Folkestone Town Centre Management Ltd (FTCM) is a not for profit organisation and is made up of 3 bodies.
Folkestone Town Centre Management – Events in Folkestone Town Centre, eg Farmers Market, Musical Events etc
The Folkestone Area Partnership Against Crime – responsible for monthly intelligence reports on shoplifters and other persons.
Discover Folkestone Partnership – Tourism for Shepway
See: FTCM Website
FTCM Chairman, Ben Sharp, who is also the Secretary
and Vice Chairman Robert Richardson,
(General Manager of The Grand) who signs off FTCM’s books and the other Directors, are responsible for a debt of One Hundred and Fifty Thousand Three Hundred and Forty Three pounds, (£150,343) This fact can been seen here → FTCM ACCOUNTS 2014/15
Is this good management by the Board and those responsible? Are we getting value for money?
Are the board the right people to run the organisation?
One of the many complaints we read in the minutes of SDC Meetings from the Chairman of SDC Chamber Cllr Jan Holben, is that she all too often has to explain where Folkestone and Shepway are. Surely FTCM and their sister body Discover Folkestone are failing in their duty and responsibility to promote Tourism across the District and makes Cllr Jan Holben’s job even more difficult. The Former manager of FTCM Viv Kenny, managed to “bring to fruition – the first Discover Folkestone, Hythe and Romney Marsh guide in over five years, alongside other projects. This guide was often seen in the hands of Cllr Janet Holben when out and about explaining to people where Shepway is.
Do the Directors not want people to know where Shepway is?
Do the Directors want to make Cllr Jan Hoblen’s job more difficult?
Are the Directors acting responsibly and serving the best interests of our District from Sandgate to Snargate, from Lydd to Lympne?
It is, in part, their job to promote Shepway, as a safe, fun, enjoyable, come to place. It is not their job to cause Cllr Jan Holben having to explain where our wonderful district is. But alas the Chairman Ben Sharp and the Vice Chair Robert Richardson, and other directors, seem to believe it is.
Also Mr Robert Richardson Vice Chair of FTCM has according to companies house, never run a business of his own. He has only ever managed. In his other place of work, The Grand Folkestone, his ultimate boss Michael Stainer is under investigation by HMRC. A legitimate question to ask is, what if anything did Mr Robert Richardson know about the non payment of National Insurance and other taxes? After all he is General Manager and one would reasonably expect him to know what is going on, surely? Also should he continue to sit on FTCM and prepare “monthly intelligence reports” when the company he works for is under investigation by HMRC. Would it not be wiser for him to step back or step down from his role as Vice Chair of FTCM, while the company of which he is General Manager, is being investigated by HMRC?
“It is understood HMRC may have been looking for cash which could have been used to pay The Grand’s tax liabilities.Witnesses reported seeing officials raid the property and take away a number of items in sealed plastic bags.Three were arrested and released on bail, a spokesman for HMRC said today after raids in Folkestone and Barham”
Kentonline 27 July 2015
Anyway, that aside, will Mr Ben Sharp and Mr Robert Richardson and the rest of the board do what’s best for our district and step down? We believe they are failing our district with regards Tourism. What do you think they ought to do?
If you want to contact them you can do using the following ways:
Bouverie Place Shopping Centre, The Management Suite, Bouverie Place Shopping Centre, Folkestone, CT20 1AU
Tel: 01303 850522
We stress that Mr Stainer, Mr Richardson et al are innocent until proven guilty by HMRC.