“It’s just not possible, really it isn’t possible”.
However, East Kent Housing Ltd (EKH) – The UK’s first ‘super ALMO’, managing over 17,000 council homes on behalf of Canterbury, Dover, Shepway & Thanet councils – seem to defy logic and their own Article’s of Association (AoA).
Articles of Association are rules governing the internal affairs of a company. All registered companies must have articles of association. … Every company is required to have articles by law and the articles are legally binding on the company and all of its members.
East Kent Housing have four tenant board members who sit on the board. At present there is no Thanet or Dover tenant board member. There is though a tenant member for Canterbury & Folkestone & Hythe. The members are Martin Goard (pictured below left) & Nigel Lawes (pictured right)
Since EKH Ltd first set of accounts appeared on Companies House on the 31st Oct 2012, Martin Goard has been the tenant board member for Canterbury. Nigel Lawes first appears in the accounts ending 31/03/2013 as a tenant board member, for Folkestone & Hythe District. The Accounts were lodged at Companies House on the 19th August 2013.
However, the Articles of Association for East Kent Housing Ltd (page 4 onwards) relating to the Retirement and election of Tenant Board Members states:
Articles 45 – 50 make it clear that no Tenant Member of the board could stay on the board for longer than 3 years maximum. However, Mr Goard, the Canterbury Tenant Board Member has been a member of the board for six years. Nigel Lawes, the Folkestone – Hythe District Tenant Member has been a member of the Board for five years. East Kent Housing Ltd Articles of Association do NOT allow this to happen, but then as we said at the beginning EKH defies logic and apparently the legally binding Articles of Association.
Also why haven’t new Tenant Board Members been brought in? Are both Tenant Board Members yes men, given the cases of badly performing contracts such as P & R’s Gas maintenance contract and M & R’s external painting contract? Is this a case of wilful blindness and/or turning a blind eye?
As the AoA are legally binding on the company and all of its members, it would appear that the Board has flagrantly disregarded their own legally binding AoA, according to legal experts we have spoken to. How has this matter been overlooked for so long? We do not know, but what it demonstrates is an ineptitude by those responsible for the Company.
The next provisional date for the Annual General Meeting of the board is the 23rd July 2018. We hope then that the Board will immediately rectify this matter.
Folkestone & Hythe Council’s representative on EKH’s Board is Cllr David Owen (pictured below left). If you would like to make him aware of this glaring case of what we personally believe is wilfull blindness you can do so by contacting him here:
Or the Chief Executive of East Kent Housing Deborah Upton (pictured left)