We got it wrong. We, and we say we, as we are a team and when one cocks up, we all cock up, we are collectively responsible. So we have to step forward, man up and apologise. And who do we have to apologise to? Well Sir Roger Michael de Haan, that’s who. So Sir Roger, sorry.
We and it is we, informed you the public that Sir Roger had received £1.6 billion in public money. That was wrong. We did not publish the article with any malicious intent, that is not the Shepwayvox Team way. It was a mistake, a genuine honest mistake.
So how did this mistake come about?
A member of the team who had never done any data journalism before undertook the project by utilising the openopps website to derive their figures. No other member of team made themselves available to check the data. When they were available the post was immediately taken down. Openopps in turn take their data from Councils, NHS and other public authority websites who publicly publish their spend data. As you can see from the screenshoot below if you type in Creative Foundation it informs you that they received £231 million from Kent County Council (KCC) – but of course THEY DID NOT receive that.
NOR DID the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust receive £548 million from KCC either.
And to be clear, Sir Roger de Haan IS NOT the owner or the controlling mind behind either the company or charity known as the Creative Foundation or the Roger de Haan Charitable Trust, he is simply a trustee, nor more no less.
As for the Folkestone Harbour (GP) Ltd, Sir Roger is the controlling mind and is the person of significant control according to companies house. However the company DID NOT receive £844 million from KCC.
Now perhaps you can understand why there never was any malicious intent, or desire to generate any falsehood of any kind. It was a genuine mistake as the website informed The Shepwayvox Team member that the various organisations had received these amounts of monies from KCC, when in fact THEY HAD NOT
The team member even went as far as asking the Live chat person the following:
Hi XXXX, The Kent County Council Spend data shows they have paid £852 million to Folkestone Harbour (GP) Ltd over the period of your data, is that correct?
The Response was:
As far as I can tell, that’s correct. I think it’s a large regeneration project. I can look to see if there are more transaction details for you, but I’m afraid it will take me a few days as I’m running a few other big queries at the moment.
Similar responses were given regarding the CF and RDHCT as well. Hence the figure of £1.6 billion; which as we say was WRONG. So again we apologise to Sir Roger and hope he can understand how this genuine mistake came about. What the Shepwayvox Team member had failed to do was put the companies/charities inside inverted commas – “-“, but unfortunately they did NOT and so the mistake, for which we collectively take responsibility happened, and for this we apologise.
The Shepwayvox Team – Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful.