Thursday, 23 February 2012

Lying public service watchdogs

The quango [Care Quality Commission, CQC], which was established in 2009, is the official watchdog for health and social care services in England, including abortion clinics.

Yet in the three years since its creation, the CQC has faced sustained criticism over its performance.

Seven months into its existence, Baroness Young, the CQC’s chairman, resigned in December 2009 after Basildon Hospital in Essex was exposed for having filthy wards and a high death rate despite being rated as “good” by the regulator just a month before.

Cynthia Bower, the regulator’s chief executive, was appointed on a salary of £195,000 a year.

She ran West Midlands strategic health authority, which had oversight of Stafford hospital, where a long history of poor care caused hundreds of patients to die between 2005 and 2008.

In its annual report last year, the commission claimed it carried out 15,220 inspections and reviews in the year ending March 2011. It has now admitted that there were 7,368.

My comment: The above proves that the CQC, just like all the other pubic service watchdogs, lie to  government in their annual reports. The unanswered question is why the government allows public service watchdogs to lie to them, where is the scrutiny? Why no independent validation regarding the veracity of all public service watchdog reports?

Read the full story from the source Telegraph

UPDATE 23rd February 2012: NHS watchdog chief Cynthia Bower resigns.

The head of the NHS regulator for England, who has been the subject of mounting criticism over the watchdog's failure to adequately police hospitals and care homes, has resigned.

My comment: Not before time. The government should now persuade all our public sector watchdogs and ombudsmen to resign because none of them are fit for purpose.

Read the full story from the source Guardian

Read all articles about Watchdogs on this blog

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Durham County Council waste another £5000 on unnecessary bus stop

If Durham County Council wasting £250,000 on waste recycling bins wasn't bad enough, it has now come to light that they also spent nearly £5,000 constructing a bus stop and shelter on a road which wasn't even a bus route.

My comment: I despair when I read stories like this when residents are suffering cutbacks in services why is it that councils can waste so much money.....and get away with it.

Read the full story from the source Mail On-Line

Read all articles about Durham County Council on this blog

Northumbria police officer charged with drugs offence

A policeman has appeared in court charged with Class A drugs offences.

Det Sgt Paul Thompson, 43, from Northumbria Police, is also accused of aiding his criminal friends by accessing confidential police records.

He and his wife, Susan Thompson, 44, who was described in court as a "high flying housing executive", allegedly supplied their friends with cocaine.

They denied all charges against them at Newcastle Crown Court including misconduct in public office.

My comment: Waiting for outcome of trial before commenting.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Read all articles about the Police on this blog

Monday, 13 February 2012

Former SDLP councillor pleads guilty to sexually assaulting 11-year-old girl.

A former SDLP councillor [Derry City Council] has pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting an 11-year-old girl.

William McCorriston, 77, from Philip Street in Londonderry, admitted two counts of sexual assault on dates between 6 and 21 September, 2010.

The defence solicitor said his client had a very public persona, and could not believe he did what he did.

Judge Piers Grant said the court was concerned this was the normal modus operandi of "those carrying out these repulsive activities" in that they would start off at a low level and then continue if the child did not report it.

He said any sexual assault on a child had to be regarded as serious.

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Leeds City Council faces corporate manslaughter charges

A council could be facing corporate manslaughter charges over the death of a man who was killed by a lorry.

Leeds City Council are alleged to have ignored the complaints lodged after 16 separate incidents at the Bridgewater Place skyscraper in the city centre where Edward Slaney was crushed.

The inquest heard how the vehicle was blown off all four wheels on March 10 last year before colliding with Mr Slaney.

'There had been reports of strong winds round the base of this building since it was built in 2007,' he said. Daljit Singh, the council's deputy planning manager, told the hearing on Thursday that two wind assessment reports had been carried out before the building was sanctioned.

But the council's transport development manager Gillian Macloud said today that the council was yet to put anything in place to alleviate the problem of the skyscraper effectively becoming a wind tunnel during high force winds.

Mrs Williamson asked: 'How many deaths will it take before the council do something to prevent this ever happening again?'

She later concluded: 'I have listened very carefully to all of the evidence and feel an offence of corporate manslaughter may have been committed by one or more organisations.

'I am obliged to adjourn this inquest and pass on my concerns to the Crown Prosecution Service. This is not a step I have taken lightly.'

My comment: Typical of many councils, sitting on their hands for years instead of sorting the problem. I hope somebody is jailed rather than just a fine which the taxpayer will end up paying.

Read the full story from the source Mail on Line

Read all articles about Leeds City Council on this blog

Monday, 6 February 2012

Tower Hamlets Councillor sacked for benefit fraud

An east London councillor has been sacked after being jailed for 16 weeks for benefit fraud.

Tower Hamlets Councillor Shelina Akhtar, 33, of Poplar, who represented Spitalfields and Banglatown, was sentenced at Snaresbrook Crown Court.

Last month she admitted three counts of failing to notify a change of circumstances with regards to housing benefits for a rented property.

A spokeswoman said: "Due to the length of the custodial sentence Shelina Akhtar will be automatically disqualified from holding office as a councillor under section 80 of the Local Government Act 1972,

My comment: The ridiculous thing is that if she had got less than 3 months in jail she could have remained as a councillor. 

Read the full story from the source BBC News

Saturday, 4 February 2012

Two Bury councillors arrested this week on suspicion of corruption

Former Tory council leader Bob Bibby, 69, is accused of accepting £10,000 in connection with a planning application for 200 homes and a warehouse at Bury Road and York Street in Radcliffe.

Cllr Bibby and his partner Cllr Jim Taylor were questioned after police raided their home in Bacup, Lancashire on Tuesday morning.

Cllr Bibby strenuously denies sending a text message that he says police allege shows he would accept a £10,000 payment for help with the application.

But Cllr Bibby told the MEN: "The police are insisting that I was bribed to get a planning application through. But anybody who understands the way the planning system works will know that no one person can influence a planning committee.

The 'inteligence-led' investigation launched in June 2011 resulted in police seizing computers and documents from Bury Town Hall and A business in Moston.

My comment: I for one don't accept Cllr Bibby's suggestion that no one person can influence a planning committee. They may not be able to guarantee the outcome but they can certainly influence the decision. Especially if they are a leader/former leader of the council.

Read the full story from the source Mancunian Matters

West Lindsey District Council deputy chief executive suspended

THE DEPUTY chief executive at West Lindsey District Council has been suspended for alleged ‘gross misconduct’.

The £80,000-a-year Adrian McCormick – who is responsible for the council’s finances - has been suspended on full pay while an investigation into his alleged misconduct takes place.

Despite opposition from councillors, high-earner Mr McCormick joined the council last January in an attempt by West Lindsey to cut spending on consultants and save taxpayers’ money.

As well as being deputy chief executive and director of resources at WLDC, Mr McCormick is the director of business transformation at a company called BTC Ltd.

My comment: Waiting for the outcome of the investigation before commenting but employing a director of a consultancy company to cut council spend on consultants looks perverse to me.

Read the full story from the source Gainsborough Standard

Dudley Councillor guilty of assault by beating his wife

A councillor has admitted assault after throwing a pudding bowl at his wife’s head – sparking calls for him to resign.

Tory councillor Paul Woodall’s wife Joanne was left with a one-inch cut to her forehead and blood pouring down her face, a court heard.

Dudley Magistrates was told Woodall, 45, elected two years ago for Kingswinford North and Wall Heath, would sometimes “scare” his wife when he had been drinking.

Woodall, of High Street, Wall Heath, pleaded guilty to assault by beating and the case was adjourned by magistrates for pre-sentence reports to be prepared.

 Councillor Woodall said: “It is a personal matter and has been dealt with personally.”

My comment: No it's not, you may be a councillor but you are also a wife beater. That clearly concerns the people who voted for you and you questions your fitness to be a councillor.

Read the full story from the source Express & Star

Former Cumbrian Council Chairman admits abusing a fourth victim

Disgraced former Cumbrian council chairman who was jailed for 10 years for a series of sexual offences against schoolboys has admitted abusing a fourth victim.

Tony Brunskill, a once successful businessman and public figure who was later unmasked as a sexual predator and paedophile, yesterday pleaded guilty to six new offences.

Brunskill, 66, who used to hold the chair at Eden District Council, appeared before magistrates last month and was brought to the higher court for his latest court appearance.

Background information from my earlier posts about Brunskill 25th May 2011 and 28th June 2011

My comment: How an earth did he get away with it for so long? Probably due to the fact that when you complain about someone in authority the body you complain to refuse to believe that a person in such a position could ever be guilty of wrongdoing. 

Read the full story from the source Whitehaven News

Thursday, 2 February 2012

Updated: Darlington councillor sexually abused girl

A DISGRACED councillor has been stripped of his allowance after he admitted sexually abusing a schoolgirl following a party to celebrate his re-election.

Although Mark Burton is legally entitled to continue receiving his councillor’s allowance – unless jailed for three months or more – the leader of Darlington Borough Council, Bill Dixon, said last night he has withdrawn the money “on moral grounds”.

The married father-of-three yesterday also pleaded guilty to downloading indecent images of children – one showing an eight-year-old girl being raped and another showing a naked child bound with rope.

My comment: Another not fit for purpose Councillor. 

Read the full story from the source Northern Echo

UPDATED 4th February 2012: Shamed Darlington councillor urged to repay his £6,500 allowance.

A DISGRACED councillor claimed more than £6,500 in allowances after turning up to just one meeting – for only half an hour – while being investigated for sexually abusing a schoolgirl and downloading indecent images of children.

Despite spending 150 days out of a possible 271 locked up on remand, Councillor Mark Burton was eligible to claim and receive his councillor’s allowance because he met the minimum requirement of attending one council meeting every six months.

Darlington Borough Council leader Bill Dixon last night called on the married father-of-three to pay back the £6,689.16 he received at taxpayers’ expense since his arrest last May.

The court heard Burton, who has been remanded in custody until he is sentenced, sexually assaulted the schoolgirl after throwing a party to mark his re-election to the Harrowgate Hill ward last May.

He undressed the teenager and touched her intimately after a drinking session.

My comment: Not being able to stop a councillor's allowance unless they are jailed for more than 3 months highlights a serious flaw with elected representative's allowances. 

Read the full story from the source The Advertiser