Tuesday, 30 September 2014

Hurrah - A Sale on the Open Market (To Hussain's Son)!

£128,000 per annum Head of Legal at Labour Sandwell Council, Neeraj Sharma, has just confirmed to me that the land sold to Azeem Hafeez (Labour deputy "leader" Mahboob Hussain's son) for just £145,000 is that which was discussed at the Asset Management & Land Disposal Committee (AMLD) on 22nd November, 2011 chaired by, er, Mahboob Hussain.

In November, 2011 Hussain - ably backed by Cllrs Eling (who recently mislead everyone about the casino legal costs and who was apparently responsible for the CTR disaster); Hackett (the homeless charity worker with, er, two homes) and Ian Jones (who recently lied to the BBC about the Bog-gate valuation - see posts passim) - resolved as part of minute 19/11:


(1) that the Director of Legal & Governance Services be authorised to dispose of the freehold interest in the following sites by the most suitable method of sale......

(c) land at Lodge Street/Stone Street, Oldbury (Plan No. CPD/29880/8);

(2) that in connection with Resolution (1) (c) above (land at Lodge Street/ Stone Street, Oldbury), the Area Director of Regeneration and Economy consider marketing the land for bungalows and/or accommodation for elderly people in the first instance)."

For reasons unknown this requirement was quietly dropped.

Mr Azeeem Hafeez was in the employ of Sandwell Council but I assume he has now left as his employment is not mentioned in the planning documents which Hafeez submitted to Labour Sandwell Council on 30th December, 2013 and just BEFORE the actual transfer of the freehold to him took place on 2nd January, 2014.

Ms Sharma has made a strange comment about this deal in her communication to me today in that she specifically says that the property was "advertised on the open market".She does not specifically say that the property was SOLD on the open market.

And so on 2nd January, 2014 Hafeez paid just £145,000 for this very large plot. Happily he didn't need a mortgage according to the Land Registry! Any thought of providing accommodation for the wrinklies was forgotten and Labour Sandwell have given him planning permission to build 14 (yes fourteen) THREE & FOUR bedroomed houses on site.

Fortunately, the crafty Labour comrades  did not insist on a s106 planning gain requirement as part of the grant of planning permission.

Below the subscription I have set out a Freedom of Information request to the shifty "socialists" which, I have no doubt, they will try to block.

ADDENDUM 01/10/14 - I cannot share full details with you yet but Azeem Hafeez (Hussain's son) bought another plot of land from Sandwell Council on 10th May, 2013 apparently based on an "estimated" value from Nick Bubalo, Director of Regeneration and Economy. Watch this space.......


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                               t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Freedom of Information request submitted to Sandwell Council 30/09/14:

Sandwell Council have sold a very valuable piece of land at what appears to be a knock-down price to one of its former employees, Azeem Hafeez who is also the son of one of the Deputy Leaders of the Council.

I anticipate from bitter experience that you will seek to block this request by claiming that there is an element of personal information and because of alleged "commercial confidentiality/sensitivity". I wish to make it clear straight away that the public interest in this "deal" is obvious given its unusual nature and I will contest any material non-disclosure.

1. What was the position of Azeem Hafeez during his employment with SMBC?

2. On what date did Azeem Hafeez leave the employ of SMBC?

3. In minute 19/11 of the Asset Management etc Committee of 22nd November, 2011 SMBC resolved, inter alia, to sell land at the corner of Lodge Street/Stone Street, Oldbury (plan no CPD/29880/8) and specifically stated that consideration be given to the construction of bungalows or accommodation for the elderly on that site. Please state:

(a) When and why this aspect of the proposed sale was shelved and by whom that decision was made?
(b) Please state where the decision to abandon this proposed requirement was officially recorded?

4. Please state in detail the marketing process by which this site was offered for sale. If outside agents were used please provide full details including their fees to include disbursements and to show VAT separately.

5. Please state the number of bids received, the dates of same, the amounts of same and the names of the respective bidders. In the event that the highest bid was not accepted please state specifically why not?

6. Which SMBC officer ultimately approved the sale to Azeem Hafeez and when?

7. Please state the date when contracts were exchanged between SMBC and Azeem Hafeez.

8. Please state whether any independent valuation was obtained either before or after the sale. If so, please disclose the valuation report and the amount of the valuation. Please state the cost of the report.

9. Please state whether there is any record of Mr Hafeez and/or his agent discussing planning matters with SMBC prior to exchange of contracts.


Friday, 26 September 2014

"Celebration" Statue - All Quiet on the Western Front!


07599 983737 OR 07584 759551

I recently put in a Freedom of Information Act request to Sandwell Council with a list of seven questions concerning how Mr Jim Cadman came to solicit funds from them for his private "statue" appeal; how they assessed this private project against other public works schemes in West Bromwich (funded by Tesco and other big planning projects via "planning gain" monies); what investigations they made as to the legal status of the "appeal fund" etc etc.

In what purported to be a response Sandwell Labour failed to reply to all seven points so that I have been forced to formally apply for an internal review under the FoI procedure (then Sandwell Labour have the audacity to moan about costs!)

Jim Cadman (right) with local comedian "The Turdmeister"

Remember that Labour have already raided what are called the s106 monies (intended for public works) to make a £30,000 "donation" on your behalf to this private scheme. If you live in Sandwell you will, no doubt, recall all their extensive consultation with you about this..........

In a communication with Mr Cadman himself,  he made the curious comment that the bank account for the statue appeal is "under the control" of Labour Sandwell Council. What can this mean?

I enclose below the full text of an e-mail which I also sent direct to Mr Cadman as long ago as 4th September, 2014 but, unfortunately, I have received no reply to share with you. Why is everyone now so shy?

E-mail 04/09/14

"Dear Jim,

Thank you for your recent mail but I am still perplexed as to the exact set up of your fundraising activities. I have the following queries which you may or may not wish to answer. May I once again respectfully remind you that I don't do "private and confidential" and so please note that any reply you make to me MAY be placed in the public domain.

1. Are you telling me that your interest in the various statue appeals (and the Tom Finney fundraising) is entirely philanthropic and that you receive no remuneration of any sort either personally or via companies you are connected with or via Mark James Cadman? If you receive remuneration please explain how this works.

2. Are you able to supply me with final accounts for the various projects please and the most up-to-date accounts in respect of Celebration Statue 79 and Rotherham Sporting Heritage Guild?

3. I am assuming that Mark Cadman is a close relative. Can you confirm the position please?

4. You say that the Celebration Statue bank account is "under the control" of SMBC. Can you elaborate? Which bank holds the account and what is the identity of the account holders? What do you mean by "control"? What is the actual name of the bank account?

5. Do you wish to make any comment in respect of your involvement with Mediasign Marketing Limited (in liquidation)?

6. What was your involvement with Media Lights Limited (in liquidation)?

7. Apart from Cornerstone Marketing Limited are you currently a director or shareholder of any other limited companies?

8. Companies House shows that you were involved in the following Companies: Intofootball Ltd; Intoprints & Memorabilia Ltd; Tunnel Vision Company Ltd; Pixsportique Ltd; James Cadman Associates Ltd; Football Heroes Ltd; Results from Print Ltd; Ninian Leisure Ltd and Full Time Communications Ltd. Have you been a director or shareholder of any other limited companies please?

Thank you for your time."


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                         t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone nos: 07599 983737 or 07584 759551

Thursday, 25 September 2014

A New Bog-gate Mystery!

Isn't it funny how "coincidences" keep cropping up in Sandwell?

Now anyone can be paid to put up an advertising board but just as a starter before the main course, take a look at this:

Taxi Advert
Regular readers will be familiar with the name of this Oldbury building - 12 Unity Place - owned by our old friends Abdul Naeem Quyam and Abdul Amean. Obviously by complete chance, the taxi firm advertised happens to be a limited company whose sole owner is one Adnan Hussain of another familiar address, 51 McKean Road - home of Sandwell Labour's joint deputy "leader" and spiritual guru, Cllr [sic] Mahboob Hussain. Adnan is one of his sons.

And now for the main course....yes, it's the bogs! In particular, the set in Albert Street, Oldbury. Yesterday there were some signs that there may be something happening. The signs say that "24/7 Cars" were due to open months ago in January, 2014. The only address I can find on the internet for 24/7 is 12 Unity Place. They might have to take the above board down!

Now here's a funny thing.... The owners of  the Albert Street bogs needed to apply for a change of use of the building from a pissoir to a taxi office. The big problem is that the roads around have parking restrictions - not ideal for a taxi business with drivers hanging about. But in an earlier post I mentioned that there is a large car park immediately behind the building which belongs to Labour Sandwell Council. Clearly it would be very helpful if a deal could be done......

The application for planning approval DC/13/56493 was dated 23rd October, 2013 and was signed by an agent for the applicant, Mr Anthony Hope, an architectural technologist from Kinver. Mr Hope felt able to sign this legal declaration on behalf of the applicant:

"Certificate of Ownership - Certificate A Town and Country Planning (Development Management Procedure) (England) Order 2010 Certificate under Article 12

 I certify/the applicant certifies that on the day 21 days before the date of this application nobody except  myself/the applicant was the owner (owner is a person with a freehold interest or leasehold interest with at least 7 years left to run) of any part of the land to which the application relates, and that none of the land to which the application relates is, or is part of, an agricultural holding (‘agricultural holding” has the meaning given by reference to the definition of “agricultural tenant ‘ in section 65(8) of the Act)."

So the applicant owned the property for 21 days before 23rd October, 2013. But hang on a minute. The applicant is NOT the owner of the bogs, Abdul Naeem Quyam, but a Mr Bobby Jandhu of 22 Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton!

Again, regular readers will note that address was (a) the office of Future Estates (b) one address used in Companies House documents by Abdul Amean and (c) the base for the business of Sukhdev Singh Jandhu. I am not sure if the latter is one and the same as "Bobby" Jandhu but as Quyam was the legal owner at HM Land Registry under title number MM8966 from 13th August, 2012 to, at least, 11th August, 2014 (when I did a search) Mr Hope appears to have told a massive porky in the planning application!

Wait! It does get even more "mysterious". Although the planning application was only submitted in late October, 2013 the "applicants" - whoever they might actually be - were confident enough of success for them to advertise the business opening in January, 2014. but things didn't quite go according to plan. There was a petition of 23 signatories against the change of use. Happily, however,  applicants need not have worried as the "socialists" were able to ignore this and grant the planning permission to, er, Mr Bobby Jandhu, on 19th December, 2013! Quite why the office hasn't opened yet remains a mystery. No doubt Jan Britton will hasten to investigate the apparent discrepancies in the application (snigger, sniff, burst out laughing....)

And yet there is another strange coincidence here. Mr Anthony Hope is also the agent for Oldbury property developer, Azeem Hafeez. Hafeez has built three houses on the corner of Broadwell Road and John Street, Oldbury pursuant to Sandwell planning application DC/13/55827. He owns the adjoining piece of land and has Sandwell planning permission for two shops and a flat above fronting Birmingham Road (DC/13/56514). More notably, he has planning permission for 12 apartments adjacent to 2 Clifford Street via DC/13/56501. But the icing on the cake is planning permission for 14 houses on land at the corner of Lodge Street and Old Street, Oldbury (DC/13/56684) which he managed to buy from the comrades themselves at Sandwell Council for a very "fair" £145,000. Mr Hafeez makes no secret in the planning documents that he is an employee of Sandwell Council AND the son of Cllr Mahboob Hussain.

It's all very odd but at least it does prove the old saying that "where there's life there's Hope!"


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                 t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Labour's sh*t deal!

Forget the Bedroom Tax - It's Seven-Bedroom Heaven for Some in Sandwell!

Sandwell Labour are adept at selling off taxpayer-owned property via offers and "sealed offers". They have a duty by law to obtain best value for property and they frequently use the "best offer" system to claim that this result has been achieved eg "we had two offers and sold the land to the highest bidder and so everything is Ok." But is it? Firstly this all presupposes that there is no corruption within Sandwell Council (heaven forfend) rigging the marketing and bidding processes; secondly, it presupposes that the properties have been marketed adequately and correctly (even in the absence of corruption) and, thirdly, there is no independent valuation of any sort to compare with the eventual outcome (although in the case of Bog-gate (a) the property was not marketed at all and (b) a valuation was obtained at taxpayers' expense and then ignored!)

Huge New House at Florence Road
And so we come to the demolished Poplar Grove site in Smethwick, off Florence Road. Back in October, 2011 the Council's Asset Management and Land Disposal (AMLD) committee (Chair - Mahboob Hussain) decided to sell off some of our land. Now it seems they had been getting a bit of flak back then for "unusual" dealings since this is what was said in the meeting agenda:

6.4 Despite plots being sold on this basis [ie the sealed bid method] numerous complaints have, over 
the years, been received from members of the public concerning the 
allocation of certain parcels of land particularly those sold at Manor Road, 
Smethwick, Florence Road, Smethwick, Roway Lane, Oldbury and Albion 
Street, Oldbury. The complaints mainly centre on allegations that the 
a. has (have) been acquired by developers and not individuals; 
b. that sales have been “fronted” by individuals on behalf of 
developers; and 
c. that the same individual has purchased more than one plot. 

6.5 It has not been possible to either prove or disprove these allegations but 
steps taken to address the issues raised have regrettably resulted in the 
plot purchaser encountering difficulties in obtaining finance and 
subsequently completing purchase and/or development of the plot. 

You will see that the "socialist" Council deflected criticism of themselves (which, of course, is NOT permitted) by saying that if they try and do anything else the poor old prospective purchasers lose out! Happily the AMLD decided they could press on with the "sealed offer", er, "system".

The meeting agenda stated that various plots would be sold separately as individual building projects whereby the individual purchasers would have a house built and then be obliged to live in it for one year before being allowed to sell. But the crafty comrades still wanted to keep everything secret. There were actually three agenda items on this subject at the meeting but two were redacted completely ie not available for taxpayers to see at all. The third document was for public view but was, itself, heavily redacted. Perhaps Sandwell Labour didn't want too many people finding out about these plots - a curious definition of "marketing" indeed!

And so we get this:

1.5 The following sites have been identified as being suitable to be offered for 
disposal as Individual Building Plots and it is therefore recommended that 
they be offered to the market taking account of the methods outlined in 
the report.
XX------------------------------------------XX – 10 plots 
XX---------------------------------------------------XX – 1 plot 
XX-------------------------------------------XX – 5 plots 
XX-----------------------------------XX – 1 plot 
XX------------------------------------------XX – 1 plot 
XX---------------------------------------XX – 1 plot 
XX-------------------------------------------XX – 10 plots 

This is how things are hidden and I would never have been able to pick up on this story but for an anonymous informant.

A curious thing here is that this plot is a very large one (it was previously occupied by a terrace of no less than 8 small houses - Poplar Grove - which were demolished - no doubt at taxpayers' expense - to provide a nice clear vacant plot). It is not clear to me why the cunning comrades thought this large plot was only suitable for a single dwelling and that this would constitute better value for the taxpayer than selling it off for two or three houses. Clearly they could not possibly have had anyone in mind as a suitable occupier and the sealed bid "system" would not assist such favouritism in any event. It seems that the AMLD just thought that there was an urgent and pressing need for more seven-bedroomed mansions in Cape Hill!

And so the AMLD decided to proceed with the sealed bid method AND to conduct all the marketing "in-house". As a result of a Freedom of Information request I put in on your behalf, dear readers,  I am told that there was an unspecified marketing campaign which lasted "four to five weeks". No details have been supplied as to the nature of the marketing and the period was very short indeed. 

One of the rules was that bidders had to pay £75 before bidding. Our old friend at Sandwell Council, David Willetts (who provided the misleading Bog-gate response) says that three bids were received. One was knocked out as the bidder didn't pay the fee and the Council accepted the higher of the two remaining bids (although they have refused to say what these two bids actually were). It appears that there was no independent valuation done of any sort but £128,000 per annum Head of Legal, Neeraj Sharma, was clearly happy that best value had been secured and authorised the sale (at least she was given that job by the AMLD committee and so I assume she did).

Now, of course, the big question is who bought the house? Well Sandwell Labour won't say. They say the Council still retains the freehold which will only be transferred when a separate building contract is completed. You will see from the photo that works are nearing completion. Thereafter they STILL won't tell the taxpayer who owns the land and so I will have to pay a fee and apply to HM Land Registry for the information on your behalf (which should include the price).

I know that you are disappointed, readers, with this outcome but perhaps I can cheer you up with some details of the planning application which was made by Mr Mohammed Shauib. Whilst it does not always follow with planning applications, I am working on the assumption that he is the "owner" who is building the house. By happy coincidence, Mr Shauib is the son of Labour Councillor, Mohammad Rouf.


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                              t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Tuesday, 23 September 2014

Bog-gate! Why did Ian Jones lie to the BBC?

The plot thickens!

Just for the benefit of new readers, Labour Sandwell Council had three disused toilet blocks which were standing empty for a considerable period of time. The canny comrades didn't seek to market the bogs or to auction them despite all "the cuts". Out of the blue however, Mr Abdul Naeem Quyam somehow found out about them and made "an offer". Without further ado they are sold to him for £35,000 even though the sleazy "socialists" paid £1,200 of OUR money for a report which gave a total valuation of £130,000!

I put in a Freedom of Information request about this and two employees of Sandwell Council provided misleading/false information in reply - inadvertently, I am sure.

The BBC picked up on the story and on 21st August Labour Councillor and Cabinet Member no less, Ian Jones, appeared on BBC WM (a local radio station) on the Adrian Goldberg Show. It should be specifically noted that Jones has, according to the SMBC website, been on the Asset Management and Land Disposal Committee since 17th August, 2011 and so he should speak with some authority on such matters. But rather than address the matter in hand (as it were) Jones spent much of the interview slagging me off for allegedly having a "vendetta" against the Council and for having the temerity to make Freedom of Information requests. The need for such requests will become immediately apparent below!

But, most importantly, Jones made the extraordinary statement LIVE ON BBC RADIO that the valuation report had been obtained  from the District Valuer, Mr J Page, AFTER the bogs had been sold. He even embellished this my saying this happens "quite frequently" in Sandwell Council!!!! (See my post of 21st August - "Bog Scandal Latest - Valuation done AFTER Sale!)

Quite why Sandwell Council would obtain a valuation AFTER the event was a mystery to us all including Mr Goldberg. But it now seems that this is yet another lie in this sorry saga.

Following the radio interview and amazed at Jones's bizarre comments about the post-sale valuation I put in a new FoI request. These are the material requests and replies (incidentally, the reply is from one of the two Council Officers who mislead me on the first request relating to the bogs):

1. Please state how the offers were communicated to SMBC and to whom. If in writing, please disclose the written offers.

1. The offers were received via email by a Council Officer in Property Services.

The Council Officer is not named and the e-mail has not been disclosed (even in redacted form). It is later said that the final "offer" was received on 8th March, 2012 but it will not be disclosed as this is "exempted information due to commercial sensitivity"! As we know the bogs were actually sold for £35k this is nonsense and is a perfect example of Sandwell Labour's utter contempt for Freedom of Information law. The information is only "sensitive" because Labour don't want you and I to see it!

3. Please state the date of Mr Page's Valuation Report and disclose same.

3. The District Valuers report is dated 23rd May 2012. I am, however, unable to provide a copy of same since it was provided to the Council upon the strict understanding that it would not be published, in any form, without the express consent of the District Valuer. In addition, some of the information contained in the report is commercially sensitive information which for the purposes of the Freedom of Information Act 2000 is exempted information.

And so Labour Cabinet member Ian Jones lied about this to the BBC since the report was clearly dated 23rd May, 2012 and SMBC did NOT convey the bogs to Quyam until 13th August, 2012. Further, SMBC entered into some sort of "side" agreement with Quyam in June, 2012 - again after the date of the valuation. Note that the answer does not say whether the District Valuer has actually been ASKED to give consent to disclosure and why would he object - the sale has gone through long ago? Remember - you and I as taxpayers paid £1,200 for this report which Sandwell Labour say we are not allowed to see. Of course, we now know the valuation was £130,000 and that the sale went though at an undervaluation over two years ago and so it is ludicrous to claim "commercial sensitivity" when what the comrades actually want to maintain is absolute secrecy.

Of course, the BIG question that now arises is why, armed with a valuation of £130,000 in May, 2012 the rabid reds sold the bogs to Quyam for £95,000 less just three months later? I think I know why and I am close to making a connection for you! Watch this space...... The other BIG question is why Jones said what he did on live BBC radio. I am sure he will wish to answer that straight away!

 Please disclose the agreement of 22nd June, 2012 AND any other written agreements that may exist between the named parties in respect of the three properties.


This was the side agreement between SMBC and Quyam referred to above. This request has just been totally ignored.

It goes without saying that I am now forced to have to apply for an internal review in respect of the piss-poor responses to my legitimate and clear FoI request! Perhaps if Sandwell Labour were open in their dealings all this nonsense could be avoided......


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                          t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant_

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Friday, 19 September 2014

Hussain - New Three-Year Five Star Contract Shocker!

Back in 2010 the loony Labour lefties tendered for the provision of taxi services in Sandwell to run to 31/08/13 (31st August may, perhaps, be a significant date). Incredibly they priced the tender in the official notice at £18 million but then they had been raking in lots of Government loot during the Blair/Brown years and were spending like drunken sailors (apologies to inebriated mariners).

Now Five Star Taxis (half owned by Councillor Hussain and family) either didn't tender for the work at this stage or tendered and were rejected (yes, ok, the latter scenario seems unlikely). But the fact of the matter is that the contract was recorded in the Official Journal of the European Union (OJEU) 11166-2011 OJEU s008, 13.01.11 and a number of local firms were awarded the work.

(Just as an aside, if you are wondering where you might have seen OJEU Notices before - this was the fiddle Sandwell Labour relied on to gift the multi-million pound Public conversion contract to Interserve without putting it out to tender).

Now Five Star were NOT named as a contracting party in the OJEU Notice and yet, somehow, they came to be allowed into the contract in 2012.  I have been searching for documentation regarding this to no avail. It could be that Five Star took over a firm that was already a named party but I just don't know at this stage. I am asking Sandwell Council (don't hold your breath). Of course, the clown Cooper was now "in charge" of the circus.

Clearly it would be a good thing to get in on the contract with a year to go and with the expectation of then being able to participate in the tendering for the next three year period. I speculated in my earlier blogs that the contract was from 1st September, 2012 since Deputy "Leader" Mahboob Hussain gave up the Company secretaryship on 31st August, 2012 and transferred his remaining shareholding on the same date.

Now there must have been some slight hiatus around 31st August, 2013 because the incompetent "socialists" did not grant the new contract until 30th January, 2014 to take effect from 24th February, 2014. I am assuming that the original firms just kept working as normal in the intervening period. Certainly Five star continued to rake in the cash. But Five Star went through some sort of "tendering process" (AGAIN) at SMBC but no-one apparently saw a conflict of interest - if the Hussain family shareholding was ever declared. And if it was not - well that is why the Police need to take a look at all this. Let's hope no SMBC employees are implicated in any way.

BUT WHAT JOY! NOW FIVE STAR WERE LEGIT AS THEY WERE A NAMED PARTY TO THE CONTRACT VIA OJEU AWARD 52293 - 2014! The contract runs until 23rd February, 2017 with the option to extend for a further year!

Sadly, the winds of change have been blowing financially and the value of the three year contract is down from £18m to, er £3.4m!!!! ADDENDUM 25/09/14 - CORRECTION - SMBC documents say this is actually £3.5m PER ANNUM ie £10.5m in all.

In the last financial year Five Star earned a minimum of £60,471.75p from Labour which would normally (being in excess of £60,001) trigger a referral to the Cabinet Member responsible (presumably Comrade Crompton) but I am sure they will say that rule doesn't apply as the tender was all done via OJEU Notice! Of course. they have had just short of £100 grand in all.

Now Hussain has not disclosed his or his family's interest in Five Star via the SMBC website nor via his Declaration in the Register of Members' Interests. I am sure he wouldn't use his influence (cough) to force SMBC to give Five Star extra work but they are in for a decent share of £3.4m (Correction as above 25/09/14 - now share of £10.5m) until February, 2017. Why the mainstream media are not picking up on this scandal is beyond me but the least I can do is put the facts before you.

Finally, there seems to be some incredulity regarding the Hussain family's shareholdings in Five Star and so here are the relevant edited details from the actual Companies House Records. Now you see it - now you don't - then you do again!

Save that Hussain's son, Adnan, makes a brief appearance it as as previously stated:

Company 06657553 - Five Star Taxis and Minibuses Limited

Councillor Mahboob Hussain starts with a 30% shareholding and his wife, Nasreen Begum 20%:

Annual Return 23/04/10 Mrs Hussain (Nasreen Begum) 20%; Councillor Mahboob Hussain 10%; Son - Adnan Hussain 20% (seemingly acquired from Daddy on 28th July, 2008).

Annual Return 23/04/2011 Mrs Hussain (Nasreen Begum) 20%; Councillor Mahboob Hussain 10%; Son - Adnan Hussain 20%;

Annual Return 09/10/12 (bit late this one......) Mrs Hussain (Nasreen Begum) 20%; Councillor Hussain 0% Having disposed of 10% shareholding to daughter 31/08/12; Son - Adnan Hussain 0% having disposed of 20% on 1st September, 2011 - presumably to his Sister (Councillor Hussain's daughter) Shasta Parveen who now holds Hussain's original 30%;

Annual return 09/10/13 Mrs Hussain 20%; Daughter - Shasta Parveen 30%;

Annual return 22/07/14 (after the award of the new contract via the OJEU Notice) Mrs Hussain 20%; Daughter Shasta Parveen 0% and dear old Councillor Mahboob Hussain 30% again!

Maybe he thought he was untouchable having bagged the new three/four year contract? Whatever. He certainly is one arrogant f**cking cock (pardon my French)!


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                               t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737


Thursday, 18 September 2014

Hussain Taxi Scandal Latest!

In last night's post I pointed out the murky circumstances surrounding the award of a contract (worth £100k so far) by Labour Sandwell Council to Five Star Taxis.

This morning I have risen from my sick bed again and can provide you with more shocking relevations.

The first payment under the contract was made on 1st October, 2012 and one must assume that this was for work done by Five Star in September, 2012. At this stage we do not know what tendering or other procurement process was undertaken by Sandwell's sleazy "socialists" but obviously there must have been a course of, er, "negotiations" before September, 2012. This makes sense if the contract started on 1st September, 2012 since Mahboob Hussain, one of Labour's Deputy "Leaders", actually resigned as Company Secretary on 31st August, 2012 (but, as above, one must assume there where some ongoing pre-contract dealings when he still WAS Company Secretary). The resignation was not actually registered by Companies House until 9th October, 2012 when the contract was up and running.

Readers of yesterday's blog will know that Husssain was, however, also the majority SHAREHOLDER in Five Star although he managed to omit this fact from his 
Declaraion of Interests. Then his shares were transferred to one Shasta Parveen.

In fact, the transfer of the shareholding process was a two-stage affair. Hussain had 30 of the 100 shares and transferred 20 to Shasta Parveen on 1st September, 2011. The reason for this is not immediately clear. Hussain kept 10 shares in his own name during the presumed pre-contract negotiations since he only transferred them to Shasta Parveen on the eve of the Sandwell Council contract starting and on the same day he resigned the Company Secretaryship ie 31st August, 2012.

Lest we forget, during the whole period of the contract to at least 22nd July, 2014 another 20% of the shares were held by Nasreen Begum - who shares the same name as Mahboob Hussain's wife. In law the share ownership is  most definitely what is called a "beneficial interest". Now in Hussain's previous Declaration of Interests AND the new one he has JUST completed on 11th September, 2014 (a week ago) Hussain answered "None" when he was asked to declare:

"Any contract which is made between you and your partner or a body in which you and/or your partner have a beneficial interest and the Council (a) under which goods or services are to be provided or works are to be executed: and (b) which has not been fully discharged."

Assuming this Nasreen Begum IS Mrs Mahboob Hussain then this is an outright lie in a legal declaration.

Now here is a funny thing, since Hussain has now taken the shareholding off Shasta Parveen back into his own name on a date between 9th October, 2013 and 22nd July, 2014. Five Star have been getting much lower payments recently but Hussain has taken back the shareholding at the VERY latest on 22nd July, 2014 but again failed to mention it in his Declaration of Interests of just last week even though SMBC paid Five Star at least another £2,639.52p in August!

Oh and by the way, my website only shows a person's Mother and not their Father but Shasta Parveen was born in November, 1988. And her Mother? Nasreen Begum - wife of Cllr Mahboob Hussain.

Looks like another job for the Boys'n'Girls in Blue to take a look at!


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                               t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Mahboob "I Work the Whole City" Hussain

I have recently been researching the "Mahboob Hussain Family Tree". That gentleman is, of course, one of the two Labour Deputy "Leaders" [sic] at Sandwell Council. I have sent him a couple of e-mails to clarify certain relationships but for some reason he has declined to reply.....

In my blog of 19th May, 2014 "Skidder Shorts No. 11 - Five Star Sandwell!" I pointed out that Five Star Taxis and Minibuses Limited of Dudley had, er, "won" lucrative taxi work from the incompetent "socialists". It will be interesting to see the procurement procedure here! In financial year 2012/13 the comrades paid Five Star a mere £30,744.54p but in 2013/2014, and despite all the alleged "Tory cuts", this rocketed to £60.471.75p! From 5th August, 2009 to 9th October, 2012 (overlapping with the contract) Hussain was Five Star's Company Secretary.

The largesse of the lefty loonies has been curtailed this financial year (at least so far). I can only record payments over £500 for the first five months (which, of course, excludes any possible payments under £500) which amount to just £8,432.12p. Still, just another £351.59p and that's "just" £100K!!!!!

The Sandwell Council website shows that Hussain's only declaration of a personal interest in respect of taxis was to a "Cabinet" meeting way back on 19th May, 2004 and solely in respect of the "Forward Plan for the Taxi and Private Hire Service". He has recorded his, unspecified, "employment" with Five Star in the Register of Members' Interests.

But in my recent research, I decided to go back in time with searches relating to Five Star and found this list of SHAREHOLDERS as at 28th July, 2009:

50 shares - Abdul Quyyam* (20); Amar Quyyam (20) and Kaneez Begum (10);

50 shares - Mahboob Hussain (30); Nasreen Begum (20).

But at some later point there was a change in shareholding. By 9th October, 2013 the shares are in the same holdings as above save that Hussain's majority 30% is now owned by one "Shasta Parveen".

With the contract bringing in big money Nasreen Begum still retains her 20% shareholding. It may be pure coincidence and this might be another person but one Nasreen Begum is Mahboob Hussain's wife living with him at 51 McKean Road, Oldbury!

Now here is another coincidence. The Peopletracer website shows that from at least 2007 to 2013 the 18-25 year-old, Ms Shasta Parveen was an occupier of, er, 51 McKean Road, Oldbury - home of Labour's Mahboob Hussain!

As ever, information welcome and I would also like to know if another alleged resident at 51 McKean Road, Nigat Loreen, is the wife of Hussain's eldest son, Naveed?

I am sure SMBC were well aware of the above shareholdings before doling out such huge sums and they will produce the necessary paperwork and declarations. No doubt Chief Executive Jan Britton will be anxious to explain all!

(* NOT - apparently - to be confused with the Abdul Naeem Quyam of Boggate fame!)


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Monday, 15 September 2014

Bog-gate - Help Please!

Pure coincidence? Well Jamila Bibi is a very common name (honestly, it really is).....

Remember the sale of the three sets of bogs? Empty and unmarketed and then up pops Abdul Naeem Quyam to make an offer which is rapidly accepted by Labour SMBC - without a valuation (it was done afterwards!).

I believe that Mr Quyam ("ANQ") was born on 16th August, 1979 to JAMILA BIBI in, er, Rotherham.

A curiosity is thrown up on the Peopletracer website in that it first shows ANQ at 25 Bridge Street, Oldbury from around 1998 to around 2004 and that during some of that time another occupant was JAMILA BIBI (now aged 56 to 60). But then Peopletracer appear to show ANQ at two different addresses for overlapping periods which cannot be correct (and these commercial websites do contain errors). He is shown as allegedly being on the voters roll at 42 Warley Road, Oldbury from around 2012 to 2014 but also on the voters roll at 52 Warley Road, Oldbury 2010 to 2014. Similarly his occupancy at that same website is shown as 2008 to 2014 at No. 42 and 2006 to 2013 at No. 52. I invite Mr Quyam to contact The Skidder to put the record straight.

A Land Registry search of No 42 shows that it is a Council house owned by SMBC. Peopletracer show one resident as being JAMILIA (note spelling) BIBI. Perhaps someone out there can confirm whether this is just a misprint.....

No 52 was a SMBC Council House but was sold in 2004 to Mohammed and Ishtiaq Razzaq although the current owner (via HM Land Registry) is now a Mr Abdul Majeed (possibly also known as Abdul Majid). Besides being shown as a recent occupier of the property ANQ also used this address - ie No. 52 - when he purchased the three blocks of bogs and that is his address as shown at HM Land Registry. Accordingly, I assume he is known to Mr Majeed.

Regular readers will be familiar with the name Abdul Amean. According to Peopletracer (and I must again caution as to accuracy) this shows him at 25 Bridge Street 1998 to 2005 (voters roll 2002-2006) and then also at 52 Warley Road 2007 to 2013 (voters roll 2009). He was born on 26th October, 1977 in Sheffield to JAMILLA (note spelling) BIBI.

It would appear that ANQ and Mr Amean may be brothers and perhaps someone out there can help me with that?

No. 52 is the registered address for Unity Property Investments Limited which owns some or all of 3 flats and some other land making up 12 Unity Place, Oldbury. Amean is the Company Secretary (and a shareholder) and ANQ the sole director and both give their address at Companies House as 52 Warley Road.

12 Unity Place was the proposed registered office address for a Company which has now been struck off at Companies House - X Catalogue Limited. ANQ was a Director giving his address as 52 Warley Road and Amean was Company Secretary but this time he gave his address as the Council-owned house - 42 Warley Road! All very curious.

It seems Amean was not connected with the second incarnation of Central Property Line Limited (07661284) where ANQ was a Director and shareholder giving no. 52 as his address. Of course, that Company has also been struck off at Companies House.

But what is this? On 26th November, 2013 (ie recently) ANQ incorporated a new Company and with, as we shall see, an interesting name - Futures Eco Systems Limited. The proposed registered office address was the Council house at 42 Warley Road but Quyam gave 12 Unity place as his "address for service". The Companies House documents show ANQ as the sole shareholder at, er, 42 (yes Forty Two) Warley Road! Note the use of the word "Futures"....

Let me take you on a short excursion here if I may. On the Albert Street bogs is a sign advertising the property from "Futures Estate Agents" and they also cropped up in a newspaper article by the Wolverhampton C-S's about the bogs in Jervoise Lane dated 6th June, 2013. I had long been trying to tie up some loose ends as the C-S's article didn't make sense. A "spokesman" for Futures allegedly said that:

"The current owner of the toilets acquired them through auction about six months ago. Sandwell Council sold them for £10,000 in August last year."

But elsewhere in the same article the C-S's said, "The owners purchased the property a few years ago".

Neither of these statements is true (not that the C-S's will worry about that) since ANQ did acquire this particular set of bogs for £10k from Labour SMBC but not via auction. The article seems to suggest that there had been a change of ownership since the £10k sale but that is not true as on 10th August, 2014 ANQ was still shown as the sole owner at HM Land Registry!

If you "Google" Futures you will find them at www.futuresproperty.co.uk with an address at 22 Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton where they also trade as Futures Property Management. One of the two "contacts" on the website is one Suki Jandu. I imagine that FPM stands for Futures Property Management and that Suki Jandu is one and the same as a Director of that Company until he resigned in 2011, Sukhdev Singh Jandu. (Please note that I make no suggestion here of any impropriety by Mr Jandu).

I will give you two guesses at the registered office for FPM (UK). Well it had to be one or the other and, indeed, it is 52 Warley Road. The sole Director is one Abdul Amean who gives his "service address" as 22 Chapel Ash, Wolverhampton. He is the sole shareholder of the Company.

(Just for the record Mr Amean is also the sole Director and Shareholder of a Company called Veson Limited whose registered office and service addresses are now, er, 52 Warley Road.)

All very interesting! But there is one final piece of information I need you to help me with. Are ANQ and/or Abdul Amean related to a female known as Nigat Loreen born in early 1982 in, er, Rotherham to JAMILAN (note spelling) BIBI? Your help with that would be particularly interesting!

My contact details are shown below....


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                    t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Link to Blog re SMBC Goose Murders and Online Petition...

I have refrained from dealing with the industrial scale culling of Canada Geese by Labour Sandwell Council since Mr Ian Carroll has been doing such an excellent job via Freedom of Information requests and his own blog/website. Ian has now started a petition against the slaughter - see below.

The new [sic] "caring" and "open" Sandwell Labour have recently, er, changed the rules to actually make petitioning the Council more difficult! Quite why this should be when they simply binned the huge petition to save The Public and the recent one trying to save youth services is a mystery..... (In the former case, the ludicrous "leader" of SMBC, Cooper, also took to his "personal" [sic] Twitter account to mock and deride the Petitioners - consultation indeed!) Having said that, the petition is still one of the few methods #sandwellscrutineers have to draw the attention of Labour Councillors in the Pyongyang-style regime to the displeasure of us proles at their high-handedness.

Please take a look at Ian's blog on his website and you will see a familiar story of evasion by Sandwell Labour -


If you LIVE or WORK in Sandwell can I please also refer you to Ian's petition -



e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                            t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Thursday, 11 September 2014

Lying Lucy Takes the P*ss!

On 8th September, 2014 the Labour liar Cashmore made a new Declaration in the Sandwell Council Register of Members' Interests. She has finally admitted that she is employed (by a Company owned by the Express and Star) but, incredibly, has again stated in her legal declaration that she is a "non-paying tenant" of her parents, Sandwell Labour Councillors Linda and Roger Horton at xx Hall Road, Smethwick!!!!!

Lying Lucy

Let us have a look at this a bit more closely. Dealing firstly with the employment situation, although she has finally come clean she lied on her previous legal declaration of 17th July, 2012 or else is lying on her LinkedIn "CV". On that important date she states she was working for Prime Time Recruitment in Birmingham. She failed to correct the record when she moved to First Personnel in February, 2013 and when she was promoted by them in March, 2014 as "Regional Manager". That didn't last long and she moved back to branch management with Star Employment Services (owned by the Wolverhampton C-S's) in July, 2014. Again she failed to correct the Register until now.

Two days ago, £128,000 per annum Head of Sandwell Council Legal Neeraj Sharma chose to implicate herself in all this and wrote to me saying that "Cashers" had completed a new Declaration "a few weeks ago" but useless SMBC hadn't had time to put it on the website! How strange then that the Declaration that has now been uploaded is dated 8th September, 2014! Even if all this was true, she has been lying for more than a "few weeks" but from the date of her false Declaration of 17th July, 2012! (Reminder - to give a false/misleading declaration is a criminal offence).

And now to the question of residence. Unfortunately some websites are notoriously inaccurate but the only period where Cashmore seems to appear on the internet for xx Hall Road, Smethwick is 1996 to 2000. She married Dave (who is employed by Labour Sandwell Council) in May, 2002. I believe that they were living together at 14 Shrewton Avenue, Druids Heath, Birmingham from 2003 to December, 2007 when they jointly bought their current home at xxx Lindsworth Road, Kings Norton, Birmingham B30 3RT.

Of course, the liar Cashmore would not have been able to stand for Sandwell Council in 2011 if she did not live or work in Sandwell. This is what the Electoral Commission says in its Guidance Notes as to the residence requirement for would-be councillors:

Qualification 2: occupying as owner or tenant
any land or other premises in the local
authority area

1.6 You must have occupied as owner or tenant any land or
other premises in the local authority area during the whole of 
the 12 months before the day of your nomination and before 
polling day

The 2011 election was on 5th May, 2011 and even if it were true (!) that Cashers was shacking up with Linda & Rog she would have needed to have been there from 6th May, 2010. And yet legal documents at Companies House show that as at 21st June, 2010 she was giving her address as xxx Lindsworth Road! Even in her warped version of events she did not qualify to stand in the election but when I wrote to the Returning Officer for the election (£164,000 per annum Sandwell Council Chief Executive Jan Britton) he replied, "I have no reason to believe that there was any "irregularity" concerning Councillor Cashmore's nomination or election." Ms Sharma has recently WRITTEN saying much the same thing!

The Peopletracer website states that The Liar has been on the electoral roll at xxx Lindsworth Road from 2008 to 2013. I tried to double-check this yesterday but, unfortunately the historic records from 2007 are at the British Library. What I can tell you is the Lucy and Dave are most definitely on the February 2014 Register at xxx Lindsworth Road! Now this creates another problem for Cashers. She and Dave jointly own xxx Lindsworth Road but ownership of property is not the test for voter registration - it is RESIDENCY. To register you must be RESIDENT at the address given. And so if Lucy really was living in Smethwick how can she be registered as being resident at xxx Lindsworth Road? Either she or Sandwell employee Dave have given a legal declaration - probably annually - that they are both resident at Lindsworth whilst in her election nomination papers and the Register (even now) La Cashmore claims that she is not! This is potentially another criminal offence and I have written to Birmingham City Council electoral department asking them to launch an urgent investigation. Perhaps this is something else the local constabulary can also look into!

Clearly the Hortons have been aware of this situation since my first blog on the subject appeared on 3rd July, 2014. I wonder what their view of the situation is.....? Are THEY backing Lucy's claim of Smethwick residence?

September, 2012 - at Lindsworth Road?
I invite anyone with knowledge of The Labour Liar's residence/occupation since the beginning of 2010 to contact me. This woman will not resign and now with her latest Declaration she appears to be putting two fingers up to us all! Bristnall - you've got a brahma here!


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                       t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Tuesday, 9 September 2014

Late Final - Cashmore and Mosque Parking Exclusives!

Oh dear, oh dear. I have now heard from £128,000 per annum Head of Legal at Labour Sandwell who says that she has "no reason to believe that Councillor Cashmore has provided a false of misleading address either during her election OR (my emphasis) in her Register of Members' Interests". We shall see....

And as for the false statement about not working - well blow me down with a feather - Cashmore DID update her Register "a few weeks ago" but silly old SMBC haven't had time to upload it onto their website yet - even when they changed her photo over! And so we await a, er, "new" declaration!

But what is this! On the Mosque parking front the AMLD have decided NOT to sell the land at an undervalue at the present time until the development plans for the whole of the Shaftesbury House site are known. They are, however, going to grant the Mosque a license to use the plot as a car park until the whole thing is sorted out (a possible course of action suggested by The Skidder). What is NOT known at the present time is (a) whether the Mosque will actually be making payment for this "license" and, if so, how much (noting that there will have to be the cost of an entrance to Earl Street) and (b) whether SMBC have bothered to consult the residents of Earl Street at all on even this limited plan as they will be affected by it! Of course, "consultation" is not a Sandwell Labour "strong point".

Clearly the #sandwellscrutineers will have to ensure that no dodgy deal slides through unnoticed at a later date!


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                  t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Monday, 8 September 2014

250 Year Deal with Tax Haven Company Spells the End for Oldbury!

Remember the Birchley Island Casino fiasco when the so-called Sandwell "socialists" swallowed their "principles" and tried to force through a second gambling den in the Borough? Well this is even worse and the prospects for the hole that is Oldbury look very bleak indeed.

I make no apology for the length of this post but you won't get the facts from Sandwell Labour nor from the likes of The Express & Star. This is a disaster and people in Sandwell need to know the truth.

Let's wind back a bit. In 2007 the thief Thomas was still Labour leader and the comrades entered their disastrous deal with BT modestly-named "Transform Sandwell". This was surrounded by the usual PR bollocks (compare and contrast with the current campaign in respect of The Public whilst the actual truth is still being kept secret). This is what "Mr Rotherham" Eling said at the time, though remember that this is the same man who was so "mistaken" about the casino legal costs and recently introduced the illegal CTR scheme which has cost the Borough a minimum of £700,000:

"Deputy council leader, Cllr Steve Eling has described Sandwell's partnering project as one of the biggest and most ambitious in the West Midlands.

He said: "This is a fantastic opportunity for the council to improve the quality of its backroom business services, which will have a knock-on effect in boosting services on the frontline.

"It will secure a level of investment in our business and computer systems and specialist experience in boosting efficiency that would simply not have been possible for us to achieve on our own.

"And on top of improving council services and our way of working, we are delighted we have also been able to negotiate such a beneficial package of measures for Sandwell as a whole with the creation of new jobs and a new multi-million pound regional business centre in All Saints Way, West Bromwich." (ie Providence Place).

As ever, with the alleged "socialists" every project is forced through without thought or consultation on the speculative basis that it will "create jobs".

Of course, my esteemed colleagues the #sandwellscrutineers were not around then and so the whole deal was kept secret. The press said it was a £300m deal but also said it was £15m for 15 years which makes, er, £225m but as we know the local media don't care about small matters like accuracy. I should add here that there has been one local campaigner who has been working tirelessly to expose a massive fraud within the contract itself but I will have to pass by that in this post. Curiously if you add 15 years to 2007 it would mean the contract was due to end in 2022 (see further below).

Of course, the comrades pay lip service to helping the disadvantaged in society but act differently in reality (again it took a High Court Judge to hammer them in July for their discriminatory and illegal actions). Like Brown and Balls they love to suck-up to big capitalist companies like BT and Interserve. In no/low aspiration Sandwell the only thing they are good at is pleading poverty to every Government Department or quango and holding out the begging bowl. Thus outside bodies get sucked into joke "regeneration" schemes which always involve colossal expense (eg BSF).

And so a huge office block was planned for 1 Providence Place. The comrades managed to screw £11m out of (the now defunct) Advantage West Midlands and so what could possibly go wrong with a "guaranteed" tenant - BT divvying up the rent until 2022 at least.........

Sandwell Council hold the freehold of the 1 Providence Place under title number WM822305 but despite the £11m from AWM they apparently needed to get the money men in for this development. What better for the sleazy "socialists" to do than contract with a financial/real estate company BASED IN THE TAX-HAVEN OF GUERNSEY! Thus a 250-year lease from 3rd August, 2010 was granted (the headlease) the useless hypocrites to Invista Foundation (West Bromwich) Limited for £14.9m pounds. Before you get too excited the builders were also party to this deal and would have received the bulk of the loot. There is nothing in the simple Land Registry title WM981972 suggesting what, if any, rent Invista are paying to the freeholder - SMBC. It would appear from the Cabinet Report referred to below that there is just a peppercorn rent ie a purely nominal annual sum and not any "real" money.

It sounds nice and local doesn't it - Invista Foundation (West Bromwich) Limited. I will spare you the effort of putting their name in the search box of Sandwell Council's website since you will draw a complete blank despite their involvement in this major project. You won't find them at Companies House either since they are actually registered at Trafalgar Court, Les Banques, St Peter Port, Guernsey GY1 3YL. As ever Sandwell's loony lefties have kept everything secret but then it wouldn't look very good would it to be getting into bed with tax-haven capitalists!

There is one oddity in the legal title WM981972 to the Guernsey tax-dodger (sorry, tax-efficient business) in that the Homes and Community Agency pops up again with a restriction against disposition without their consent. I can only imagine that this may be to protect the £11m put in by the now defunct AWM but am unable to enlighten you further on that at this time.

(Curiously, there is lots of media coverage including official stock exchange stuff that Invista had exchanged contracts to sell their interest for a quick profit in March 2012 but nothing seems to have come of that...???)

By now the thief had been replaced by the thicko at the "top" of Sandwell Council and the new "leader" was quick to boast about the great regeneration project Labour were delivering. As the huge, ugly, office block neared completion another lease - an underlease - was granted in 2011. You will recall from the above that the original BT deal was for 15 years from 2007 but I can only assume that at this point in time Labour were delighted with BT since the new lease was to run for 15 years again but from 20th October, 2011 ie until 2026.

I should just mention that I have only done a current search at HM Land Registry which does not give an historic view and so I can't quite give you chapter and verse. The actual title number is WM992279 and, as above it is a 15-year lease from October, 2011. Here, as above, I must speculate slightly. This lease was from Invista either to BT and/or a third party and then two sub-leases (apparently unregistered) were granted to BT companies to actually occupy PART of the wretched building OR this lease was from Invista to Sandwell Council who themselves granted two sub-leases to BT to actually occupy PART of the building. Whatever the position Invista were to get an extremely high rent (particularly for West Brom) and - even better - a rent increase of 3% per annum!!!!!

And so the moronic egomaniac Labour "leader", Darren "The Turdmeister" Cooper, was quick to hail yet another brilliant Labour "deal":

 “Working in partnership to attract inward investment is key to our regeneration programme, and the opening of this flagship BT building is at the very heart of that.

“Today is about celebrating all that is good about Sandwell – all that we have achieved so far and looking with confidence to the future as our ambitious regeneration plans take shape at an astonishing pace.

“Our partnership with BT has been a very positive experience for Sandwell and its staff. The opening of this building and the wider regeneration of West Bromwich illustrate what we can achieve thanks to partnerships like these.”

Of course, Sandwell Labour miss no opportunity to spend taxpayers' money on sport and so Transform Sandwell forked out a no-doubt huge fee for some ex-Olympian to formally open the building in 2012 even though there was no sporting connexion whatsoever. Narsiccist Cooper- in Olympic year - was anxious to get in on that act too!

In all the secrecy, self-congratulation and lying there was a small point that was not put into the public domain. BT were so committed to the future of Sandwell they had break-clauses in their leases in 2017 and, as the recent Cabinet report suggests, they were only actually occupying part of the building in any event. (If there was empty space upon which SMBC was paying high rents why was this not considered for SIPS or even the grasping College?)

By July, 2013 the whole "brilliant" partnership which Labour had agreed with BT was falling apart and the great deal was terminated on 30th March, 2014 at who knows (at present) what cost - certainly millions. Of course, it goes without saying that this is being kept secret. And all this is Labour's OWN handiwork - nothing to do with The Government or the nasty Tories!

In 2008 the comrades agreed a new office accomodation strategy. As the lefties were sacking their own staff on a regular basis even they recognised that they needed less office space but they haven't even been able to manage even that simple requirement. They have, for example, been landed with the huge Shaftesbury House on High Street, West Bromwich which is being allowed to sit empty and rot whilst SMBC through its SIPS partnership has very recently agreed to lease THREE floors of Guardian House - one of the most expensive office blocks in West Brom! (Incidentally, despite these financial disasters SMBC want to sell off part of the Shaftesbury House car park at an UNDERVALUE to a nearby mosque - see posts passim).

There is some dispute about the size of Providence Place but a Sandwell Council Cabinet Report (which, like The Public Fundamental Review couldn't possibly contain lies) puts it at 75,900 sq ft. It is not clear from the Cabinet report how much rent BT are paying until they exercise their get-out in 2017 but the shifty socialists say the current rental is £1,311,273 ie a stonking £17.28p per sq ft (which sets an interesting benchmark when we eventually find out the lease details for the bent Public deal!) As above this is going UP by 3% per annum. The Land Registry title WM992279 shows the underlease as being in the name of "The Borough Council of Sandwell" but, curiously, only from 22nd April, 2014! This suggests, as above, that there was some sort of different arrangement prior to the break-up of the whole BT contract on 30th March, 2014 and that this new arrangement was then registered. Whatever, this meant that SMBC was potentially liable for a large chunk of the rent until 2017 and then THE WHOLE RENT (ever increasing by 3% per annum) from 2017 to 2026 unless they could sub-let. They would also have a potentially enormous bill from Guernsey at the end of the lease in 2026 for the wear and tear on the building (what is known as dilapidations).

Unless a sale has recently gone through then the morons are stuck with this deal but they have been trying to BORROW the money to buy out the headlease from Invista. Of course, they are borrowing like crazy already eg on behalf of the College for the bent Public conversion, for the endless stream of leisure centres and so on. Cooper's "wongaland" policy will put the present generation into hock AND THE NEXT. They say Invista (who paid £14.9m and have received very high rents too) will want between £20.8m and £21.5m to go away (and I wonder what capital gains tax they will pay on that in Guernsey!) But with stamp duty and other costs Labour will have to borrow £23.2m (although THEY claim that due to some sort of accounting con this is actually ONLY £19.7m!) One also imagines that the Guernsey boys will play hard-ball on the price.

But, as ever, the spin-doctors are out and claiming that this is all a great OPPORTUNITY for Sandwell in that Providence Place "delivers the advantage of acquiring a substantial asset that the Council is able to occupy as its premier head quarters facility." In other words, The Kremlin will have to go even though it was refurbed just two years ago by McDermotts at the taxpayers' expense. The offices at Jack Judge House in Oldbury were also only opened in 2011. But with such a huge and vastly expensive building sitting on their hands this is the only solution. Oldbury is like a ghost town as it is and the Kremlin moving to West Brom must be the death knell for the town. All brought about by pure incompetence.

Of course, BT will no longer be paying business rates when they ship out. It is possible that SMBC may be able to rent some of the building out but given their track record so far, don't hold your breath. No-one is going to acquire the Kremlin and so SMBC will probably have to pay for demolition and how long will it then take for the area to be re-developed (unless Cooper has another bent ice-rink deal up his sleeve)? The taxpayers of Sandwell and beyond will also be responsible for the high maintenance and repair costs of Providence Place (although these will be mitigated once The Krem is eventually disposed of).

The exit is a massive kick in the teeth for the people of Oldbury, another humiliation for Cooper and Labour in respect of their "regeneration" policy and a disaster for all UK taxpayers (ie those not based in Guernsey) who will have to pick up the tab for the enormous borrowings and ancillary costs.

Virtually none of the Labour Councillors has any business experience (indeed a huge number are unemployed) and they are too stupid to understand when big companies are shafting Sandwell. They blindly follow the Leader as shown in the disastrous recent High Court case. Many able SMBC employees have been fired so that the leadership is now surrounded by a useless coterie or arse-lickers/Labour supporters/both. The morons are spending huge sums on experts/consultants to tell them what to do but then refusing to disclose the reports. They are even failing to comply with the law and publish their external auditor's report. Inevitably, more disasters will follow.

What we do need to know is what has happened since June. Has the headlease been bought and, if so, for how much? What is the amount and what are the terms of the borrowing? How much space is BT actually committed to occupy to 2017 and at what rental/rates? What is the "new" (ha ha) Office Accomodation Strategy and can the public see an unredacted version? ? No doubt Labour will hasten to tell us.....

At least one thing is certain from this total disaster - Invista Foundation (West Bromwich) Limited are laughing all the way to Les Banques!


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                       t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Lying Lucy - New Photos and Info!

I was beginning to feel sorry for poor old David Cashmore. It must be bad enough to work for Labour Sandwell Council under the current tyrannical regime but then to have to bring up two boys on your own as well! Then he finds time to be a stalwart of the local Sea Cadets too! Such a shame to have "people" putting it about in Sandwell that your wife has left the matrimonial home and is living back with her parents at Hall Road, Smethwick. Still, at least there Councillor Cashmore could while away the evenings discussing politics with her Councillor parents and with regular visitor, the laughable leader, Darren "The Turdmeister" Cooper himself!
The Liar's new Facebook photo! Not taken in Sandwell!
Fortunately, I need not have worried since everything is now hunky dory Chez Cashmore although, unfortunately, there remain questions to be answered!

November, 2013
Let us just have another look at the timeline:

December, 2007 - David and Lucy buy their home in Lindsworth Road, South Birmingham;

June, 2010 - According to legal documents at Companies House, Lucy still living at Lindsworth Rd;

2010/11 - Undated application from the Liar to become Councillor. Address switched to Hall Road, Smethwick which helpfully means that she can stand for Sandwell Council. It appears that she never goes on the voters roll at this address but remains on the roll at Lindsworth Road;

2011 - She gives the Hall Road address in her legal nomination papers & is elected;

2011 - Despite being a brand new Councillor having no experience (but with impeccable connexions) she is immediately put onto the important Audit Committee. I am not sure if she received an extra fee at this stage;

17th July, 2012 -  "Cashers" as she sometimes calls herself online had to fill in a new Register of Interests following a change in the law. She still claims she is living at Hall Road and now claims not to be working whereas her own LinkedIn pages show that she most definitely was at the time she signed her declaration. She has continued to work ever since. She has not chosen to amend either lie in any way.

An interesting question arises in respect of the 2011 census. What, I wonder were the records for Hall Road and Lindsworth Road. Have more lies been told? Unfortunately, it will be for others to investigate that aspect of the matter.

Lucy did, of course, take down her Facebook pages when all this blew up and, unfortunately, Dave's timeline has disappeared from 2008 to mid-2012 but, hurrah, everything is rosy again when Dave's thread re-emerges. There is everything from descriptions of meals Lucy has loving prepared to the cringeworthy "entry", if I dare use that word, of 22nd December, 2012 "Lethal weapon Bacardi and my milf what a result" whatever that may, er, mean......

By February, 2013 Lucy declared her love in a birthday card to her man:

"My husband, my soul mate, my lover and my best friend:
I won the lottery that December
When at the party I met u
My life became so complete
My life has started a new.
You took me in ur arms that May
Told me I was the one
I knew from that day forward
My amazing life had begun.
Two kids, 2 dogs, 3 cats and us
Our family really grew.
As I did that day in May, I promise to be true, to love u for better or for worse, cause more than all the stars in the sky, I will always love you [illegible] xxxx Love Lucy xxxx

Clearly a case of absence making the heart grow fonder for the sultry socialist siren after her alleged sojourn in the dog-shit-caked streets of Smethwick:

Now getting extra allowances....

Yes, the 2012/13 Labour list of members' allowances show that if she wasn't, er, getting it before she was now in receipt of a "special responsibities allowance" (presumably as Vice Chair of the Oldbury Town Scrutiny Panel [sic]) of £2041.65p plus her basic of £10,619.14p. On top of their joint wages "Cashers" and Dave were able to live the good life with foreign holidays etc. Dave was thrilled in July, 2013 when Lucy paid for him to go jet-skiing. Will Lucy's lies bring her down and also tarnish the memory of her Mother's recent mayoral term or will they live happily in Lindsworth Road for ever after.......

The comrades for all their bluster dare not risk a by-election in these circumstances and with the threat of UKIP but we shall see what happens next.......

PS Hardly conclusive but anyone noticed that the Hortons have a Freeserve internet address whilst Lucy, allegedly living at the same address, has a Sky one?

(Thanks also to "anon" for info today on this subject - am also working on that!)


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                       t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

Arts Council Money Diverted for Private Statue Stunt!

Did you miss Sandwell Arts Festival [sic] this Summer? You will not be alone! It was a pathetic "hole in the corner" affair not pushed by Labour Sandwell Council nor by its idiotic "leader", Darren Cooper.

Sandwell Labour have cut the £1.4m per annum arts monies that went to The Public. The Museum Service is negligible, the Library service is being decimated and there is very little other money spent on arts/culture whereas the spend on sport continues to rise inexorably despite the alleged "cuts".

Sandwell Labour and Sandwell College are STILL fighting hard to keep the details of The Public "deal" secret even when they say it is "brilliant for Sandwell". Ask yourselves why? Fortunately, Mr Darryl Magher has been asking questions and his appeal to the Information Commissioner about the failure of these two publicly-funded organisations to tell us the truth is ongoing.......

And so the comrades invested just £9,000 in the Arts Festival but even then they managed to get the Arts Council to stump up £4,140 of that. Quite why the Arts Council would grant any monies to SMBC noting their recent track record is surprising and, inevitably, their trust has been abused. (Incidentally, I wonder if the Arts Council has ever written to Cooper to ask him to explain his infamous tweets of 5th July, 2013 which appear to imply that SMBC shafted the original funders of The Public - including the Arts Council - to get hold of the iconic new building with absolutely no intention of it remaining an arts and community centre?*)

Regulars readers will please forgive me if I provide a little background here to Skidder newcomers with regard to the so-called "Celebration Statue" appeal - a private project to erect in central West Brom a naff statue of West Bromwich Albion's magnificent "Three Degrees". The whole thing is run by Mr Jim Cadman - see my blogs about all this - 3rd August, 2014 "The Darren Cooper Celebration Statue Appeal" and 13th August, 2014 "Jim Cadman - Statue Entrepreneur". The oafish Cooper - self-styled "voice" of all Baggies fans - has very publicly used his Council position to promote this thing and so it came as no surprise when a Skidder Freedom of Information Act request flushed out that the Labour Council had diverted £30,000 (yes, thirty THOUSAND pounds) of public money (without any actual public consultation) into Jim's private appeal fund. (Incidentally, I am still waiting to see the accounts from other statue appeals that Mr Cadman has been involved with....)

£30k of public money and counting!

One of the main sales pitches for this statue is that it is somehow part of an "anti-racism" campaign. This line has been pushed to SMBC and to cash-rich bodies like the excellent Kick It Out organisation who are on the look-out to financially support anti-racism initiatives with ample funds from the FA, Premier League etc. It is entirely coincidental that Jim's other major project at this time is for a statue in Sandwell's twin socialist paradise of, er, Rotherham where he is using exactly the same shtick to raise money for a statue of  Arthur Wharton, "the first black professional footballer". It is not possible to describe me as racist as I am not but there have already been "warnings" made that my opposition to the costs and governance issues surrounding the diversion of public funds to this project is "undermining the anti-racism campaign". The smear campaign appears to have begun.......

Not content with quietly diverting £30,000 of public money to this nonsense, Labour then decided to hold two publicity stunts in West Brom's New Square to push it. They cynically used the Arts Festival as cover with the self-seeking Cooper and SMBC's Press Office playing a very active role in all this aspect of the events via press releases, social media etc. At least £844 more of public money (including the Arts Council grant) was diverted to get actors (some of whom I believe were black) to "gold-up" in a grotesque "reverse" minstrel show and pose as a human maquette of the proposed private statue (even though the statue, if ever completed, will have a mid-brown patination and will NOT be bronze or gold). A peculiar way to get the alleged "anti-racism" message across you may think!

This was all done on two separate days to give it maximum publicity. Needless to say the narcissistic Cooper scurried down to New Square for yet another photo-opportunity:

Egomaniac gets in on the act!
It seems that Labour Sandwell are still employing one Garry Morris as their arts supremo but one must wonder why if there is no or no significant arts budget. Sharp-eyed readers will have noted, however, that Morris was one of the Haden House mob - the band of SMBC officials who did the bidding of their political masters and voted to close The Public. This "objective appraisal" was made 13 days AFTER Labour had already announced the closure of The Public and its "deal" with the College**. One favour deserves another...

Although the public bodies are so anxious to keep their deal secret SMBC have been forced to continue some arts provision via the College so that they could get consent from the European Regional Development Fund and the successors to Advantage West Midlands to destroy the splendid building. We have been told that in place of £1.4m per annum, SMBC have pledged £1.5m over 10 years (and then nothing) for an "arts partnership" with Sandwell College (to INCLUDE the "festival" funding). But the College has had Cooper's pants down in all the negotiations to date (not funny, unfortunately, as it is all taxpayers' money at play here) and there is already speculation whether the College are really interested in any of this and also whether this small rump of arts provision will provide a job for one Garry Morris. Significantly SMBC (NOT the College) were advertising a tender last week for 4 pop-up banners for the new joint "Arts Cafe" at a modest £3,000 (yes, you read it right - three THOUSAND pounds). Potential suppliers were to contact, er, Garry Morris of SMBC!

Let hope that the next time the Arts Council shakes on a deal with Sandwell Labour it counts its fingers afterwards.

Oh, and by the way, Garry Morris is the son of Labour "aristocrat", Lord (Bill) Morris of Handsworth.


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                       t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737

*   See my post 18th December, 2013, "The Public - Odds and Sods".

** See my post 11th June, 2014, "The Public - The Plot Thickens....".

Friday, 5 September 2014

Emergency Blog - What the Hell is Going On in Sandwell? Death of Oldbury?

A secret Sandwell Labour document has been disclosed to me tonight via a Freedom of Information internal review (my initial request for this redacted document having been refused). I have only just seen it and cannot comment further at this stage as it is late at night and I have to work tomorrow. Labour SMBC say this is no longer commercially sensitive but do not say why this is. On the face of it, the "socialists" are BORROWING over £20 MILLION just to buy themselves out of the property part of the BT "Transform Sandwell" disaster (nothing to do with the "Government" or "The Tories" that - all the work of incompetent Sandwell Labour!) We need to know as a matter of urgency what has happened since this report of June 2014. Oldbury is already a ghost town and this report suggests that Loony Labour will now shaft it and move most of The Kremlin to West Brom! Also, who the f**k are "Invista Foundation (West Bromwich) Limited?"

At this stage I can do no more than to let you read the previously secret document:

"Agenda Item 9

Not for publication

Exempt information relating to the financial and business affairs of any particular person (including the authority holding that information)

The information contained in this report is strictly confidential and in accordance with the appropriate Codes of Conduct, must not be disclosed to unauthorised persons

Report to Cabinet 

 25 June 2014

Proposed Acquisition of 1 Providence Place 
West Bromwich 

1. Summary Statement

1.1 The Council is currently the under lessee of 1 Providence Place in West Bromwich (the landlord being Invista Foundation (West Bromwich) Limited who, in turn, are tenants of the Council as freeholder. This is a state of the art building capable of meeting the Council’s long term accommodation requirements.  

1.2 The Council's current under lease runs until October 2026.  The rent payable on the 75,900 sq ft property by the Council is £1,311,273 in 2014 rising to £1,815,108 in 2025, but is regarded as onerous due to the 3% uplift of the rent per annum. Approximately half the property is occupied by BT (by virtue of 2 sub-underleases from the Council) who pay rent to the Council on a pro rata basis for the space that they occupy within the property.  The BT leases run until 2026 but each has a break clause after three and a half years i.e October 2017. It is considered highly likely that BT will vacate their occupation of the property in October 2017, since they have no ongoing requirement for property within Sandwell.

1.3 Invista have now put their long head leasehold interest in the property on the market to generate capital for investment; this report proposes that the Council acquires their interest which provides for a merger of the Council's interests in and ownership of the property. 

1.4 Invista's interest has been valued by DTZ on behalf of the Council at between £20.8million to £21.5million. The acquisition of the head leasehold interest would provide the Council with a modern headquarters facility in the heart of West Bromwich that will meet the Council’s accommodation requirements in future years. 

1.5 If the Council is successful in acquiring the head leasehold interest in the property, the acquisition will be made using Prudential Borrowing. Initial cost comparators show that the overall cost of ownership is lower using prudential borrowing and that immediate revenue savings can be achieved in the first year following acquisition. 

1.6 Given the gearing on the existing under lease and the ability of the building to meet the Council’s long term office requirements, the acquisition of the head leasehold interest is concluded to be a more appropriate way forward both from a financial perspective and the Council’s long term security of the building. 

1.7 Negotiations for the proposed acquisition are still ongoing with Invista and further details will be provided verbally at the Cabinet Meeting. 

1.8 An Equality Impact Assessment is not necessary at this stage.

Further details are attached for your information.

2. Recommendation

2.1 That, subject to appropriate due diligence, the Director -  Legal and Governance Services be authorised to acquire the  headleasehold  interest of 1 Providence Place, West Bromwich on terms and conditions to be agreed by the Area Director – Regeneration in consultation with the Director of Strategic Resources. 

2.2 That the Director Legal and Governance Services be authorised to enter into or execute under seal if necessary any other related documentation, and to take any other necessary steps, in relation to (or consequent on) the acquisition of the headleasehold interest of 1 Providence Place, West Bromwich on terms and conditions to be agreed by the Area Director Regeneration and Economy in consultation with the Director of Strategic Resources. 

2.3 In the event that the negotiations for the acquisition of the headleasehold interest of 1 Providence Place West Bromwich are successful , a further report be submitted to include a business case (to ensure that the course of action represents the best interests for the Council), a financial appraisal and the allocation of the necessary resources. 

Nick Bubalo 
Area Director – Regeneration and Economy 

Stuart Kellas 
Director - Strategic Resources 

Neeraj Sharma 
Director - Legal and Governance 

Contact Officer
Peter Yeomans
Tel 569 3906 

3. Strategic Resource Implications

3.1 The proposed acquisition of this property, which will include the associated acquisition costs of Stamp Duty (SDLT), will in the longer term save the Council resources. The current lease arrangements that are in place commit the Council to some £18million in rent up until 2026. Even then there may well be additional costs due to dilapidations that will fall due on the property.  

3.2 The exact acquisition price has not yet been negotiated, and the Council may be out bid by Investment Funds wising to purchase the interest for a value in excess of that recommended by the Council’s external advice. 

4. Legal and Statutory Implications

4.1 The power for a local authority to acquire land and property by agreement  is  contained in Section 120 of the Local Government Act 1972. It allows Councils to acquire by agreement any land whether situated inside or outside their area for the purposes of any of their functions or for the benefit, improvement or development of their area.  

4.2 The acquisition of the headlease for a significant sum means that it will be essential for the Council to carry out the necessary due diligence exercise  to ensure that the property provides value for money.

5 Implications for Council’s Scorecard Priorities

5.1 Great Place

The regeneration of the Borough is a long term objective of the Council. This property was procured by BT in connection with the services outsourcing project (now at an end) and as a component of the Urban Renaissance that has taken hold in West Bromwich. The proposed acquisition will consolidate the Council interest in West Bromwich and, in the longer term, provide a flagship Head Quarters facility that will meet the Council’s accommodation requirements for the foreseeable future.

5.2 Great People 

The proposed acquisition will provide BREEAM excellent accommodation for Sandwell employees.  The property was constructed in 2011 and has all the requirements of a modern office block. This will be of benefit to the Council employees working within the property.

5.3 Great Performance

The financial advantage to the Council starts to materialise in 2017 and in the longer-term there are significant savings to the Council by virtue of the ownership of the flagship Head Quarters property in West Bromwich. 

Great Prospects 

The proposed acquisition demonstrates the commitment of the Council to the long term regeneration of West Bromwich. The adjacent plot is being developed by the West Bromwich Building Society and the Providence Place development is clearly being developed as the premier office location within the Borough, affording very good access to the National Motorway Network. 

6. Background Details

6.1 The construction of 1 Providence Place was part of the delivery arrangements required when Transform Sandwell awarded the outsourcing contract. This necessitated the construction of a Regional Business Centre with the Borough boundary. The contract provider, in its fulfilment of that obligation commissioned the construction of the property known as 1 Providence Place. This is a 75,000 sq ft BREEAM excellent Head Quarters facility.

6.2 The Council's current underleasehold interest in the property came into effect on 1st April 2014 and runs until 2026. The rent payable by the Council (that was originally negotiated by the Council's predecessor, ) has a 3% uplift per annum and is somewhat onerous since by 2025 the Council will be paying £1.8million per annum for its occupation of the property.

6.3 Due to the Council’s ability to borrow money at favourable rates through Prudential Borrowing it has been calculated that if the total acquisition cost is in the region of £23.2 million than this reduces to a Net Present Value of £19.7million. It also delivers the advantage of acquiring a substantial asset that the Council is able to occupy as its premier head quarters facility. 

6.4 Additionally it is anticipated that this property will become a major component within the office portfolio. The Office Accommodation Strategy has been amended to reflect the importance of this office facility and its significant contribution to be able to deliver services to the residents of Sandwell.

6.5 At the moment the former head lessee occupy approximately half the property but have already expressed a desire to reduce the level of this occupation. The company have 2 sub-under leases from the Council that expires in 2025, but it is anticipated that the company will exercise their break clause to exit the property in October 2017." 


e   thesandwellskidder@gmail.com                                     t   @bcrover (Vernon Grant)

Confidential phone no: 07599 983737