Time to go follow the money

While the Councils of East Kent publish reports on how rubbish East Kent Housing were at administering the P & R Installation Company Ltd contract, let’s not lose sight of the fact that P & R overcharged the Councils up to £1.5m. This is where the focus should now lie, following the money. Who is responsible according to the audit trail?

Residents of our district need to be able to hold decision-makers to account for the use of public money, to ensure it meets our needs, isn’t lost to fraud or corruption, and delivers value for money. In order for this to happen residents must have access to information about where public money comes from, where it goes, and what it delivers, and this should all be transparent.

Will the Councils call in the Police, as forged gas safety certificates were paid for? Or will they begin a civil action against P & R? One or the other ought to happen.

On whose watch

The contract with P & R began on the 31st March 2017 at 5pm. At this time in our district the Conservatives were in charge of the financial purse. Today they are propped up by three loyal sheep. The Cabinet Members of Folkestone & Hythe District Council are:

johncollier2

However, we cannot and must not just blame this Cabinet. The previous cabinet members must also be held responsible.

Former Cllr Alan Ewart-James (pictured) was Cabinet member for Housing when the contract was signed. Former Cllr David Owen (pictured) was the Council’s representative on the board of East Kent Housing. Former Cllr Owen now sits on East Kent Housing’s board as an Independent Member. And Cllr David Monk (pictured below on right of Prime Minister May) was leader at the time and remains leader now.

Shepway-District-Councils-Alan-Ewart-James Screenshot from 2019-07-05 15-03-29 Tillson May & Monk.JPG

Cllr Monk is a man who failed to run four businesses successfully. On his watch Cllr David Monk, Leader of F&HDC, has allowed P & R to overcharge on a contract which had a value of £27 million pounds over five years. It is not just Dr Susan Priest who should be stepping down. Cllr David Monk should go as well. He is a liability and no longer an asset to the Council, or the residents of the district.

 

It is easy to kick East Kent Housing and use them as a scapegoat. Whether the patient ought to have its life support machine turned off, only time will tell. But please, lets not forget who was in office and who is in office while the financial mismanagement of the P & R contract occurred. The opposition need to be driving this point home like one would push a stake through a vampire’s heart. Vigorously!

The money must be followed. A Court case either criminal or civil ought to happen. We strongly suspect one will happen. However,  assurances from  Cllr David Monk and Dr Susan Priest Head of Paid Services at F&HDC are not enough, as this happened on their watch. It is time for them to step aside and allow a new chamber and new leaders to emerge, one’s who will be an asset to our council not a liability.

The Shepwayvox Team

Journalism for the People NOT the Powerful

About shepwayvox (919 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

2 Comments on Time to go follow the money

  1. A Senior Council Officer // July 7, 2019 at 13:55 // Reply

    Within the last fortnight I was in the room when an eminent QC informed them – all four Chief Execs who own EKH – had one course of travel, whether a court case will be civil or criminal is currently being determined.

  2. Equally civil legal action could follow after a successful criminal prosecution. As East Kent Housing is not in a strong financial position a successful civil action may not lead to damages being paid if East Kent Housing does not have sufficient resources to pay up. In this context it would be interesting to know what insurance cover East Kent Housing has in place and whether it can be claimed upon.

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