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Fly-Tipping and Litter in Westcourt – A Snapshot Report about Doria Drive.

To whom it may concern.

Background

This report is made on behalf of the Come Clean! Gravesham Campaign, whose petition stands at 113 to date.  The campaign began 4 years ago in Westcourt, in the Borough of Gravesham, started by neighbours who found themselves living in an uncontrolled Fly-Tipping Hotspot. The petition can be viewed at the following link.

Aim

The current aim is to support the delivery of a clean environment by central and local government, in line with their objectives for safer and healthy communities, We work by highlighting the reality of the situation and identifying the issues until they lead to change.

Focus

This report, compiled between 28th September and 6th October 2020, is one of a series highlighting the persistent fly-tipping and littering in the Westcourt area.

The focus this time is on Doria Drive which is typically as fouled, as the rest of Westcourt.

(Previous reports circulated during 2019 and 2020, have focused on uncleared Fly-Tipping Hotspots between Medhurst Crescent, Barr Rd, Freeman and Cruden Road.)

Executive Summary

In Doria Drive, the area which our school children travel on foot between home and school, (which is often their play space), is heavily fouled. This hasn’t always been so.

There is the air of a wilful decision to withhold cleaning services in this area brought about by frequent visits by council owned vehicles and the ever present number of rubbish dumps.

A good deal of the material being deposited is household waste, however notably there is a good deal of rubble, and some tyres in the mix. These are items which the community specifically asked KCC not to tax people to dispose of.  We said imposing a rubble and tyre tax would create a residue in our environment, but this fact was washed over in the decision making, has since been denied to us by KCC.

We were recently asked “what sort of mindset dumps rubbish on the street and walks away?” This is not for us to answer. What we do know is that in Westcourt, from reception class through to senior school, our children traverse heaps of rubbish dumped on our green space and filthy walkways on a daily basis. This risks the situation becoming normalised and “OK”.

Because living in other people’s rubbish creates an impact on self-esteem, well-being and a visible inequality, it is not OK.

It is not OK to leave long standing rubbish in our environment. For one thing, it sends the wrong message, contradicting the environmental teaching of schools, and honest families.

Here we report the condition of Doria Drive in a snapshot taken over the period of a week – starting on 28th Sept 2020.

Stuart Dixon FRSA, who wrote the report said “The quantity of rubbish in the area sometime fluctuates, but it is everywhere. You see council workers turn up and remove some, occasionally, but they often leave behind more than they take. The area never looks completely clear.  People need a more permanent and lasting solution that delivers a clean environment, even under the bushes.

The promise made about our green spaces and fly-tipping during the Labour Party Election campaign of 2019 should be upheld – but there is no sign yet”.

SNAPSHOT REPORT

Area

The area studied is highlighted in the google map below. It extends from the Public Walkway between St Margaret’s Crescent and Tymberwood Academy onto Doria Drive and towards Medhurst Crescent. The fouled paths are used by adults and school children at all times of day. Primarily they form a “cut through” between Thamesview school and Valley Drive for older children. The walkways around the school connect several dead end car parks to both entrances of the Tymberwood Academy on the northern boundary of the school. These are primarily used by the younger school children. The inbound and outbound footfall is a mixture of all age groups in places.

The walkway from Doria Drive to The gate at Tymberwood Academy deserves a special mention because it always contains various deposits of fly tipped waste and litter, which was partially cleared on 28th and 29th September.


We commence reporting at 9:40AM on 28th September, at the point where the walkway converges onto Doria Drive at the north western corner of the school grounds, where a half empty Council Waste Carrier, registration KM17 FOU was parked.


Tracking back along the only possible access route for this vehicle, photographs of fly – tipped waste were taken. See Appendix 1.

Doria Drive

These pictures show many different sites in Doria Drive, mostly long-term dumps of household rubbish, but some containing a large percentage of rubble, a couple of tyres. We noticed this also in our last report. Rubbish was spread from the car park all the way from Medhurst Crescent. It is reasonable to assume the crew saw all of this as it drove past.

The sites were revisited by us between 3 and 3:45 PM that day, at which time none of the rubbish photographed had been cleared. Photographs were retaken at the end of the day. The vehicle returned to the same place at 0845 the following day.  Nothing changed.

On both occasions the vehicle above parked with the passenger door open over a pile of litter. The crew engaged in litter clearance in the Walkway running south from this point. It is reasonable to assume the passenger crewman stepped onto this rubbish as he entered and exited the vehicle. Yet this litter was not included in the clearance.

Walkway between St Margaret’s Crescent and Tymberwood Academy

The surface rubbish from the parking point for approx. 100m back south west along the walkway had been picked by the end of the 28th. The vehicle returned on 29th.

Following this work Photo’s 8 to 10 were taken.  They show views of the walkway on 5th October and highlight some of the remaining rubbish.

At the time of writing the current condition of this walkway is littered with ingrained dirt and litter, piled along the edges.  It should be noted the path is wide enough to accommodate a motorised road sweeper.

Fly-Tipping Incidents between 28th Sept and 5th October

The route between Medhurst Crescent and the Car park was re-visited on 5th October. There was more rubbish, the bulk of which had been delivered during two fresh fly-tipping incidents over the weekend. See photo 10 and 11:

  • Photo 10 below shows the Walkway blocked behind St Margarets’s Crescent – reported by a passer-by on Friday 2nd. October.
  • Photo 11 shows a bulk dump of household rubbish in Cervia Way in the car park adjacent the rear gate to Tymberwood Academy occurring over the weekend.

Conclusion

The photographs presented here represent opportunities for the council to do, and be seen to do its job.

When the reality is viewed in the light of recent publicity broadcast via the councils FACEBOOK feed,  the inequality of the situation comes to light.

https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=826641024813333&extid=BsHT78WG7JmlinR4

This is a presentation showing the council doing its job and doing it well, especially in the area of waste disposal and street cleaning. While this may be the case in some areas, a short walk between the two areas South and North of Thamesview School and Tymberwood Academy show a different story.

Hands Off Policy

Photo 1 below shows approximately Half a tonne of Fly – Tipped Rubble dumped several months ago. We have seen and reported this at other sites. This implies that Gravesham Borough Council has a a selective or hands off policy relating to some fly-tipping sites and types of waste.

Please see photo’s 1 to 4 and note the distance between these sites is approximately 50m.

In the week commencing 7th September a fly-tipped mattress that had lain for several days with the contents of a scattered bin bag was located, mid-way between these locations. It was removed sometime in the week commencing 14th Sept. The fact is, it was there at the same time as the rubble in photo 1.

Service Levels

The service level agreement between the council and its customer, the voter is at fault.  In breifly studying the system for reporting fly-tipping on Gravesham Borough website, the service level is quoted as “We will send someone out to look at it within 5 days”.  No service level for disposing and cleaning up is mentioned, nor is the contract open to public scrutiny.  This begs the question how does the council – the service provider, deliver value for money and compensate victims for poor service.

Mothers and children have been stepping through the mess left by the fly-tipper responsible for the dump at photo 10 for six days at the time this report was published.

Report compiled by S Dixon FRSA

Photo 1 (above) approx a half tonne Rubble Photo 2
Photo 3 – Rubble Photo 4 – Rubble
Photo 5- Mis-approriated Salt Container filled to overflowing by 6th Oct Photo 6 – Several Months old
 
Photo 7 – Tyre and Litter  
Photo 8 – Rubble Deposit Photo 9 Tyres hidden in bush
 
Photo 10 Photo 11

 

The Armando Martins Campaign – Current Situation and Update as at October 2019 – (Revised 20th Oct 19).

By Stuart Dixon – Acting CEO Radio Heritage UK

August 2019 – Meeting with Rosie Duffield MP.  (Canterbury)

Armando Martins and me were granted time with Rosie Duffield MP in August to talk about the way that East Kent Housing and Canterbury City Council had cracked down in a draconian way on Armando’s lifestyle. This followed his horrendous experience at the hands of an abusive mob while living in social housing. 

Martins was well received by the MP and encouraged by the level of support, understanding and empathy shown. Being treated as a voter boosted his confidence in being able to eventually obtain closure with East Kent Housing – something he is determined to achieve. He was sad to report this had so far been avoided by the senior management.  Rosie Duffield MP was genuinely interested in our account of the abuse and the coercion exhibited by both his assailants and council services when he was living at Thornhurst in Herne Bay. We said we have certainly met many closed minds on the topic as Martins went about rebuilding his life.

We made the MP aware of the lack of will shown by the national complaint system to do anything about his situation and a complete record of his experience was left on file at the constituency office. (We know since the meeting that she has reviewed his situation with Deborah Upton, the CEO of East Kent Housing.  (As at today we are still waiting for Ms Upton to respond in the way the MP suggested).

From this meeting it was also realised that Martins is not alone in his East Kent Housing Experience. He was just confirming his observations of being lied to, cheated and betrayed, and having his goals repeatedly blocked, adding them to over five hundred other complaints on record at the constituency office. These mostly showed a lack of compassion to members of the public meted out by hard pressed, under qualified, and under supervised workers.

Change

We were made aware of some change of personalities in the planning committee. More recently we discovered that a new chairman has recently been appointed to EKH. We wish Jamie Weir good luck in his new appointment. We have also seen an improvement plan for EKH. We hope the above change will be able to detoxify the organisation and help Martins to move on.

Fate of Legal Challenge

We reported that after trying to settle matters through mediation, more than once, Martins was repeatedly refused this by East Kent Housing. Then in August his planned legal challenge as a litigant in person was finally torpedoed by the defendants myriad of solicitors who simply asked the judge to strike out his case

This came after a year of trying to express what had happened to him in legal terms without any legal experience, being continuously undermined by the defendants solicitors.  EKH had simply trumped Martins by making it difficult for him, using their massively available legal budget to avoid exposure.

While EKH can avoid accountability to the public by evading responsibility and cover it up like this, we think they are accountable to parliament. However we discussed new evidence (see below) and how completing the Local Government Ombudsman’s complaints process proved fruitless just as we expected.

New Evidence

Just as his legal case was collapsing Martins found new documentary evidence showing that in 2011 he, East Kent Housing and his MP – Julian Brazier MP worked to confirm his right to use his 30 foot radio mast in a Canterbury City Council property from 2010 to 2012.

These letters show his MP was the driver of that – a power no less than the House of Commons therefore.

Martins has already shown written evidence showing he had asked EKH and the LPA to respect this and this had been dismissed.

Recap of what happened when he was asked to move house

At the point when the nightmare neighbours at Thornhurst went on the attack, EKH staff refused to back him, and betrayed him. Both acted in a way that would destroy his lifestyle. In their bid to stop him from practicing a hobby, he was forced to apply for planning permission twice, when it would have been his legitimate choice not to. There was little or no chance his applications would be approved after the attacks, because his assailants went to extraordinary lengths to bias people against him – says Martins. He was forced to move again.

In his struggle we witnessed him being coerced through malleable planning processes in the direction of refusal and dismissal of his second planning application. He went through this process twice. While he was engaged in this EKH and the Local Planning Authority both exhibited a perfect example of corporate memory loss – denying all knowledge of his previous situation. The second application was a mirror image of the first application.

Sum Total of Bureaucracy

Two planning applications, two planning appeals, a complaint to the ombudsman, two attempts at mediation and a (so far) dismissed court case. We think a new approach is needed as we also ponder the cost to the taxpayer.

Applying for planning permission and meeting the demands of a planning appeal are expensive stressful processes when all you want to do is put up an aerial in your garden to support your hobby.

It seems the power of toxic nightmare neighbours to influence council workers is much greater than that of the House of Commons.

Now

In his current abode, Martins appreciates that he is subject to the dismissal of his most recent planning application. This does not rule out experimenting with antenna in his garden. Martins has said his piece and will be getting on with his life in accordance with all necessary guidelines.

In this time the following events were also relevant to his case:

  • In separate court cases, two people were jailed for 28 days for nightmare neighbour attacks. (By way of contrast, Martins abusive neighbours were supported by East Kent Housing workers who betrayed their promises to support him just to appease them).
  • Martins contributed to the House of Commons Enquiry into reality TV highlighting Channel Five’s reluctance to talk to him when he requested them to stop screening the episode which humiliated him (and his community of interest). 
  • Martins’ experience led us to start an organisation called Radio Heritage UK and to offer support to others in the same situation.
  • We intervened when another person, John, had his planning application similarly refused.  Later John’s planning appeal was upheld by the Planning Inspectorate.  He lives in social housing within a mile of Martins and applied for a similar structure on a bungalow like Martins, and of a similar size. We noted the same discrepancies in the process and poor report writing applied to John as did to Martins. 
     
  • More recently an example of good practice has come to light to compare Martins experience with. It concerns an elderly person living in a care home near Herne Bay being able to practice his hobby because the care staff helped him to erect an antenna to meet his housing needs while staying at the home. We applaud their compassion. Any decent service provider would do the same, knowing how such support affects his well being.
     
  • We took part in the public consultation about the National Planning Policy Framework and noted the changes being made in 2018. We also took part in the consultation on planning enforcement run by the LPA (Canterbury City Council).
     
  • Martins, who is incredibly dynamic for a 79 year old disabled man has been able to re-instate his social standing and keep up his hobby.
     
  • Shortly after his second move, During 2017 we worked to settle him in and establish his property needs with East Kent Housing obtaining landlords permission to erect various antenna.  We used the criteria in planning guidance, and also that set by his community of interest.  Especially we educated housing staff on how to approach the subject after they demonstrated unnecessary and unwanted belligerence, and excessive controlling behaviour to his experiments.

Ongoing Support

We continue to support Martins, and want to learn from his experience, feeding that back to his community of interest and the Planning System via his LPA – who we noted also needs support to understand our community. 

What is Martins Strategy Now?

His current experiments with radio antennae are designed with a number of purposes in mind.  Firstly for him and people like him to have fun and be supported. Also documenting the impact of his experience on his well being.

He will achieve this by documenting interactions with citizens and officials so that people engaged in his activities learn from his experience, hopefully creating an improvement. He aims:

  • To test the documents and assumptions that were used by the LPA and Planning Inspectorate in refusing him planning permission.
  • To gauge the actual social impact of the refused antenna on the housing community against the assumed impact. 
     
  • To continue to understand, test, and feedback to housing and the LPA about Martins’ housing needs in the light of Local Plans, Planning Guidelines, Gaps in process, Enforcement Policy and Recent changes.
     
  • Particularly we wish to gain an understanding about the intended use of templates for planning applications described in the 2018 version of the National Planning Policy Framework and how this applies to Martins, and in the light of John’s experience (above) plus all of the other examples of people with similar installations throughout UK.
  • Martins will work on a more acceptable design if necessary. 
  • Provide evidence of the impact of his hobby and support for it on his personal well being and feed back to national heritage and well being programmes.

Field notes:

8th October.   I visited Martins who was in the process of clearing up after renewing the permitted development in his garden, comprising a ten meter mast erected with his landlords permission in July of 2017.  (This was free standing and had been moved to a firmer base a couple of feet nearer the center line of the garden.  He positioned a lightweight beam antenna at the top and noted that while a similar configuration was refused planning permission, when we read current guidelines there is nothing to suggest this now requires formal planning permission.  He has a scaffolding tower to work from and shows determination despite his disability. Showing the scaffolding and antenna in its resting position from 50m which is well blended with the background and under the skyline.

Community cohesion.  During this visit Martins demonstrated excellent community cohesion by addressing a West African friend in person in impeccable French.  Also a cheerful exchange with a local friend who he shares time and interests with, in the local community.  There is no doubt he is developing a good deal of respect in the local community he joined in March 2017.  Martin’s was supported by a young man who lives nearby to get the antenna in place – the son of a friend who lives local.

Incidents. Negative experiences. It was depressing to see that within ten minutes of completing the construction and standing back to take in the actual visual impact  – a council worker turned up to take photographs – “to be reported back to the council for their action” he says.  Martins was visibly depressed by this.  I certainly found the speed at which this happened a touch intimidating and wondered if Armando was on a “watch list”. A friend said he wondered if he was under CCTV Surveillance. We are just waiting to see what happens next, if anything.

9th October.  Call from Martins – tests show antenna not working.  Arranged fault finding trip – scaffolding back up.  No adverse impact noted.

12th October.  With Martins.  Tested Antenna – identified problems and resolved them.  Both very satisfied.  Me with fault finding skills and Martins with the result.  Later received phone call.  Antenna tested in contact with Portugal (Martins home country) – Good signals.  A very satisfying result for him and me.

Stuart Dixon FRSA

Stress in pregnancy ‘makes child personality disorder more likely’ – BBC News

Following on from our work on neighborhood relations we are happy to reproduce this story reported by the BBC today.  It says that research into personality disorders tells us that as many as 1 in 20 people may have a personality disorder, gained as a result of family stress during pregnancy or in our early years.

We welcome the study, published in the British journal of psychiatry  for the following reasons:

  • Its supports our view that approaching neighbours with problems and issues is a risk to be avoided, because their response may be unpredictable.
  • It is easy to assume that all neighbours have a desire to get on with each other.  Some policies concerning neighbours, planning and policing for example make that assumption, and some warn against approaching neighbours.    
  • While there are many types of personality disorders, responsible for many types of common behaviour, some ( a “dark triad”) are characterised by dark personality traits.
  • Blaming the victim when a toxic relationship materialises, “for not getting on with their neighbours” is common practice but simply not appropriate, and yet this attitude is prevalent among police officers and council workers, for example.
  • Airing an issue, or indeed sharing information with a toxic neighbour can lead to crime, conflict and victimisation where support is minimal due to lack of understanding.

Source: Stress in pregnancy ‘makes child personality disorder more likely’ – BBC News

Anti-social behaviour ‘nightmare’ ignored, says report – BBC News

We asked one of our case studies (case study No 2) to comment on the BBC’s recent report about the Victims Commissioner, Baroness Newlove and her findings on Anti-Social Behaviour which we welcome today.

Case Study 2 said “As a victim of Low level Anti-Social behaviour I get completely what Baroness Newlove is saying in her report. When I found out just how difficult it was to get a response from public services I decided to test all of them and keep the correspondence as evidence. I also studied high profile cases such as that of the late Fiona Pilkington who spectacularly brought anti social behaviour to the attention of the world in 2007 by killing herself and her daughter out of desperation at their unmitigated treatment by yobs in the neighborhood.

While racking my brains how to get a nightmare neighbour off my back I had to really work hard to study how I had become a victim. I became an expert by experience, enduring over a hundred incidents where I concluded that I physically had to confront the perpetrator myself in order to get “the agencies” referred to in the baroness’ report to respond. The police wasted countless hours sending two person patrols to cover these incidents and each time explained there was nothing they could do. I reported diligently to the police the multiple instances of outrageous insulting behaviour by a deranged and sadistic neighbour who was responsible for turning my back yard into a battle ground, and our neighborhood into a place of fear for my family, and inciting others against us. I tried to engage the community safety unit at Gravesham Council – eventually attempting to invoke the community trigger without success. I bear mental scars from the torment of this nightmare neighbour and he cost me approximately £200K in lost opportunities and devalued my home. When he went to court for assault he received a conditional discharge, but it was clear to me he had been stalking and harassing me for over twenty five years. No matter how I put this to the police they were incapable of taking it in. The CPS refused to acknowledge this and left me to complain to the police. Guess what? the Police investigating were the same police who I was complaining about”.

Here at Toxic Lives we agree, Britain is a lawless state which has de-skilled its public services. These now operate behind a rosy fascade of loveliness, gripped in a culture of denial – supported by the BBC and Press. (The BBC Reports today that the Local Government Association said its members do their best). We found that the Ombudsman is part of a complaint system which repeatedly states its case by shrugging its shoulders on behalf of the “services” instead of turning genuine complaints into service improvements.

None of this is acceptable of course, and for the Police Sergeant and Inspector who told Case Study No 2 that it wasn’t in the public interest to prosecute his nightmare neighbour the first time he was assaulted – but they work diligently to support people as a result of Fiona Pilkington – shame on you.

The police and their political masters need to get real. Our police and council workers need support and independent monitoring to do their job so they can stop all levels of crime.

We look to the police and not private agencies to achieve this, but of course you can now buy the type of support needed to beat this – if you have the money. Lets hope the commissioner is given the teeth to make some really biting social change for ordinary people who are being killed by sadistic, psychopathic, criminal neighbours while being ignored by community safety teams.

Stuart Dixon FRSA

Source: Anti-social behaviour ‘nightmare’ ignored, says report – BBC News

Novichock – a Persistent Poison with similarities to Toxic Behaviour

A golden moment in the life of the toxic mind is scoring a hit. Bearing in mind toxic people are out to poison their victim I have called this short article Novichock in the name of the persistent nerve agent used in Salisbury in 2018 which after it crippled its intended victim, went on to kill and seriously injure more people.

The same can be said about toxic behaviour. One of the better known and easier hidden characteristics of the toxic mind is the ability to network and engage others in meeting their aims. This enables tyranny – ruling by fear, by victimising people who stand up for themselves.

Should the victim become a complainer for example, or challenge the “rules” he or she could easily find him or herself in more difficulty having been framed, judged and sentenced without ever knowing what is going on.

Once word gets around that a “misdemeanor” has been committed, no matter how true or false, victims will find themselves unable to work with colleagues who shun them, no longer colaborate and\or actively block their goals. They will find themselves bearing the guilt and shame, and in the community excluded from social situations.

Abuse of Power

Given that toxic people have this characteristic and when they also have power, its safe to say the victim will be treated differently to others, once he or she raises a voice in defence of a friend or colleague or makes a complaint about his or her own treatment.

The toxic mind may be the controller of services and responsible for invoking penalties for example. Once word gets round, no matter how guilty the victim is or what the truth of the matter is, the services become difficult to access and the penalties come harder. They can apply to the victim, where others are allowed leeway.

The Golden Moment

That golden moment mentioned at the start of the article is the pleasure of being able to damage the victim and brag about it afterwards.

The fear this brings to people is difficult to ignore as the damage is emotional, and the injury hidden.

Further reading:

Secret Council Black Lists A report from the Daily Mail.

Council Services under Pressure In this situation council workers are deciding which services to deliver and to whom.

Empathy

This week I feel for one of our elderly case studies who has an open complaint about the way he has been treated by workers at Canterbury City Council. Within a minute of coming to the attention of a council worker for unloading his disabled wife’s scooter in a no loading zone, he was handed a ticket. When he challenged the ticket, by explaining the circumstances the official he was talking to said “I could do something, but you’re the guy thats taking the council to court”.

This also makes me think there isn’t an ounce of kindness in the way he has been treated. Something government are well aware of.

Stuart Dixon

Introduction – Management techniques and toxic workplaces.

Predicting Human Performance

Driving a workforce against performance targets can be a risky but rewarding affair but how can we gauge success with reasonable confidence, and equip people to succeed? 

According to one model attributed to H. Sanford known as the challenge and support model, the factors that determine human performance over time are the scale of the challenge, and the amount (and type) of support available to achieve the task.

Growth

Performance outcomes are predictable.  Of the four likely outcomes to any task predicted by the challenge support model, only one scenario leads to complete success and truly great performance.  This is called Growth.

Death

Another scenario, euphemistically called Death, predicts breakdown and failure.  Death is the consequence of too much challenge coupled with too little support.  In the workplace, death is literally the end of the line for individual workers and can lead to poor health for many others. 

In Death, stress, and burnout have regularly exceeded tolerable levels and have impacted on the person or persons assigned the task with predictable outcomes such as a high staff turnover, the potential actual death of a worker, and subsequent losses for the employer.

Team Work

According to Belbin, good management practice is to support people by building well developed teams.  A well developed team comprises people with various personality traits in enough abundance to sustain the activity and provide support for individual workers.

Positive Team Skills

Belbin names the six positive characteristics of team workers.  Both the challenge and support model and Belbin’s approach have developed into defacto standards in leadership and management and in combination they form the mainstay of modern leadership training.

Management Practice

Any workforce or team usually has an appointed manager, in a hierarchy of managers,  He or she is someone who not only drives the task but who’s role it is to maintain a productivity and performance.

Job Satisfaction

Truly great managers learn to build teams and balance the level of challenge and support in such a way as to sustain a steady rise in growth.  Happiness and pride in the product provide a degree of satisfaction.

Incentives

Work (used to be) incentivised in order to recruit and retain skills,  From the workforce, managers were selected and trained to understand not only their job, but the additional skill and workplace psychology needed to manage people.  The entire workforce benefited in the long term by development opportunities which included training, promotions and social improvement which secured the future of families.  

Fairness

Truly great management is a mindset.  It should be a satisfying experience for managers and workers alike. 

It takes qualities such as empathy to bond people into teams, and to a job, and loyalty to retain them.  Management is about supporting people and therefore depends on a particular mindset which in turn comes out in the selection process.

Alternative Management Styles

Managers nurtured in structured management systems, as described above, and people who come to work expecting to be treated fairly and have satisfying and rewarding jobs will struggle mentally in alternative management systems because of their different characteristics. Briefly one such alternative paradigm sustains growth by replacing burnt out workers from a steady supply of fresh, cheap labour who are disposable.  In this unacceptable approach, the mindset required to manage people will disregard the human factors evidenced by the Challenge \ support model and Belbin Team skills and is more likely to mis-use them to get what they want.  For the toxic mindset, satisfaction is something they crave – for themselves.  This mindset brings different team skills into play. 

Toxic management is the result of employing and idolising people who’s character traits align with the dark triad of behaviours and who don’t care for people – just results. 

In the resulting tyranny, according to the late Dr Tim Field, anything goes as long as management gets what it wants.  For example when a toxic boss doesn’t get what he or she wants – he or she will circumvent any agreed management process or contract and exploit fear backed up by increasing the level of challenge and removing support.  According to Field, alternative management styles have a number of repeatable and highly offensive processes aimed at getting what the toxic boss wants.  

This alternative management practice is prevalent, both in the workforce and the community.   

What Works Wellbeing says its goal is to improve, and save, lives through better policy and practice for wellbeing.

A good starting point would be the policy that allows alternative management approaches to flourish.  What currently  prevents wellbeing from being realised is that power, in the form of budget and control is often in the hands of toxic managers and the results are hidden.  No problem for a toxic mindset. 

In the next article we will be outlining the criteria for fair management policy that supports wellbeing at work.


Stuart Dixon



Notes about Attitude to Minorities and Tyranny of the Majority

Attitude toward minorities by public servants.

 
While I was challenging the attitude of a planning authority toward a man struggling against malicious neighbours backed by overwhelming bureaucracy I came across a senior civil servant in power who sat on his hands when I appealed to him for help.  We were talking about rigidly sticking to rules that were clearly disadvantaging my friend and how to change that in the UK planning System when he simply invalidated my friends rights because he is in a minority – “planning won’t change just for you – you’re in a minority.”  I realise now why I felt so uneasy about this.  Our rights were being trampled over as a justification for doing nothing to help.  I persevered and later joined in with a public consultation on the topic which was more fruitful.   See this link for a definition of what a  Tyranny of the Majority is.  I see this reflected in every day life;  “There are only 55000 of us, we will never get a petition through parliament (which needs 100,000 signatures) etc”.  A further concern I have is that my friend had his planning application refused by this local planning authority on the grounds that one neighbour might object to his proposal despite no objection.  I conclude my friend is being punished by a tyrannical organisation who will go to any length to smite him without a fair trial on the say so of a bogus complainer.  


A letter to Gravesham Recycling Centre

Dear Colleagues,

I spoke to several of you today and wanted you to have a complete view of why I said what I said.  

Firstly I don’t ask for much – as a 65 Year old veteran of more than one nasty little armed conflict, I certainly don’t want to go into conflict with you, when I turn up to dispose of my rubbish. 

As a responsible citizen with more rubbish than I could handle; (five heavy waterlogged ex-comfy chairs, a waterlogged and filthy mattress and divan base, and a door,)  I reviewed the safest and most economical way to dispose of them and hired a trailer large enough to do the job in the smallest number of trips.  Keeping my carbon footprint down (A point in my favour yes?)  as well as making it easy for myself after the physical wear and tear of military service.

When I loaded the trailer I was pleased.  My own trailer was much smaller and using it would been much more difficult.  Two days instead of half a day.  

To get to the rear of my house and pick up, I had to negotiate an alleyway.  The photo’s below show a couple of skip loads of mixed and bulky household waste which had been fly tipped on what is council property.  This has been spoiling our community for several years.  I first complained in 2016.  See here.

Some of this is newly dumped and some has been there for years. 



Some people who lived here before us tell me you (the council) regularly cleaned this area until a few years ago.   

From our point of view, the right place for rubbish is in the recycling system.  As you can see it doesn’t get there by itself and if you (the council) don’t move it, who will?  Which is why I think the following is not acceptable. 

It was colleague A who said “you can’t bring that in here – your trailers too large”.  Beg pardon?  I sized it deliberately from available resources.  8′ Long, 4′ wide and 4’6″‘ High.  This allowed me to make two runs, One more than I would have liked (the latter with only an armchair and a door.)

When colleague B came over to reinforce this message, I didn’t take kindly to also being told to remove the trailer off the site and load the mattress into my car and bring it back.  Couldn’t see the point of that.  

Thanks for the advice but I hired the trailer to keep my vehicle clean.  I was naturally disappointed to learn that the trailer was too big (IMHO it wasn’t big enough, but it was easily handled by one person.)  That didn’t make sense.  I didn’t see any notices about trailer sizes on the perimeter fence or gate.  I was really disappointed when colleague A said I couldn’t come back in with the second load.

Does Size Really Matter?

Thankfully colleague C was a bit more helpful.  In the spirit of Christmas he “allowed” me to unload and make the second trip. 

What I didn’t say was this:  When our back streets and estates are covered in rubbish do you honestly think it’s appropriate to give people grief for bringing stuff in, in a marginally over-sized trailer?  We really need to be setting an example and getting waste into the recycling system efficiently and effectively.

Notes for Gravesham BC and Kent CC

Your re-cycling policy is failing.  People are living in among other peoples rubbish.  Your staff need to be able recognise and encourage responsible and ethical waste re-cycling.  Its that or the street or countryside.   Not acceptable.

Merry Christmas

Preserving the Heritage of Licensed Amateur Radio – The Need for Change and Emerging Support Services

About the Article


The licensed radio amateur whose mast and antenna appear in this photograph is obviously enjoying something not available to others in almost identical properties and localities in the same county, despite “inclusive” government policy. 

This short article is written by the campaign manager of the Armando Martins Campaign.  During the campaign the author had to come from a position of little or no knowledge, to one of being able to challenge policies that were affecting Martins – and closing him down.  Its not just him.  Some of the things found to be affecting Martins actually affect all radio amateurs and citizens of the UK. 

Because each of the organisations Radio Amateurs have to deal with, has its own views about what Amateur Radio is, this isn’t just a local issue. 

Planning in UK drives the performance of amateur radio equipment for example, but planning law is vague. 

How do licensed radio amateurs expect planning officers or council workers ever to understand that properly constructed antennas have no harmful effect whatsoever and compared to mobile phone masts their footprint is quite small – made for the back garden? Or also, that they actually support a healthy lifestyle, which is an aim both of planning policy and the NHS?  Fortunately most neighbours get the point – but some don’t.  

Fairness in Planning 

Planners have views, council officials have views, industry has views, neighbours have views.  National society’s have views.  If all of these views were aligned with those of the end user and the organisation’s supporting them them the whole thing would be a lot less Fuzzy.  That’s why we are calling for Fairness in Planning.

Our FAQ

To aid this understanding we initially wrote a list of Frequently Asked Questions.  See here.

Heritage

The point is, planners talk about heritage but have no idea that Amateur Radio is actually a part of that heritage.   This is a risk, because right now, were the telecommunications and lighting industry to realise they were trashing an international and national heritage, it might be a whole lot easier to tackle the issues arising, such as that of Noise Pollution on Medium wave and HF Radio.  Nobody seems to see this for the threat it is to our heritage.  This is a more of a risk to this heritage than people know because of the potential loss of our use of the ionosphere to human audio traffic and being forced into machine modes.  To protect this needs simple communications between all parties.  Adopting the same view would be simpler in theory to get simple answers to questions like “Why does my £1300 transceiver perform so badly?”  Or what’s that buzzing noise drowning out Capital Gold on 1548AM?” these are global questions which require global action to abate.  Individuals raising complaints often are fobbed off or face massive bureaucracy, ending up losing locally the facility pioneered by our ancestors which is why an organised approach is so important.  (“Amateur radio?  its not all its cracked up to be”.)

As Licensed Radio Amateurs who believe in the traditions of self training and supporting learning, the board of the Armando Martins Campaign has seen too many people put off amateur radio and hiding their activities from destructive people and people who frankly should know better.  This is a waste of everyone’s time:  The City Fathers, the RSGB instructors and those amateurs who encourage people into the hobby and work to retain them.  

The article that follows is therefore aimed to align thinking while opening up a support group for people whose hobby may become blighted as a result of rumours, myths and misinformation circulating among neighbours and public servants. 

Legacy

In International Amateur Radio there is a legacy, which has grown from over a hundred years of developing radio communications between global communities. 

The hobby is practised by a worldwide community of makers, scientists and technicians which began to develop in the late 19th century. 

Through two world wars, and lots of small wars in between, the worldwide community has developed a self-training ethos which has sustained and developed communications on the battlefield. 

It continues to support people in emergencies. 

It brings trainees into industry via a well-developed training medium. 

It brings the Space Programme into classrooms, and has been at the forefront of the satellite industry since its conception.

In the tradition of its community, today, Licensed Radio Amateurs continue to contribute to the development of Wireless Communications as they have done in many ways which include the development of a 21st Century training syllabus, the development of new modes of communication and digital hardware and software. 

As a hobby it contributes to health and well being by providing stimulation for youth and elderly people, bringing communities and like-minded people together through activities.  This is a legacy worth preserving, only one of many communities that open to us, and something to be proud of and celebrate.

Change

Amateur Radio in an Emergency

As the world changes, Amateur Radio changes.  What’s trending in the world affects it, both in positive and negative ways, these present both opportunities and threats.  Trends like social media, the internet, industrial pollution of the radio spectrum by eager but careless telecommunications operators and the industrial use of technology such as solar energy and lighting products.  It is affected both by austerity and prosperity but it isn’t just for rich people.  Its part of our personal development – a way of lifting people out of low skilled jobs by self training.   

The impact of change and how it is managed

Some countries have robust policy within their national society that enable them to counter the negative impact of change before they cause real issues (or harm) for people.  As more information becomes available, it becomes easier to change long term problems. The most worrying trends are the deafening noise pollution smothering the communications medium and drowning out signals on the HF bands.  Lack of visible activity on the amateur radio frequencies.  Commercial gazumping of frequencies,  Licensed radio amateurs being closed down or driven underground by anti-social behaviour, nightmare neighbours and flawed planning policy.  As trends emerge there are gaps in the support available.

Filling the Gap in Support

Recently the Armando Martins Campaign sprang up raising 43000 signatures to deal with the impact of anti-social behaviour.  The House of Commons Petition to Exempt Amateur Radio Aerials from Planning Permission wants to see the whole planning issue simplified.  Both noted that UK planning authorities et al, can completely fail radio amateurs.  Now a combined approach is being taken. 

Service Development

The RSGB provides services for its members, sadly it has not yet provided any for those hit by anti-social behaviour and/or who can’t get permission to erect an antenna because of it.  RSGB services are good, but they stick to what they know best. 

To fill the gap a new service is therefore being developed independently, as any support group would for people affected by what is essentially anti-social behaviour – a criminal issue.  Initially the group will be known as the Planning Policy and Neighbour Relations Support Group (Amateur Radio UK) and will work alongside existing services to tackle cases where misuse and abuse are at issue. 

It will also help people whose lives are blighted by similar issues outside of amateur radio as we see a common problem affecting almost anyone who owns or rents a home and just wants to get on with their lives.  The service is currently providing support for four cases where Amateur Radio is being driven underground by the attitude of nightmare neighbours and council workers.  It has a live Facebook page for the purpose of communications.

Stuart Dixon