Simon & David Reuben dropped to No 3 in the Sunday Times Rich List 2017. However, their £14 billion pound fortune did rise by £900 million since 2016.
It is a strange kind of economy when the Reuben Brothers land and property routinely earns more than most people do in Shepway. They own land and lots of property and have benefited directly from public investment in infrastructure and services: so we are all paying into their large fortune as Britain’s 3rd wealthiest property moguls.
The Reuben Brothers (pictured with Joan Collins) have a collaboration agreement with Shepway District Council; which sets out the principle of working together on a comprehensive masterplan for Otterpool Park. It includes the principle of equalisation for the whole area of search (ie land value will be the same across the whole site, irrespective of where housing is located).
The Masterplan is being put together by Arcadis for both SDC and The Reuben Brothers. But there are some questions to be answered. Who is paying Arcadis? Well it is clear from SDC’s payment to suppliers, that they are. To date they have made four payments totalling just over £826 thousand pound.
So are The Reuben Brothers paying their share of costs regarding the masterplan separately?
Or are Shepway taxpayers paying for the Reuben Brothers costs out of SDC coffers and then invoicing them? If this is the case, why is it so?
The Reuben Brothers are not short of a bob or two. In fact, they are richer than Shepway District Council. And The Sunday Times points out that the Reuben brothers are famous for being wary of debt and consistently hold a large proportion of their fortunes in liquid assets – cash and bonds. So there should not potentially be any cash flow issues.
Due to the KCC elections and the General Election; to take place on June the 8th, no further consultations can take place with the people until after the election.
In April the Otterpool-Park-Stage-1-Report put together by the whole Arcadis Team was released. In May 2017, SDC released the Stage-1-Otterpool-Park-Community-Engagement-Report put together by Kevin Murray Associates; who are part of the Arcadis team. So obviously the £826 thousand has gone to pay for this work.
Also our public face has managed to get the Otterpool risk register via an EIR request,; which has been partially redacted by SDC, as it would affect or be likely to affect the relationship between SDC and The Reuben Brothers
So at this moment in time, we simply do not know if SDC are paying for and behalf of the Reuben Brothers, but we are endeavouring to find out. Watch this space.
The Shepwayvox Team