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Vaughan

Another One Bites The Dust

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So, apparently Mr. Knight publicly alleged that officers of the Broads Authority deliberately and wilfully mislead the authorities planning commitee. These allegations were investigated and found to have no substance...

Let's be honest, it sounds like quite a fair reason to let him go. Though I'm sure there will be accusations of a 'trumped up charge', as we are talking about the Broads Authority and it's officers after all. Atilla the Hun would probably get a fairer hearing on the N.B.N...

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A barrister? why on earth did It need a Barrister?  Is the barrister in the need of some urgent planning works on his broadland property or something? What's wrong with just a common solicitor?  Is the B.A Legal filled with gold? 

All clearly very complex, personally I trust Jame's opinions/views whatever, so another minus point in my book for the BA and it's clearly bizarre management...

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9 minutes ago, JawsOrca said:

A barrister? why on earth did It need a Barrister?  Is the barrister in the need of some urgent planning works on his broadland property or something? What's wrong with just a common solicitor?  Is the B.A Legal filled with gold? 

All clearly very complex, personally I trust Jame's opinions/views whatever, so another minus point in my book for the BA and it's clearly bizarre management...

Two barristers were actually involved!

 

15 minutes ago, kingfisher666 said:

These allegations were investigated and found to have no substance...

But were they? 

 

James Knight.txt

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1 hour ago, kingfisher666 said:

So, apparently Mr. Knight publicly alleged that officers of the Broads Authority deliberately and wilfully mislead the authorities planning commitee. These allegations were investigated and found to have no substance...

Let's be honest, it sounds like quite a fair reason to let him go. Though I'm sure there will be accusations of a 'trumped up charge', as we are talking about the Broads Authority and it's officers after all. Atilla the Hun would probably get a fairer hearing on the N.B.N... 

Your absolutely certain the BA’s statement is an accurate account of events?

Unlike with Lana it seems this time round BA management have made sure it sticks.  

As Jaws said its just another mark against them, I dont doubt James Knight’s account for a moment. 

 

 

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if james statement were untrue he would be open to a libel suit  and he is too astute to leave himself in that situation

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I have read and re-read both accounts and there is not  enough information on the original accusations to make a judgement either way.

As Mr Knight is no longer bound by the BA perhaps he could enlighten us as to the facts regarding the original allegations, unless of course they could be construed as being libelous.

Fred

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Would it be possible for someone who still posts on the other site to invite James to post his side  over here? this matter is rather too important to let inter-forum rivalries to get in the way.

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I have just e-mailed James to ask him.

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I have just heard back from James and he gives his permission to post his comment, as he says that everything is now in the public domain as far as he is concerned.

He offered his thanks for all our support.

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EDP24 features much of the story including a further comment from James, it's worth googling and also looking at the public comments. The Authority has dug itself a huge hole and this time, apart from bluff, I don't see a way out, not that I want to. 

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3 hours ago, chameleon said:

if james statement were untrue he would be open to a libel suit  and he is too astute to leave himself in that situation

James's business and family connections are such that I am quite convinced that he would not leave himself open to any form of court action.

There are those at Yare House who I would class as vindictive, especially in relation to planning matters,  I don't see James as lightly making his stand and admire him greatly for standing by his principles and the truth.

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The unfortunate thing in all of this is that we no longer have James' voice on the committee and will be the poorer for it.

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if it was a company rather than a committee, there would be a possibility of action for unfair dismissal, particularly under whistle blowing legislation, where a company is not allowed to penalise or discriminate against an employee for whistleblowing, but as a seat on a committee, I dont know what the legalities are there to fight his side of the case.

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Am I not right in thinking that IF this really was anything of note, then perhaps some of the remaining Nav Comm members would also resign in James's support? Well you might certainly expect that if they really felt it a matter of principle! I wonder what Lana's view is - if he were to get any support then I guess that is the most likely source?

But surely if there was any substance to all of this, then the BA would hardly be supported by those independent persons who reviewed the actions  - indeed I suspect the BA has gone out of its way to ensure that everything was above board. Or are we to assume that those independent individuals have now joined the grand conspiracy?

I struggle to see anything new here and my guess is they have taken these steps to prove nothing IS wrong. Surely the various levels of review have proved there was nothing at all unfair about what has happened?

I know, I know, you expected me to say just this, but this time other independent reviewers do seem to be in agreement. That after all it is their job to consider just this type of issue.

 

 

 

 

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In my opinion the fact that this kind of thing has happened twice in a short space of time should be raising eyebrows somewhere.  

It shouts out there is a significant problem with BA governance/management and as always there is no smoke without fire, its high time Dr Packman was penning his resignation.  

Amongst many he is not respected or wanted.

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well considering one side is saying that the independent persons agree with them (without giving details) and the other side is saying the independent outsider proposed informal reconciliation, which the authority then removed as an option for the panel to agree on. it is down to which side of the matter we believe.

James was given no option to discuss the charges he had made, and indeed all we have heard is that he made allegations, but seemingly these have not been discussed, whereas only the action of making the allegations has been discussed and action taken based upon this rather than the investigation of the allegations to prove whether his actions were justified - I for one would like to see the authorities whistle blower policy, as they may have broken this in relation to this case.

I believe a whistle blower is protected from reprisal unless his actions can be proven to have been taken with a malicious intent, even if the allegations were found to be unfounded, so where is there any evidence of malicious intent. It appears to me that James believes the allegations he made, hence his stand not to back down, but does that give the authority the right to punish him by removing him from his position?

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a bit of research says - yes they do have a whistle blowing policy

in the Code_of_Corporate_Governance_May_2013-1.pdf it is mentioned twice, as is the fact it should be reviewed annually.

So my question is, in the light of the fact they have a whistle blowing policy, how is it that the authority deem it correct to punish someone who has made allegations (of whatever type) whilst still abiding by the terms of their own policy, or does it only count if that person is an actual employee. 

It is situations like this, where they are seemingly applying double standards to those that oppose or question them, that lead me to distrust everything they say.

That said, I still believe at grass roots level, their employees do some really good work, its just the high echelons that to me display a disregard for the proper process.

it even appears twice in this years review of the code of corporate governance

http://www.broads-authority.gov.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0003/1211925/Review-of-Code-of-Corporate-Governance-2018-with-Appendix-ba180518.pdf

 

whistle.JPG

whistle 2.JPG

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It does say that the policy "should be circulated to all members of staff and volunteers" so by inference that means everyone.

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Thank you to all who have supported the stand I've taken - both on this forum and elsewhere.

Thanks also to those who haven't simply believed me, but have asked questions. It's a shame that more members of the Broads Authority don't do the same. But sadly, most of them just believe what they're told, without asking the probing questions or checking the facts.

Quote

"These allegations were investigated and found to have no substance..."

If that were true, I would have long since apologised and probably resigned for having made wrongful allegations.

The fact is that the allegations were never investigated. The independent barrister was asked to investigate whether, by making the allegations, I had breached the code of conduct. My position was that telling the truth could surely not be a breach of the code. But the scope of the investigation specifically excluded considering whether what I'd said was true. Nobody, other than the Chief Executive, has ever made a judgement on the veracity of what I said. And he simply declared my allegations to be false - and refused to meet me to discuss them.

Because he's the Chief Executive, he only has to tell members that he's investigated, and they believe him. He claims to have spent 3 days doing this, but was unable to tell the hearings committee what form his 3 day investigation took.

The Authority's own solicitor conceded last month at the Local Plan Examination that the planning appeals and injunction at Thorpe Island did not relate to the river bank, and did not confirm the abandonment of moorings there. This is the exact opposite of what members were told last year and confirms two of my key points - yet the Chief Executive continues to say that there was no truth in my allegations. 

The barrister was quite clear that the sensible way forward was an informal resolution. This advice was roundly ignored by the hearings panel and, in turn, the full Authority. They even altered the procedure part-way through to remove the possibility of an informal resolution, and refused to meet me.

Ultimately this isn't about me. I've never been a member of the navigation committee or the Broads Authority for my own benefit - in fact it has made my life much more difficult. Especially when it comes to dealing with the planners! So I take my removal on the chin, and accept it as a consequence of standing up for the truth. The only harm is to the toll payers and stakeholders who've lost a voice. But more importantly, at what point does someone in government realise that the BA is out of control, and take decisive action? Direct elections have never been more relevant or urgent.

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5 minutes ago, JamesKnight said:
Quote

These allegations were investigated and found to have no substance...

If that were true, I would have long since apologised and probably resigned for having made wrongful allegations.

James,

would a freedom of information request bring the paperwork for these investigations to light, after all they must have your name all through them. 

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James, Firstly, welcome to the forum, I for one am delighted to see you here and there will be many others with the same sentiments.

I shall be reading your contributions on this subject with great interest, as well as the counter points raised. We on this forum ore neither poodles, nor Rottweilers but I do like to believe we are fair.  

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1 hour ago, grendel said:

James,

would a freedom of information request bring the paperwork for these investigations to light, after all they must have your name all through them. 

The barrister's investigations might be available in redacted form through an FOI, yes. But to be honest I'll be happy to share them with anyone who wants to see them, warts & all. 

As to the Chief Executive's alleged investigation, I would be very surprised if there is anything to show. He says he took 3 days to investigate but frankly all he had to do was to read the appeal inspectors' decisions (let's say half an hour each) and the injunction (5 minutes). Then there is the trail of paperwork with Norwich City Council in which the BA asked them to take action for trespass because it would be easier than them taking planning enforcement action, say another 20 minutes and listening to the recording of the meeting, 15 minutes. And then asking the officers if they'd told the truth and nodding when they said yes. I can't see 3 days there, and it's unlikely that any of it was documented beyond our email exchanges.

The planning committee papers - and all the correspondence between me and the Chief Executive - can be found here for anyone who's really interested!

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7BJSW6gDi75ZU0zdGNPNTBQLWs?usp=sharing

Cheers!

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I am over the moon to see James posting here. The 'horse's mouth' is so much stronger. I am now looking forward to Marshman's response :default_norty:! This topic is relevant, even if only indirectly, to every one of us. By the way, James, welcome. 

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Perhaps we should now invite Dr Packman to respond?

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