Folkestone & Hythe DC: Selling off the family silver at pace.

Between 2016 and 2018 Folkestone & Hythe District Council have sold 48 parcels of land/property and raised £1,588,985.

  • “The sale of assets is common with individuals and the state when they run into financial difficulties. First the Georgian silver goes, and then all the nice furniture that used to be in the saloon. Then the Canalettos go.”

Harold Macmillan – Maiden Speech in the House of Lords 1984.

The sites of the land/property which have been sold are in Lydd, New Romney, Dymchurch, Hythe, Seabrook and Folkestone. The most money raised is the former offices of East Kent Housing in Shorncliffe Rd and we wrote about this in Selling the Family Silver in Jan 2017

Since then the sale of land/property has moved on at pace, as can be witnessed from all the land/property sold.

However, this is not the first time a Tory led administration in our district has sold the family silver. In April 1987, the South Kent Gazette ran the following story.

At the time of the article, former district Cllr Philip Rodney Carter was Leader of the Council  – the man behind APG’s Reveille Homes at the White Lion Pub Cheritonhe is great friends with Cllr David Monk & Damian Collins MP.

Of the £1,588,595 funds raised from the sale of the land/property it can only be used when it’s ‘forecast’ to generate ongoing savings to the Council.

Report Number A/18/19 released on the 20th February is the Council’s Medium Term Capital Programme and states at para 4.3

  • The council has previously adopted the government’s Statutory Guidance on the Flexible Use of Capital Receipts. This allows the council to use capital receipts from General Fund asset disposals from 1 April 2016 to 31 March 2022 on revenue expenditure that is planned to generate ongoing efficiencies and savings. The council currently has about £753k of qualifying capital receipts in hand and plans to use £700k of this to support capital expenditure on the Transformation project during 2018/19.

Savings do not require that efficiencies be recorded net of up-front investment costs i.e. if you spend money to save money, you count the money saved but not the money spent in the process. By this logic, scrapping posts and hiring in consultants counts as a total saving.

Efficiencies are effectively savings that come in two kinds: those you don’t necessarily have to be able to ‘bank’, and those that you do. The second being what we might actually recognise as a ‘cut’ i.e. spending less money.

Only time will tell if the ‘forecasts’ to generate ongoing savings to the Council will materialise. Meanwhile the sale of the family silver will carry on at pace, until the cupboard is empty.

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime



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