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Dept for Communities and local Government
24 April 2007
Germany beck Public Inquiry
Thanks you etc ....
Following the recent discoveries I am extremely confident that we can now prove beyond any sensible doubt that Germany Beck was the site of the battle of Fulford. Please draw the minister’s attention to my appeal that this area should not be blighted as the result of any decision she makes. What we are saying can only be confirmed when we are allowed to revisit the land. The site will revolutionise the way ancient battles should be investigated.
I am meeting with one of the team from Gothenburg Museum this weekend to plan how we might continue this unique research. I very strongly suspect that with their help we will find even more physical corroboration when we do our next sort, planned for August now that we know what we are looking for.
I apologise that all this has emerged so late but the inquiry severely delayed the research work at a time when it suddenly became necessary for me to organise the care for my very old father while supporting my offspring during the protected terminal illness of their mother.
Returning now to the subject of my letters, I hear your reassurances about the way the system should work but what I have been saying is that they do not stand up to the reality test. I have never sought to question the skill or judgement of the inspector. What I have told you is that the system is intrinsically unfair because those with legal representation can, and do, use their privileged access within the inquiry to undermine and discomfort ‘the opposition’ - that is their job and they did it well. Lacking legal representation, I was unable except on two occasions, to ask for remarks to be withdrawn. I have sought to couch my complaint at the system, rather than the inspector, but do intend to raise the specifics of this inquiry as a complaint once the report is published because I believe that useful lessons can be learned. It must affect the weight given to evidence if the developer’s lawyers are allowed to undermine the credibility of opposition witnesses with side comments throughout the proceedings. In the case of this inquiry, they had many weeks to work on this. I recognise that they see that as their job but I believe that inspectors should not tolerate these and give those attacked the chance to defend themselves. The inspector has much to attend to and did not seem to notice the many small cuts that were used to undermine opposition witnesses. This is why it is vital that both sides have equal rights of access and a professional who can draw the inspector’s attention to these tactics.
I hope that this has not come too late to be entered into consideration. I made it very clear in my written and verbal evidence to the inquiry that I expected we would find physical proof among the ferrous material but I did not expect it to be so decisive. I very much hope that it will be possible to apply relevant archaeology to the whole to the battle site soon.
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