Archive for September 2012

THE STAR CHAMBER FLOURISHES IN FLINTSHIRE

As September arrived, the Adjudication Panel circus rolled back into the county and set up camp again in 4star Village Hotel Ewloe. The panel require only the best facilities. Its been Northop Country Club, the Beaufort Arms and Sychden Hall. The usual panellists; judge Hywel James, fellow lawyer Peter Davies and a Susan Hurds, who is something to do with the NHS gathered together with pens poised again. My spell checker threw up a very rude word when it found “Hurds” This is the one panel member that the suggested alternative word is not appropriate. The Chairman is the sleek, imperious chap who takes no prisoners when demanding answers and looks as if he jogs. His physic is in total contrast with his “henchpersons”who flank either side of the panel table. Both are very proportionate and are suspected members of the pork pie club. I was impressed to see Peter Davies in jogging gear heading purposefully towards the front door after a heavy hearing. In green sweatshirt and white shorts, he created quite a dash. A man on another mission I thought other that his usual agenda of asking tricky question of star witnesses, this time: Patrick Heesom. I was …..

Hillsborough – All In The Line of Duty ??

A week has elapsed since the Hillsborough Panel delivered its findings which left an indelible mark on police and Establishment integrity. Liverpool’s Anglican cathedral was a fitting venue for Bishop James and his panel to confirm what the families of the 96 victims had known in their hearts for years. Coincidentally, this cathedral hosted a Hillsborough memorial service attended, unless my memory is deeply flawed by Lord Justice Taylor and Mrs Thatcher. When “You’ll never walk alone” was played as the service ended I just sobbed, leaving tears glistening amongst the silver buttons on my uniform jacket. I was a Liverpool supporter and when possible, attended all home matches. That afternoon, whilst juggling gardening with keeping an eye on my team’s progress on the telly, the phone rang. My deputy chief who was at the match had run Control Room and reported serious problems in Hillsborough. I changed in to uniform and set off to take control of setting up the dedicated Casualty Bureau. It is a specially equipped phone linked clearing house between frantic families calling in and those at the scene administering to the living and dealing with the dead. The Casualty Bureau helps identify casualties when a …..

Councillor on the Case

The Curious Case of Croes Atti The debate in Westminster over the need to rip up Green Belt to help developers build houses seems totally daft. With thousands of plots already having planning consent, why not build first on what’s already approved? This English debate resonated in Flintshire’s Council Chamber during the Planning Committee on 5th September. YET again, we were debating an application from Anwels, owner of the massive Flint Croes Atti site. I’ve lost count of the number of applications submitted by the developer but this latest one to me really smacked of arrogance. Last December, the Planning Committee had debated the need to erect a barrier that would give the Prince of Wales Avenue residents some sort of quality of life once the traffic flows on and off the site picked up. It was a really heavy debate that after much arguing was put to the vote. I was in the chair & I thought it would be lost as our planners had recommended acceptance! Members went against officers and threw their recommendation out even though our Planners were content that traffic was manageable around the site! The result of the independent traffic survey seemed odd! Flint’s …..