Tuesday, 24 November 2009

OMBUDSMAN COMPLAINT RE: DOUGLAS ROAD

Below is a copy of the covering letter I have sent, along with my complaint to the Ombudsman for Wales, I honestly believe that the Council should not investigate its own misdemeanours, that is akin to you or I appearing in Court and finding ourselves innocent!



On the 12th of October 2009 Mr A. Jones, a local buyer, put in an offer to Stirling Estate Agents, of £65,000 to purchase 10, Douglas Road Colwyn Bay.
On the 13th of October 2009 Rob Dix a CCBC Officer and member of the Regeneration Board working under Bethan Jones Deputy CE of CCBC, submitted, under a schedule 12a LGA (attached) a proposal to the Council Cabinet to purchase 10, Douglas Road, stating there was a “tight timetable”.
On or around the 15th October 2009 Gareth Peters, Principle Property Manager CCBC, put in an offer of £119,000 to Stirling Estate agents to buy 10 Douglas Road.
Mr Jones was informed of this offer and contacted CCBC to tell them that he had had a valuation done on the property and it had been £70,000. After negotiations Mr Jones upped his offer, he was then told that if he withdrew from the negotiations and remained silent about the deal and CCBC were successful in their purchase he would receive £1,000 as a “consultant’s fee” Mr Jones had already employed a solicitor and surveyor and was already out of pocket so refused to withdraw. Offers went to sealed bids and Mr Jones was informed his offer of £82,001 had no been successful. (Email attached)
I draw the Ombudsman’s attention to the fact that Rob Dix would have had to have permission from Bethan Jones, his superior, to make such a proposal to the Cabinet, I suggest the Cabinet, because of the Schedule 12a, were informed a private buyer had already made an offer on the property and so were party to what was to follow. Gareth Peters was the negotiator and was the one who made the offer to Mr Jones but I surmise he colluded with his superiors before doing so.
I wrote to Byron Davies CE CCBC urging for an Independent Enquiry as this incident was all over the local papers and that in the interests of the public and the Councils credibility this should be as open and transparent as possible. On the 21st of October 2009 I received a reply from Mr Davies stating that the Enquiry was to be an internal one. My fear of this is that those truly responsible for this appalling incident will not be investigated and, if they are, the results will not be published. This enquiry is about CCBC investigating itself, there can be no justification in this as they will, undoubtedly, find themselves innocent or use Mr Peters as a scapegoat. For that reason alone I believe the Ombudsman should investigate this case.

John Oddy



Within the comments are emails sent to me from and reply to the Ombudsman in which they say my name will be passed to those concerned. Unlike the Council I am open about what I do and am not scared of them knowing their accuser.

8 comments:

Oscar said...

The council paid £49,000 plus more than this property was worth??
Is that fact?

Councillor John Oddy said...

Oscar,
Their original offer of £119,000 was only withdrawn after Mr Jones told them it was valued at £70,000, he had already paid for the valuation. The purchase of the property was eventually decided by sealed bids, Mr Jones bid all he could afford, £82,001, but his bid was unsuccessful. Neither the Estate Agents nor the vendor’s solicitors will divulge the actual sale price but it would have been above Mr Jones’s.

councillor Blog said...

Make a request under the Fredom of Information Act 2000.

Well done John!

Anonymous said...

Are you going to raise this with the scrutiny committee ???

Or maybe the Conservatives as they are not involved in the cabinet.

Councillor John Oddy said...

Councillor Blog,
As far as I am aware the internal enquiry is ongoing so any FOI requests would have to be done at a later stage. I would like to know who is included in this enquiry, my fear is they will find a scapegoat and the culprits walk away Scott free.

Anon 08.48,
I have already spoken to the Conservatives, they said it would be passed-on to JFS; she is their leader and is also on the Scrutiny Committee.

Anonymous said...

Can anyone enlighten me why Councillors ignored the planners advice to decline planning for the
proposed new nursing home on pwllycrochan avenue Colwyn Bay?

Councillor John Oddy said...

________________________________________
Amy,
Just to confirm the names of those concerned;
Breached the Code of Conduct by allowing Council Officers to gazump and later try bribe Mr Jones, the original buyer whose offer had already been accepted, all members of the Cabinet present at the meeting of 13.10.09

Waste of Public Funds;
Bethan Jones, Deputy Chief Executive. Rob Dix, made the application to the Cabinet and works under the DCE. Gareth Peters, Principle Property Manager, made the Councils Offer of £119,000 and later offered Mr Jones £1,000 to make no further bids or discuss his dealings with CCBC.

I am aware my name will be made available to those concerned and have no objection to it being done.

John Oddy


________________________________________

Dear Mr Oddy,

Further to my previous email, please note that as you did not use our code of conduct complaint form we need confirmation:

1. that you understand and accept that if you proceed with your complaint, your identity and the details of your complaint will be disclosed to the member(s) against whom you are complaining

2. that if called upon to do so, you are prepared to give oral evidence in support of your allegation to the authority’s Standards Committee or to any case tribunal which may be appointed to consider any report which the Ombudsman may issue if he decides to investigate your complaint

Amy Jones
Administration Team

Public Services Ombudsman for Wales/Ombwdsmon Gwasanaethau Cyhoeddus Cymru
1 Ffordd yr Hen Gae
Pencoed
Bridgend/Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr
CF35 5LJ

Telephone/Ffôn: 0845 6010987 (local call rate)
Fax/Ffacs: 01656 641199
Email/Ebost: ask@ombudsman-wales.org.uk



Dear Mr Oddy,

Thank you for your email. Please could you confirm the names of the members you believe to have breached the Code of Conduct as it is not clear from the form you have submitted.

Amy Jones
Administration Team

Anonymous said...

Freedom of information request already in progress, the Council flatly refuse to release information (which is against the law, of course)

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/councils_policy_on_using_taxpaye

and

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/purchase_of_10_douglas_road_colw

to view all FOI requests made to CCBC, and to make your own requests, see here:

http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/body/conwy_council