David Palethorpe

The views, thoughts and opinions of an insignificant speck in the Universe 😀

Keep your promises – You Heartless B*******s

Sotheby Rise residents need promises delivering

Sotheby Rise residents need promises delivering

Keep your promises – You Heartless B*******s

There is a twist in the tail so please read on.

I’m going to use a series of emails about what is an important issue to the elderly and disabled residents of Sotheby Rise, Ecton Brook who in order to save them from having to struggle up the hill have asked for additional parking spaces near to their homes.

This is an issue that residents first asked me to get involved with in April 2012 after years of being promised by their previous Conservative Councillors that the solution had been found and that it would happen, only to have their expectations and hopes dashed.

Dashed not only because it never happened but perhaps most annoying of all according to the Sotheby Rise residents that the Councillors after an initial enthusiasm to gain votes disappeared from the scene and refused to discuss why the promised progress hadn’t taken place.

After meeting with the residents I contacted the Borough Council Housing asking for an on-site meeting with a Senior Housing Officer and to be fair to them the request was granted.

The meeting with residents took place in April 2012 and it has to be said was very positive with the Senior Housing Officer agreeing there was a definite need and that she would consider the request.

Following an email from the Senior Housing Officer I then wrote the following letter to all of the residents in Sotheby Rise

12 May 2012
Sotheby Rise – Car Parking Update

Good Morning,
I am pleased to say that we seem to be making positive progress on the development of additional parking spaces in Sotheby Rise following the meeting that I arranged with senior housing officers and residents.

It is early days but a survey of the area proposed for new parking bays has been carried out and will now be costed up as part of the submission.

I believe that the request is not only sensible but in fact a priority affecting the quality of life of residents in Sotheby Rise and will continue to push the case on your behalf.

Regards and best wishes
David Palethorpe
Northampton Borough Councillor – Billing Ward

So far so good,

It was clear and unequivocal that the Borough Council had surveyed the site and was going to be costed as part of a business case.

The next email I received from the Senior Housing Officer caused me to write once again to the residents of Sotheby Rise and providing their spokesman with a copy of the email.

This is what residents were informed as part of the promised progress update.

6 February 2013
Sotheby Rise – Extra Car Parking Update

Good morning
Over the past year following a meeting with many of the residents in Sotheby Rise I have been working to ensure that the extra parking that is needed is provided as promised.
I have now received the following message this week from the senior housing officer which is very good news.

Dear Cllr Palethorpe

Thank you for your enquiry regarding Sotheby Rise. At present we are in the process of identifying the costs related with the project. It is our intention to proceed with this enhancement. The drawings etc. are complete we are just finalising costing’s.

I will keep you informed of the progress with this project.

(Senior Housing Officer Name removed to protect identity)

Thank you for your patience but it does at long last look after many years as if the issue will be resolved this year.

Regards and best wishes
David Palethorpe
Cllr – Billing Ward

OK so far so good, there can be no misinterpretation of the phrase

“It is our intention to proceed with this enhancement”

Everyone understood that the work wouldn’t take place immediately and the residents themselves have been very patient and understanding but were happy with the decision and promises made.

Now we come to the crux of the issue,

Who, Why or What changed that has prevented it happening?

In November I had a deputation of Sotheby Rise residents attend one of my weekly advice surgeries where to say that they were angry would be far too much of an understatement.

Northampton Conservatives think people don't matter except to turn up every 4 years and Vote

Northampton Conservatives think people don’t matter except to turn up every 4 years and Vote

They had apparently had a meeting with Cllr David Mackintosh who informed them that the project wasn’t going ahead but gave no reason for why it had been stopped and they asked me if I could get them answers.

I’ll put aside that they told me Cllr Mackintosh had said they should ignore what Cllr Palethorpe says as he is only a back bencher and a nobody as what as we have seen all too often the comments of an immature child.

It was somewhat comforting to know that his attitude and comment has lost him all respect of the residents.

Following the deputation from the residents I wrote again to the NBC Housing department on the 18 November.

—–Original Message—–
From: David Palethorpe (Cllr)
Sent: 18 November 2013 09:52
To: (name removed for protection of the individual)
Subject: Sotheby’s Rise parking Issue

Good morning ‘C’

Would you be kind enough to provide me with a progress update on the additional parking in Sotheby’s Rise please.

Regards and best wishes


At this point reader I’ll include the staggering series of emails that followed and what they mean.

—–Original Message—–
From: (name removed for protection)
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:12 AM GMT Standard Time
To: David Palethorpe (Cllr)
Subject: RE: Sotheby’s Rise parking Issue

Dear Cllr Palethorpe

We have considered all projects proposed and have decided that we will not be continuing with this project. The suggestion for this project was made I believe in 2010/11. I became the Senior for the Eastern District in 2012 and in the time that I have been a senior I have received no complaints or issues raised via the Housing Officer or directly to myself regarding parking issues in the area.

The budget set for environmental enhancements is limited and we have to ensure that the money spent is for issues/proposals which are needed and the decision needs to be based in comparing proposals alongside each for cost benefit analysis and need. Having considered this project with others the decision has been made that this proposal will not be completed.

I hope you understand that there are many projects we would like to complete if funds were unlimited but we have to ensure we are supporting the most needed, value for money and worthwhile projects and this one did not meet that criteria.

Kind Regards

(Name removed for protection)
Senior Housing Officer

From: David Palethorpe (Cllr)
Sent: 27 November 2013 11:25
To: (name removed for protection)
Subject: RE: Sotheby’s Rise parking Issue

Dear ‘C’

Thank you for your response which I find very disappointing.

The reason perhaps that you haven’t received any complaints is because I and the residents of Sotheby Rise believed that having fully investigated this issue over a number of years and having been assured on several occasions that planning and budgeting was progressing we have patiently waited for the work to commence.

Had I known that it was required to continually complain even though the issue was being addressed I would have ensured that residents did so which I think you’d agree would have been at the least irritating for staff.

I appreciate your position and will now go back to the residents and will support them in resuming their complaints and campaign for the additional parking.

I’ll also take what appears to be a change of policy and process into account and in cases of other housing issues ensure that complaints are continued until the issue is resolved.



—–Original Message—–
From: (name removed for protection)
Sent: Wednesday, November 27, 2013 11:36 AM GMT Standard Time
To: David Palethorpe (Cllr)
Subject: RE: Sotheby’s Rise parking Issue

Dear Cllr Palethorpe

Thank you for your prompt response. In the past the support and decision-making for projects has lacked transparency and I am currently working on a procedure which will make the process transparent accountable and with tenant involvement at the heart of the decision-making. There will be deadlines for projects going forward where all projects are considered at the same time and it is decided on their merits which are selected for progression.  This will ensure that projects are not considered in isolation.

The project can of course be put forward again when the next round of walkabout are completed in April 2014 and we can then assess the project alongside others and if the project is not supported can communicate a detailed and transparent reasoning behind such decision-making. I believe these changes will improve the process for all stakeholders.

When I am able to communicate these plans further I will do so.

Kind Regards

(Name removed for protection)
Senior Housing Officer

Why the resident’s anger?

To start with the meeting was held between the residents and Senior Housing Officer in April 2012 and as the first two emails show and was not only agreed as being needed but also considered important enough to have the site surveyed and a business case developed,

And to quote again

“It is our intention to proceed with this enhancement”

This was a project that had been agreed so why wasn’t all of the complaints, meetings with residents, surveys and business case passed on to the Senior Housing Officer from her predecessor and more importantly what kind of mess is the housing department in that it wasn’t.

This whole issue raises a number of questions some of which are,

Why should the elderly residents of Sotheby Rise continue to suffer for what appears to be the incompetence and mismanagement within the Borough Council Housing department?

I am pleased that they are now prepared

“to communicate these plans further I will do so”

however why didn’t they let me or the residents know that they had decided to cancel the project?

Who interfered and made the decision to stop the project and Why did they say they were going to carry the work when it appears that they had no intention of honouring the promises to the residents?

Promises have to be kept or lose your integrity. Being forced to keep them is a disgrace

Promises have to be kept or lose your integrity. Being forced to keep them is a disgrace

My take on the whole issue, which I pass on free to all residents of Northampton as far as lessons to be learned for the future is this,

Firstly regarding promises of action being taken

Simply don’t believe them

Irrespective of any promises given by the Northampton Conservatives and NBC when being told and given promises that an issue is going to be taken seriously and addressed you should keep on complaining right up to the point that what is promised has been delivered.

You may be accused of wasting staff time but better that than to be ignored and the promises broken.

Secondly regarding specifically to the additional parking places promised to the elderly and disabled residents of Sotheby Rise who have now been let down by Conservative Councillors since 2004 I say, very clearly and I hope without being misunderstood,

To Cllr Mackintosh and his Conservative administration.

Keep Your Promises to the residents of Sotheby Rise – You Heartless B*******s


This entry was posted on February 27, 2014 by in Uncategorized.

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