On November 26th 2015 Shepwayvox brought you the post about Shepway District Council’s (SDC) b & b bill between Jan 15 – Oct 15. Now SDC have finally complied with the Local Government Transparency Code 2014/15 and provided their spending data in CSV and Excel format, we can bring you this data for April 16 – Sept 2016.
In these six months SDC have spent £220, 977.12 on Bed & Breakfast accommodation.
SDC have already informed us they are to reduce the number of house builds from 300 to 200. SDC have not given us or you sufficient reason as to why this might be. Is it because they are not great fans of council housing?
One might have thought that after Cllr Richard Pascoe’s (Con) comment, where he said “Young people are struggling to buy ‘affordable housing’ that’s because they can’t afford it.’ at the Licensing & Planning Committee meeting on Tuesday 25th October, building more council homes would be an absolute priority, but it isn’t.
SDC have consciously chosen to reduce the number of council homes they wish to build.
Anyway, another way of looking at the data is by month. The data does show a decline and a slight rise in the use of B & B accommodation by SDC.
We have also broken it down by supplier, so you can easily see who gets how much over the six months, the data covers.
And then we have broken it down into who gets paid what, month by month.
This data – provided by SDC leads to some natural questions, these being
How many children are currently living in B & B accommodation?
Why are SDC using the The Grand Burstin hotel, by the Harbour?
Who are they housing there and for what reason?
Why are they placing people as far away as Dover in the Connaught Hotel on Folkestone Road Dover
Which Lilac Estates Ltd are SDC dealing with? The one based in East Sussex, TN37 6RJ or the one based offshore in the Akara Building, 24 De Castro Street, Wickham Cay 1, Road Town, Tortola,, British Virgin Island. This address shows up in the Panama Papers?
Is this truly the ‘best value for money’ SDC can get, when they are by choice reducing the number of houses they are building?
Finally with Cllr Pascoe’s comment ringing in our eyes, we’d like to remind you that Cllr David Drury Monk (Con) family got onto the housing ladder because the local authority gave his family a mortgage. It is now possible for council to create bonds and we have in the past mentioned the Shepway Bond perhaps it is time for SDC to consider this as Cllr David Drury Monk – the leader of SDC does believe in fairness, justice & equality for all. We hope his actions will match his words and that he will reconsider his decision to build only 200 new council homes, instead of the 300 his Conservative group originally promised.
If you want any answers to the questions we have raised, or want to put questions of your own then do contact
Cllr David Drury Monk – Leader of SDC – email@example.com
Cllr Alan Ewart-James – Cabinet Member for Housing