Transparency & Accountability are all too often lacking in national, county and local politics. Just ask those who are trying to discover what is going on regarding Princes Parade, Otterpool Park or the Disney sized Lorry Park which Highways England would like to build at Stanford (J11 M20). It is not just these large scale developments, it is the 30, 40, 50 houses or more to be built near you some time soon. What do you know about them? What does the developer know? Well it is a lot more than you, that’s certain.
KCC are and have used Kent Taxpayers money to allow property developers priviliged access to senior planning officers in every council in Kent. Property Developers have access to elected Councillors across every council in Kent as well, regarding pre planning application advice. This is a worrying development. It demonstrates where the balance of power sits and it isn’t with you the resident of the Folkestone West Division or Shepway. That’s why you should Vote Rylands on May 4th 2017 as I am the only candidate who work to change this worrying practice.
Locate In Kent based at International House (pictured) in Ashford was set up in 1997 and Kent County Council have two directors on the board. Both are elected Councillors. They are Cllr Bryan Sweetland and Cabinet Member for Economic Development Cllr Mark Dance (both pictured below)
Since 2010 and KCC have pumped over four point eight million into Locate In Kent according to KCC accounts. They hold less than a 50% share of the company.
Locate In Kent also have three directors from the Kent Developers Group (KDG) on its board. It cost £5000 to become a member of KDG. There are two types of membership, full membership and associate membership. Members of the Group include well known property development companies including for example:
Berkley Group, Quinn Estates, Land Bankers, Taylor Wimpey, Pentland Homes Limited. Peter Tory & Mark Quinn both Property Developers on KDG books, have both donated to the Local Folkestone & Hythe Conservative Association and Taylor Wimpey have helped rewrite national development rules
KDG, KCC, Kent Housing Group and the Kent Planning Officers Group have as I said rewritten development rules for Kent and have come up with the A Planning Protocol For Delivering Growth In Kent & Medway. The Protocol is supported by Shepway District Council amongst others, and they had input into the protocol.
This protocol allows for “an increased opportunity for engagement with elected Members, through briefings at the pre- application stage. This will ensure that community issues and needs are considered early in the process and that Members will have a better understanding of developers’ proposals at the pre-application stage.” among other things.
This means that members of KDG, such as Quinn Wilson for example, access to not only elected members, such as Cllr Monk but to senior planning officers such as Ben Gering (pictured) at SDC. These meetings and the contents of these meetings are not disclosed. If elected, I will fight for the minutes, agenda and documents of the KCC elected Cllrs who sit on the Locate In Kent board to publish these details and also the meetings developers have with SDC, if possible.
Kent Taxpayers money, all £4.8 million of it has been used in part by KDG via its directorship on LOCATE IN KENT, to provide property developers with priviliged access to senior decision makers and sensitive information. This behaviour is I believe, improper, unethical and suggestive of unfair insider dealing. by voting for me, on May 4th, you will be voting for a candidate who will fight to bring Transparency & Accountability to these highly dubious practices into the light.
Transparency & Accountability matter so
Vote Independent, Vote Rylands Vote On May 4th 2017
Published & Promoted by Bryan Rylands Flat D Avenay Court Folkestone CT20 2LN
All the information above is my own and does not represent the views of the Shepwayvox Team who have kindly allowed me to use their blogsite.