Monday, 21 December 2009

WHAT HAS 'WOGER' TO SAY ABOUT EKO's DEBT AND LATE ACCOUNTS?



Tonight I ask some questions concerning our very own costly 'Quango' called EKO LLP and of our own 'Director', 'Woger' Latchford. (TDC has spent over £550,000 so far on EKO whilst closing toilets and curtailing street cleaning in Thanet). The situation does appear to be worse though than I thought! But before I go into details ask yourself what is missing from 'Woger's' statement in the PR blurb announcing this wonderful quango, EKO LLP in Feb 2008?:
"By pooling our resources we will be better placed to plan for the benefit of local parties and businesses"
No mention of the electorate or council tax-payer?

The problem with EKO LLP is accountability. Is it under democratic control of TDC Councillors or not? Are Cllrs  aware of what it is costing us all?  I doubt it! There would appear to be a small problem with KCC's Auditors (NAO) and EKO LLP. In the KCC electronic archives you will find details of KCC's Governance and Audit Committtee meeting of 16th Sep 2009. Here are some points:

1. EKO LLP has not prepared its annual accounts and these are still not available for public scrutiny? Why not ,'Woger'? Are you not a director? Are you not aware that this is causing a problem in KCC's Accounts?

2. KCC coughed up £4.368 million for the spine road that we are all enjoying as we drive through Eurokent, and yet  'a management agreement states that EKO will re-imburse the cost of the road within two years of signing the agreement'.  How will you do this, 'Woger'? Are you not a director?

3. KCC's own accounts do not seem to reflect the transactions and balances caused by EKO's purchases or expenditure. There appears to be a discrepancy as a result of land sold to EKO still being on KCC's balance sheet as a fixed asset. In simple terms KCC's accounts show its fixed assets overstated by £5.62 MILLION and accounts do not reflect the disposal of the land in question.

I love auditors and the way they criticise a shambles; this is the way NAO commented:

Our audit work identified several issues relating to :
* the accounting treatment of the sale to EKO of land owned by KCC ( i.e tax-payers land)
* the lack of recognition of EKO's liability to contribute to the cost of the Eurokent spine road within KCC's financial statements.
* the lack of of recognition of EKO's transactions and balances within KCC's  accounts.
* the late preparation of EKO's own accounts.

So what is one to make of this?  We the tax-payer, through our Council Tax to KCC and TDC are paying for this shambles of obfuscation and odd accountancy that seems to surround EKO LLP.

What is very worrying is that half of the Eurokent site and presumably a beneficiary of tax-payers largesse, is Rose Farm Estates; a private company?

What confidence can we have in this whole dubious process that seems to spend tax-payers money without any proper accountability or control?  The £ MILLIONs involved makes a pink carpet 'sub-contract' at TDC and obfuscation about who fitted it,  seem small change in comparison.

Isn't  it time we were told the truth about this whole business? Isn't it time that our Councillors took democratic control of what 'Woger' and his KCC 'co-director' are about? How will the tax-payer get back the £4.368 MILLION spent on the road?  The problem is that as time gently passes, we forget the £MILLIONS spent and never recovered by East Kent Spatial Development Company; the £MILLIONS spent on Manston Business Park and now the £MILLIONS spent on Eurokent.

Is it just possible that a 'housing development' will end up sorting this mess out and that is the real reason why  expensive housing to attract 'the right sort' is the option that 'Woger' and The Ezekiel Party are pushing instead of the original thanet Plan to have Eurokent as 'employment land'?
If you thought that a Labour Central Government wasted your taxes, please appreciate that your 2 local Conservative Councils (KCC & TDC) seem to be doing like-wise.


11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Indeed Bertie - and who is going to pay for the costs to protect Roger and the other directors' in the decision making process - that's right the taxpayer. This is something I cannot view in the scrutiny documents - if this is so, have they made decisions that leave us the tax payer at risk?

Bertie Biggles said...

I hope not 10:44. If it were simply a cosy set up between the two Councils and its 'baby' EKO LLP presumably risk would be low? However, as other parties like Rose Farm Estates Ltd are involved, one wonders where this is all going?
One assumes that even with recession, value of Eurokent land is far more valuable per hectare than designated commercial land and is this the 'get out of the mire' card? Surely it is time for this whole set up to come under open democratic control by Cllrs?

Anonymous said...

Ho, Ho, and a dead mans EKO chest.

We (the Pirates) are sure that 10:44 is on about an indemnity. We Pirates never leave the shore without one...not that we need one as we are a murderous bunch [allegedly].

Cpt Fekkin Flint...ard and sparky

Tony Beachcomber said...

Bertie,

You refer to the Labour government "wasting your taxes", are you refering to the Government intervention in preventing our banking system from collapsing or what. As I sure the Government would have wished international events been different. However, I am so gald the Government did not take the Conservative line of none intervention. Imagine what a disaster it would have been for some people, losing everything for something that was not entirely their fault. Yet the strange thing is that a proportion of these people will probably vote Conservative in the next general election. But then most Conservative voters do have this Nimby approach and as long as they are alright sod everyone else (thatcherism).
If opinion polls are right the very same people are up for huge spending cuts that will cause misery for many people in austere times.
Strange thing public opinion.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps questions should be asked of Rose Farm Estates concerning firms who wanted to build on the Eurokent site and were refused the opportunity to buy land.

Could it be the idea was always to allow housing rather than the industry we were led to believe was the aim of this company? Do TDC/KCC councillors know of this or are they as in the dark as everyone else?

Anonymous said...

Arrr 17:10

This ain't a fekkin opinion poll or election, we Pirates would have scurrilous politicians walk the plank - and would they walk the walk down the plank? Arrrrrr.

How many consultations were there on the Jacky bakers EKO land? Were these just a TDC stitch up in favour of some Chinese housing dreams and manipluate the LDF?

Us Pirates were denied homes on dry land?

Arrr there's a something fishy going on here - and it ain't on us Pirates dishes?

Arrrrr

The Pirates

Piracy is a crime on development land for a change to housing

Anonymous said...

Isn't the TDC Director of Finance a director of EKO as well. Surely a 151 officer cannot submit late accounts and remain a responsible officer of the council ?

Anonymous said...

Indeed - that is why us Pirates have put our oar in, over the Indemnity issues. When in our Piracy prime and plied our ISP Pirate policy in the Americas, we listened to this speech.

"Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote."
Benjamin Franklin, 1759

Piracy is a crime at Jacky Bakers and TDC must except it

Anonymous said...

looks like the tdc cowboys are playing fast and loose with council taxpayers money as well as giving themselves a whole week off at Christmas.

Anonymous said...

i note the M & S building is now valued at 50% less than was paid for it £2 million , also we seem to have spent £400 K on the theatre royal over the last couple of years. How come TDC can play fast and loose with tax payers money no questions asked.

Bertie Biggles said...

Interesting 15.45 about Theatre Royal. That amount seems considerably more than the previous grant system allocated the trust annually. Could you elaborate on expense under TDC 'ownership' compared to that wonderful team who ran it as a 'trust'?