One Million Three Hundred and Forty Thousand Pounds

SDC have a company by the name of Oportunitas Ltd. We have written about the company before see → Something Is Rotten in the District of Shepway

Well Oportunitas Ltd accounts have now been submitted and can be found here .

What is interesting is that on the 10th Nov 2015, SDC and Oportunitas Ltd created a Debenture. A Debenture is a medium- to long-term debt instrument used by companies to borrow money, at a fixed rate of interest. So Oportunitas Ltd has basically borrowed money from SDC  see here for the → Debenture

So far, Oportunitas Ltd, according to Companies House have bought 6 properties. They are in Grace Hill, Grove Terrace and 4 in Walter Tull Way, all in Folkestone.

These properties have cost £1,340,000,  or one million three hundred and forty thousand pounds. They have been bought to provide rental income and business space income (Grace Hill). How long before Oportunitas will see any return on their investment? Was this good use of public money?

A Junior Director, Cllr Susie Govet has made it known that she receives the sum of £100 a month as aDirector of the Company, so £1,200 a year. It is not know what the three other Tory Cllrs, Pascoe, Wilkins or Berry receive. When Oportunitas Ltd was set up there Dr Susan Priest of SDC was a Director, also Cllrs Susan Carey, Mr Brian Copping, Mr Alan John Ewart-James, Philip Stanley Martin and Alan Clifton-Holt did they all recieve a renumeration?  If so how much for how long?

On Wednesday 24 Feb at 5pm in the Civic centre, Shepway Cllrs who sit on the Cabinet will meet to discuss Oportunitas Ltd and in particular

“Report C/15/78 Cabinet is asked to extend the current business plan for Oportunitas from April 2016 to end March 2017 while a review of the sustainability of the financing model underpinning the company is undertaken, and while the implications of the announcements made on 25th November 2015 as part of the Autumn Statement are reviewed. In addition, comments from Shepway District Council’s Legal and Finance departments are included under section 3 of this report.”

That said, members of the public will be excluded fro this debate By virtue of paragraph(s) 3 of Part 1 of Schedule 12A of the Local Government Act 1972. So we will not know what is said.

  • Is this a transparent Council?

  • Does it make them accountable?

  • Does it promote public understanding?

  • Is the Democratic process safeguarded by the exclusion of the public?

  • Do we know whether the decision they will be taking regarding Oportunitas Ltd will be good ones?

  • How will we know if they are upholding standards of integrity.

  • How will we know they are securing the best use of public resources.

  • How do they prevent suspicions of wrongdoing when the meeting is behind closed doors.

SDC have already spent £5.3 million on the land at Otterpool Lane [Sellindge] and tried to keep that secret, but the cat got out of the bag, well now you know that they have spent £1,340,000 and half of million of that sum went to a Sandgate parish councillor.

People of Shepway we understand SDC need extra revenue streams and we at Shepwayvox are not adverse to this. What we do condone is that we the residents/the public of Shepway are excluded from the chamber. We do not believe this is transparent nor do we believe it dispels the suspicions of wrongdoing by Cllrs. What do you think?



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1 Comment on One Million Three Hundred and Forty Thousand Pounds

  1. I understand what your site is saying. My answer is that SDC should have nothing like a ‘Free Hand’ to decide where Tax payers money should be spent.

    SDC should have due regard to to the majority wishes of their electorate and not ride ‘Roughshod’ over such wishes in the belief that they ‘Know better’.

    Our Councillors were elected to address our concerns and be our agents to bring Ward issues to the Forum of General Council.

    If Councillors wish to believe themselves above such wishes they should, perhaps , reconsider whether they have a part to play in the overall scheme. Resignation could be appropriate.

    For the most part I consider our Councillors to be honest and upstanding but it comes across that some are possibly out to ‘Feather their own nest’.

    Surely, SDC need to convince the populace that their efforts are for the general good and in the interests of all.

    I would urge those interested to attend at least some of the monthly Council meetings.

    You, as the electorate, have a voice. If you chose not to impose it you really should not complain too much I think.

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