On Tuesday the 16th February, the Secretary of State for Transport, Patrick McLoughlin MP (pictured) – (all information comes from SDC’s CEO Alistair Stewart expenses, posted below) came to see the hole which had appeared on the line between Folkestone & Dover.
After this strenuous work The Secretary of State for Transport Patrick McLoughlin MP, (who claimed £86,621 in expenses, between 04/05 to 07/08) got hungry, so headed for lunch at Rocksalt, a restaurant with a view overlooking Folkestone Harbour.
Here the hungry minister met our own chief executive of Shepway District Council, Mr Alistair Stewart (below) for lunch. The bill came to £ 320.75 and was paid for by Mr Stewart on an SDC credit card.
What did the Secretary of State and Mr Stewart Discuss?
Prior to this event on the 19th January the Operation Stack Inquiry was launched. Did the Secretary of State and Mr Stewart discuss the possible building of the lorry park? It would make sense that they did. Of course, probably no notes were taken of their conversation. So there is probably nothing on the record. So behind another closed door another closed meeting takes place and we the residents of Shepway no nothing about what was said.
Then just 21 working days later, on the 16th February, Cllr Monk, SDC CEO Alistair Stewart et al, bend the ear of Transport Secretary over a £320 lunch. Local transport issues, including the railway line, the impact of Operation Stack and illegal overnight lorry parking of local roads were discussed.
On the 6th July, Transport Secretary, Patrick McLoughlin, announced that a major new lorry area will be created at Stanford West as a long-term solution to the problems caused on the M20 and surrounding roads when Operation Stack is used.
Did the meeting he had with Cllr Monk, Mr Stewart, et al, influence his decision?
This behaviour by Mr Stewart for holding meetings behind closed doors is well known to those of you who read this blog regularly. Transparency & Accountability are too often forgotten. It is Taxpayers money after all SDC & Mr Stewart are spending.
On the 16/09/2015 Mr Stewart rolls into the Crowne Plaza in Marlow -Buckinghamshire (below)
. Mr Stewart stays from the 16/09/15 – 18/09/15. On the 16th when he arrives, he orders lunch for himself at the cost of £17.95 (including Vat). However what is missing even though it was requested to inspect, is the invoice for the whole two day stay. Possibly an oversight by the compiler of the information? Or a deliberate attempt at hiding the expense of his stay? We have been informed, that Mr Stewart did not pay for it with SDC money? So who did? Himself? That would be odd if that were the case. Or did one of the Sponsors pay for his accommodation? We don’t know.
Mr Stewart spoke at the LGC Summit and moaned about the fact that Shepway District council had struggled to engage other authorities in commercial collaboration.
Anyway that aside, who paid for his two day stay?
Finally, just to make you smile our CEO of SDC Alistair Stewart is in the habit of collecting Nectar points and club card points when filling up with petrol and then claiming it on expenses. The points; which make prizes, are then spent by Mr Stewart at our expense. Cllr Lenny Laws has done the same too.
So Mr Stewart the questions are
1 Did you speak to the Secretary of State about the lorry park? Yes he did.
2 Who paid for your stay in the Crowne Plaza in Marlow?
3 What did the party of seven eat for lunch, can we see an itemized bill?
3 What has Alistair Stewart spent the Nectar/Clubcard points on; which he has received from taxpayers money?
If you have a question for Mr Stewart you can contact him at