Have you got a story to tell? Have you been through the mincer of TMBC's Pay & Grading Review/Job Evaluation? Or have you been made redundant by the Guardian Media Group? Do you want to hit back? Do you have a story - or any information - which you'd like us to know in case we can use it in some way to attack the political and media Cartel in Tameside? Drop us a line - email tamesidemafia@gmail.com.

Wednesday, 19 August 2009

James Purnell's "Golden Goodbye"

It has been revealed that Stalybridge & Hyde MP and former Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, James Purnell was given a "golden goodbye" for when he resigned as a cabinet minister back in June.

If an MP is to leave their ministerial post under any circumstances they are entitled to a severance payment equivalent to one quarter of their final salary. James Purnell's salary for being in charge of the DWP was £144,520 plus a generous pension, this would mean that Purnell would of been paid a staggering £36,130 for resigning from his government post.

Commenting on the news, Liberal Democrat Shadow Work and Pensions Secretary, Steve Webb said:

“People will be shocked to learn that former ministers get these pay-offs even when they have been sacked or left of their own free will.

“Ministers should not be rewarded for failure.

“While thousands are losing their jobs, failed ministers get a huge payout on top of their salary as MPs. This can’t go on.”

And if James Purnell loses his seat come the next general election, he will get a "resettlement grant" between £32,383 and £64,766 depending on the length of service as an MP or 50 to 100 per cent of his final salary. The first £30,000 of any ‘resettlement’ payment is tax-free.

According to the TaxPayer's Alliance, the "resettlement grant" is an alternative to redundancy and has been established to help MPs to adjust to "non parliamentary life". Diddums! This will come as a culture shock to Purnell who is nothing more than a career MP.

Source: Liberal Democrats

Monday, 17 August 2009

Flippin' Heck!

What do we have here? Not learning from his London apartment left like a pigsty, James Purnell's so called primary home is looking a right shit tip. Judging from the above picture with the kitchen sink, cooker and washing machine left in his front garden for all to see, it would seem that James Purnell is having a new kitchen fitted.

But why is James Purnell doing up his home when neighbors can't recall him staying over one night since buying the property in 2002? Only one can assume the village gossip in Broadbottom that Purnell is a fraud - according to green book rules, Purnell needs to stay at his primary residence (which he has nominated his Broadbottom home) for at least 183 days, so he can claim an additional costs allowance on a second property - which he has nominated in London, where he can always be found.

Because James Purnell is never in Broadbottom - not 183 days, he is fraudulently claiming for a second home at the expense of the taxpayer. Since the anger over MPs expenses, people are more savvy over the rules which puts Purnell in the spotlight. So we can only assume that Purnell has flipped his home to appease the commons authorities so he now pays for his London lifestyle from his own pocket.

Related article: Who Lives in a House Like This?
Hat-Tip: Longdendale Conservatives

Monday, 10 August 2009

Lord Sheldon: Tax Dodger, Thief...

The Times today reveals that former Labour MP for Ashton-under-Lyne, Lord Robert Sheldon dodged paying inheritance tax by giving his house to his son, Terry in 2003. The problem is that Lord Sheldon claimed the property to be his primary residence, yet it is alleged that he never lived there and fraudulently claimed £130,000 of expenses on the property over the past six years courtesy of the taxpayer.

House prices in the Darley Avenue area of Didsbury where Lord Sheldon's house is located (pictured right) are recently valued at £600,000. Taking today's house price, Terry Sheldon would be owing £110,000 in inheritance tax thus depriving Her Majesty's Treasury.

Sheldon's home in London is rather cushy too, it is located a stones throw away from the Ritz Hotel on Ryder Street. The apartment is in St. James's Chambers and according to the Times, properties in the area sell for an average of £1.1m.

It isn't the first time that Lord Sheldon has been involved in controversy. In 2000 a complaint was made about Lord Sheldon failing to fully declare his directorships and shareholdings. The complaint alleged that questions asking for aid from the government for manufacturers and exporters which Lord Sheldon asked in Parliament were a conflict of interest with the companies he owned which manufacture textiles and are traded across the globe. It was revealed in the investigation that in 1998, Lord Sheldon's companies made a total profit of £1.2m.

The whole situation stinks due to Labour defending high levels of inheritance tax saying it is reasonable, yet one of their Lord's is actively dodging it. The irony is that Lord Sheldon was once a Financial Secretary to the Treasury and in his later years as an MP, he served as Chairman of the Commons Public Accounts Committee scrutinizing public spending. Sheldon is a hypocrite of the highest order and his contempt for the public purse means that he should be stripped of his Lordship.

Those wishing to register a grievance with Lord Sheldon can do so by contacting him at: 27 Darley Avenue, West Didsbury, Manchester, M20 2ZD.

UPDATE: The Sunlight Centre for Open Politics, the group who successfully campaigned to make MPs expenses public, has made an official complaint with the House of Lords authorities.

Roy "2 Jags" Oldham

You may have spotted two new Jaguar's parked besides the town hall steps. One is a Jaguar XJ and the other is a Jaguar XF which replace the Ford Dorchester. The council professes that the cars are a "greener deal".

Indeed the Jaguar's are a greener deal comparing them to the dated Ford Dorchester which does 12 Miles Per Gallon. The latest Jaguar XJ is quoted at doing 40.1 MPG and the Jaguar XF can do 37.6 MPG.

However if the council wants to go green then why couldn't it opt for a much greener vehicle such as the Toyota Prius which can do 65 MPG - nearly double that of the Jaguar's and much cheaper too! Tameside Council Leader, Cllr. Roy Oldham is constantly bleating about how environmentally friendly the Prius is, that he replaced the entire fleet of Ford Focus cars for the Prius. So why doesn't he drive in one himself?

Roy owns a Volkswagen Golf which is hardly ever used as he is chauffeur driven from his home in Mottram to the council offices. Even the Chief Executive, Steven Pleasant who lives in Broadbottom drives himself in a Prius to work. If it is good enough for Steven Pleasant, then why not Roy Oldham?

The cars cost the taxpayer a total of £1,662 per month, with the Jaguar XJ costing £950 per month and the Jaguar XF costs £712 per month. Both cars cost £44,650 and £33,464 respectively over their 47 month lease or £78,114 combined.

What is odd that the council could own a Jaguar XJ for £44,604 and an XF for £32,900. Both are cheaper to buy rather than rent, so why waste taxpayers money?

It seems that TMBC have not learned their lesson from last time when they caused a stink in the local press by leasing a BMW for dear old Uncle Roy. Now that the BMW has gone, we can now call our glorious leader, Roy "2 Jags" Oldham.

Sunday, 26 July 2009

What a Bell End!

People reading the local press may have noticed the hype coming from Tameside Council Conservative Group Leader, Councillor John Bell picking up our campaign against the huge amount of money wasted on statues and artwork in the borough.

The thing is, back in 2007 John Bell was actually favour of the bronze plaques in the borough as this video from Channel M where 56 seconds into the video, Councillor Bell states "I welcome these to be put in every ward in Tameside".

Make your mind up John!

Hat-tip: No Mottram Bypass

Sunday, 19 July 2009

Vote for... Tameside Mafia

Total Politics are running their annual "Best Blogs Poll" for 2009. As we have now been going for just over a year, we thought we would give it a go.

Click here to vote in the Total Politics Best Blogs Poll 2009

If you feel it in your heart to vote for us, then please do so by following the rules below:

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6. All votes must be received by midnight on 31 July 2009. Any votes received after that date will not count.

Saturday, 11 July 2009

Exclusive: Cllr. Steve Smith Drink Driving Shame

We have an exclusive for you. The Labour councillor for the St. Peter's ward, Stephen Smith has handed in his resignation after being caught drink driving. It gets better, the former deputy mayor is also a member on the alcohol licensing speakers panel!

The irony is that the Conservative candidate for Denton North East, Floyd Paterson, is an anti drink driving campaigner. Oh dear...

The Mafia has been told that Steven Pleasant, the newly appointed chief executive of Tameside Council is "sitting" on the resignation due to the Denton North East by-election. We will have more news on this as it develops.

Monday, 6 July 2009

Spitting Image: Combine Harvester Edition

Well what do we have here? It is Denise Ward, the Labour hopeful for the Denton North East by-election. Denise was at the Veteran's Day celebrations sporting the Worzel Gummidge look, which is odd for a hairdresser.

Then we have Labour councillor for Denton South, Andrew Doubledick Doubleday who looks like Tubbs from The League of Gentlemen. Are you local? Local jobs for local people?

And last of all we have the failed Labour Party candidate for Hyde Werneth or "Denton South community campaigner" Claire Francis who looks like Olive from On the Busses.

Have you got any ideas for a future spitting image? Leave them in the comments below.

Monday, 29 June 2009

A £4,500 Rubbish Bin

You may remember our little exclusive back in November where we revealed the cost of statues in Ashton town centre. One of those was an open guitar case costing £4,500. When the guitar case was first laid there, the local scroterati tried picking up the coins stuck to the bottom. Now it seems they now resort to using it as a rubbish bin...

Friday, 19 June 2009

Andrew Gwynne's Expenses

To view Andrew Gwynne's expenses, MP for Denton and Reddish then:


Thursday, 18 June 2009

David Heyes Expenses

To view the David Heyes expenses, MP for Ashton-under-Lyne then:


James Purnell's Expenses

To view James Purnell's expenses, MP for Stalybridge and Hyde then:


Wednesday, 17 June 2009

If only real life was like this...

Thursday, 4 June 2009

BREAKING: James Purnell Resigns

Stalybridge and Hyde MP, James Purnell has joined his fellow Blairites in resigning from his position as Cabinet Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions in a daming letter to Gordon Brown calling for his resignation.

Purnell was out this evening leafleting outside Broadbottom Railway Station with Roy Oldham, Sean Parker-Perry and Jonny Reynolds. He later got in a clapped out silver car with rusty red megaphones shouting "vote labour". How the mighty have fallen...

UPDATE: Just spoken to a journo at Sky News. He stayed at Jonny Reynolds house last night! Why? It is only 0.9 miles down the road. Ah that maybe why...

View Larger Map

UPDATE UPDATE: BBC & Sky saying that Cllr. Kevin Welsh, Chair of Stalybridge & Hyde Constituency Labour Party is spouting that "Purnell has made a mistake".

Stay tuned...

Monday, 25 May 2009

James Purnell's "Conservative" Reading List

Yet more expenses have come out for Stalybridge and Hyde MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell. Instead of the more trivial items, The Telegraph is starting to get to the nitty gritty of his expense claims.

Many have argued that the careerist MP is a Conservative in wolves clothing and looking at the books that James reads, that would suggest so. James, who is close friends of the former Prime Minister Tony Blair and tipped as a future leader of the Labour Party, claimed a total of £42 on books from Amazon courtesy of the taxpayer which included:

Reflections of the Revolution in France Book Cover by Edmund BurkeReflections on the Revolution in France
Edmund Burke

According to the Telegraph, this book is kept by Conservatives as a case against 20th Century Socialism. Other books by the author include "The evils of revolution".

Amazon price: £6.29

Modern Conservatism
David Willetts MP

Penned by the Conservative MP and Shadow Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills. Willets is seen as a 'centrist moderniser' in David Cameron's Conservatives. Before becoming an MP he served as a researcher to Nigel Lawson and later Margaret Thatcher's policy unit.

Amazon Price: £0.01 (Used and New)

Good to Great book cover by Good to Great
Jim Collins

Jim Collins is a management theorist. According to the Telegraph, the book tells readers “there are no silver bullets to greatness”.

Amazon Price: £15.39

Following on from the article, the Telegraph alleges that James claimed £247 for 3,000 “flexible fridge magnets”. We can only presume that they are for the big fridge which accommodates £400 a months worth of groceries. Also claimed was £223 for a new digital camera which was classed as an office expense.

On another article, The Telegraph attacks MPs who used taxpayer funds to promote themselves with local sports teams. Purnell claimed £411.25 on a programme advertisement for the 2004/05 season at Stalybridge Celtic Football Club as part of his communications allowance. The Telegraph doesn't mention any further advertising after that. Perhaps it had something to do with the small detail that there was a general election in 2005?

The hole for James just gets deeper ...

Thursday, 21 May 2009

James Purnell's Constituents Not Fooled At All

Tameside Advertiser letters on James Purnell's expenses

Click to enlarge

This week's Advertiser carries a postbag of angry letters published in relation to Stalybridge & Hyde MP and Secretary of State for Work and Pensions, James Purnell's expenses and his somewhat "empty" call for reform on MPs expenses. Nobody was fooled...

Labour member Dr. Kailash Chand with James PurnellNow there has to be one idiot and that came from Labour party member, Dr. Kailash Chand (Pictured with Purnell at the 2005 General Election) who thinks MPs expenses should be kept secret! 

And today, James Purnell faced fresh allegations from the Daily Telegraph that like Hazel Blears, owes money in unpaid capital gains tax and new expense claims. This time for claiming £395 on an accountant for “tax advice provided in October 2004 regarding sale of flat”. Which means he is too lazy or thick to fiddle his own expenses. Another spokesman for James Purnell responded to the Telegraph stating:

“Any allegation that James avoided capital gains tax is completely untrue. When he bought his constituency home, the sale of his London flat fell through, but it was sold within the period that HMRC continue to treat it as not being liable for CGT.

“No one pays CGT when they sell the only house they own and James was not liable for capital gains tax on his London flat.

“This would have been true for any taxpayer — there was no special treatment. To be clear that he was paying the right tax, James sought advice at the time and has since contacted the HMRC to ask them to double check. HMRC have confirmed that there is no CGT to pay.”

Which we agree with. Purnell owes NO capital gains tax. He is telling the truth when he says his primary home is in London and he is never in Broadbottom. He has a lot of questions to answer for claiming a second home allowance. Since becoming an MP in 2001, Purnell has claimed £143,695 on his London home. His record on TheyWorkForYou shows that James has constantly claimed the maximum in Additional Costs Allowances.

Purnell continued to refute the claims that he avoided paying capital gains tax on the BBC's North West Tonight (below) by saying "I do not avoid taxes, I do not seek to avoid taxes, I believe people should pay their taxes and I paid every penny that was due".

When James Purnell was asked by NWT if he would be suing the Daily Telegraph for being accused of something that's not true, he dodged the question by laughing it off saying "I hope you enjoyed my welfare speech and I'm delighted you came".

Expenses maybe a laughing matter for James, but not for his constituents. Judging by the comments made in the local press, they are eager to get rid of this hypocrite.

Monday, 18 May 2009

Who Lives in a House Like This?

Who lives in a house like this? Well this Labour MP really likes his net curtains. Known to be a mucky MP - not for his reputation as a womanizer with his numerous flings with women or the auctioneering of the Hutton report signed by Alistair Campbell and Cherie Blair, but by his somewhat lack of cleanliness. Notice how the bins have been left knocked over and the PVC windows need a good scrubbing. Over to you David...

Yes this is the home of the Cabinet Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, James Purnell MP. The MP for Stalybridge & Hyde who has a salary of over £140,000 per year supposedly lives in a terraced house which he bought in 2002 for £50,000 as his primary home at 66 Mottram Road, Broadbottom.

Purnell quickly obtained the house after inheriting the "safe" seat of Stalybridge & Hyde from Lord Tom Pendry after being dropped in there by his long time good friend, Tony Blair in an attempt to make it look like as if he was a local lad. James lives in quite a desirable area of Tameside. The house prices for the area are considerably low in comparison to other houses in the area which averaged over £75,000.

Rumour has it that the houses in that row of terraces suffer from subsidence hence the cheap price. So presumably a bank wouldn't hand out a mortgage, so he would have to buy the house outright. Money being no problem for James after being privately educated from the Guildford Royal Grammar School which currently costs £4244 per term.

Lets cut to the chase. Purnell is one of the MPs currently being investigated by HMRC for dodging paying Capital Gains Tax for "flipping" his primary home. The Times originally reported in 2008 that Purnell sold his London "mansion" in 2004 as his primary household in order to avoid paying capital gains tax. Yet he claimed the full amount in additional costs allowance (ACA) for his second home through 2001 to 2003. However somewhat conveniently for James, he could not remember which property he claimed on between becoming an MP in 2001 to 2003. He claimed to the Times that "parliamentary authorities had destroyed the records because they were so old". According to the Express, James is not offering to pay back the dodged capital gains tax.

As mentioned in the past, we are confused as to why James Purnell is charging the taxpayer over £2,000 a month to rent a London apartment which he leaves like a tip, yet he has sold his mansion off. It just doesn't make sense. It is obvious that Purnell is keeping his Broadbottom home as a shed to claim it is his primary home so he can keep to his comforts in London where he was originally a councillor in Islington to claim ACA.

Purnell is already digging a hole for himself by bleating to the local press that expenses need reform. It as seen as by many, too little, too late especially after being caught with the hands in the till. As one reader pointed out, Commons guidelines say that for a home to be classed as a main residence, a MP needs to spend more than 183 days a year there. Going off the above pictures, it is highly unlikely that James lives here. After conversing with neighbours, they confirmed that they know that the house belongs to James Purnell, but they have never seen him there. Instead we are lead to believe that when on constituency business that James spends his time in the Raddison Hotel in Manchester.

We, the taxpayer are paying for James Purnell to live a lavish lifestyle in London at our expense by scoffing through £400 a month on grocery expenses whilst his constituents struggle to pay the bills and suffer from high levels of unemployment as a result of Labour's recession. What makes it all worse is that James is telling the public that there needs to be a crackdown on benefit claims - it isn't really credible coming from a minister abusing those rules. He even has the nerve to say that £60 a week Job Seekers Allowance is enough to live on, yet he claims many times over that. His position as MP for Stalybridge and Hyde is untenable and we don't mean a sacking from Gordon Brown, but the only option to get rid of this crook good and proper - the ballot box.

Monday, 4 May 2009

Purnell Pockets £10k

For the third time within a month, Stalybridge and Hyde MP and Cabinet Secretary of State for the Department for Work and Pensions, James Purnell has been yet again caught abusing the Parliamentary expenses by claiming £10,143 more for his rent on his London home which he left like a "pigsty".

The Sunday Express (who must really have it in for James) have revealed that Purnell was claiming £2010 a month for his rent yet according to bank records actually only paid £910 every month. Out of the £2010 Purnell would "reimburse" his ex-fiance, Lucy Walker.

The news comes after the porky parliamentarian claimed £400 a month on groceries and £100 a month on hiring a cleaner.

What confuses the mafia is that James sold his London "mansion" in 2004 as his PRIMARY residence and dodged paying £20,000 of capital gains tax regardless of claiming a SECOND home allowance. So if he sold a property then why is he now renting somewhere? Does Purnell have another house elsewhere which we don't know about? Is he building a property portfolio whilst we pay for him to pig out?

It is clear that James Purnell has been taking the piss out of the tax payer - whether it is in the rules or not. As the man in charge of a crackdown on so-called benefit cheats and enforcing stricter rules on claiming disability benefits he contradicts the message he is trying to send out to the public by fiddling the system himself.

Sunday, 26 April 2009

Another Mucky Minister: James Purnell's Pigsty

James Purnell, the Labour MP for Stalybridge & Hyde and Work and Pensions Secretary has been in the press this morning after an exclusive from the Sunday Express. Pictures reveal that Purnell lived like a pig in his £1,820 a month London apartment he rented despite claiming £100 a month in cleaning and £586 in repairs totaling £1636 as part of his MP's second home allowance.

Pictures from James Purnell's London apartment

James racked up a £5,000 bill in damages whilst living at the apartment. The property management company in charge of the apartment are holding Purnell's £2,520 deposit. According to the Sunday Express, he still owes £1,523.12.

James Purnell's constituency "home" in Broadbottom isn't much better either. Purnell bought the home in 2001 for £50,000. However locals tell the mafia he is never there and it looks a mess. So where does Purnell live when he is on constituency business? Well we are told he stays at another shithole - the Raddison in Manchester Piccadilly.

This comes weeks after it was revealed that James Purnell claimed £400 a month in food expenses on the tax payer. He eats like a pig and now we know he lives like one.

Sunday, 12 April 2009

Purnell Troughs £400 a Month on Food Expenses

James Purnell has come under fire today for claiming £400 a month on food expenses. It is believed that the information has come about as more receipts are leaked to the press. The Daily Star also claims the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions and Stalybridge and Hyde MP claims for his council tax and utility bills. The receipts are to be released to the public in June.

It really does smack of hypocrisy that it was James Purnell who recently admitted on the Sunday Politics Show that £60 a week Job Seekers Allowance wasn't enough to live on, but those with families could earn up to £400 a week with tax credits (see video above) to pay for cost of living expenses such as food, rent and utility bills etc. Yet he claims £400 a month on food alone.

Under rules set out by the house of commons, MPs don't have to submit receipts for groceries, but they are able to claim up to £400 a month under the second home allowance. According to the Daily Star, James Purnell tried to claim £475 a month on his groceries, but this was rejected.

The question is, if a family can live off the state for £400 a month, then why can't an MP?

Tuesday, 7 April 2009

Tameside Council Fat Cats: Named and Shamed

The Tax Payers Alliance has released its annual "town hall rich list" for 2009. The report includes the list of staff that earn more than £100,000 per year for 2007-2008 totalling £2,275,000. The council have "Refused to release some names and exact details of salary or breakdown of remuneration, total remuneration provided in bands".

Looking at Tameside's list of fat cats provided by the TPA; we can tell you that this does NOT include additional benefits such as pensions. For your convenience, we have posted the list below:

Name: ?
Title: Assistant Chief Executive Borough Treasurer
Salary 2006-2007: £105,000
Salary 2007-2008: No Data
Increase: N/A

Name: Colin McKinless
Title: Executive Director, Social Care & Health
Salary 2006-2007: £105,000
Salary 2007-2008: No Data
Increase: N/A

Name: Janet Callendar
Title: Chief Executive
Salary 2006-2007: £155,000
Salary 2007-2008: £165,000
Increase: 6.5%

Name: Ian Smith (now Jim Taylor)
Title: Executive Director, Services for Children and Young People
Salary 2006-2007: £125,000
Salary 2007-2008: £125,000
Increase: 0%

Name: Erika Wenzel
Title: Executive Director, Sustainable Communities
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £115,000
Increase: N/A

Name: James Taylor
Title: Assistant Executive Director, Education
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £115,000
Increase: N/A

Name: ?
Title: Executive Director, Economy and Environment
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £115,000
Increase: N/A

Name: Steven Pleasant
Title: Assistant Chief Executive / Executive Support
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £115,000
Increase: N/A

Name: Cheryl Eastwood
Title: Assistant Executive Director, Children's Services
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £105,000
Increase: N/A

Name: Mirriam Lawton
Title: Assistant Chief Executive, People and Performance
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £105,000
Increase: N/A

Name: Stephanie Butterworth
Title: Director, Adults Social Care & Health
Salary 2006-2007: No Data
Salary 2007-2008: £105,000
Increase: N/A

You can find a current list of Tameside's executive team here. As there has been a shift of positions and with people leaving, we will update this page in due course to reflect this data.

Thursday, 19 March 2009

EXCLUSIVE: Piggy Pendry's Pay

Remember when we covered the story on Lord Pendry receiving Wimbledon Tickets from Imperial Tobacco? We thought it conflicted with the statements that smoking was unacceptable from the high profile sporting bodies which Lord Pendry declared on his register of interests which he holds senior positions for.

One body which the former shadow sports minister declared working for was Tameside Sports Trust which is run by Tameside MBC. The Mafia can exclusively reveal that the Piggy Peer is paid £10,000 per year from council tax payers coffers for attending one meeting, once a month lasting one hour. This is equivalent to £833 per hour before tax.

If Pendry was to have a full time job doing the standard 37.5 hours a week then he would earn £1,624,350.00 a year. This is more than what the "disgraced" Sir Fred Goodwin earned at the Royal Bank of Scotland who took home a reported £1.29m basic salary.

Nice work if you can get it...

Supporting documents:
*FoI Request
*Offer Letter

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Tameside Works First: Tameside Jobs for Tameside Workers?

Tameside folk may have come across the numerous propaganda being propagated in the borough over Tameside Council's "Tameside Works First" initiative - a £12m "crunch-busting" package aimed at aiding local businesses in the borough with the council adding:

"Tameside companies and contractors will be used wherever possible."
However the Mafia can reveal that this is actually illegal. Under EU laws, the "Public Contracts Regulations 2006" prevents local government exclusively selecting local businesses for public sector contracts with the online legal website out-law.com summarising:
"The law is designed to open up the EU's public procurement market to competition, to prevent "buy national" policies and to promote the free movement of goods and services."
The council has already decided to follow this through with the contract regarding a new eco-friendly £400,000 furnace at Dukinfield Crematorium being given to a company in Hyde rather than a German company with Councillor Kieran Quinn, Cabinet Deputy for Economic Services admitting:
"This contract was a forerunner to Tameside Works First, it demonstrates how we are planning to support local business. We will be looking to replicate it time and again.

"It's good to know that a Tameside firm has been engaged and that there will be Tameside people working on the project."
So Tameside Council is following protectionist policies and not letting any outside business in. It has an air of British Jobs for British Workers or in this case it's Tameside Jobs for Tameside Workers!

Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Brenda's Fagging It

We don't know how this slipped under our radar, but Tameside and Glossop NHS PCT issued a press release to encourage people in Tameside to stop smoking which can be downloaded here [Word Doc]. The press release has some shocking claims:

"In Tameside, there are 458 deaths from smoking per year, amounting to a total of nine deaths per week. ‘Don’t miss out on your family’s future’ is the message behind a local campaign launched by NHS Tameside and Glossop and Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council to encourage smokers to quit in 2009."

Picture of the Labour councillor for Denton West, Brenda WarringtonThe press release comes from an employee of Tameside and Glossop NHS PCT and Labour Councillor, Brenda Warrington for the Denton West ward whose cabinet role is "Cabinet Deputy and Executive Member for Personal and Community Services with responsibility for Health and Social Care within TMBC."

But what you may or may not know is that Councillor Brenda Warrington was previously chair of The Tobacco Workers' Alliance (TWA). A contradiction or not? After all she was there to represent the workers right? Actually no, thanks to Google we have found press releases a plenty and we get to see Brenda's view on smoking:

*Remember Ecclestonegate? Well Brenda backed it up and was fully against a ban on tobacco advertising claiming it would lose 9,000 jobs.

*British jobs for British workers? Brenda was way ahead of you all when she went against British jobs moving abroad for companies to save money. Back in 2005!

*Then the smoking ban in public places. You guessed it - Brenda was there again fully against it.

We just can't see how Brenda can continue with her job being responsible for health in Tameside and fronting an anti-smoking campaign when her campaign history of going against the Labour government's anti-smoking legislation shows some massive contradictions and hypocrisy - she should resign.

UPDATE 05/03/09: Looks like this has made it to the press with no credit mentioned. The Tameside Advertiser published it on this weeks edition on page two and online. Word of Brenda has also spread nationally to this weeks Private Eye (Eye: 1231) Rotten Boroughs column.

Thursday, 5 February 2009

LIVE BLOG: Newton Ward by-election results

Welcome to our live blog of the By-election result for the Hyde Newton Ward. Email updates are coming straight from our correspondent at the count...

10.33 p.m. - The council issues cards to people attending the count - usually limited to 8 people. Labour have approx 20 in there. 2 police vans are here with about 8 police officers.

10.55 p.m. - Turnout is 34%. Very close between BNP and Labour. Tories 3rd. Voting higher than average. James Purnell is counting votes! Mike Doherty is here.

11.14 p.m - Purnell: "I'm cheering on every Tory vote tonight"

11.35 p.m. - Labour 1379, BNP 889, Con 485, Lib Dem 172, Green 69, UKIP 33 - Labour hold Hyde Newton.


British candidates for British Councillors?

Labour of Love has interesting revelations about the BNP candidate for Hyde Newton. Apparently Clara Petacci sorry Rosalind Gauci (at some point in her family history) hails from the same Sicilian village as the Italian workers caught in the crossfire at the Lindsey Oil Refinery dispute.

You couldn't make it up could you? As the week has progressed, it's been clear that the anti-Union BNP have been doing their level best to infiltrate the strikers to persuade them to make this a Nationalist issue. But their candidate in Newton is a product of the newly multi-cultural master-race gang (foreign legion?). Perhaps the BNP are now starting to realise that it takes all sorts to make a world, even if a fascist one.

Piggy Pendry has his nose in the trough

The Tameside Advertiser carries what should be a devastating article on Stalybridge and Labour Peer, Lord Tom Pendry. Pendry has updated his declaration of interests as a Lord, with one detailing that he received tickets for Wimbledon from Imperial Tobacco.

This has come under fire because it contradicts the message that sports ministers are keen to send out - that a sporty lifestyle is a healthy one, and smoking is definitely not part of that message. Pendry's declaration of interests also show he is quite involved in the world of sport by being remunerated as President of the Football Foundation Ltd, Sports Adviser to Tameside District Council Sports Trust. He also a trustee for Develop Youth Through Sports Trust. A bit of googling reveals he is also a trustee for the England & Wales Cricket Board according to the Charities Commission - which appears to be omitted from the Lord's interests.

But the most damaging of all is that Pendry has previously spoke out against Labour's smoking ban in private members clubs. His "TheyWorkForYou" record shows he voted very strongly against introducing a smoking ban.

So what did Lord Pendry have to say about the claims brought against him to the Tameside Advertiser?

"It’s a point of view but it is not something that bothers me. I don’t see it as a clash at all. I am not a smoker and my work in the field of sport is completely separate."
Well Pendry is lying - he is an avid cigar smoker (see image above). So why make such a blatant lie to the press? Our contention is that this visit completely contradicts his seats on the government funded boards he sits on. It may be a point of view, and it may not be something that bothers him, as demonstrated on this revealing video from the Ministry of Truth. It is recommended viewing as he goes on to justify MPs lying to the House of Commons as well as saying they have a right to do so as they are the voice of God!

It isn't the first time either that Pendry has been brought down into sleaze through his former positions. In March, 2007 he was dragged into a multi-million fraud probe in America. He booked champagne receptions at the Houses of Parliament for Warren McLaughlin, former head of Palm Beach Visitors Bureau. Lord Pendry claimed he didn't get anything for it.

Moving on, Lord Pendry also states he is a parliamentary consultant to Arrowcroft Plc. Which is interesting as Arrowcroft state on their Northwest website:
"Arrowcroft North West was established in 1995 as a joint venture company with United Utilities to develop the surplus land holding within United Utilities` 150,000 acre estate.

Concentrated in the North West of England many of the sites are on the edge of major conurbations, strategically located adjacent to the motorway network."
Interesting. ArrowCroft have been trying to build a leisure complex on greenbelt in Denton on land owned by United Utilities. This was backed by the North West Development Agency which Tameside Council Leader, Roy Oldham (a good friend of Lord Pendry) is a member of and Tameside Council itself. It was to be funded by the Greater Manchester Property Venture Fund (GMPVF), which is a division of the Greater Manchester Pension Fund (GMPF) which by no coincidence is chaired by Roy Oldham and administered by Tameside Council! However the plans were thankfully rejected by the then Deputy Prime Minister, John Prescott.

But what is really bizare is that ArrowCroft tried to sue the government for not approving of the proposed Waterside development. So Lord Pendry is a consultant to a company which is suing the Labour government of which he is a member of!

He is also President and shareholder of Oyston Steel Estates, of which he owns 0.5%. The majority shareholder of the business is the multimillionaire Labour Party supporter and convicted rapist, Owen Oyston. According to the Times, Oyston Steel Estates builds property in Marbella on the Costa Del Sol.

Pendry is close friends with Owen Oyston and whilst Oyston was in prison serving a sentence for raping a then underage 16 year old girl, Pendry accused Tories of leading a dirty tricks campaign over an alleged financed secret investigation which led to the conviction of Oyston as well as campaigning against the Crown Prosecution Service.

In 2007 Oyston attended a Labour Party bash hosted by Gordon Brown costing £10,000 a table. Gordon Brown urged Labour Party members not to accept any donations from Owen Oyston, but it appears being a shareholder of one of his businesses is perfectly OK.

His interests as a Lord stretch out as far as family, his son, Dominic Pendry is an assistant for him and - as we know all too well - his son-in-law, Longdendale Councillor Sean Parker-Perry, is married to his daughter, Fiona, and was working as a "Parliamentary Political Operative" to Stalybridge & Hyde MP, James Purnell up until recently after a series of reported fall outs. Back in 2005, Pendry defended his son-in-law, Sean and continued his hate for the CPS when Sean was taken to court for theft.

Other declared interests from Lord Pendry include being paid £1,000 a month from the Stamford Group as a Parliamentary Advisor, Chairman of the Angel Trust and also receiving a cruise from Los Angeles to Miami as a guest of Saga Holidays in return for lectures on Parliament and on sport. All expenses were met by Saga but Pendry paid one half of the drinks bill.

He also claimed £54,000 in tax free allowances last year and attended the House of Lords for 143 days.

Nice work, if you can get it.

Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Nepotism for Newton

For those that are unaware, there is a by-election happening in Hyde Newton due to the "sad loss" (TMBC Talk) of Cllr. Margaret Oldham. The date has been called for the 5th of February 2008, those wishing to stand must apply before this Friday (09/01/2009). Details are available at this page.

The Labour Party have selected their candidate, Philip Fitzpatrick (Pictured). Now if the name rings a bell, it should as he is the brother of Godley councillor, Jim Fitzpatrick. His dad, now an Alderman of the borough is Joe Fitzpatrick who also stood in the Hyde Newton Ward. Tameside Council must be a generation game for the Fitzpatricks, and Cllr. John Taylor obviously sees the funny side of this when on his homepage he said he had been helping out leafleting and canvassing in the ward accompanied with a picture of Tamsin Dunwoody. Her campaign for the parliamentary seat of Crewe and Nantwich was disastrous, so it's a bad omen if nothing else.

Labour have also got in the game of blogging by launching the "Labour for Newton" by-election campaign blog. The most recent post is a message of support from Stalybridge and Hyde MP, James Purnell. Philip may have the "support" of the local MP, but does he with the council leader, whose wife was the former councillor for the ward? We hear that Cllr. Roy Oldham was seen arguing in public with Cllr. Jim Fitzpatrick over the selection of Philip for Newton.

We also hear that Philip was also preselected by the Hyde Labour Party if Margaret was to be eventually ousted. The papers calling for a by-election were postdated for the 31st of December, but the borough solicitor sent them out at 6:30PM on Christmas Eve! Many speculate that this was done to throw off other parties whilst the Labour Party got themselves in gear. However, at the Mafia we have been told that this isn't the case. The deed was done quickly to prevent any other members from the Stalybridge and Hyde Labour Party from objecting to the selection of Philip.

During the Hyde Newton by-election we will have plenty of stories to highlight of the nepotism within Tameside Labour and Tameside Council. In time we will provide our by-election analysis and we also hope to bring you more live blogging at the count.

Monday, 5 January 2009

James Purnell Drops His Wallet

Not to miss a beat where our Stalybridge and Hyde MP is concerned, the Mirror is once again reporting another gaffe about James Purnell losing his wallet which contained his House of Commons Security Pass, only weeks after he lost his "red box" on a train.

According to the Mirror, James Purnell had dropped the wallet on the busy Dean Street in Soho London whilst getting out of a cab. A passer-by then picked up the wallet and returned it to the police. James was ever grateful for the honest citizen who returned the wallet complete with bank cards and cash and called him back to say "thanks", according to the passer-by he said:

I told him I thought it might be important because I could see he was an MP. Mr Purnell replied, ‘I’m not an MP, I’m a member of the Cabinet’

But for Nice But Dim Jim, he is an MP - for Stalybridge and Hyde. He even forgets who he represents these days. Dizzy cow!

The Londonist Blog has a more interesting take on things. Although a source close to Tameside Mafia tells us that whilst in gay Soho, Purnell had his pants around his ankles having a bit of trade and that is how the wallet fell out on the floor.