Sheila Oliver's Campaigning Website

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I am a local campaigner - for the protection of much needed green space, for the right of local people who are trampled underfoot in this sham democracy we live in, for the safety of children.  I always stand up to bullies, such as Tesco and Stockport Council, even though that comes at a price. If something is wrong you have to stand up and say it is wrong, whatever the cost to yourself.

I am a bereaved mum and what drives me, certainly in the case of the toxic waste dump school at North Reddish, Stockport, is never to let any mum face the death of her child just because some official is  too lazy or incompetent to do their job properly, or for some other more sinister reason.

I strive for accuracy when I am allowed to check facts (although for maybe five years I have been unjustly prevented from doing this by Stockport Council).  If anyone believes I have got something wrong or have unjustly represented their actions, please contact me and we can discuss this.

Have a look at what the shocking monsters at Stockport Council have been up to on these various topic pages. The Toxic Waste Dump School, Offerton Precinct and The Town Hall Protester are particularly horrifying instances of the abuse of power that can so easily happen.

Mark Hunter, LibDem MP,  was Leader of  Stockport Council when a lot of this was going on and Andrew Stunell, LibDem MP and Junior Department of Communities and Local Government Minister, was given full documentary evidence regarding Toxic Waste Dump School and The Town Hall Protester, yet saw nothing wrong and actually was very, very rude to me for trying my utmost to help a completely innocent man who was being repeatedly imprisoned with the full connivance of senior council officers and all the LibDem Executive Councillors.

My young son is buried on the slopes of this valley in the most beautiful cemetery. As I sit at his graveside I can look over a view which I believe hasn't changed much since the Romans left the Valley not far off 2000 years ago. They marched from the encampment at  Vernon Park, over the weir at Otterspool and on to Melandra Castle in Glossop.

The LibDems want to totally destroy this valley with a bypass.  It goes right through the centre of Stockport and is perfect for walking or cycling to get to other parts of the town avoiding traffic. The Council doesn't wish to make such use of it because they want to keep it a closed book, so they can destroy it with their tarmac without protest.

In the valley there is ancient 400-year-old woodland, otters, kingfishers, salmon, woodpeckers and last but certainly not least a rare water beetle.

I got the reply below from the Highways Agency.  This response ultimately exposed £3 billion of waste at the Highways Agency.

Stockport Council brands me "vexatious". I think they don't want me to expose their waste of money.

3.4 Our report Estimating and monitoring the costs of building roads found that completed road schemes were costing more than initial estimates indicated, that the Department had not been rigorous enough in its oversight of the Agency’s delivery of major road schemes, and that the Department and the Highways Agency should take further steps to improve estimation of future road costs. These findings were reflected in a separate report from Mike Nichols, chairman and chief executive of the Nichols Group consultancy, commissioned by the Secretary of State and published in March 2007. This concluded that the Highways Agency urgently needed to strengthen its projects and programme management; bring in more expertise in programme, project, and commercial management; implement more effective organisation, processes and systems; and improve reporting and control of cost, timing and performance.10
3.5 In its response to the Public Accounts Committee’s report following its hearing on the subject, the Government stated:
l the Department and the Highways Agency have developed improved performance measures for the delivery of the Agency’s major roads programme and that targets against these measures would be included in the Agency’s 2008-09 business plan;
l the Department and the Agency have developed a detailed programme of activities to strengthen the estimating and project and contracting management of the Highways Agency major roads programme;
l the Agency is developing a comprehensive system for collecting cost data with the resultant databases allowing unit costs to be produced to feed into the estimating process for future schemes; and
l the Agency is strengthening the project management and commercial skills of its staff and undertaking an external recruitment exercise to deepen and broaden the skills of its workforce.

I asked a Freedom of Information question of the Highways Agency.  The response was the most roadbuilding comes in massively overbudget - frighteningly so.  Clever people in London took that response, asked questions in Parliament and managed to get a National Audit Office inquiry which exposed £3 billion of waste of taxpayers' money at the Highways Agency.

Stockport Council says I ask "vexatious" questions. I don't. I ask the questions that the lazy, wasteful panjandrums don't want to answer.  They would rather keep their monumental mistakes secret.

This is the BBC news story as a result of that FOI response.

I was in a Channel 4 Dispatches programme about Tesco. In conjunction with the Stockport Express and Mr Steve Parfett, I managed to get this planning abuse in the national media.

This action on our part, I am led to believe, now forms part of a university course.

Stockport Council claims I am "vexatious" and I waste their time. I am not and I don't.

The Guardian was the first national newspaper to run with the story about the Tesco planning abuse at Portwood, Stockport.

I featured in the Guardian, The Observer, Radio 4, Channel M (bless it) Granada Reports and Channel 4's Dispatches, but Stockport Council claims I am "vexatious".  I am very good at uncovering wrongdoing, which is just what they don't want at Stockport Council.


I supplied documentary evidence to Friends of the Earth's Tescopoly which formed part of their submission which ultimately led to a Competition Commission inquiry into what Tesco had been up to.

Stockport Council claims I am "vexatious".  They didn't want their own planning abuses exposed.

Some sites I like and appreciate. Little people like me doing their best to point out that the Emperors have no clothes.

The blogspot of the superb Alan Flounders.

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