We Don’t Know, So We’ll Leave You To Decide

Image result for millions of pounds in cash

In 2010 the Folkestone Herald  reported that the Creative Foundation (CF) had ‘received millions of pounds from the public purse’ – Sir Roger has asked for a right of reply which is published in full below, this blog post.

The Herald revealed in fact that CF had received about £8 million from the public purse, according to CF’s accounts covering the financial year ending October 2009

In 2010, it was reported that by 2010 ‘The Creative Foundation secured £33 million from the Roger de Haan charitable trust, as part of a package of funding totalling over £100 million with other supporters including the Channel Corridor AIF, Kent County Council and Arts Council.

Since 2010,  the CF and the Roger De Haan Charitable Trust (RDHCT) have continued to receive ‘millions of pounds from the public purse’

According to both Kent County Council & Shepway District Council payment to supplier data, both CF & RDHCT between them have received the following:

1cf

Or put another way

2-cf

It was announced earlier this year – June 2016 – that CF will receive £750,000 from the Arts Council.

The CF’s Trustees chairman is Sir Roger De Haan who also sits as Chair of the Trustee for the RDHCT

We note that according to the Charity Commission’s Data (Data for financial year ending 05 April 2015) that RDHCT had an income of £6 million and spent £4 million. We know some of the income came from the public purse, but we do not and can not say how much, because the breakdown is not clear.

Image result for Sir Roger De Haan Knighthood

In 2012 it was reported that Sir Roger De Haan (left) was worth £800 million.

Should a multi millionaire who heads up both the CF and the RDHCT in Austerity Hit Britain be receiving money from the public purse, when all around us cuts are being made and frontline services are being decimated?

Cuts to Children Centres, Cuts of £80 Million and a four percent Counil Tax rise reported by Kentonline earlier this year. And yet both CF and RDHCT continue to receive monies from the Public Purse for their projects. What do you think, should this be happening?

Image result for folkestone gold rush

Neither CF or the RDHCT are to blame for the cuts, that responsibility lies with Central Government. Sir Roger De Haan and his organisations CF & RDHCT have genorously donated large sums of monies over the years to worthy causes, such as Age Concern Hythe & Elham, Demelza House, Shepway Volunteer Centre, British Red Cross Ebola Crisis,  Zamcog – School in Zambia and many many others.

Folkestone has certainly benefited from his philanthropy. Properties which once laid derelict are now restored and have tenants running thriving businesses. The Triennial draws thousands of visitors, who spend money here and help the local economy.

That said, we do believe there should at least be a debate about the CF and the RDHCT receiving money from the Public Purse. We are NOT saying Sir Roger De Haan is a bad person for receiving monies from the public purse for his organisations. Many people we the Shepwayvox Team have spoken to, believe that Sir Roger and CF & RDHCT should not be receiving money from the public purse. Many people have said he & they should. All we know is that we don’t know, so we’ll leave you to decide that.

Shepwayvox

Below is a letter which Trevor Minter, an employee of Sir Roger De Haan state we publish we do so today (Friday 24th Nov 2016 at 10am), in full

Your recent articles (“We Don’t Know, So We’ll Leave You to Decide” and “Reader’s Digest”) contained misleading and inaccurate information relating to Sir Roger De Haan’s support for charitable projects in Folkestone. This letter is to set the record straight on Sir Roger’s behalf.

As you know, and reported in your article, Sir Roger supports a wide range of charitable activities through his family Trust (RDHCT), which was formed by the De Haan family in 1978. Sir Roger serves as Chairman of the Trustees of the Trust, which has provided generous grants to create sports and recreational facilities in the Shepway District and other parts of East Kent, and made significant donations to community, health, youth and heritage projects over many years. The Trust is a major supporter of a Red Cross initiative to improve care and education amongst people with HIV/AIDS in South Africa. The Trust has also provided the funds to buy and refurbish many previously dilapidated properties in Folkestone that are then leased at peppercorn rents to the Creative Foundation to enable it to pursue its charitable objectives.

The Creative Foundation (CF) is an entirely independent charity that is leading the regeneration of Folkestone. As stated on the front page of its website, it is an “independent visionary arts charity dedicated to enabling the regeneration of Folkestone through creative activity. Working with the people of Folkestone, partners and other stakeholders we are transforming the town making it a better place to live, work, visit and study.” Sir Roger chairs the CF’s Board of Trustees, for which he receives no remuneration, nor does he exercise control over the charity’s actions or finances.

Some of the most ambitious capital projects that have been undertaken or supported by RDHCT have only been possible by means of additional charitable contributions made by Sir Roger to its funds, which accounts for the vast majority of any income the Trust receives. In a very small number of cases, projects that have been largely funded by the Trust have also received relatively modest grants from public sources. One such was the Townscape Heritage Initiative which invited property owners within a defined Old Town conservation area to apply for contributions towards the renovation of buildings. The Trust received a total of £519,988 from this programme for work on two buildings, control of which was then passed to the CF under the peppercorn rent arrangement described above. This should be seen in the context of the £40.7million spent by the Trust on similar work on over 80 buildings.

Your articles implied that Sir Roger reaped some direct benefit from funding received by the Trust that we have described and have expressed the view that there was something improper in the arrangements under which the Trust benefited from these grants. Any reasonable person would understand at once that both these statements are baseless and absurd.

Yours sincerely

Trevor Minter OBE

For and on behalf of Sir Roger De Haan CBE

 

 

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5 Comments on We Don’t Know, So We’ll Leave You To Decide

  1. De Haan has got enough money theyt do not need the extra funding but Shepway and KCC are to blame when they give money to arts etc whilst cutting down mental health and other services

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  2. just another millionaire // November 2, 2016 at 11:15 // Reply

    A very informative and balanced posted raising important questions relating to the apportionment of public funds to suppliers in Shepway. Thank you for raising this concern. I hope the council will see fit to explain how this individual is able to claim million of pounds from the public purse, presumably at the expense of other worthwhile projects.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. A conundrum indeed..

    If I had £800 million I’d be living on a beach somewhere nice.

    He certainly does a lot of good things with the money, he doesn’t court publicity – that’s left to “Local Council Be-chained Idiots” to jump on the photo shoot bandwagon.

    And he isn’t dodgy.

    So given a toss up between him or relying KCC/SDC Counciliars – I think I’d go with him.

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  4. Sir Rodger does not have to spread any of his millions anywhere. The fact that he chooses to spend on Folkestone is to be applauded. Wether he gets matching grant funding is not up to him, it is up to Council. He chooses to spend on Folkestone and I, for one, would wish to thank him for that.

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  5. i dont get this kent county council and shepway council giving money to these charitable foundations when they say they have to raise council tax to cover the shortfall in their spending year on year. the money collected from the people of shepway in council tax should only be used for services for us ie police fire ambulance etc maybe winter shelter for the homeless etc but not given in grants for arty farty projects. although the harbour arm seems to bring in lots of people spending money in the area

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