So it’s a record Shepway District Council should not be proud of. The number of rough sleepers has hit their highest levels ever in the district. This was announced at the final full council on Wednesday 20th December.
The numbers were announced at the final full council of the year, by the Cabinet Member for Housing Cllr Alan Ewart James (pictured). He also announced that we have 23 households residing in bed and breakfast style short term accommodation, a further 6 residing in East Kent Housing Temporary Accommodation, and 30 in other forms of what is termed nightly let accommodation giving a total of 59. 33 have been accepted as statutorily homeless by Shepway District Council. He also announced that the Council will now be buying two units (properties) to house people so as to reduce the numbers and costs of those going into Bed & Breakfast.
It was previously a single unit (property). We note that Cllr Ewart James never challenged the figures quoted by Cllr Mary Lawes (pictured) regarding the B&B Accommodation Costs of £900,000, so can only conclude they are correct.
We also learned that the number of Retrospective Purchase Orders for the fist six months of 2016/17 financial year stood at an average of 55 per month with an average value per month of £500,000.
Cllr Malcom Dearden (pictured) stated that: “invoices are not passed without a PO.” Which is a bit impossible as the invoice from the supplier arrives before the Purchase Order has been made up as we made clear in a previous post. The process below shows what SDC have done – incorrectly. The Purchase order should ALWAYS be raised first, otherwise the potential for fraud or misappropriation is ever present.
Finally we had Cllr David Monk (pictured) give his final report to the Full Council, before he and they and invited guests buggered off upstairs for a Xmas drink at our expense.
Cllr Monk made it clear that SDC had just completed the purchase of the old Highview School site in Moat Farm Road Folkestone from KCC. He did not mention the cost to SDC, but the Land Register have suspended the deed at the 19/12/2017, meaning that a purchase has taken place.
This site Cllr Monk has stated, will allow Shepway District Council to meet part of their commitment to build 200 council homes within 10 years. He went on to say that there is also an option for slightly raising the level of Council Tax in Shepway without having to hold a referendum.
Cllr Monk indirectly mentioned the drugs den discovered by the Sprucer (pictured left, shaking Cllr Tillson’s hand) and blamed it on “our old friend “unforeseen consequences”. Of course, Cllr Monk neglected to say that SDC officers had failed to find it on their rounds. And yes he addressed the Princes Parade scheme which will be going before the Planning and Licensing committee in the New Year, and the Otterpool Park Masterplan by the summer.
Finally, we note that Damian Green (former Govt Minster) was ruled to have twice breached the ministerial code, because his misleading comments had fallen short of the “seven principles of public life”, one of which is honesty. Now if a former minster has to step down because of breaching the seven principles, we wonder why Cllr Monk has not resigned, because this year we have discovered he lied about Otterpool. Does this mean Cllr Monk has NO Principles? We’ll leave you to decide that.
The Shepwayvox Team
PS We understand that Cllr John Collier (pictured) Shepway District Council Cabinet Member for the Economy collapsed at the drinks party after full council on Wednesday. We wish him a full and speedy recovery.