Friday, 11 December 2009


Rebecca Smith and her team are to be congratulated on a much improved paper and a number of snippets caught my eye in this week's Isle of Thanet Gazette.

The first was Richard Spillet's Election Sketch, that described criticism of the odd behaviour of Richard Samuel, TDC's Chief Executive and Returning Officer as 'mud-slinging'.  I am surprised at the exclusion of the press to the 'count' whilst Mr Samuel quite clearly ignored his own instructions to Candidates and allowed an excessive number of  members of The Ezekiel Party to attend the count . I am surprised that Richard seems un-aware of the protocol surrounding elections and does not appear to realise that what he describes as 'Mrs Hart's evening spoiled by a pack of laughing Tory hyenas'  has a serious side to it. The Returning Officer is duty bound to uphold his instructions without favour and bias and in this case, did not do so. The report in IOTG of Mr Samuel's response,  would indicate  that a review of procedures would occur and that anyway, the Labour Party could go to Law to get the outcome of the election over-turned if they felt the process had been flawed. Did one read Mr Spillet saying that Mr Samuel has apologised for his action? No!

Mr Samuel knows perfectly well that there is little point in Labour making a formal complaint to overturn an election result that they have just won, and therin lies the implicit arrogance conveyed in such a statement that Richard Spillet reports. A simple apology might have been in order but an even-handed applying of his own rules would have been the correct behaviour expected of an experienced Returning Officer.

The other item that caught my attention was a report of a 'secret' session of Cabinet on 2 Dec 2009 to write-off debts to the tune of £59,235.79. My complaint is not that these should not be written off, but that TDC refuses to reveal details of these 'write-offs'. This is tax-payers money that has been 'lost' and thus is TDC's electorate not entitled to know more about this loss?  Is it possible that some of the debtor's are known to us and TDC would be embarrassed to be seen writing their debt off?  A few years ago, I can remember reading in IOTG that a disputed bill between a Mr Godden and TDC had been written off. The electorate had the facts then. Are we not entitled to know more now? Does this debt include security fencing at Dreamland perchance?  I hope to reveal details as soon as they become known to me.


Jon said...

In a private company debts would be sold to a debt-recovery company and you would move on. Unless there are good reasons not to follow this course of action it would seem that more of our money has been thrown away.


Anonymous said...

I would urge anyone who pays their council tax to go to the local court in Margate when the local beak sits regarding the TDC debt sessions.

The system is a joke those that are genuinely thrown onto the scrapheap of life get full frontal in your face injustices whilst the others get all the help from the system.

I have seen this at first hand and I can assure you that TDC should be accountable for their actions but apparently its lots of rules for them and none for us...Pleasurama and Dreamland costs also come to mind!!!

Anonymous said...

Good old TDC, don't forget the margate M & S building obtained by TDC for £4 million now on the books for £2 million. Another fine decision by Richard and his band of "i don't live in Thanet so why should i bother" cronies

Anonymous said...

A source told me that one of the debtors was a former conservative councillor candidate at the last election and "mate" of the ruling crowd.
The only reason that the sessions are secret is it would highlight who the cabinet cronies are that they want to protect!
They are rotten through and through and decent people like you and i Bertie born and bred Tories want nothing to do with those that call themselves "Thanet conservatives" or as you term them "the Ezekiel party" it is very depressing - been high jacked by those seeking to further their own not the wider community's good, why else would they not reveal who owes "Us the community known as TDC" money!?
If you owe money to anyone other than TDC and they pursue it- it is public knowledge, after all if a company or individual took them to the small claims or county court it would be in the public domain!

Anonymous said...


So why has the District Auditor qualified the accounts?

Bertie Biggles said...

09:59, do you not mean the opposite? I was under the impression the auditor passed the accounts without qualification. One wonders what the exact role of NAO is in looking at TDC; probably ticking boxes on Govt targets than whether money is spent properly or wisely.

Anonymous said...

Bertie, could the write-offs be about the tourism grants 'Iris', the Irish Terrier, has been trying to get answers about since 2004? If memory serves me well, £68,000 for a 'Humbug' Shop to an Ezekiel Party Cllr's spouse (whose developer business had another £75,000 for York Mansions last year) and the Papa Adamses for Fort Lodge? All in the family at TDC!

Anonymous said...

23.17 you have hit the nail on the head?!

Anonymous said...

You can rely on the Chief executive Richard( i have cost TDC £900,000 in extra pension payments )Samuels to keep his chums happy. Where shall we go for Christmas dinner this year we have done China ????