Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Lib Dem Clayton Barbarism: Dropping Historic Cinema

Dave Ottewell's politics are clear. He doesn't want the Lib Dem councillor Mark Clayton's bessie mate to knock down the third oldest cinema in the country. It would be extraordinarily sad.

Clayton, the greyhound kicker, is intimately involved with the developer. He lists the cinema address and his "former" business relationship in his Register of Members' Interests entry. Along with dozens of addresses owned by his "former' associate, and a few - including Clayton House on Piccadilly - that he owns himself. Under challenge he admitted - to the Northenden Civic Society - that, contrary to his declaration, he works for and with the developer still.

Another Lib Dem, presumably ignorant of Clayton's involvement, has been continually complaining about the flyposting and decay. And a third Lib Dem son-of-a-gun turned a blind eye to the flyposting on this cinema for the venue he used to manage. Before that is he left - after 12 months suspension - under a cloud of financial scandal.

The local freesheet, and the regional Manchester Evening News had the story about this councillor who was simultaneously claiming credit for stopping flyposters and failing to prevent promoters at his own building from being the worst of them all. But for some reason best known to themselves they did not run the story, despite mentions in the Council chamber.

They also did not cover the man's departure from this highly paid job following long time suspension over an alleged tax fiddle. What's up with our press?

No doubt, despite all their deep personal interest and involvement the Lib Dems will try to make hay. Personally, I see no good reason to let the developer proceed with this barbarism. Let's tell Clayton's Lib Dem wreckers to GTF. The MEN should be campaigning against this proposal - even if the planners agree to desecration. Clayton's hyenas would probably just sell the site on for a huge profit if they do get planning.

It is not inevitable that an historic cinema should be dropped unceremoniously. It is Lib Dem councillor Mark Clayton's developer mate taking the piss. That's all. As he will with the Tatton Arms also. Five years from now he'll be pulling that down too. They must be stopped from this hypocritical behaviour.

Please expose him now Dave. Manchester Evening News. Run a campaign. Make him sell it for 50p or thereabouts. As a preservation project .. as he bought it.


Anonymous said...

i am quite shocked by this story.I agree with you that this is desecration and should be stopped.
"interesting" buildings should be preserved.

Anonymous said...

Labour Council, presumably also a Labour Majority on Development Control Committee. If it gets razed to the ground the Labour Party have only themselves to blame.

Anonymous said...

not true but good attempt by lib dem trolls to deflect blame away from their shameful councillors and shit mp.

Anonymous said...

Definitely not a LibDem! I'd like to see local heritage protected and if a Cllr has a commercial interest in this decision then he should declare a prejudicial interest and his colleagues should also declare an interest as they know someone with an interest.

However at the end of the day the decision is being made by the planning authority (a Labour Council) using Planning Guidance drawn up by Labour Councillors and passed by a Labour Council, under a planning framework which is the responsibility of the Labour Government.

This might be a shameful development, but the Labour Party have no leg to stand on if they don't stop it.

Chris Paul said...

Thanks all. There is almost no way that this decision will go against the developer at this stage. There is a long planning history on this one and there is already conservation area consent to knock the Edwardian cinema down and build retail, car park and 17 apartments.

Today's hearing (starts 2pm) will rejoice that the new proposals are aesthetically much better than EXISTING CONSENT and that the apartments are now all two-beds which is more useful in terms of local need.

Our anonymous troll doesn't seem to understand how planning/development control actually works.

The building is not listed. I don't know why not. Obviously down the years the interior in particular has been screwed by changes in the film market i.e. subdivided. Then it has been "deteriorated".

The tests for permission under a conservation area listing are much easier and under Tory introduced and admittedly not repealled legislation demolition in general does not need permission.

A planning committee of any political stripe faced with a building that has been "deteriorated" by unscrupulous owners comes to a point where they must legally sanction such plans. That point was reached some time ago.

The real point of the post is that the owner - whose principal flirts with any and all parties - and his secret assistant Cllr Mark Clayton (Lib Dem) have run a charade over the years of wanting to preserve the building but there has been a history of active "deterioration" including obviously not maintaining, not preventing flyposting and pigeons etc, and also allowing what amount to raves in the building too.

Clayton of course, as well as hilariously outing himself to a greyhound owner as a dog kicker, has been at the centre of various oh la las over the years.

He was kicked off the council in the all out in 2004 - having a hissing scene with Cllr Ramsbottom (the flyposting patron) on the night over the strange selection of Cllr Kenny "Cash in Hand" Dobson instead of himself.

Already by then his involvement with property development which he has tried to deny and cover up down the years made him a persona non grata around planning processes.

After flirting with running in Northenden Clayton organised a putsch in one of the Didsbury wards ousting Cllr Simon Wheale in a most unseemly way with a large number of citizens connected by the looks of it to one or more local property developers - including the one from which Cllr John Leech MP rents his office I believe - joined unceremoniously "on the door" and got Clayton in.

Subsequently he BACKED the planning app at Marie Louise Gardens IN WRITING, before performing a U-Turn and saying he was against it.

His claim that he was not au fait with who owned what in that case is simply not credible as he has been involved with developers for years.

Now he stands to gain through his bessie mate if/when this application is rubber stamped.

Incidentally the only councillors who have made advance representations are Lib Dems from a neighbouring ward and they are meally mouthed and to all intents and purposes neutral/in favour.

John Leech has not made advance representations AFAICS.

Clayton's bessie also owns the former Church Inn in Northenden and more importantly the Tatton Arms by the weir at Northenden. Along with associated out buildings, yard, theatre club etc.

This - a working pub until the purchase a few months ago - is already showing scenes of active "deteriorating" with roof and upper windows knacked, and the curtelage of the pub which was previously available for patrons and others to park and also wander across has been fenced off.

Presumably this is for health and safety reasons as the owner and his accomplice Cllr Mark Clayton expect it to become unsafe fairly quickly.

Who knows perhaps the keys will fall into the wrong hands and parties/squatters/rough sleepers/vandals will get in and steal the copper/knacker the plumbing/break more windows/steal the slates, set fires. Need I go on?

What's needed is for Cllr Clayton to be investigated. The sooner the better. His declaration to the RMI is inadequate. It claims he no longer has a business relationship with the developer. yet in northenden he has apparently admitted he still does. And so he is forced to leave the room at meetings.

What is doing at those meetings anyway I hear you ask? He's councillor for another area as his original plans in Northenden were thwarted.

Clayton is also a director of LDP, the apparently rather iffy - smudgy at least - election printers.

Should he even be on the council? Is doctoring your RMI entry enough to get rid?

Is his pal a double/treble agent playing off all the parties?

How do so many members - two or three dozen - join to get rid of Wheale and implant the developers' friend Clayton?

Who paid their membership fees?

Why is Leech renting off people assocated with this putsch at a very out of the way location - pretty unsuitable really?

Apart from kicking greyhounds are there any other damning stories about this fellow? And by extension those who support, carve, finangle, deteriorate for him and his associates?