The Four Councils who own East Kent Housing, Dover Canterbury, Folkestone & Hythe and Thanet have today (12/12/19) dismissed the East Kent Housing Board and taken direct control of the organisation.

The Pennington Report  commissioned by all four Councils makes it clear issues are around, Legionella, Electrical Safety, Gas Safety Certificates, the P & R Contract and  Fire Safety were contributory factors to shutting EKH down

With regards Fire Safety EKH and the four councils are in breach of the legislative requirements and need an appropriate system in place to deal with these actions.

It is known that Ross House, Folkestone  is part of an ongoing investigation by Kent Fire & Rescue Service, using their powers under the Regulatory Reform (Fire Safety) Order 2005, due to significant safety concerns.

Screenshot from 2019-12-02 16-01-43

The report makes it clear that ineffective leadership at East Kent Housing was a significant issue. As we know, this has been a problem which has dogged Deborah Upton (pictured), the Chief Exec of EKH.

On the 1st August 2019 Deborah Upton threatened to sue the Shepwayvox Team and sent a pre-protocol letter in her private capacity. She informed us that she had been defamed, which we asserted was simply not true, nor was it ever true, as we only published facts already in the public domain and our piece was demonstrably in the public interest as “a pattern of charging that appears to be a systemic fraudamounting to £1.5 million happened on her watch.

The Shepwayvox Team first began highlighting issues with East Kent Housing back in May 2018 and continued to do so. We are grateful to all our sources as they have helped shaped this outcome, which was so necessary.

More to follow:

The Shepwayvox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime.

About shepwayvox (947 Articles)
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  1. The net is closing in ! – keep up the good work people!

  2. So when DU told Cllr Prater the board are the ones that employ her and to all But bugger off at committee for suggesting she should resign she may now wish she hadn’t ?
    Let’s hope Cllr Prater took offence at her comments ?

  3. So the Councils have fired the Board. Wonderful but what about the Councillor directors? Untouchable?

  4. Did the councillors on the board vote to sack themselves ???

  5. doggerbank56 // December 12, 2019 at 17:16 // Reply

    Congratulations to Shepway Vox and to all the individuals who provided information to them. This is a just reward for tenacious reporting and hard work. Also, it is a good outcome for the tenants of East Kent Housing who are well rid of Deborah Upton. However, matters do not end here. KL rightly points out that some very detailed questions need to be directed at those Councillors (past and present) who had oversight of East Kent Housing. The light should be shone very brightly on them and they should not be allowed to skulk away quietly.

  6. So basically they can now keep the £920,000 they were given to do repaires to Thanet tower blocks 2 years ago and still haven’t spent a penny.
    10 fires this year in invicta house, people needing.medical treatment, aints by residence and fire bregaid and we still don’t even have smoke.proof doors.
    This is another grenfeld waiting to happen. It is a death trap.

  7. Given that it is a matter of record that as reported DU was rewarded to the tune of circa £10,000 AFTER her failings become known is it not about time some sort of public enquiry was initiated?
    We are all aware of the charge of misconduct in a public office but is there such an offence as gross negligence in a public office in terms of those that hired DU obviously did not show due diligence in checking her references and publicly known failings at Medway Council then Circle ?
    In my humble opinion truthful references from both employers might have contained words like fraud, over charging, contract mismanagement, possibly followed by incompetent, negligent and suffers from on over inflated ego .

  8. outside observer // December 13, 2019 at 09:46 // Reply

    Whilst there have obviously been failings at EKH, don’t forget that the ultimate responsibility lies with the client councils. They were the ones who decided to cut funding to to EKH, forcing unrealistic savings targets – the same as they have done to the other shared services in operation across east Kent.They were the ones who should have been maintaining client-side oversight of what was going on. So yes, faults at EKH, but also faults with council management teams and elected members.

  9. Interested observer // December 13, 2019 at 23:53 // Reply

    Worrying this, given that the Penningtons reports arguably slates the councils as much – and perhaps more than – East Kent Housing (particularly since the councils paid for the report)…
    Can’t help but feel there’s a much bigger problem with housing in east Kent than just this organisation, and actually think the situation is likely to worsen under the councils….also a bit suspicious that they did this prior to the consultation finishing – I wonder if actually residents weren’t giving them the opinion they desired, and this became the nuclear option….wouldn’t be the first time these councils have taken a massive dump on democratic process (the consultation itself was deeply flawed from what I could see). Just my tuppence worth!

  10. When EKH took over. My Daughter moved in to one of their house. Which to tell the truth was not fit for a dog. Morrison the Maintenance company at the time managed to complete a Gas test CP12 landlord test and a Patt test on the electrical system with out any electricity. I did remind The Head of EKH if I report this to Gas Safe they would have a wonderful view of Bars but not clubs or pubs. It did how ever make them panic it action. Also it took the threat of legal action to clear the garden of dozens of spent needles.

    The well being of their tenants was not at the top of their priority.

  11. Getting rid of the board is just the tip of the iceberg.
    The whole management team and junior staff need to be assessed.
    I have only been a tenant in one of the Sheltered Housing Blocks for a year. I’ve had sewer and drainage smells in my flat for all that time, multiple visits by Dyno Rod who are incompetent and the problem not fully resolved. Housing benefits claim took months to be sorted. I’ve been in rent arrears twice due to EKH buggering up my direct debits.
    When I’ve made complaints I’ve been told to refer to my Independent Living Manager, that’s a joke.
    Mears the contractors are incompetent, the boilers have broken down 3 times this year. Gas Call who are now the current contractor dealing with heating have to cannibalise one of the 3 boilers for spares as they have to wait for EKH to authorise the purchase of spares, at present only 2 out of 3 boilers are operational.
    The building is dirty and the infrastructure is neglected and poorly maintained, ie outside doors rotting and heating systems antiquated, garden overgrown

  12. They should sack all the staff as well, they are all incompetent imho

  13. I came home yesterday after spending a lovely day with my children to my sheltered flat stinking of shit again.
    This has been apparent since I moved in November 2018.
    I’ve written numerous emails to EKH and had many interactions with their contractors Mears and Dyno Rod all incompetent organisations.
    The problem still hasn’t been resolved.
    I’ve terminal cancer and have chemotherapy 5 days in 28 to prevent the cancer progressing to Acute Myeloid Leukaemia and my early death.
    I was told at my diagnosis that any infection would kill me sooner than the incurable cancer due to my poor immune system.
    Breathing these noxious fumes is affecting my physical and mental heath.
    EKH were made aware of this at the start of my tenancy but have as yet failed to resolve the problem.
    The scheme I’m in has now come under the auspices of Canterbury City Council.
    I’ve been battling for over a year with EKH and have no confidence that CCC will be any better.
    The NHS is spending a large amount of money ( I’ve had 65 monthly cycles of chemotherapy) and I’m being put at huge risk by the councils incompetence.
    I have emailed Colin Carmichael CEO of CCC, Rosie Duffield my MP and Matt Hancock Minister of Health today in desperation to help me in my battle to stay alive.
    I’m prescribed Diazepam to help cope with my increasing anxiety and stress.
    I’m in desperate need of help which is not forthcoming!!

  14. Further to my contribution above, I get the distinct impression that council tenants are treated as second class citizens, and the tenants in sheltered accommodation as mentally incompetent!!

  15. Further to my last contributions, as yet I’ve not had any acknowledgment to any of the emails I’ve sent to EKH or the Council.
    Not at all surprised, we’re second class citizens after all!!

  16. I finally got a reply from the “office of Rosie Duffield” saying they were contacting Colin Carmichael about the
    problem in my flat, that was on 8/1. No contact from Carmichael or EKH.
    Some years ago when I was still a house owner my MP was Julian Brazier, I had a problem that needed sorting. I had a written reply from him within a week and he got my problem sorted very speedily.
    Personal replies to constituents seem to be beneath Ms Duffield, and no action seems to be forthcoming either.
    It’s a huge shame that labour won Canterbury!!

  17. Further to the above shit smell in my flat for 13 months!!!
    In compliance with council complaints procedures I’ve today asked for an internal review by senior council officer and I will be consulting Local Government Ombudsman about unacceptable delay in dealing with my complaints.
    Copied MP too for what it’s worth

  18. Canterbury council agreed to official enquires and Housing Ombudsman is taking up my case with council.
    I think I may have to resort to press coverage

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