On the 30th Oct 2015, we brought you the post “Something Is Rotten In the Borough Of Shepway” which was about the purchase of the property – 15 Grace Hill, Folkestone (pictured). The owner of the building was Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd, owned and run by Mr S Grover and Mr Leo Livingston Griggs.
At the time Leo was a Sandgate Parsih Cllr, but stepped down in April 2016.
Leo & Simon’s company purchased 15 Grace Hill in Feb 2015 for £105,000 pounds and sold it on to Oportunitas Ltd – a company solely owned by Shepway District Council (see page 7) – for £500,000 on the 18th Nov 2015. Below is Leo & Simon showing Cllrs Ewart James & Pascoe (Director & Chairman of Oportunitas at the time) around 15 Grace Hill after the conversion into flats.
Now there is something very odd about all this as according to Companies House, both Leo & Simon’s company have a mortgage on the building which is still outstanding. At the same time Oportunitas Ltd also have a charge on the building, between themselves and Shepway District Council. So the question is, who owns 15 Grace Hill as it is not possible for both Leo & Simon and Oportunitas Ltd to own it at the same time. This is not to dissimilar to Cllr Monk’s home and Milldown Associates Ltd where two mortgages existsed on the same building at the same time.
Now after receiving one contract to turn 15 Grace Hill into flats for Oportunitas Ltd, Leo & Simon’s Company – Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd have now found themselves in the enviable position of receiving yet more money from Shepway District Council.
According to Shepway District Council’s purchase orders, Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd received £795,000 in June_2017 and a further £795,000 in August 2017. This money is so that Leo & Simon’s company can build a three-storey block of six one bedroom flats on the small piece of land at Roman’s Way in Cheriton.
Now we have searched Contracts Finder Public tenders.net and OJEU to see when the tender to build the six flats at Roman Way happened, yet we can find no evidence of such a tender taking place. According to sources, Leo & Simon say they actually tendered twice, so is it cock up or conspiracy. How has this happened? Surely the building of the six flats (artist impression pictured) should have gone out to open tender and the info be in the public domain, shouldn’t it?
Perhaps Cllr Peter Gane might ask a question at Full Council about how Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd won any tender which may or may not have happened. After all, Leo & Simon have received £1,590,000 of public money so far.
Also we understand that the Oportunitas Board will meet this week and we’d ask Cllrs Claire Jeffrey – Chairman & Lead Director, Mary Lawes, Philip Martin and Roger Wilkins (all pictured below) to raise the issue of the double mortgage on 15 Grace Hill, Folkestone. As Directors of Oportunitas, they are all remunerated with taxpayers money.
The double mortgage is more cock up than conspiracy, however, the fact that Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd have won a contract without there appearing to be any evidence in the public domain of a tender, well that raises plausible suspicion. It’s clear Leo has contacts inside the Council and there is sufficient evidence of previous possible cronyism. But in the end good people we’ll leave you to decide what happened regarding the tender to build the six flats at Roman Way.
The Shepwayvox Team