Monday, September 08, 2008

Active Longdendale's Credibility Gap

You may remember we co-hosted a series of articles in April about Active Longdendale (AL), the pet project of Councillor for Longdendale, Scam (sorry, Sean) Parker-Perry.

We helped to put this shady 'organisation' under the spotlight, and this was followed in May by a response in the form of an article in the Reporter Group Newspapers from Sean (since removed from their website - how strange!), which actually left even more questions unanswered. 

Very little has happened since - indeed, since his re- election, Sean has been keeping rather a low profile. So why another article from us?

Well, the reason is that August saw the 1st anniversary of Sean/AL obtaining a £8,000 grant from the 'Awards For All' scheme, and that is significant because the money has to be spent within 12 months. The Railways Arch which Sean had leased has been refurbished - at least by outward appearances - but little else has been heard, other than AL's appearance at the Broadbottom 'Community Day' in June of this year.

Our spies tell us that at that event, Sean had his own AL stall there, plugging the 'tool hire' aspect of AL, as well as carrying a lot of Co-Op Labour literature. You may remember that the terms of the Awards for All grant specified that the use of the grant must be 'non-political' - so that's already a breach of the terms there and then. Sean had published a leaflet which detailed the hire of tools that would be available from AL, and the wind has blown a copy into our hands.* We can only assume that the cost of public liability insurance for such equipment would be huge, perhaps even prohibitive. Maybe this is why nothing further has been heard since Community Day about the tool hire aspect of AL? 

As to whether or not the grant money has been spent, we may never know, although you would expect Charitable Status to have been obtained by now (as the Chronicle/Reporter article promised) and therefore an AGM to have taken place and accounts to have been published. 

But other than that, there's really nothing to go off, because there has been nothing in the news & no activity on the website. All of this now leads to virtual confirmation of the belief that the whole Active Londgendale project is nothing but self-aggrandisement on the part of Scam (sorry, Sean), a method of boosting his 'Community' and 'Environmental' profile. 

Unless and until Sean decides that AL is accountable to the Community, nothing more will be known, and this will ultimately lead to more questions being asked of him and those who have sponsored him.

*the other side of the leaflet - an membership application form - can be viewed here. Most strange is the undertaking to "agree to the aims and objectives (of AL) as set out in the constitution". This elusive document was not available for inspection, and it is not mentioned on the website.

1 comment:

Tom Hagen said...

OK this is heavily flawed. I can pick up a saw from B&Q for less than a fiver and it's mine for keeps. No lease for a week.

Check it out.

Perhaps a Active Longdendale price comparison service would be interesting.

It's been some time since SPP has been in the paper for AL. Have there been anymore donations we don't know about?

Some interesting extracts there:

"no longer rely on the few donated hand tools and support from Tameside Council"

Yet this is the ward which he and the council leader is in. Tameside (Power) Rangers anyone?

In regards to you saying it has been 12 months, he does mention that himself:

"it has taken over 12 months to get started and many hurdles and pitfalls."

I look forward to all this being documented on the official AL blog.