Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Is there institutional corruption at Wokingham Borough Council?

Are Wokingham Borough's Tory Council burying important facts within mountains of superfluous material, getting in the way of transparency al the while saying they are transparent and insisting possibility of corruption is absurd? Why,

Lets make one thing very clear.

1. It is easy to get money to someone in an invisible manner. Thanks to John Redwood hard work in the late 70s and early 80s this is now an unlimited amount.

2. A 20% more expensive quote to someone with an arrangement with would be impossible to argue against with the 80% quality 20% price purchasing policy. One would only need to presume an established 'Friend' offers better quality.

There are a few things we can look out for though that would highlight the cronies from the contentious (who need not be in a majority, just trusting).

This could be:

Any obstruction to transparency, for example refusing to provide the information relating to price negotiations and large contracts.

Making contract documentation requirements impossible for normal trade that serve public to undertake (they can help their friends).

Blocking filming at mandatory public meetings so that minutes can be selective.

Refusing to hold candid discussions that are recorded.

Signing pre-planning agreements to reach a 'To Far to Stop' situation before residents can get involved.

Putting up wide angle idyllic imagery of an open space that has been landscaped in an area where the  supermarket / hotel is going to be built.

Not putting up clear schematic of plans for an area so that public become active and involved early on.

Never talking about congestion or primary school spaces when building more houses in the regeneration.

Allowing the Town Centre (Evendons) Regeneration executive from Riseley to stand as the parish Councillor in Evendons miles from his home but where the regeneration opposition is thus introducing a vested interest in the person who is allowed to speak at council meetings on behalf of locals

Not sharing any contract financial information on the grounds of  'Commercial sensitivity' even though councils are required to share a break down of what they spend on what retrospectively.

Having contract's where the sums simply do not add up.

£2m to do less than build seven flats on land we own.
£180k average build cost / dwelling for 55 properties average 3 bed semi. On land we own.
£5m for a science block ha;f the size of a £2m office on Molly Millars, on land we own.

Appointing own scrutiny panel.

And now, in an added twist our councils democratic services are not enforcing constitutionally mandated transparency and eliminated related comments from the minutes on the grounds that 'it did not follow protocol'

A councillor is supposed to be a volunteer. You may know some real volunteers yourself. School governors, various local senior positions in charities such as the NCT. Would these volunteers act so? These people are often cagouled into helping

In our council have volunteers doing the leg work and hiding information, fighting tooth and nail for the right to do so.

The role is supposed to foremost a typical member of the public.

We need honest people willing to do less, get less involved in the paper work, and appoint paid people to break down the salient information.

I can only prey the majority of the hard working honest members of the council start to look carefully at what potentially worm tongued leaders are presenting as 'usual practice'.

It may only be 'ususal practice' because they have been at it for so long.

Whatever their motive, make sure cronies find it harder to sneak under the radar.


If you want to see how public records are not. Here is me telling the executive that they are in breach of the constitution for opposing transparency, them not addressing that issue, and evidence of democratic services removing my statement from the minutes.

Watch is on youtube for resource links and to make comments.


Thursday, 26 September 2013

Question to the Execuitive . . failed.

I made a request to ask a question of the executive a month ago and asked if permission to film would be given.

Both were agreed.

Today I got to ask my question. Cllr David Lee was ill so Rob Stanton stood in and I was impressed by his chairing. Disspointed I was not allowed to express the reasoning behind my concerns but he let it go on for a while.

My Question.

Why have planning and scrutiny meetings been left off the list of those that may be filmed by the public?

If the Council is concerned about misrepresentation then this is true of any meeting. They can arrange for the filming to be recorded themselves. If you choose not to then have the added benefit your legally protected from misrepresentation and have the means to publicise against those that do. 

The public however have no evidence, save the proceeding of these meetings should they feel that Cllrs have said one thing and done another. At present the minutes go through weeks of approval and I have noticed missed out disconcerting points from public forums.

I was going to add a link to the verbatim minutes. But since they are far from verbatim I have just provided a link to the video. Run this in another window and read on. Links to the agenda and minutes are in the video description. 


The response was as expected. They are nervous and thinking about it.

I ab libbed a bit at the beginning of my response. I was in the presence of a group of people controlling probably 3 billion pounds worth of development who were effectively reducing transparency until after the deals have been made!

Non-verbatim minutes and scrutinized by those of their choosing? No. I simply reminded them they they are obligated under the constitution to support transparency unless is it clearly in the public interest not to do so, badly as you will see in the video.

My action planned follow up question.

"I have made no effort to hide that I fear there are corrupt relationships between the local elected and employed council and local businessmen specifically developers. (pause)

I guess corruption is a hard word. Some may simply call it jobs for the boys or helping a friend. Nether the less there is no way of proving intent or otherwise, and this is not good for democracy.

There is most definitely motive.

Outside of creating and controlling government contracts the primary motive is the value of the land increasing when permission is granted to build. Taking that increase at an average of 100 thousand pounds per dwelling, and with 13 thousand dwellings"

This is about where I got cut off. Not in a rude way bust asked if there was a question and I stated that I have four constitutional proposals that I would ask them to support. They said I can submit them tomorrow in some way. I'll update this when I can reference the video. And regarding the point that they are constitutionally bound to support further transparency the answer was a repeat of the first and did not actually touch on that point.

This is what I did not get to ask.

" in in the SDl’s alone that is £1.3 billion pounds of motive to ensure the local community do not get the lion share and most definitely ensure that the national policy for house building does not result in, present value compulsory purchases of their family and friends speculative assets.

But how would I provide ROI as a crony councillor other than deciding who can look at the contracts.

Firstly I would make consultations uninteresting. This can be achieved with word only invitations that do nothing to engage the reader or expose that which might be objectionable, to put up no large poster on the Wellington House displaying what was being considered back in 2007 and provide no advance notice of planning change on Elms field.

Secondly. Anyone interested enough to find their way to the dreary consultation website should be presented with an illogical bombardment 1000’s of pages of pdfs with no single concise or engaging summary.

Then I will bury the evidence and draw conclusions that have no bearing on what was said.

I may even ask a friend, to ask a question in public, at a key moment designed to imply support where there is none.

Yes. Were I earning my crony keep this is how I would do it.

I therefore ask my follow up question. Will you support these constitutional changes that will reduce the impact of cronies in local government if any should ever get in.

1.To call for and vote in favour of a motion that no consultation period can start until a single document that contains the most important points and can be understood by the target audience in under 10 minutes is made available as the primary point of reference. Further detailed information will be available as links from that document.

2.To call for and vote in favour of a motion that no consultation period can start until  a transparent on line discussion forum is made. This could take the form of a Facebook group but must be open. A link must be in a prominent place on the consultation web page.

3.To call for and vote in favour than no consultation period can start unless it is is suitably publicised. This should include the provision of public information boards at the entrance to supermarkets, front page coverage in the local paper, a banner in the locality and in all instances include a layout image.

4.To call for and vote in favour of a motion that a separate 100 random constituents consultation is conducted to gauge if vested interests may be influencing the responses.

Thank you.

The chap who was supposed to ask the following question from the Agenda right after me never showed up, I guess my computer is being monitored as he was accounted for in my question. Alex Forrest you bugger!

"What is Wokingham Borough Council currently doing to show national government that Wokingham Borough Council is on top form and keeping in line with its proposals for implementing national strategy at a local level?"

At least their gamesmanship is transparent.

I would like to remind everyone that in the UK there is a right to film in public.

Erick Pickles has given clear guidance to Councillors to allow filming of all public meetings to be used how the blogger sees fit, the normal laws surrounding misrepresentation sufficient to act on abuses.

So our execuitives have given nothing. The have simply gone from not as transparent as they could be to a bit less.

There is one important point here. Enshrined in the constitution solely for the purpose of limiting the potential for corruption.

They must act in favour of transparency unless it is clearly in the public interest not to do so.

It would appear that each and every member of our Executive are in breach of the constitution.

What happens next? Don't leave it to me. Please. I'm tired.

Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Negligent or intentional?

We all have our areas of expertise, but few people are unaware that information needs to be prepared in a suitable manner for its intended audience.

A good guideline for something like public consultation on a development might be 10 pages containing the main salient points and a marked up overall image. 

Failing this information people simply do not have the time and are put off from getting involved.

A step further towards informing people and not wasting time covering the same points would be to provide an open online forum to discuss further and for the council to activly engage on there.

A good way of putting people off is providing them with 1000's of pages of documentation filed in such a way that the intended users are unable to work out what is relevant to them and what is relevant to a lawyer, and maintaining one on one verbal dialogues that can later be ignored. A good example of this is our insane 0.5 car journeys 8am-9am per dwelling statistic that for some reason is a new conversation every time.

My question to you is. Are the examples below negligent . . or intentional?

Whether you consider the above neglectful of duty, or intentional to push through what they want over the NIMBYs they must retain the votes of, please try to clip the wings of the dishonest and 

The www.nocheappromises.org to this would like to see are...

1.To call for and vote in favor of a motion that no consultation period can start until a single document that contains the most important points and can be understood by the target audience in under 10 minutes is made available as the primary point of reference. Further detailed information will be available as links from that document.

2.To call for and vote in favor of a motion that no consultation period can start until  a transparent online discussion forum is made. This could take the form of a Facebook group but must be open. A link must be in a prominent place on the consultation web page.

3.To call for and vote in favor than no consultation period can start unless it is is suitably publicized. This should include the provision of public information boards at the entrance to supermarkets, front page coverage in the local paper, a banner in the locality and in all instances include a layout image.

4.To call for and vote in favor of a motion that a separate 100 random constituents consultation is conducted to gauge if vested interests may be influencing the responses.

Friday, 13 September 2013

North Wokingham SDL, 1500 houses. Do not hand our money to land owners. Make them pay for the infrastructure.

North Wokingham SDL has approx 1500 houses.

Does the  bypass neutralize the additional congestion or is fully funded from the development. And that is using a 0.5 journeys per household between 8am & 9am to calculate road use limits. Me and both my neighbors average 2.5 each.

The consultation is open now and not for long so 'Have your say'

It is worth going to the exhibition in the town center to confirm my info and ask more questions.

As you can see from the website, the council has used the 'swamp you too much information' approach if you hope to self educated online. Intentional?


The survey is very quick. a few check boxes and a opinion bit which I just put the same twice.

Here is mine. (I did a Kaz. The real one has even more errors)

It is a requirement that the new developments do not make congestion worse for existing residents. All of the options appear to have a negative impact on Winnersh Crossroads many and I recieved confirmation today that calculations have been made using a low national average of 0.5 journeys per house hold 8am-9am. This is clearly not realistic for the area. We are 3 in the winter.

The developers were awarded an outline planning permission that negotiated a section 106 contribution that was expected expect to create congestion neutral infrastructure. But the agreement is only £20k towards infrastructure as well as 35% affordable housing (which is sold at approximate cost of land and build being 60%)

Since the land use change is worth perhaps £100k average per dwelling there is £45k profit per dwelling for doing nothing.

I understand that the developers wish to make a worth while risk % and that they have negotiated an agreement with speculative land owners who have agreed a cut on approval of the planning permission.

The stale mate seems to be with the speculative land owners who should not be getting millions of pounds for their land changing use before they sell it and the community therefore paying for their next even bigger speculative land owning trusts following land / property investment.

If the developers are unable to design a congestion change neutral solution where they they fully fund the infrastructure under the financial terms of the current outline planning permission then this is their problem not ours and they should renegotiate with the land owners and us.

If there is no movement, but we must build the houses owing to national policy then it would appear that the community would get the best value from a compulsory purchase of the land.

Now do yours


For the big picture with my comments in one place. Let me know if you have more comments to add. Right click this and select 'Save Target As' or something like that depending on your browser.

Thursday, 12 September 2013

Is our share of £1.3 billion worth of planning profit Wokingham Borough Councils SDLs subsidising the Tories?

When I first discovered that we had SDL's (strategic development locations) that involved developing on green belt I was disappointed, but then again all three big parties are burying their heads in the environmental sand and printing another year of artificial GDP in the form of land use change, from land that regenerates to land that consumes.

Unlike the Town Centers mostly housing development, the council has decided to be more active at a consultation level, possibly as a result of the bad rap they are getting from previous Tory voters for cashing in on every patch of the 'Historic Market Town's' open spaces, lack of school spaces and increased congestion and pollution.

Possibly because....

Wokingham Borough Council January 2012 ITEM NO: 61.00 TITLE Audit Commission Annual Plan 2011/12 

"Has concluded that there is Risks with the mismanagement and potential  misreporting by the use of council owned companies."
"The town centre redevelopment is being funded by the Council at a time of economic uncertainty. There is a risk that failure to deliver the anticipated returns will have an impact on your financial resilience"

"At present the progress of the Transformation Programme does not take place in a public meeting. There is a risk that existing reporting lines do not enable effective scrutiny of progress by members outside of executive and other interested stakeholders."

Fairly damning. 

Then in July Tory Cllr Alistair Corrie signed off the £100m contract penned by Tory Cllr Matt Deegan the morning before publishing the plan which is now spun as 'Too Late' to change.

I managed to find a member of the public who was involved in the consultation who unfortunately wishes not to be named. They did however state that is was not a consultation. They were there to be shoe horned into an option. This is why the progress needed to be public.

Why did the National Audit Office think that the process enabled certain individuals to abuse their situation?

The Report

Then the finance and ownership details of the £100m contract are blocked from freedom of information.

Anyway. Back on topic. In 2010 we adopted a core strategy that selected strategic development locations around the borough. There is a lot of profit to be made in changing the use of land. 

What is a 1 acre field worth? £100k (although it is worth a lot less, just inflated because of the potential to get planning permission.

How much does it cost to build ten 3 bedroom houses plus the road for them using even local labor  £110k each?. 

How much will they sell for in Wokingham. £280k+

£160k per house - 35% affordable housing - £20k infrastructure / dwelling (apparently recently up from £8k) = £84k / dwelling profit.

It would appear mad that we as a council did not compulsory purchase the land, interest rates are very low at the moment, commission a good design, then sell the plots, with planning permission to developers, who would profit from the build. Perhaps £20k per dwelling. Not four times that figure for the developer and family trust fund.

The incentive for corruption is very real so what rang my alarm bells? When I asked to film the first Southern SDL meeting and was immediately given permission my concerns were put at ease.

However, at the last minute, permission was revoked. The argument being that some people might not participate because the presentation was being filmed.

This spurned a fairly heated debate in which a certain Tory Cllr Baker lied on getwokingham that...

 "Full marks to Kaz for only telling part of the story. He has been told that we have every intention of filming all the SDL Forums and have even suggested he could "pitch" for the business. Unfortunately we simply did not have the time to organise it and we did had some indication of people not being comfortable with this. 

Two weeks is simply not time enough to get the Churchs permission and to alert all attendees that we would be filming. Whatever we do we cannot put barriers in place which stops resident participation. So this has to be handled carefully.
Cllr Keith Baker
12/02/2013 at 19:32 Offensive or Inappropriate? 
With the above in play I had not only lost all faith, but it became, in my mind, a likely hood that something underhand was going on, that we can not trust what is said and that what is said must be documented so at least if the public are getting ripped of to the tune of £65k per dwelling, it will have to be done using financial wizardry that is open to scrutiny by people outside their control.

Since we as collective idiots voted for them I guess we have ourselves to blame.

Please look at www.nocheappromises.org as a possible solution (if there is indeed a problem) join the facebook group and get involved.

Information without the Freedom Request.

Last year I asked on the last day. This year I've managed to ask on the first day.

For those other skeptics who have the impression that there may be something rather sinister going on with some of our slippery elected council and those they work closely with, we do have some democratic rights designed to make hiding money trails more difficult and therefore limit foul play.

From @Kaz4Woking to @WokinghamBC When is the next 20 day Transparency Reporting as set by the your external auditor?

From @WokinghamBC to @Kaz4Wokingham Hi Kaz, we've been informed that they should be up later today (September 12).

I have included some interesting text from rules and highlighted the bot that is relevant right now. The Chief Financial Officer will publish details on council payments and contracts for goods and services worth more than £500 on the Council's website to show residents how the Council spends its budget. The Chief Financial Officer will make available (on request) all the books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to all expenditure within the councils accounts to any member of the public for a period of 20 working days each year in accordance with statutory regulations.

12.1.4. I7 Strategic Directors shall ensure that adequate records of books, deeds, contracts, bills, vouchers and receipts relating to all expenditure within their service area are readily available and can be produced to the Chief Financial Officer when responding to a request from a member of the public during either the statutory period or as part of a Freedom of lnformation Act request.

12.1.4. I8 The Chief Financial Officer will publish details of Councillor allowances and expenses on the Council's website on an annual basis as part of the transparency reporting. The Chief Financial Officer will also publish details of officers who hold senior positions in the council and what their job descriptions are and total remuneration (eg, salaries, bonus'payments, pension payments and expenses) has been for the previous year.

So. If you are wondering what exactly the £100m contract for the town center means regarding who pays what for what, what we valued the paddocks car park at as a property development or how it costs £45k to put a toilet back? Now is your chance.

When you were canvassed in the last election did you get the impression from those who came to your door or leaflet that their candidate wanted to represent your view? That they would keep you informed? That they would seek out a consensus before passing important motions?

In 2007 your Tory elected council changed the use of Elms so they could sell it and build on it. Were you asked by your Councillor? Did they even mention the idea when they canvassed you? Why not? What would you do were you inclined to stand?

You don't know them. Gag the spin. Demand clear facts.

The good ones will give you . . www.nocheappromises.org

Friday, 23 August 2013

I have no idea how our rules are written. Looking for help

What can a politician promise to do when they are limited by so many other influences.

Please do comment and expand on this one.

Lets say I wanted to be confident that my MP or Councillor was going to attempt to implement a change to the law or constitution, what is a reasonable, watertight phrasing of it?

For example. If they included in their literature

"I will call for and vote in favour of a motion that A3 poster space is allocated for each candidate outside government electoral polling stations. Or instead support a similar motion. I will call for this motion in parliament within my month in office."

Would it make any sense

What is the correct terminology?

How do 'actions', motions work? 

What would the terminology and action differences be be for local government and national government?

Thanks in advance.


Monday, 29 July 2013

Slippery Tory Cllrs appear to have a cosy relationship not only with press but the employed council as well.

"Dear Mr Lokuciewski,

Ref: Complaint about Councillors and the Recording of Meetings Protocol

I am in receipt of your email addressed to Kevin Jacob regarding the above.

I am writing to advise that as Monitoring Officer for Wokingham Borough Council, I have 
delegated authority to consider your complaint against all of the elected Members who were present at the meeting of Council on 18 July 2013 who agreed to adopt the current protocol. 

As the decision taken was a collective and unanimous decision and concerns a matter of 
policy, I do not consider it appropriate to deal with this matter as a Code of Conduct issue.

The members Code of Conduct is more properly concerned with member’s individual
behaviours. Collective decision making behaviour arising from a Council meeting can be 
challenged through different means- i.e. legally and or through council procedures such as petitions, letters or oral questions posed at meetings in accordance with Council procedures. 

Such decisions can also be referred to Scrutiny for action.

Although I appreciate you have carefully gone through the general principles in the Code and found the members decision on the Protocol less than satisfactory, nevertheless the decision taken was within their discretion and remit and any judgement about the failure of general principles remains a highly subjective one which is not capable of resolution through a Code of Conduct complaint about each member of the committee.

I have consulted both the Independent Person and the Chairman of Standards with respect to this matter and they are in agreement with my approach. There is no appeal against this 


Yours sincerely,

Susanne Nelson-Wehrmeyer,

Director of Legal & Electoral Services"

So in a nut shell. Not me. But I will not pass it on.

Friday, 26 July 2013

Tory Wokingham Borough Councillors continue break code of conduct.

Wokingham Borough Council has decided to restrict filming at meetings in which the voting public are most concerned and corruption most likely. Planing and Scrutiny.

Did you ever think the nice people who came to your door asking for your vote in exchange for open accountability and transparency would shut you out like this?

Our Councillors have a code of conduct. Here Openness: Holders of public office should be as open as possible about all the
decisions and actions that they take. They should give reasons for their decisions and
restrict information only when the wider public interest clearly demands;

I have been told by the slippery council that I can not complain about a councilor in this instance. So our next approach will have to be to ask each Councillor to stand by their code, stand against the routes to corruption and insist that filming of planning and scrutiny meetings be allowed or conducted by the council.

Please just do it now. 2 minutes. The council operate on volume of people. Like with Elms field, unless you say something you agree. I've yet to meet a non Cllr who is happy with the overall plans, but theoretically 99% of us are. The silent majority of Wokingham need start voicing their discontent.


To make your life easy.

Dear Cllr

I was dismayed to hear that the council had ever seen fit to block filming public meetings. A video recorded account has fewer levels of interpretation, is not as open to doctoring is quick and accessible. We had thought this all behind us but now find that the council has decided to list which public meeting can be filmed and has excluded two specifically. Planning and Scrutiny.

Were there ever two meetings more likely for vested interests to profit from secrecy and therefore in need of of transparency it was those.

Please can you voice my concerns and also confirm if you will call for and vote in favor of allowing filming of 'All meetings open to the public' or the council must undertake the filming themselves and provide access in full to the electorate.

Kind regards

Your Name

And do pass this on to your mates.

There are not many other people fighting your corner EVERYONE seems to think someone else will do it. Those few of us that are trying are loosing. You have to help of live in an urban sprawl. There is simply too much money to be made building on farms and village greens. Make them say no to you. At the moment their tactic is to leave you on the side line and then pretend you were given the chance to 'have your say'. Then ask the air in so many ways in so many places they can make up whatever statistics they want.

If you have been to Wokingham Voice before you can stop reading.

For those of you new to council meetings and no doubt shocked, this has been going on for almost a year now. Finally after a lot of pressure and a threat of legal action and citizen arrest we filmed some public forums. These last nearly two hours each so it is best absorbed as of background audio and look up when relevant.

Below is an example of a public meeting that was filmed. Later a Councillor denied information evident in this video and threatened legal action when accused of being mistaken or lying. This is why a public record that can not be doctored is essential.

The example below is of a meeting where apparently the "minutes/slides have been drafted and are in the process of being signed off by the correct officers".
The video went live 1 month ago today. Perhaps they should have just filmed it.

Wednesday, 10 July 2013

Wokingham Town Center Redevelopment's House of Cards.

The survey questions.

Q1 - Do you think the scheme responds effectively to Wokingham's character as a market town with small retail units and well-managed public realm

Q2 - Peach Place - What elements of the scheme do you support?

Q3 - Peach Place - What elements of the scheme do you think could be improved?

Q4 - Elms Field - What elements of the scheme do you support?

Q5 Elms Field - What elements of the scheme do you think could be improved?

Q6 - What level of diversity would you like to see in the streetscene? A = breaking up buildings into different parts. B = Number of slightly different blocks using a variety of materials. C = Splitting the street into a number of blocks, same design

Q7 - The proposals for the park include a number of spaces; open grass, events space, play area, fountains, orchard/meadow area.  Do you agree with these? Q8 - Do you think we've missed any spaces?

Q9 - What do you think should be included in the play area?

Q10 - What type of seating would like to see in the park and where?

Q11 - Do you have any other suggestions for how public art could be included in the park?

Q12 - Our analysis of Wokingham identified key features that make-up the town's heritage feel - do you think we have missed any key characteristics?

What is lacking from this set of questions?

How about list of things you do not like? You are never invited to disprove. Only suggest improvements.

Another supermarket. Yes or no?

60% reduction of Elms fields?

160 dwellings?

£60m public debt?

Contracts without truly independent scrutiny?

Quotes from the Public Forum two weeks ago. Alistair Corries comments regarding the purpose of the presentation end of July 2012. 

“We put together the Elms Field event in 2012 because I wanted to understand the support and what people think.

“We understand 1,200 people attended that – 3.9 per cent of the Wokingham population.

“We felt there was reasonable support for what we are doing. If there really was a lack of support out there we would hear about it.

If that were true Cllr. Why did you sign the £100m contract before that first open public consultation started? Perhaps so that the next Wokingham Times headline could be 'It's too late.'

I managed to get there on the last day as they were closing up but apparently plenty of people vented their spleens on the scale of development.

If you look through the survey data it seems to be generally against this scale of project. The bits that are pro are lumped together using similar short phrases. Then snapdragon survey focuses on how many people like one element. So if you like a high quality play area, you are all in. Me included. I was amazed that it was only 83% in favour.

This is not stupidity. This is calculated.

Spin is just another word for deceit.

What possible motive could a public representative have for signing the contract before we had any idea how big they had managed to grow the project? Surely not a fundamental belief in democracy. Is that important to you?

Like like this page to say up to date on facebook.

Many of us voted for them because somehow they can afford to invest the time to be friendly on our doorstep.

Please lets not do this again.

And don't let them get away with this either.

Like it, be counted, get involved.


Monday, 24 June 2013

Wokingham Borough Council continues to reserve the right to block evidence of councils public promises.

Update 2012-06-25. I filmed the Wokingham Town Center Regeneration forum today. At the Start the Chair, Alistair Corrie, explained the new rules on filming. I was pleased to note that attendees are now expected to accept that filming may be taking place the chair also unless they have a good reason.

Find them at www.youtube.com/wokinghamvoice


There is a great institution in this county. Freedom of the press. The right to film in public, to hold those who control the law to account.

The is a problem in this country. Freedom of the press. The ability to hound and publish information that is not in the public interest but instead intended to hurt or shock on a purely personal level.

It is because of that very problem that I offered a contract with my initial request.

1. The recording shared in full. If I wish to draw someones attention to a moment it would be using time reference points. Not an edit, in which the context of which can not be found.

2. The camera would be on the presentation and those who have taken a role where they are accountable to the tax paying public of Wokingham. Even though the public have no right not be filmed in a public place, it is a simple courtesy.

That is it. Public consultations are kept honest and the shy public are protected from stardom.

The council has now come up with their own terms and conditions that are the same as the current ones they use.

"The request must include the following information:

    • The name, organisation and contact details of the applicant making the request
    • What the audio / visual recording will be used for
    • Which meeting this requests refers to
    • How this information will be used

When the information has been received by the communications team, it will consult with the Chairman of the meeting on the detail of the specific request. The Chairman will then decide whether to grant permission, subject to agreement from all those in attendance.

During the meeting
If filming has been permitted, the Chairman will make an announcement at the start of the meeting. .

If the Chairman feels the audio / visual recording is disrupting the meeting in any way or any pre-meeting agreement has been breached the operator of the equipment will be required to stop.

If someone refuses to stop when requested to do so, the Chairman will ask the person to leave the meeting. If the person refuses to leave then the Chairman may adjourn the meeting or make other appropriate arrangements for the meeting to continue without disruption."

This is in no way keeping with the freedom of the press or with the intention of Eric pickles and it is certainly not in keeping a necessary part of accountable governance.

This is also something you will only every get from the Tories in Wokingham who have made it clear you should be seen and not heard and that they have something to hide.

Full council public meeting rules.

e-mail describing executives current state of reluctance to be accountable for what they say.

"The guidelines make it clear that the Secretary of State believes local authorities should, within certain limitations, allow filming of their decision-making meeting, such as Full Council and Executive meetings. Wokingham Borough Council intends to implement this recommendation at the earliest possible opportunity."

Why. What can change.

What is going on surrounding the £1.3 Billion of planning profit that Cllr Keith Baker is negotiating, and the secret finances and ownership details surrounding the £100m contract to change our our commuter market town into a"Business hubb with 18 hour economy" that make our representative prefer that the current batch of meetings are not shared in full unedited?

I have recently been threatened with a law suite by an executive member of our council for accusing them of being mistaken or a liar. He insisted he could not be mistaken, since he makes up the rules. The leader of the opposition vouched for him. 

Update. No letter from the solicitors. Perhaps because I decided to publish the evidence, which is conclusive.

It is very important that our council is not mistaken or lying with what they are negotiating at the moment. If you ever watched CSI or Elementary? I do not need to tell you how this stacks up. I can only hope it is dumb pride and not the next generations mortgages lining already deep pockets.

They could commission the filming themselves. 'No resources.'

I offered to purchase the equipment for them. 'No, but thanks for the offer'

Put an end to the freedom to lie to the public. GoodEgg.org.uk 28th of August.

Friday, 21 June 2013

Children Vitamin Overdose

We had a scare today when DD cam up to say the her brother aged 3 had eaten 5 vitamins. I guess she got them out and left them low. He has been warned off them before and seemingly until now understood well that they were a special one per day thing.

It was a new pack of chewy bassets from the day before so it was easy to calculate that he had in-fact consumed 17!

So my thoughts are try to induce vomiting, I know you are never advised to as inhaling vomit is dangerous too, at the same time he has been sick thanks to a snotty nose many times so I believe that is a case of mitigating blame, not most reliable practise.

Meanwhile the wife is on the internet. We know that A and D and Iron are the ones to be concerned about. There was no Iron in the tablets.

Needless to say NHS direct wasted about 15 minutes. So if he were being slowly poisoned from the contents of his stomach it was a bad move. The reason I have written this is so that others can benefit from the information I gathered on Google.

If you want to read of the NHS direct experience then go to the bottom.

Needless to say that, if your tablets do not contain iron and are just ABCDE at the RDA a study in china regarding Vitamin A suggests that 20x the RDA had no symptoms,there were a few months of physiological balance abnormalities. Vitamin A and D leave the body as used so just stay off the tablets for few months to get back to normal at that unnoticeable physiological level. The others are water soluble and you use them and wee what you do not.

The box is now higher and off limits to absent minded DD.

Science bit.


Numerous vitamin supplements are available over-the-counter to the general public. Some such supplements are available as candy-like chewable preparations to encourage consumption by children. We report 3 cases of overdose of such preparations. Each patient had taken an estimated 200000 to 300000 IU of vitamin A. Their circulating vitamin A (retinol and retinyl palmitate) concentrations were monitored over a 6-month period. There were no clinical or biochemical complications noted. However, there were marked increases in both retinol and retinyl palmitate concentrations above age-related reference ranges. In particular, it took 1 to 3 weeks for the serum retinol concentrations to peak and many months for them to normalize. Parents should be warned about the dangers of excessive vitamin consumption. Clinicians should be aware of the late peak in serum retinol concentrations, which may lead to late complications of vitamin A overdose.

Our tablets were in 'ug' not 'iu'

For vitamin A it would appear that 1ug is about 7.5iu 


NHS Direct.

While I was trying to induce vomiting the wife found nothing of value on web and called NHS direct. Where a lady went though a list of pointless questions for a minute and said wait for a call back.Vomiting was not going to happen but the mixed blessing is that trying to make him vomit was very distressing for him.We do not want this happening again.

NHS direct called back.This time I took it.I now know how much of each vitamin he has consumed, he is showing no symptoms and just need to run that info past someone who knows what upper limits they choose to pump the stomach at, if any.

The new lady explains that the last lady did not have our detail correct and then goes through them again, asks lots and lots of irrelevant questions for a minute before I interrupt and explain that he has a stomach full of overdosed medicine and we just need to find out what the upper limits are before we act. She then decided to take the time to start a lecture and insist of asking the pointless questions, while neglecting to ask the contents of the vitamins (she has askedwhich ones they ware)