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Contamination 3

Dodgy LibDems Toxic School



Regarding the special report by Jennifer Williams on 08/09/2010:-

http://www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/news/greater-manchester-news/bill-for-school-to-be-built-on-toxic-minefield-898373



it is inconceivable that the school would actually be built following "failure to detect toxics" - the tests were obviously unreliable especially having failed and caused the reckless plans to go ahead.  By then the financial aspects of this new project were too great to resist, especially backed by the extraordinary claim by the Council that the old industrial tip site could be made safe and used.

The Council had commissioned soil tests and found no contamination! There was the influence of the Government grant of £2.2 million already in the till and even spent on something else.  But more soil tests, only carried out because the Council had to prove to a diversion of footpath public inquiry that the site was not contaminated found a variety of chemicals - lead, arsenic and brown asbestos. What on earth were the previous experts - Greater Manchester Geological Unit -  doing to have missed all this or should the question be who was in the pocket of whom?

Contracters then sifted the deadly material by hand - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b0rCPnP5H9o

Come on!  How could they recognise the material, especially when the experts couldn't?

The excellent local MP Andrew Gwynne said they were spending money to save face because the site had to be used.

Councillor Mark Weldon stated the Council had "no responsible alternative".  Well I never!  Responsible to whom?  Certainly not the council taxpayers.

Follow the money!

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Anyone renting a stall on Stockport Market needs £5 million of cover. The Council only demanded £5 million of contamination cover for the developers of a school on toxic waste!


Salford Council trying to wash their hands of the responsibility for the future corporate manslaughter charges brought about by the actions of Naomi Harries and Matt Uttley.

I never heard from Neil Atkinson again.  He must have realised what an absolute can of worms this all was.


Your enquiry has been passed for my attention.
We have a Paul Porgess who is a Fellow and Chartered Chemist.
Hilary White
Membership Team Leader
Membership & Qualifications Department,
Royal Society of Chemistry
Thomas Graham House, Science Park,
Milton Road, Cambridge CB4 0WF United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0) 1223 432316 (Direct)
Fax: +44 (0) 1223 432359
whiteh@rsc.org
This is the incompetent chemist Paul Porgess who claimed to have looked at all the documents and was convinced the school site wasn't contaminated. What a dangerous idiot he must be!

Email sent by me 0th August 2009 at 06.21

Dear FoI Officer


I have been trying for over a year to see documentary evidence from Stockport Council regarding the further contamination investigation work demanded by the Environment Agency at the Harcourt Site for the proposed 500 pupil school, nursery and children's centre to be built over the site of a still gassing toxic dump extensively tipped from 1954 to 1974 when no records were kept and over the site of which absolutely no contamination investigation points have been dug.
You have consistently refused me access to this information. I contacted the Heath and Safety Executive on this issue and they told me to get the information from the consultants involved Watts and Co. I made a FOI request to Watts and Co who said Stockport Council refused them permission to disclose this information.

As the footpaths across the school site will need to be diverted, before we go to an expensive public inquiry and put the Planning Inspectorate to great expense, we need, of course, to make sure the footpaths are not being diverted into areas of contamination which will have to be fenced off (which is the proposed method the Council has of dealing with the contamination on the site).
I shall cc this to the Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate as further proof of the Herculean efforts I have made over a year long period to get this information. I can send her all the other attempts I have made to get this information without success should she need to see further evidence.

The Council has been told by a senior officer at the Information Commission to reconsider the refusal under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (and I did actually quote that legislation in my original request), yet still the Council is refusing to release this information and one has to ask - what is there to hide?

I look forward to hearing from you without much hope of success.

Kind regards

Sheila
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The whole case against building a School at Harcourt street is that it is to be built on a past tip with the available scientific information that this could prove a serious hazard to health. This scientific information is being "covered up" or is not being presented truthfully. Indirect evidence of this is that the budgeted cost of the school is rising exponentially and it is supposed/alleged that this extra cost is to cover the possible undeclared site decontamination costs After approval has been given but before the school has been built.

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Mrs Oliver,

At the Executive Meeting on Monday, Cllr Mark Weldon undertook to supply you with a transcript of his verbal response to the question in your email to me of 20 January, 2008 (see below).
I am now attaching a copy of the transcript.
Regards,
Mike Iveson

From: sheilaoliver [mailto:sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com]
Sent: 20 January 2008 08:23
To: Mike Iveson
Cc: f-blatcher@audit-commission.gov.uk; BHANDARI, Dina; Peter Devine; John Schultz
Subject: Contamination investigations

Mr. Iveson

The following question is for the next Executive meeting. I would appreciate a written response, as Cllr Weldon is usually incomprehensible in his answers on so many fronts, and for legal reasons I think we need to be crystal clear on this.

The site at Linguard Lane, Bredbury was opened like Harcourt Street, Reddish - the site of the proposed school - in 1922 as a Jackson's Brickyard. I have documentary evidence that the Council did not suspect much contamination to be on this site, yet back in 1983 the contamination investigation points were many and on a strict grid pattern.

Why was the Linguard Lane contamination investigation back in 1983 for land to be developed just as factories and warehousing carried out to a much higher standard and on a strict grid pattern than a site investigated in 2006 which was to have primary school children and young babies on the site all day? As I say, I have documentary evidence, which I have already shown to the Council's insurance brokers.
I think this might be classed as a material consideration for any future insurance cover for the Harcourt School site, so as I say, a written answer would be best.

Kind regards

Sheila

**********************************************************************



Mrs Oliver,

I have decided to give a verbal response to your question for one main reason.

Namely to let you give the impression from your question at this meeting that the council has commissioned an inadequate contamination survey at the Harcourt Street site by comparing it with another survey of a completely different site a quarter of a century ago can not go unchallenged.

I will however arrange for Mr Iveson to send you a copy of this transcript so you have a written record.

As I’ve pointed out on a number of occasions current good practice demands that every site be treated individually.  Tonight’s question is another disguised attempt at a "sister site" connection which I thought I’d comprehensively dealt with at exec meeting of 17 th September 2007, and at Full council on 27 th September 2007, and again at the Executive on the 8 th October 2007. However to reiterate what I’ve said before I’ll  quote again from page 16 chapter 6.6 of the report. A report you have a copy of.
<<<quote reference on site specific highlighted.>>>

Notwithstanding the accuracy of your analysis I could not possibly comment on developments in contamination sampling and detection that have occurred in the last 25 years. I honestly don’t think any reasonable person could expect me to.

What I can say is that the proposed school is not in Bredbury, nor in Adswood, but in North Reddish. The site investigation has met current guidelines and has been performed and directed by professionally qualified experts , of which neither you or I count amongst their number.

The experts from GMGU have stated this is a safe site to build a school and no objections have been sustained by any persons with professional responsibility in the matter including the environment agency.

<<<<Quote relevant conclusion passage executive summary from my copy of report and conclusion .>>>>


However if you have any documentation that relates to the Harcourt Street site that the council have not had sight of please do send them to Mrs Sagar at CYPD.




Dear Mrs Oliver.

It is normally considered correct behaviour when one has been proven to malign another to apologise when the intention was not malicious. My notes are a simple aide memoir to remind me of a detailed discussion and briefing. This proves your previous assertion to a wide range of people that I was uninterested in the matter to be mistaken. I would have thought a simple apology appropriate. There would be no need to distribute the apology as widely as the original assertion.
Email received 12th September 2007 at10/32

The Executive Director Mr Paul Dunn (who used to be a senior officer of SMBC) may have made these statements although I would take your report under advisement . However I don't believe he is qualified to give a professional geological or geohydrological opinion. Also knowing his high professional standards , I believe he would hardly give an opinion in a rushed informal encounter in the committee rooms corridor. I am reminded of a similar occasion when a conversation between yourself and myself in that very same place had two contradictory recollections. As I recall my recollections were supported by two witnesses.

Yours,

Mark Weldon
Executive Member for Children and Young People

From: sheilaoliver [mailto:sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com]
Sent: Tue 11/09/2007 18:02
To: Cllr Mark Weldon
Subject: Re: Cllr Weldon's Handwritten - Ref 669

Dear Councillor Weldon

Apologise for what? Your handwritten notes are not in anyway detailed, as if you have taken a keen interest in the matter. Very superficial I would say.

Following my conversation last night with the Executive Director of GMWDA, where he pointed out that very detailed site investigation should be carried out by experts, and GMGU are not sufficiently qualified to do this, will you apologise for having intended to put the lives of 600 plus children and staff at risk?

I await your comments.

Lots of love

Sheila


Email received 28th September 2007 at 18.28

Dear Mrs Oliver,

I can confirm that the previous answer I gave to you at the last Executive meeting regarding the site boreholes was correct. I have been in contact with one of the geologists who worked on the report and she confirmed over the telephone the boreholes were situated in accordance with national guidelines.

I of course stand by my response last night that notwithstanding the same commercial ownership of the sites,
geologically every site has to be treated as unique for development purposes, and we have to rely on the qualified experts opinion.
Yours

Mark Weldon BSc (Hons) App. Biol PGCE
Executive Member CYPD

From: sheilaoliver [mailto:sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com]
Sent: Fri 28/09/2007 19:13
To: Cllr Mark Weldon; Leader
Subject: Sister sites

Dear Councillor Goddard

I don't want a written apology from Cllr Weldon regarding last night, but I do need written confirmation from the Council of the relationship between the two sites at Adswood and Harcourt Street. Apart from the documentary evidence I hold from the Council's own archives, I have today got rock solid proof from Stockport Library.

So, I asked a question to which Cllr Weldon was not in a position to reply as he didn't have sufficient knowledge. He should have acknowledged that fact and obtained a truthful answer for me. Instead he lambasted me and I have already received comments regarding this from shocked onlookers. Well, it turns out that what he was accusing me of was untrue. I do do my research and I do usually know what I am talking about. If I don't then I ask. We have had an instance before at a meeting when Cllr Weldon felt qualified to comment that site wide boreholing had been carried out at Harcourt Street without bothering to check his facts. This council is a stranger to truth and honesty, as we have seen with all the illegal FOIA refusals - 84 hours to read documents which actually took 2 hours, the FOI officer claiming he had shredded documents which I had already seen and I was wasting his time asking to see them again. When I demanded to see them nothing happened, then with one threat to complain to the Secretary of State it turns out these vital documents never existed in the first place. And that was one half of what you based your case on for not building the school at the Fir Tree site - complete lies.

So, as I understand it councillors are not allowed to be rude to council taxpayers. I have enough witnesses from the full council meeting. What I was saying was totally correct abut the sites. It was a very important question. If I don't get the confirmation requested above, a complaint will be going in about Cllr Weldon to the Standard Board. I don't mind either way. As the Germans say, it is all sausage to me. I will give you a week to respond.

Kind regards

Sheila

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Text of a response given by Councillor Weldon at the Executive Meeting on 18/02/2008 sent to me as a FOI response - the site was subsequently in 2010 found to be completely contaminated with lead, arsenic and brown asbestos, as the Council knew all along and tried to brush under the carpet

Mrs Oliver,

I have decided to give a verbal response to your question for one main reason.

Namely to let you give the impression from your question at this meeting that the council has commissioned an inadequate contamination survey at the Harcourt Street site by comparing it with another survey of a completely different site a quarter of a century ago can not go unchallenged.

I will however arrange for Mr Iveson to send you a copy of this transcript so you have a written record.

As I’ve pointed out on a number of occasions current good practice demands that every site be treated individually.  Tonight’s question is another disguised attempt at a "sister site" connection which I thought I’d comprehensively dealt with at full council on .. However to reiterate what I’ve said before I’ll  quote again from page     
<<<quote reference on site specific highlighted.>>>

Notwithstanding the accuracy of your analysis I could not possibly comment on developments in contamination sampling and detection that have occurred in the last 25 years. I honestly don’t think any reasonable person could expect me to.

What I can say is that the proposed school is not in Bredbury, nor in Adswood, but in North Reddish. The site investigation has met current guidelines and has been performed and directed by professionally qualified experts , of which neither you or I count amongst their number.

The experts from GMGU have stated this is a safe site to build a school and no objections have been sustained by any persons with professional responsibility in the matter including the environment agency.

<<<<Quote relevant passage from my copy of report and conclusion .>>>>

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However if you have any documentation that relates to the Harcourt Street site that the council have not had sight of please do send them to Mrs Sagar at CYPD.

Email received 24/02/2008 at 12.45. The meeting with Sager and Weldon did take place, they were shown evidence that the site was contaminated but they did nothing and continued to pretend that it wasn't.



Dear Mrs Oliver,

You indicated in your question to me at the Executive meeting last Monday that you had documents relating to the proposed site at Harourt Street. Subsequently you also expressed in an email the concern that you would not wish these documents to leave your possession. To get around these concerns is it possible for you to present your documents to myself and Donna Sager at CYPD next Thursday 28th February at 4.00pm.? If you present yourself at the reception at the town hall Ms Sager and myself will meet you there. If this is not convenient other times and dates are available.

Yours,

Mark Weldon

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Email received 24/02/2008 at 17.26

Dear Mrs Oliver,

Thank you for your prompt response. I am sorry to hear about your friend, so assuming you can make it I will meet you at Thursday 28th Feb 4.00pm.

Yours,

Mark Weldon

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From: Sheila Oliver <mailto:sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com>
To: FOI Officer <mailto:foi.officer@stockport.gov.uk>
Cc: Syd Lloyd <mailto:syd@sparkling-ice.com> ; Gaz Butler <mailto:garethbutler@msn.com> ; katrine.sporle@planning-inspectorate.gsi.gov.uk ; Leader <mailto:leader@stockport.gov.uk> ; John Schultz <lt mailto:chief.executive@stockport.gov.uk>
Sent: Tuesday, August 04, 2009 7:25 PM
Subject: Contamination documents

Dear FoI Officer

I shall cc this to the Chief Executive of the Planning Inspectorate.

Please confirm that you have repeatedly refused to let me have access to the contamination investigation work demanded by the Environment Agency regarding the proposed school at Harcourt Street, Stockport.

You see, at the start of the public inquiry in January 2010 we will then, as objectors, ask to see those documents and request time to digest the contents and get the opinion of our contamination expert. To do this in Janary 2010 would probably lead to an adjournment of the public inquiry - that would only be fair - we can't have footpaths diverted onto contamination hotspots which have to be fenced off. This adjournment would push up the costs for the council taxpayer and the Planning Inspectorate.

Is there any valid reason why you won't disclose this information now?

I look forward to hearing from you.

With warmest best wishes

Sheila

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Be sure I will take this very seriously and I will get back to you shortly.

Neil

--------------------------------------------------------------------------------
From: Sheila Oliver
To: Atkinson, Neil (Capita Symonds)
Sent: Fri May 22 17:43:07 2009
Subject: Re: Freedom of Information and EIR 2004 request

Mr Atkinson

Many thanks for your reply.

GMGU did the contamination investigations for a proposed 500 pupil school, nursery and children's centre on a still gassing, former Jackson's Brickyard intensively tipped from 1954 to 1974.  The standard of contaminations investigations is a disgrace and not one contamination pit was dug over the site of the proposed school which is over the site of the old tip.  This was at Harcourt Street, North Reddish, Stockport for Stockport Council.

The school should have opened in September 2008 but as local people are so dead against it we have managed to throw legal challenge after legal challenge in its path, so nothing GMGU has done has so far put children and babies in danger.

I have masses and masses of documentary evidence if you want to see it - I would come at any time to suit you  If you, as a new broom, decided to retract the report that would show GMGU in a better light.

Regarding Aquinas College at Heavily, Stockport for their new building I am less sure of my facts, which is why I made the FOI request. They are also building on a contaminated site.  A report by Faber Maunsell was used to get the application through planning, but during construction the contamination work seems to have been downgraded.

I work in a busy cancer department. In 2005 I had to get 22 lorry loads of soil contaminated with heavy metals removed from a new housing estate in Stockport at Trident Foams, Offerton.  I live in Romiley where Redrow should have removed toxic waste from the old bleachworks site. They didn't and then told people not to grow fruit and vegetables.  I know from my work that people from that site are going down with massive bladder cancers 25 years down the line. Things most certainly are not dealt with properly in Stockport

I am not after blood.  I just want safety for babies and young children and certainly at the Harcourt Street site this will not be delivered, with BS 10175 not complied with as was claimed, children to be protected from toxic hotspots by prickly bushes (what happens when the leaves soak up the contaminants and fall off?) and the potential for asbestos fibres to be vented into the school building and playground with vented landfill gases.  

I hope you will take this seriously and you can look yourself at GMGU's report and the paucity of the contamination investigation points.  Not one was dug over the football pitch which is where the school is going - please see the attached Google photo.  Incidentally, some of the others were never dug because the Council did not own that land.

Kind regards

Sheila

----- Original Message -----
From: Atkinson, Neil (Capita Symonds)
To: Sheila Oliver
Sent: Friday, May 22, 2009 11:56 AM
Subject: RE: Freedom of Information and EIR 2004 request


Sheila,

Please accept my apologies but can you provide me with a bit more information here. Simon Talbot is no longer with the business and I have taken over his responsibilities.

Am I not clear in regards to who you are and who your represent? Any information you could provide me with would help me greatly.

I look forward to hearing from you shortly.

Regards

Neil
Neil Atkinson
Associate Director (Environment, Geotechnics and Instrumentation)
Capita Symonds / UrbanVision Partnership / GMGU
10th Floor Emerson House
Albert Street
Eccles
Salford
M30 0TE
Mob: 07920 594 203
Tel: 0161 604 7743
Fax: 0161 604 7750

Web: www.capitasymonds.co.uk

NCE/ACE Major Consultant of the Year 2006

P Help to save paper - do you need to print this email?

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From: Sheila Oliver [mailto:sheilaoliver@ntlworld.com]
Sent: 22 May 2009 08:18
To: simon.talbot@urbanvision.org.uk
Cc: DAVID PENKETHMAN
Subject: Freedom of Information and EIR 2004 request

Dear Mr Talbot

Please send me, if possible by email, all details regarding GMGU's involvement with the contamination issues at Aquinas College, Heaviley, Stockport.

If this task is too difficult by email please let me know and we will discuss the issues further.

Regarding Harcourt Street, the matter is now with the teaching unions and Health and Safety Executive.  Most people want a quiet life but the teaching union may object to the poor standard of contamination investigations at Harcourt Street, which did not comply with BS 10175 and potentially leaves asbestos fibres being vented into the school and playground area.  This seems particularly topical as Gordon Brown's teacher friend died from being exposed to asbestos in schools and he is keen to tackle the issue, and we really shouldn't be building them  now with that risk anyway.

Kind regards

Sheila
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Email received 24/09/2009 at 14/09

Ms Oliver,

Your request under the FOIA should be directed to Stockport Council, it is their information and we are not at liberty to divulge any information held by ourselves without their permission..

Neil
Neil Atkinson
Associate Director (Environment, Geotechnics and Instrumentation)
Capita Symonds / UrbanVision Partnership
10th Floor Emerson House
Albert Street
Eccles
Salford
M30 0TE
Mob: 07920 594 203
Tel: 0161 604 7743
Fax: 0161 604 7750
Web: www.capitasymonds.co.uk
NCE/ACE Major Consultant of the Year 2006
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