Hythe Against Crime (HAC) is a company registered at Companies House on Feb 10 th , 2003. Its registered address is 37 Earlsfield Road, Hythe. Its officers are Nicholas Hamilton Meurice (Director), Captain Louis Edwin Regis Belcourt (Director) and Cllr Alan John Ewart-James (Secretary) (below).
Captain Louis, who we shall call Reg from this point, is a Conservative member of Hythe Town Council. Alan Ewart-James is a Conservative member of both Hythe Town Council, Shepway District Council and the executive Cabinet member for Housing at Shepway District Council. Nicholas Meurice is a former Conservative Hythe
Town Councillor. Mr Meurice narrowly missed out on a seat on Hythe Town Council in 2015.
HAC was incorporated on 10 February 2003 with the following objects:
“The Company’ objects are the promotion of crime prevention/education measure within the designated area of Hythe in conjunction with the police, other statutory authorities, community and voluntary agencies, and the protection of people and property from and the prevention of criminal acts by the encouragement of greater participation in the prevention of crime and the provision of education information and practical assistance to the community.”
When the company formed, they achieved their objectives by creating and maintaining a network of VHF radios which were rented to traders based in the town. The accounts show that the company received a grant from the now defunct South East England Development Agency [“SEEDA”] (Where Dr Susan Priest Corporate Director of SDC formerly worked). The accounts would suggest that this initial injection of capital was used to set up the company and purchase the necessary equipment to run the radio network.
The company operated quite successfully and at its peak in 2005/06, generated £12,012 in income in a single year.
Fast forward a few years and the accounts for 2010/11 show the dying breath of the radio-rental income at just £312. At that point, the company was holding cash totalling over £34,000 and this has remained largely the same right up to today.
In their latest accounts 2015/16, which are signed by the Treasurer, Alan Ewart-James, we see that HAC is holding £32,506.45.
HAC is a company limited by guarantee and not having a share capital. There are no shareholders and any income the company receives shall only be applied in furtherance of its objects.
Hythe Town Council has recently been discussing the on-going costs of their CCTV system. Some Councillors (Guess Who?), have argued that the system is too expensive.
Readers might ask: what is Hythe Against Crime going to do with all that money? Will they make a one-off grant to Hythe Town Council as a contribution to their CCTV fund? Will they restart their shop radio scheme? Will they recognise their unique position and ability to combat the perception that the level of crime in Hythe, particularly in the High Street, is rising?
(This is a guest post and any views expressed therein do not necessarily reflect the views of Shepwayvox)