Sunday, 31 January 2010


Good to see that the Isle of Thanet Gazette is pressing TDC for the truth about housing on Eurokent. It is not surprising that they are not getting it from 'Woger' our Deputy Leader.
Despite being challenged by intrepid  reporter Andrew Woodman about The Annual Monitoring Report presented to Cllr Latchford at Cabinet only a few weeks ago that shows (from his own TDC Officers) that there is not a problem about meeting housing targets of 7,500 new dwellings by 2026, he declined an interview, reputedly put the phone down and then issued a statement via the TDC Press Office.

When you realise that 1,983 homes have been completed since 2006; that Planning Consent has already been approved for 4,624 and that leaves only 900 for the next 16 years, one wonders if 'Woger' cannot read what his own Officers tell him, when they predict the target will be met 8 years early with a minimum surplus of 700 houses above target!  Well, I for one , give him credit as a Lt Col (Retd) for not having the difficulties of his Leader or Cllr Goodwin, with the English language, so one can only assume he is being deliberately misleading.

Let me quote from yesterday's IOTG:
'Cllr Latchford claimed the council needed to identify more land for homes to meet targets.'

What he will not admit to is the farce that EKO LLP has become since it was formed in the Spring of 2008 and that as a 'director' he now has a problem. One of the 'Strife' Team received a KCC reply to an F o I request about EKO LLP yesterday.

In simple terms EKO LLP cost £519,000 to set up; in 2008/9 it cost £473,665 to run; and to date in 2009/10 it has cost £360,000. ( You need to remember that EKO LLP is a joint partnership between KCC and TDC and holds land at Eurokent (TDC) and Manston Business Park (KCC) bought by the tax-payer!) In addition, KCC built the New Haine Road at a cost of £4,368,000 through Eurokent and EKO LLP signed an agreement to pay this back within 2 years of the original signing in 2008! Very soon!

All costs of EKO LLP are shared equally between KCC and TDC so the cost to TDC has been as follows so far:
1.  Cost of setting up EKO LLP and running it for 2 years:  £676,083.50p
2. TDC's share of the spine road through Eurokent:  £2, 184,000.

Now you might understand why NAO is not happy with EKO LLP at KCC and why we should now be worried as TDC tax-payers. The only assets EKO LLP 'own' are tax-payer's land. Unless they sell some land, (valued at almost £10,000,000 in Aug 2008 and worth less now) they cannot pay for their set-up and operating costs or the costs for the spine road. In simple terms, 'Woger' as a director of EKO LLP, needs to sell Eurokent for housing and pdq. It has nothing to do with TDC's Housing targets at all. It is to bail out the folly of  ever setting up EKO LLP!

When you wonder why TDC's basic services around the Isle have been cut back; our toilets closed; our streets unswept and bins not emptied, you might like to consider that TDC has spent over £600,000 since early 2008  just on its share of  'running' EKO LLP, yet alone still needing to find over £2,000,000 to pay for The New Haine Rd!

At least our Labour Cllrs and South Thanet MP are onto the need to retain Eurokent for employment,( as the IOTG pic shows below). I womder if they realise as our MP and Cllrs they will have to pay to get a copy of EKO LLP's overdue accounts from Companies House? So much for democracy in Thanet when even our own Cllrs have to pay for information about their own LLP!  The real question that needs to be answered, and soon, by all the TDC  Conservative Party Cllrs, is what is their view on this whole matter as opposed to The Ezekiel Party view?


Anonymous said...

Well done to whoever got this information. Does TDC think we're all stupid? This just goes to show how desperate TDC/KCC are to keep us in the dark, the old 'mushroom principle'.

Doesn't work in a society with the FOI Act.

Anonymous said...

A source told us everytime that Latchford has a meeting with KCC as a director of this consortium, anything of relevance to Ken Wills,and he's straight on the phone to him! Whose benefit is he acting upon - we the tax payers of Thanet whom he is on the board on our behalf or CGP Ken Wills' business. The tory councillors forget whose interest they represent they appear only there for their allies' benefit. That is the reasoning behind you nicknaming them the Ezekiel party and is mostly true of all those cabinet members i regret to say!
Where is public service in all this!?

Anonymous said...

Where is the Director of Finance on this, was there a note in the 08/09 accounts of this liability.What will the district auditor say about this I wonder.

Anonymous said...

Well, EKO LLP did/do still own the land at Manston Business Park that Wills needs for China Gateway Phase 1 so Latchford may well be briefing Wills on that.

Last I heard EKO etc. was still in talks about the price of the land but I don't know what the status is now.

Is it right that elected individuals are working as developers using our money? What happens if EKO can't repay the money for the road? Does the land get sold off to anyone willing to buy just so the company can service its debt?

Can it be true Rose Farm Estates has turned away potential purchasers wanting to set up there since there's clearly more profit in housing?

Is it a mere coincidence that Paul Carter, KCC Leader is a developer?

Can it be true EKO don't want China gateway at Manston because they'd rather develop the site themselves?

Anonymous said...

What a mess. Clearly the whole thing stinks. Is there enough here to interest the Serious Fraud Office? I do hope so. It's about time these slimy characters were fully exposed for what they are and properly dealt with. Some hope.

Bertie Biggles said...

Oops! My apologies to the poster at 5pm or so, suggesting that the Leadership at TDC try for directorships with CGI (aka CGP)etc! Pushed reject button in error. Was going to edit your comment though, because you were suggesting something improper.

16:36, I could be wrong but I have a thought that Dir of Fin at TDC is a fellow director of EKO LLP. Can any one confirm this?

12:48, I see that 17:27 has replied to your post. I am very pleased that CGI is talking to EKO LLP and if 'Woger' is being so pro-active!
It is rumoured that negotiations have been proceeding with KCC (EKO LLP) about purchase of its land at Manston Business Park. If CGI could purchase this land, we would see a better China Gateway Phase 1 perhaps developed. This is employment land after all. However, CGI(CGP) plans in Oct 2008 show a cramped plan with huge warehouses at the N end of the site, on SPZ 1 of the aquifer and too close to Acol. It makes sense to have all HGV traffic just off the main road at the S end which is currently owned by KCC (EKO LLP) away from the aquifer and Acol. The problem is EKO LLP, ransom strips and an odd idea about current land values.

Thoroughly confused council taxpayer. said...

If EKO can't pay back the money for the road and the company has used our money to have it built, where does that leave EKO LLP, TDC and KCC, not forgetting the taxpayers of Thanet and Kent i.e. you and me?

TDC is griping about being short of money despite being given above inflation government funding but no council could lose this kind of money and even attempt to maintain services. An LLP is a limited company so the shareholders lose their stake but no one else is liable but there would be land for the creditors to sell to recoup costs but..

the creditors are TDC and KCC so they owe themselves and can't pay back and so it goes on.

It all gets very confusing and we taxpayers will end up carrying the can for a property speculation in our name but intended to make money not for us but for the company.

If you're still with me, perhaps you can sort it all out.

Anonymous said...

Bertie, my implication was that there was no secrets between KCC and TDC and CGP because Latchford divulges all communications between the former 2 straight to Wills and the person hearing the calls(not from Thanet was shocked when hearing it happening! To a non- Thanetician it was a shock!) i merely replied that it was the norm in Thanet, that is how things happen, all so bent !He was aghast and then understood that i had not been making up other seemingly unbelievable tales! Which other local district councils have preferred partners? i could go on...

Anonymous said...

The 251 officer/Director Finance would be involved, to answer the 16:36 question.

What the EKO accounts do not reflect are legal indemnity costs involved to protect the tax payer? If legal indemnity was obtained what was the start date.

My money is on, that the EKO started with no such thing in place ...oh dear.

On a different note, anyone know where I can get a Linak linear actuator repaired/serviced in Thanet.

Bertie Biggles said...

21:26, I am equally confused. The main aspect about EKO LLP is that it seems to be a device to avoid democratic control by TDC Cllrs; TDC's own Scrutiny Committee and enquiry from the electorate. In the process it runs up, it would seem, its own excessive running costs. The question that still needs to be answered is of course what is the 'bill' from KCC that Rose Farm Estates PLC has as its contribution to the new Haine Road? Is it not owner of half of Eurokent? Is it to be a beneficiary of tax-payers largesse?

21:53, thanks. If you look back to Dec 2008/Jan 2009 in the 'Strife' archives and read 'The Tesco Bag Chronicles', you might get the idea that not only do I have experience of the link between CGI (CGP) and Ezekiel/Latchford from first hand but that my identity was not only passed to CGI/CGP but to other parties as well! The fact that an unauthorised uniformed Kent Police Officer was directed by the Leadership of TDC to various Cllrs to bully them into divulging my identity, I found particularly sinister.

Bertie Biggles said...

21:53, I would be grateful if you were prepared to have a private discussion with me via e-mail. Please post a 'comment' with NOT TO BE PUBLISHED' as a heading and enclose e-mail address. Comment moderation enables me to not post it and I will then contact you. I hope you will be happy to join the growing 'Strife' Team!

Anonymous said...

I think it is the 151 not 251 officer. There seems to be a conflict of interest here.
I will email the District Auditor and ask his advice.

Anonymous said...

Google EKO LLP and this is about all you find

Company Overview
East Kent Opportunities (EKO) LLP develops real estate properties in the United Kingdom. It focuses on the development sites, namely Manston Business Park and Eurokent in the Thanet area. The company was incorporated in 2008 and is based in Maidstone, the United Kingdom. East Kent Opportunities (EKO) LLP operates as a subsidiary of Kent County Council and Thanet District Council.

SH-1.49 Sessions House

County Road

Maidstone, ME14 1XQ

United Kingdom

Founded in 2008
44 16 2222 1380

Look at their website and it's just press articles.

Google Rose Farm Estates PLC or Rosefarm Estates PLC and all you find is the name of the main man and nothing else.

So much information!!

Anonymous said...

This is something the opposition should be picking up on, serious questions need to be asked.
Or perhaps scrutiny, it should not be an issue to be brushed under the carpet by the directors.

Anonymous said...

I seem to remember that the Rose farm developers had got the site so tightly sewn up that a local business man of a long established family in Thanet who wanted to expand his existing business in Thanet moved to Ashford as he couldnt agree terms with them! He then went on the record in the local press to explain his reasonings berating the developers at the time. Now he runs a bus to service his toy distribution business workers from Thanet to Ashford. Perhaps the developers have had an eye for housing for longer than we think? Do we know who the directors are? Any connection with any of the usual suspects?

Anonymous said...

Rose Farm Estates PLC search only brings up the name Barry Neill and absolutely nothing about the company.

Anyone able to enlighten me as to who he might be?

David Moore said...

Bertie Biggles

Why do you keep picking on Roger Latchford?

It is rather silly to call the conservative group in Thanet the 'Ezekiel Party'

Bertie when will you get over your differences with Sandy Ezekiel and Roger Latchford and stop be so personal?

Bertie Biggles said...

21:53, thanks for getting in contact.

David,if you still recognise a proper Conservative administration in TDC, then of course you will object to my description of the present set-up as the Ezekiel Party.

These matters are not personal. If Clive Hart was the Leader of TDC and Peter Campbell a director of EKO LLP and both were spouting the same flawed and misleading tosh to the press and the public and had incurred raps from Standards for conduct un-becoming, they would be taken to task by me in the same manner.

Anonymous said...

I am wondering if TDC is actually applying TDC section 12 planning protocol here?

Having looked at P91 under sections 5, 5.1 and 5.2, something is awry here.

The public interests have not been well served at can see where TDC and KCC have protected the private interests above the public.

Perhaps good old ken can answer this?

Anonymous said...

Mr Monocle say's

I say have those chaps at Rose Farm paid any money.

Where can a chap get onto this largesse, as the old account is getting a bit thin - a bit like the children's stories in "Thanets Core Strategy".

Chow for now

ascu75 aka Don said...

Conversation with my daughter led me to change my view of Thanet's housing stock for rent. I know a lot of people who are dss renters through Saint Paul's church and most people have what I would term sub standard housing. One of my daughter friends is at the other end of the scale socially and has reason to find a rented property having relocated from Esher, She cant find anything of a "good enough standard" As soon as a nice property becomes available it is snapped up. I am sure all the houses will be taken when built but what about the substandard housing that the council are approving by paying housing allowance on them. I know this is away from the topic but I had two people from church round last week both in sub standard housing and if this issue is not addressed landlord will continue to flourish while doing nothing.

Anonymous said...

Don....exactly, what is TDC doing about this? My daughter and a member of the family are in the same substandard rental area.

This is where the Poor Stragety (it cannot be called the Core strategy falls flat on its face.

Thanet always seems to encourage the chancers and TDC allows them to proliferate.

Anonymous said...

12:26 Bertie only ever looks at one side of the story and his view is coloured because plod knocked on his door a long time ago about the tesco bag story. Just think of him as a kindly and well intentioned but flawed great uncle, with very poor grasp of the facts.

Bertie Biggles said...

12:58, the odd thing was that the uniformed officer DID NOT knock on my door. That I found very odd in the extreme as did other non-uniformed chaps.

Please elaborate on which facts are flawed and perhaps then make a more useful contribution when you visit. Nice to see you here though.