Shepway District Council (SDC) becoming part of the Super Council, is the most important decision SDC have made since they became a district council in 1974. Therefore we call upon the leadership of Shepway, both the CEO Alistair Stewart as the Returning Officer and Cllr David Drury Monk – our ex double glazing salesman, to offer the people of Shepway a referendum.
We need the opposition leader Len Laws (UKIP) (pictured) to stand up and be counted. So far his opposition style has been non-existent and it is time he showed the people of Shepway, that he is worth the£7,650 allowance he receives for being opposition leader.
Over half a million people will come together under one roof, one council, this surely merits a referendum and we call upon all parties in opposition to call for a referendum, Labour, UKIP, Lib Dems the Greens, Local and Town Council’s we will all be affected.
We call upon the opposition parties to ask about the deficits, which Ashford Borough Council (ABC) is rightly concerned about, thus reluctant to join the other four, because of their “financial woes” as Cllr Gerry Clarkson Leader of ABC puts it.
SDC have debts close to £60 million. £40 million of that is what they borrowed from the Public Works Loan Board and they will pay back £57 million in all, so £17 million in interest payments until 2030/31.
Canterbury have a debt to the Public Work Loans Board of £ 183.3m, what are the loan repyaments on that? And how long will it take to pay off including the interest payments.
What are Dover & Thanet’s outstanding debt to the Public Works Loan Board? What is the true figure of all their debt, including their pension deficit they all appear to have? Is this why Ashford Borough Council are reluctant to come on board? Is this what they mean when they took about the financial woes of the other four councils? Is the debt the elephant in the room?
Our ex failed double glazing salesman Cllr David Drury Monk, so often talks about our future generations, the debt he has left them and will leave them if we sign up to the Super Council, is neither here nor there to him but to our future generations who will be paying Council Tax down the line, it matters.
CEO of SDC Alitair Stewart, (pictured) (Source Two Visual Thinkers) has said that SDC have struggled to engage other authorities in commercial collaboration. Why is that Mr Stewart? Who is responsible for this? Doesn’t the buck stop with you?
Mr Stewart’s business model does not appear to be a sensible one to us, does it to you, when he is on the record as saying
“We have a successful grounds maintenance team. We offered to our neighbour to help sort out their team at no cost to them and no profit to us, and they didn’t want to, so we just went and sold the services to someone else, which I find sad,”
It is sad Mr Stewart when SDC are not capable of engaging other council’s. It is sad when SDC do not listen to its voters over building up to 20,000 homes across the district, when it doesn’t listen to the people of Hythe over Princes Parade. It is sad, when they spend money like water on putting the new Leisure centre, first at Martello Lakes then on Hythe Green and now on Princes Parade. This fiasco has rolled on since 2006 and the costs are alleged to be in excess of half a million pounds. Is that money well spent? We personally think not.
Will SDC be jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire by signing up to the super council? We personally think so, and not to tell us about the debt burden the constituents across the four districts will be taking on is disingenuous to say the least. Therefore, whether you are from Thanet, Dover, Canterbury or Shepway, we call upon you the good people of these districts to contact your local Councillors and ask them for a referendum, or if anyone has the money to make it a legal issue and ask the courts if we the people of East Kent are allowed to vote on a mammoth decision, the likes of one which we have not had to make since 1974 please feel free to do so. You’ll have our support and we suspect the support of many others across the four districts.