balancing on loads being lifted by the crane - usually without safety helmets.

We will report further when we get a reply from HSE.

The reply from the Health and Safety Executive

A reply was emailed to us on 14th March by Sara of the National Britannia Group - the company that operates the helpline for HSE.

Basically it says there are prescribed noise limits for workplaces but the regulations do not extend to neighbouring residential properties. Enforcement does not therefore fall within the remit of the Health and Safety Executive - it is the responsibility of the Environmental Health department of the local authority, in this case Erewash Borough Council.

So the net result is that the residents' health and safety is not a matter for the Health and Safety Executive, and the Environmental Health department of Erewash Borough Council is not interested.

It makes you wonder why we have any health and safety legislation in the first place!

The police harassment continues ...

Our correspondents have just received yet another visit from the police with yet another allegation of criminal damage to Rayden property.  This is the 20th false allegation!

Apparently the surveillance equipment (which Raydens had previously assured the police was not spying on 15 private homes and gardens) recorded our correspondent's husband going down his garden path to the gate and back again. The police considered this was "evidence" of criminal damage to Rayden premises. In actual fact, the gentleman was putting rubbish in the dustbin!

The police admitted that he was wearing a bright fluorescent safety work jacket at the time which makes any sane person (i.e. non-police) ask why a potential criminal would wear high visibility clothing, stand under a camera he KNEW was recording him and commit criminal damage!

Rumour also has it that the police spent four hours going through Rayden's surveillance recordings and then visited another neighbour - a man in his sixties - last night (14th March 2008). They made him sign a declaration that he would not shine his torch in his garden because it interfered with Rayden's covert surveillance equipment. If he did, they threatened to arrest him for harassment! The police did not even give the man a copy of the document he signed and the Derbyshire Police Authority should be asking why!

Surveillance recordings are subject to the Data Protection Act 1998 and surveillance equipment should be registered. In this case, no-one would have any objection to a company protecting its own property but such protection should not extend past the company's boundaries. To film neighbours' gardens and houses is a disgusting invasion of privacy and the police might have been better occupied by arresting the perverts at Raydens.

Let's assume here that the police in Ilkeston wouldn't recognise a real criminal if they saw one so there seems little point in making an official complaint to the local nick. But, if you live in the area and want to stir up some action, why not telephone or email every member of the Derbyshire Police Authority. After all, they are responsible for police standards and it would appear there is plenty they could do to acquaint Derbyshire Police with the standards, or even introduce some standards. Click here to download a list showing the names and contact details of all officers and members of the Derbyshire Police Authority.

Latest development

Our correspondent writes:

On Saturday 20th June 2009 I received a recorded delivery letter from a company of solicitors in Nottingham called Berryman Shacklock. Sent as a 'letter of claim in conformity with the Pre-Action Protocol for Defamation' it disputed everything we have published on this website relating to Rayden Engineering Limited and demanded that we take down or block access to this content. Naturally, the denials were all based on the word of Rayden's managing director and no evidence was supplied to substantiate Rayden's claim that our published report was 'a collection of exaggerations and distortions' (as Berryman's put it). Furthermore, they accused our correspondent's husband of criminal damage and causing injury to one of their employees by firing projectiles at him with a catapult.

If I do not agree to this demand by 4pm on Friday 3rd July 2009 Berryman's will issue proceedings for libel seeking an injunction, damages and costs against me in the High Court.

My understanding of libel is that it refers to published matter that is untrue. On that basis, and based on the evidence I have seen and researched, I consider the content of this article to be a fair reflection of the facts. Consequently, I am happy, if necessary, to defend the action in the High Court. However, I have responded to Berryman's with a list of 19 questions which, if answered, will give Rayden Engineering the opportunity to substantiate their claim that they have acted as responsible neighbours to the occupiers of the 15 domestic residences which lie adjacent to their now expanded yard.

23rd June: Today I received another letter from John Buckby of Berryman's. He failed to answer any of my questions and merely repeated his earlier threats. But this time he brought forward the deadline by a whole week to 26th June. I can't possibly meet that deadline and I have told Buckby so.

Watch this space ....

Readers' Comments

M, Ilkeston writes:

Did you know that Richard Hayden purchased the Manor Squash Club in early April this year and is in the process of spending vast amounts of money renovating it? Can't give details as tied up in legal wrangles with him over membership.

Editorial Comment:

With Hayden's contacts, planning permissions certainly shouldn't be an obstacle to him.

ASD, Ilkeston writes:

Why have you not made a complaint against police about this obvious harassment? Why have your insurers not sought to recover the costs from Raydens? Why have you not reported those officers in Erewash for Misconduct in Public Office? And why have you or the other home owners not sought the assistance of a solicitor? You must do all of these things if what you have said is correct.

Editorial Comment:

Not quite so simple as it sounds. Corrupt forces often collude with each other and close all complaint avenues.

DC, Ilkeston writes:

Many thanks M, Mr Hayden's directorships certainly make interesting reading! ASD - the only thing we haven't done in your suggestions is file a complaint to the Ombudsman, rather a waste of time considering how many valid complaints former council executives actually uphold in comparison to those dumped in the waste bin. The Editor's comments are absolutely correct.

JH, Long Eaton writes:

I regularly write letters to the editor of the Long Eaton Advertiser giving the Council some stick. Why? Because they are a load of tossers.

M, Ilkeston writes:

Word on the street now is that Mr Hayden actually purchased the Squash Club with a view to collaborating with the Council to close the Victoria Leisure Centre next door and sell all the land off for housing. All makes sense now?!

Ivan Porteous, Billingham writes:

I would like to offer an opinion on the use of Sound Monitoring Equipment set up by Local Councils. We had this equipment installed and, whilst the council officer was installing it, he was having to shout into the microphone. He played back the recording and it was barely audible. He explained that it was the poor quality of the speaker and a true level would be found back at their lab. Load of crap! It had been calibrated at such a low level it would not have picked up the sound of a herd of elephants going through my garden.
We had exactly the same scenario as mentioned in this article, no noise for 9 days. I was contacted on the Friday morning by the council officer who came and took the equipment away. That evening the noise problem was at its worst levels ever. That is not a coincidence. People had been informed that noise monitoring equipment was in place at my property. They keep advising that it can be reinstalled, but I think they may have a 3 strikes and you're out rule, i.e. after 3 attempts to record noise levels if nothing is recorded, end of complaint.
Absolutely bent system.

Editorial Comment:

Thanks for this information, Ivan. Local authority corruption is so rampant that their staff invariably fall over backwards to satisfy the demands of those who give the best backhanders ... or they pursue their own agenda. The only solution is to have honest elected councillors who are prepared to fight corruption ... and they are as rare as rocking horse shit!

Bridie, Ilkeston writes:

I would like for you to bother getting two sides of the story. You will ignore this, I know, however I am stunned that your biased opinion would try to discredit people I know without you even trying to get their side of the story. Carry on and you will be open to all manner of legal issues. Even Jeremy Kyle and the chavs he has on daily have the decency to at least listen to both sides of an argument before they decide who the liars are. Food for thought? Maybe....

Editorial Comment:

Bridie of Ilkeston actually gave us a false Yahoo email address so our automated reply bounced back. Normally, we would not publish comments from anyone who supplied false contact information but we felt it was important to state our position on this matter.

People generally contact us when they have discovered that there really is no justice in the accepted channels. We then give them an opportunity to state their case and/or vent their feelings, and this often acts as a warning to other potential victims. In all cases, our correspondents have documented evidence of the wrongdoings against them and this would be produced in any resulting legal action.

If we were to approach the companies, government departments, local councils, etc, for their side of the story, we know exactly what would happen. They would deny it, either personally or through their trained liars. But, if the people our correspondents accuse think they have been wrongly accused, they have the right to present their facts to us. If they can prove they have a case, we will review any content we have published.

In practice, only two people have approached us. One was a salesman who was caught up in the case purely because he happened to work for the company at that time; the other was a woman who moved to a different company and wanted to cover up her past. The fact is that most wrongdoers seem to prefer to maintain a low profile, presumably hoping the matter will blow over in due course.

DC, Ilkeston writes:

Dear Bridie of the false ID, I would be most interested in reading the other side of the story you are obviously more than well aware of, complete of course with well documented evidence (Reports, letters, e-mails, photographs and video footage) in support of your contentions to enable us all to decide who the REAL liars are after evaluating this so far unforthcoming evidence.

Presumably you do have evidence to support your assertions? Even though you lack the conviction of your claims to provide your real ID which immediately poses the question over what other information you have supplied which is also false! False name perhaps? The hollow legal threats certainly sound familiar. I suspect the grammatical errors are also a deliberate ploy to mask your real identity, either that or you have watched too much chav television lately!

It is hard to discredit someone whose own actions discredit themselves - not the truthful and honest reporting of those actions based upon a plethora of well documented evidence. There is only ONE liar in this saga - not one with a false ID by any chance is it?? So submit your evidence in support of your contentions "Bridie". I for one cannot wait to see it!

"Many men stumble across the truth ... but most manage to pick themselves up and continue as if nothing had happened."

Winston S Churchill

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