Tuesday, 15 April 2008

TDC's MURKY FINANCES

Am I the only one who considers that TDC are being less than open with its Council Tax Payers about its financial matters? The picture above shows how opaque TDC has become concerning explainations of its expenditure or lack of debt collecting.

Last month Sue and I both asked TDC about the increase in the Chief Executive's Budget of almost £1,000,000 and despite enquiries with TDC Finance, no information was forthcoming. Simon Moores commented on another site that other costs had been included in the Chief Executive's budget but failed to elaborate; its all as murky as ditch-water!

We now have The Department of Communities and Local Government stating that TDC has the worst record of un-collected Council Tax in the South-East with £870, 000 un-collected last year. This has been denied by Cllr Wise who states the figure is only £90,000 BUT he fails to elaborate on what the other £780,000 of uncollected debt is all about.

I am a suspicious person and when I see our Council being less than open with Financial information, I begin to smell something unpleasant and it has nothing to do with accelerant sniffed by dogs at the Scenic Railway. Some with long memories (at IOTG perhaps?) will remember a certain waived debt that TDC failed to collect a few years back from a certain well-known millionaire businessman.

Could we have some openess about the Chief Executive's budget increase and what debt has been written off and why? We need active Labour or Independent Councillors to ferret out an explaination for the electorate and Council Tax Payers. What is so embarrassing about a full and complete picture?

Obfuscation breeds suspicion and speculation. Could it be that TC costs in old M&S have been disguised or that some expensive carpeting has gone down in the Chief Execs office? Could it be that the Turner original for the TC has been bought at auction and now hangs on 'Our Leader's office wall until it gets an art gallery? I could go on for a long time but would prefer the facts; plain and simple. Wouldn't you?

8 comments:

robert ellender said...

maybe this why tdc are planning to sell off ramsgate maritime museum, albion house,albion place carpark,and other public places. Just so they can balance their books??

Michael Child said...

my dear chap you really should publish an email address this is from Newington blogspot after I asked about their shenanigans, but there could be more

Michael, thanks for the reply and the link, I have out a link back to you on the sidebar.
As for past indiscretions where do I start ?
Most people who have lived in Thanet for any length of time will remember Cyril Hoser who was Chair of the Councils Finance Committee who was tried and convicted of printing his own money among other thing.
There were some very serious doubts about the building of houses at the end of Telham Avenue by a local builder who also happened to be a Senior Councillor. This was investigated by Roger Cook of The Cook Report and produced evidence that the said builder didn’t actually own the land when he built on it. It was known as ‘common land’ as the ownership couldn’t be determined !
Planning permission was eventually granted,,,,retrospectively!!
No charges were ever bought.
The houses at Mark Avenue in Pegwell were also the subject of intense scrutiny at the time. The land was purchased by the Council at vast expense as housing land, after a short period it was decided that the Council didn’t need it and it was sold on to a Developer. There are no prizes for guessing the correct answer to the following:-
What was the difference between the price paid by the Council and the price paid by the developer, more or less?
What political party did the Chairman of the relevant committee belong to ?
What political party did the Developer belong to?
What political party did the Estate Agent who sold the houses belong to?
What was the common factor linking The Chairman, The Developer, The Estate Agent?
What was the business relationship between The Chairman, The Developer, The Estate Agent?
Then of course there was the ‘Fake Sheik’ Affair. This was when the then Leader of the Council, Derek Dolding, dressed up as an Arab Sheik and arrived at the Port with some ‘Business Associates’ ( friends and family ) in a vain attempt to con the owners of the Port to invest more cash into it. All done with the best motives but what an incredibly stupid thing for a Council Leader to do!!
Then there was ‘ The Harbour Pontoon Affair’ This involved several leading Councillors visiting various harbours around Europe to determine the best type of pontoon to replace the old ones with. A decision was eventually made and the pontoons were duly replaced at great expense,
Question:- did they last
A) six days,
B) six weeks,
C) six months.

The Great Milk Bottle Advertising Scandal,
The Chairman of the Councils Leisure Committee in an attempt to drum up tourist type business arranged for the Isle of Thanet to be advertised on milk bottles. What a really good idea to spread the word about our Island. There was however one slight problem, all the milk bottles with said advertising on were only ever delivered in Thanet.

Then there was the unfortunate affair with the slipway cradles in the Harbour. These needed replacing so Senior Councillors were despatched to see what was available out there. Eventually a decision was made to purchase new cradles with a new type of winching system, allegedly this was ‘state of the art’. At the time a Member of the Development Committee was a working miner who’s job was to be responsible for the winching gear that hauled the cages up and down the mines in East Kent. It would be reasonable to assume that he had a modicum of knowledge about winching. Despite his oft voiced doubts about the ability of the proposed new system for the Harbour The Controlling Group ( guess what colour they were) poo pooed his opinion and went ahead at vast expense and purchased said system.
I am a bit mean and wont be giving any prizes for guessing what happened the first time a large boat was placed on the new cradle and an attempt was made to pull it up to be serviced/painted. It was sort of um, err, stuck for several weeks. Again there were suspicions about the relationship between Senior Members and Officers and the supplier of the crap cradle.
Of course sadly the Red Team hasn’t been without its odd silly boys we have had two members who after having been elected were found to have been in receipt of Housing benefit that they weren’t entitled to. Unlike members of the Blue Team who always seem to get away with it ( Freemasonary perhaps? ) both these individuals paid the price with prison terms and the loss of their Council seat.

I will add some more to this when I have got me breath back !!!

Of course Thanet Council has always been littered with individuals who change sides at the slightest whim the latest example being Mike Taylor who having got himself elected as a Ramsgate First Councillor and on whom the misguided aspirations of many Ramsgate folk rested promptly changed sides and now sits as a Tory,
some names from the list of turncoats that I can remember in no particular order or Party,
Terry Eccott,
Dennis Payne,
Mary Langley,
Dick Dickinson,
David Pettit,
Paul Coleman,
Bill Leadbetter,
Margaret Mortlock,
Roy Ovenden,
Audrey Pickering,
Ken Gregory,
Ted Watt Ruffel,
Charlie Goldsmith,
Mike Taylor,

bertie biggles said...

Thanks, Michael! I employed a local builder to fix my house in 1988 and what he had to say about a finding oodles of cash stached in an attic, when on a job, was promptly passed on by me to those chaps in blue at Fort Hill! The problem we seem to have is one of trust. Openess and clarity is what we all want to see and I just don't feel we are getting it. I will consider putting up an e-mail address but I am not very good at checking e-mails in!

Michael Child said...

Bertie just send me an email trust is a funny thing but without it there is no point, none at all.

sue said...

Bertie I have a document acquired for me by Clive Hart which is supposed to explain the new Chief Exec's figures. Needless to say it doesn't.
If you would like to see it, you can mail me at Suenalf@gmail.com and I will forward it to you.

Rick said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
bertie biggles said...

Sue, will do and thanks.

Bertie Biggles said...

Rick, I have a potential libel problem with your posting and have deleted it. I agree with your argument and your ongoing pursuit of it, but it is not a battle I can help you with. I retained the section of your post that is a relevant thread:

Rick said...
I can only say this as I understand it.

But some years ago the Maritime Rust accounts were at allaged issue.

If I recall one example was that the accounts allegedly shew a maintenance budget paid for Margate Museum of 7,000 pounds. Yet the curator felt that he had done the maintenance for free and allegedly queried where the seven grand attributed to costs of his museum had really gone.