Over the last year we have had some major scoops. Revealing that SDC had bought the Otterpool Farm land for £5.2 million in the post The Cat Is Out Of The Bag on Jan 8th 2016.
We liked this post because it was about listening and listening carefully to what was said at the At the Resources Scrutiny Committe meeting on Jan 6th 2016. Mr Lee Walker mentioned the sum of £5.3 million being set aside for land acquisition, and with the other information we already possessed it became clear that the money had been spent on the land at Otterpool Park.
In February it was the long awaited report into Cllr Simmons expenses which led to a full blown report being issued by SDC.
We liked this because it meant we had to wade through lots of detail and that is of course where the devil sits. The Expenses Report was picked up by both the Herald & The Kentish Express after we pushed the story continuously for 7 months, mainly on our own.
In May we brought you the Panama Papers Across Kent
We liked this story because it brought the offshore industry onshore. It brought it home and it brought it to a neighbour near you, making it relevant to our lives. It demonstrated that offshore is not elsewhere. It demonstrated that offshore is onshore and near you.
In early July 2016 we brought you SDC’s CEO’s expenses
We liked this because we discovered Mr Stewart (and others) £320 lunch, which led Cllr Susie Govett to raise questions in the Council Chamber. We liked it because it showed how an unelected official spends – in part our taxpayers money.
Again in July we got the proof of the Otterpool Manor Farmland Purchase Receipts
We liked this story because it was about transparency, showing the people of Shepway how the money is spent. It also demonstrates that taking the time to look at SDC’s accounts therein by treasure.
In August we ran the story Tapped Up By Affinity Water
We liked this story because it proved where the money went – how the owners control their stakes in Affinity through subsidiary companies registered in Luxembourg, Guernsey, British Virgin Islands, Switzerland and the Netherlands.
In October we brought you the story about 80 Sidney Street
We liked this story because it was a ten month long investigation which got us involved with an International Newspaper who continue to dig and probe at this story. We liked it because it brought home the the fact that so much money was and still is running through one address in our great district.
In November we showed you how Damian Collins MP was Kent’s most expensive MP.
We liked this story as we had got to grips with pivot tables and putting data in a way that was easily understandable. Plus we liked it because it showed that Damian had put a claim before IPSA for ‘fees’ of £6000 for his wife’s company which was not paid as it was not eligible under the IPSA scheme
Finally, this month we brought you Councillors – rights of access to information.
We liked this story because it empowered you the citizen as it enabled you to inform your Cllr what rights they have to access Council information.
All in all it’s been a good year. We have a global readership, a national readership but most importantly a local readership. We are grateful to you all who have read us and shared us, we thank each of you.
You our readers are vital to us as are the people who share information with us, for that we are truly grateful. We hope you all have a great new year and we look forward to bringing you more newsworthy stories in 2017. Have a good one people.