Wednesday, 19 August 2009


Whilst the Blog War 2009 hots up with a disappearance on Wikipedia, Richard Card interested in RM Reservists and the old chestnut of a Ph.D from Pacific Western University being raised, it is perhaps time to concentrate on the costly farce that TDC has become in the past few years.
(My thanks to Tim Garbutt for information gained from an FOI request and Michael Child for his picture.)
TDC is one of Thanet's larger employers with over 708 staff (full time equivalent given as 708.27). The total payroll costs are £18,220,679.14 but with all the extras the Gross Total cost is £21, 750, 577.88. This is an AVERAGE COST to the tax-payer of £30,721.
The Local Government Pension Contributions for 708 FTE staff costs the tax-payer almost £2 million per annum at £1,926,721.19 which is an average of £2,721. No wonder the Local Government Pension Scheme is so generous and according to actuaries, unsustainable.
What is really interesting is the expenses bill. There appears to be a modest £15,343 claimed but the mind boggles at the cost of Total Car Expenses (£185,005.81) and leased car costs of £22,346. So despite Thanet being a pretty small place with an excellent Loop Bus Service and with TDC having its own large transport fleet, car expenses exceed £200,000 per annum. An employee can buy a car with a TDC loan and then drive it around with an overly generous allowance that will more than help pay for it.
TDC is broken up into 'service' areas and Environmental Services has 272 FTE staff; the average cost is £25,000 per employee. There is no doubt that our street cleaners and dustmen do a great job and I do not begrudge this modest amount.
The costliest per head areas are Finance and Services with an average of £36,582 per FTE and Executive Unit with an average of £44,599 per FTE. The obvious point is that in terms of wages in the local Thanet economy, we are paying some very high salaries for officers in finance and in the Executive.
These are the very people who, according to TDC's own Internal Audit process (EKAP) are responsible for:
1. Loss to the tax-payer and inept and possibly corrupt management of Maritime Services.
2. Loss to the tax-payer and inept and possibly corrupt management of Housing Maintenance and Repairs.
3. A complete and utter disregard of TDC's own Contract Procedure Rules when spending tax-payer's money on goods and services to the extent where 55% of all spending is estimated as being NON COMPETITIVE!
The latest nonsense, exposed by Tony Flaig, is that logging of Cllr attendance, which is linked to an attendance allowance for Cllrs seems to be amiss. If we can cannot rely on the attendance record of 23 July 2009, can we rely on any of the previous records of attendance?
I am beginning to think that the present regime running TDC needs to have a very close look at what its staff are up to or not up to, get better service from them and take steps to eradicate waste and unnecessary costs and ensure that opportunities for corruption or inappropriate accounting are eradicated.
Is there a case for Central Government to take a closer interest? One might even consider that 'Our Leader' and his 'Deputy' would be better off in Panama and thus let others take their places!


Anonymous said...

How do we get Central Government to look into all this? Is there some sort of official complaints procedure?

Anonymous said...

Send all your complaints to The Houses of Parliament,for David Cameron, asking for an investigation into this Tory run Council in thanet, this has already been done by a few, but more will prove of the dire problem the people of Thanet are experiencing.
I too believe this needs to be investigated before we encounter even more waste and corruption in Thanet. Ezekiel and Latchford have a lot to answer to.

What with so many Councillors in Thanet who think they can get paid BY US and do nothing for their wages, thinking they can ignore pleas for help from the public and blatant refusals by ignoring all correspondences sent to them.
We even have a Councillor who we pay his wages of arounbd £5000 a year and he is living in Panama. He doesn't even come back for meetings and has another to sign for him "is this fraud?" so he gets his attendance money.

Many people have written to TDC objecting to this, but as usual nothing has been done to rectify the problem. He is still being paid, but does come back when he wants to see a doctor.
Surely someone has to be a resident of this Country before they can apply for a Councillors position! to be a resident don't they have to have a fixed abode? Councillor Broadhurst sold his home in Ramsgate 10 months before he left for Panama and used his money to Buy a home in Panama. Does this sound like a Councillor who will do everything he can to act for his constituents? No it doesn't and shouldn't be allowed this is another Councillor who should be struck off immediately.
Basically, can't understand why he ever got elected, like many others.

Anonymous said...

When we consider, Bertie, the quality of the officer who raised MI5 inquiries as long ago as 1981 re bogus Close Quarter Battle training at Deal Royal Marines Barracks Brigadier Harvey

It amazes me just how much East Kent based activity was not nipped in the bud in 1981 by a proper police (Special Branch/MI5 liaison) response.

Military fantasy grew. Strange live fire training organisations blossomed and conducted dangerously inept live fire training at two Kent ranges (one in Thanet one at Dartford)

Paramilitary activity spread into the East Kent Territorial Army. Public interest decisions by CPS in 1987 were not to prosecute arrested TA paramilitaries such as later tory Cllr George Maison.

We know, from the Planning summary, that 6th Thanet Gun Range was only planning consented for .22 rifle. Kent Police still refuse to answer the question of how they issued firearms certificates for over two decades for pistols and calibres in excess of .22

My position re Simon Moores is that if he served in Royal Marines Reserves then I think it inevitable he knew some of the persons who caused Brigadier Harvey's report to MI5.

If Simon in fact did not serve in Royal Marines Reserve (I do not know either way) then it looks to me like Cllr Mark Nottingham and the electorate of Thanet should be told.

Surely it would be a simple matter to produce a Service Record and to answer the questions ?

Anonymous said...

Bertie - I just love this blog - keep on keeping on! TDC appears on the face of it to be a hive of maladministration - it needs people like you to bring it to public attention.

Answer to your question - in my opinion TDC under Ezekiel has become a farce both costly and in every other respect.

Anonymous said...

What attendance allowance?

Bertie Biggles said...

10:05, I understand a Cllr does not need to be contactable by, or need to reply to phone calls, letters and e-mails from his/her Ward council tax payers and in fact can do absolutely nothing in their Ward if they choose to do so, without being in breach of Standards or the conditions on which their allowance of over £4,000 per annum is paid.

However, they are required to attend a certain number of Council Meetings to qualify for their 'Member's Allowance'!

Bertie Biggles said...

08:31, I have edited out the anglo-saxon; could I ask that you use a similar approach when you post? The meaning is clear still but it prevents more fastidious readers from being offended! Thanks.

Anonymous said...

If thanet is represented by a collection of feckless wastrels who care not about their wards and only turn up to collect their attendance allowances more fool the thick as pig s**t constituents that elect them.

Thanet has always lacked intelligence when it comes to selecting its elected representatives and probably always will and that is independent of party political flavour de jour.

21 August 2009 08:31