Up until the late 1960’s Stockton-on-Tees had an iconic High Street, set in the widest high street in Europe, more pubs per adult than any other town or city in England, (so the stories go) with some amazing buildings…
…then things changed.
John Garlick Llewellyn Poulson arrived.
John Poulson was a, … oh so many words could finish this sentence but we’ll go with, architect and businessman???!!!. Poulson was eventually arrested and imprisoned in 1973 for building up a huge architectural business through bribing council officials and people of influence, the biggest casualty was Tory minister Reginald Maulding. He was charged with corruption in connection with the award of building contracts. The trial at Leeds Crown Court lasted 52 days, and cost an estimated £1.25 million. Poulson was convicted on 11 February 1974 of fraud and jailed for five years (later increased to seven years).
It is good to know that Poulson was convicted but, sadly, the damage he did to Stockton High Street can never be repaired. The very heart of this once great town was ripped out, the South end of the High Street, and all it’s history, was demolished to make way for the abomination that is, and was, the Castlegate Centre.
The arrest of Poulson lead to arrests of corrupt, and corrupted, officials in several towns and cities up and down the country, but in Stockton-on-Tees it was different. Poulson was never convicted of any crime in relation to Stockton-on-Tees and, as a result, no council officials in Stockton-on-Tees were investigated, let alone convicted or imprisoned.
So, despite all the damage that occurred in Stockton with the demolition of the historic, and unique, buildings on the South End of the High street and the town being stuck with a carbuncle called the Castlegate Centre, no council officials were named and shamed, lost their jobs, investigated, or charged and found guilty…not one single person. The whole episode just sort of disappeared and the council and councillors were able to go about their business as if nothing untoward ever happened.
Many consider the Castlegate Centre the biggest act of vandalism since the forces of Oliver Cromwell and his New Model Army demolished Stockton Castle during the English Civil War. It destroyed our town, our heritage, our community and left us with a concrete disaster.Where is Cromwell when we need him most?
This website is the start of a push to encourage the noble people of Stockton-on-Tees not to vote in council elections as we believe there is no point.
We feel that Stockton Council is blase’ in it’s attitude to the members of the public, it treats them with contempt in the safe knowledge that whatever decisions they make, no matter how ridiculous, people will continue to vote along party lines.
This total lack of reaction is because the people of Stockton have seen it a million times before but, amazingly despite being stitched up, screwed, patronised, they continue to vote for the council because of who their parents used to vote for, and their grandparents, in a classic example of using the ‘child’ ego-state as described in Transactional Analysis (TA).
We believe that the people of Stockton have had reaction and protest beaten out of them by being told, and constantly reminded, “You are scum and you deserve what you get”, and “Know your place”.
Only by not voting will this council actually start to think about the people its supposed to serve and not just themselves.
We believe that the arrogance and attitude is so reminiscent of the lack of protest when our beloved council decided to rip down the south end of the High Street and build the Castlegate Centre…and no one has paid the price.
Spread the message and join the cause.
John Neschat’ye Poulson