In our first post about M& R Refurbishment Ltd (M & R), we informed you there had been allegations of overcharging and potential fraud by M & R on the external painting contract they won with East Kent Housing. The figures across all eight phases demonstrated that £184,984 had been estimated as overcharges.
In a further development, the Shepwayvox Team have received evidence substantiating overcharging relating to phase 1 of the project, to the sum of £14,470.46. The evidence appears to demonstrate overcharging has taken place at addresses across the Folkestone & Hythe District, formerly Shepway.
We have just this morning received the overcharging details for phase two, three and four, but have yet to verify them against other data we hold. As soon as that happens we WILL publish that data too. But for now these were just some of the addresses for Phase 1.
The Wakefield Road reference in the evidence below is a typo, both blocks are Wakefield Way, Hythe. Both blocks were externally decorated by Mears roughly two years ago, therefore M&R did not carry out any works to these blocks, according to our mutliple sources. Mears management we understand did raise this issue at the time, but M & R were still allowed to be paid. How is a mystery.
We understand that staff at Folkestone & Hythe District Council (FHDC) and East Kent Housing (EKH) have been asked to be even more tight lipped, than normal, with regards to the M & R contract. Of course, neither FHDC or EKH want any adverse publicity of the potential mismanagement of this contract as they are considering Police involvement. However in a new twist we now understand that it has been reported to the Police, but not by FHDC or EKH.
So here is the information leaked to us
Tenants/Residents have also confirmed that M & R failed to undertake a vast majority of the work for which they have been paid, allegedly. So many residents have been spoken to, they CANNOT all be wrong, can they? We hope that both FHDC and EKH will inform us, the ratepayers, what is going on rather than bury this alleged potential fraud. It would be a far wiser approach and demonstrate mature leadership and transparency, to inform the public, at the earliest opportunity.
So we hope FHDC’s new Assistant Director, Dr Sarah Robson, (pictured below) responsible for Strategy, Performance & Communications, who honed her communication skills at Barclays Global Investors a global investment bank, will deal with this matter appropriately. It is not just Dr Robson, though, her equivalent at EKH is Matt Gough (pictured below). He is Director of Customer Services which includes Housing Management, Independent Living Services, Policy development, Resident Involvement and Communications will also communicate the ongoing issues around the M & R Refurbishment Ltd contract, openly and honestly. Or are we asking too much when public money is allegedly being claimed fraudulently?