According to Companies House, Paramount has four designated members (DM) of its Limited Liability Partnershiptherefore there is no requirement to name a Person of Significant Control (PSC) (no-one has >25% control.
Mr De-Negri (pictured) is the owner of the Paramount group of companies. He worked as a Private Sector Housing Technical Officer at Medway Council (1998 – 2002). As an Empty Homes Consultant at Swale Borough Council ( – Private Sector Housing Officer for Tonbridge & Malling Borough Council ( – Senior Private Sector Housing Officer at Dartford Borough Council ( – Paramount Independent Property Services in
The first mention of Paramount in Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s payment to suppliers is in Sept 2016. There they are described as providing Bed & Breakfast Accommodation and received £1,100. In the financial year April 1st 2018 – March 31st 2019 Paramount received £135,612. By Jan 2019 Paramount are described as providing Self Contained Nightly Lets.
The nightly let charges vary. They start at £30 a night, then £35, £40, £45, £55 rising to a maximum of £65 a night. The persons placed there stay from a minimum of one night through to 31 nights. This means Paramount have billed the Council up to £ 1,705 for 31 nights at the rate of £55 a night, according to invoices supplied by Folkestone & Hythe District Council.
According to Home.co.uk, the median rent in Folkestone is £676pcm (the average rent in Folkestone is £742 pcm). This means that landlords are able to earn up to 152% more in rent if they let their properties out on a nightly let to the council – £676 – £1,705 = 152% increase.
Now from information downloaded from the land registry we can certainly say Mr. Jamie Brett Smith-Thompson, Person of Significant Control of AGRAVAIN ADVISORY LIMITED and a designated member of Paramount, has received payment from the Council for letting out his property in Black Bull Rd, Folkestone. We stress he has done nothing wrong.
Below these are the payments made by all Council in Kent to Paramount. They amount to £5.6 million in one financial year.
In Nov 2018 it was reported that a paedophile was moved into a Paramount property in Dale Street Chatham. The house overlooked the garden of the property next door where a young child would play. When Paramount found out who he was they immediately removed him.
We also know of a individual who was housed by Paramount in Folkestone who had severe wellbeing issues, and was given no support. Hastings Borough Council had placed them here without any support network in place. (Paramount have moved into Sussex) As we understand these are NOT isolated cases.
We don’t blame the tenants/clients as they’ve had troubled backgrounds, but to be placed miles away from their support networks makes no sense.
3.7 Funding temporary accommodation Self-contained units meet households’ need for space and privacy but rent levels for this type of accommodation are generally high as they usually incorporate a market rent plus an allowance for voids, bad debts and management charges.
We would agree that “rent levels for this type of accommodation are… high” We are sure that many landlords would love to receive 152% more than they receive by charging the median rent.
In March 2017 the Government published the Flexible homelessness support grant – funding allocations. The funding sets out each authorities’ allocation of funding from April 2017. The funding covers two financial years. Local Authorities could use the funding to support a full range of homelessness services only. So the monies could rightly be used to pay for nightly lets. In 2018/19 F&HDC received £147,355 in the way of homelessness services support grant.
So how much has Paramount received from the 12 council’s above? After all £2.5 million was on offer throughout 2018/19 to support a full range of homelessness services only.
We can say with certainty Paramount received much more than £2.5 million from all Councils in Kent including Medway and Kent County Council. The exact figure we are working on and will publish in due course.
We have discovered 17 of the properties which Paramount use in and around Folkestone. Most of them are located in areas of high deprivation. Paramount do provide a service which comes at a high price. However, they provide nightly lets to people and take them off the street and bring them some stability, albeit for a short while. For this we should be grateful, shouldn’t we?
Should we should be grateful for small mercies? Or should we be concerned about the revolving door which may have helped Grant De-Negri and his business associates earn millions of pounds out of other people’s misery? We’ll leave you to decide that.