Defending the public interest
The Public Interest needs defending. But who does it need defending from? Folkestone & Hythe District Council and Councillor Russell Tillson, that’s who.
In the video below Cllr Len Laws (pictured) – Full Council 19th Dec 2018, (first speaker) makes clear that he and the planning committee should have received the legal advice for the Folkestone Seafront Development, planning application Y/17/1099/SH, initially heard on the 3rd April and deferred until 24th April to obtain legal advice on whether the application should have been a s70 application or a s73 application.
Cllr Tillson (the third speaker) weighs into the debate making it abundantly clear to the whole chamber, that the legal advice has legal professional privilege (LPP) and that was that, so no Councillor had the right to look at it. However, Cllr Tillson (pictured below) is wrong. Legal Professional Privilege, is subject to the the public interest test, yet this caveat was never mentioned. So what public interest test was undertaken on the legal advice; which was received by the Monitoring Officer of the Council, Amandeep Khroud, (pictured right)
One of the ‘glories’ of our local democracy is that all our elected representatives are amateurs, They therefore need guidance and support from their civil servants whose role is to provide professional know-how and thus keep them on the straight and narrow. The problem is that these local civil servants are hired by the very local representatives who need to be kept ‘honest’. This is in sharp contrast with Whitehall career civil servants. We might laugh at Sir Humphrey Appleby but at least he knew and understood the system.
Paragraph 7: Exposing crime> On Romney Marsh, it is well known that the crime stats published do not coincide with actual crime. I reported this issue to Damian Collins last year when I read that we had only one minor incident. In the same period, we had a farmer severly beaten up and receiving surgery in Ashford William Harvey, a farmer’s Range Rover destroyed by arson, several rural break ins and thefts, another individual threatened with violence, arson, and robbed. None of these incidents appeared in the official crime figures and Damian Collins did not respond, which, I was advised prior by a member of Shepway DC, would probably be the result, anyway. We can forgive errors and over sights, but the common belief from everyone who raises the issue, on Romney Marsh, is that these ‘errors’ are too frequently convenient and obvious, ‘blatant’, is the more common phrase. Sorry, but that’s the truth of it. As someone quoted in the local press recently: the council do what they want anyway, regardless of everyone else.
Tilson is a menace ask anyone who worked with him at Epsom College or Tonbridge