Once again for the third time in four years there are anomalies in our Cllrs allowances & expenses. The people who are responsible for ensuring Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) Councillors allowances & expenses could at least make sure the figures are correct or at least tally, before they publish, because once again they appear have got the numbers wrong.
Allow us to explain how we have reached that conclusion.
Yesterday, FHDC published the final quarter figures for Cllrs expenses. They also published the yearly figures.
The Yearly Figure = £314,703.81 according to FHDC’s website
Now the quarterly figures are as follows:
Q1 = £80,547.50 – Q2 = £77,169.64 – Q3 = £80,537.57 – Q4 = £79,112.52 = £317,367.23 – that’s a difference of £2,663.42. Now we are sure FHDC will come up with some plausible explanation as to why the anomalies have materialised, they always do.
Moving on, how much did your councillor cost you this year – April 1st 2017 – March 31st 2018? Well the cheapest was former Cllr Peter Simmons who we’ll come back to shortly.
Now former Cllr Simmons was replaced by Cllr Tillson in a by election in July 2017. Cllr Simmons received in Q1 (Apr 17 – June 17) the sum of £897.36, yet in the yearly figures it states he received £923.91. Why the difference?
Anyway, the above bar chart does not tell the whole story. This is because four of the above FHDC Cllrs are also KCC Cllrs, so get expenses and allowances for those responsibilities too.
So Cllr Susan Joan Carey (pictured below left) is the highest paid Cllr when one combines her FHDC & KCC monies together she has earned £50,660.38. That said we’ll have to add on March’s expenses and allowances as KCC have not published those yet. Cllr David Drury Monk is second with £39,796.01. Cllr Rory Caspian Love is third with £31,945.72 and Cllr Dick Pascoe (pictured below right) bring up the rear with £27,357.08.
Finally, four Cllrs receive remuneration as directors of Oportunitas Ltd, a company wholly owned by FHDC. Currently the lead director of the company is Cllr Claire Jeffrey who receives in excess of £5,000pa.
So has Cllr Alan Ewart James been value for money in 2017/18 considering he received £16,190.21? We think not for on his watch B&B costs have risen to their highest levels ever.
How about Cllr Dick Pascoe, has he been value for money with his combined £27,357.08, considering he was one of eight Cllrs who acted irrationally and ended up costing us £22,750 in costs over the Steer Judicial review.
And what about Cllr Rory Caspian Love, the man who brought Amber Rudd to power, has he been worth his combined £31,945.72?
And of course there is the one and only ex double glazing salesman Cllr David Drury Monk who failed to attend 56% of meetings at County Hall in Maidstone, has he been worth £39,796.01?