Santa Monk’s £125 million Xmas Present
Cllr David Drury Monk (Con), or rather Santa Monk as he was christened by Cllr Tim Prater (Lib Dem), has promised to build a further 900 Council homes on top of the the already promised 300 Council homes promised in 2015. He’ll build them over the next ten years he states in his address to the Council yesterday evening 18/12/19.
Cllr Monk has now pledged £100 million for Otterpool, £20 million for new Council homes and the Climate Emergency and £3 million for the High Street Fund. What with legal advice and other fees to purchase the land to build these homes on, the amount no doubt will certainly exceed £125 million.
Cllr Monk was long on rhetoric and short on detail last night about where the land to build these homes will come from, or the cost of this land, or even where they will be built.
He made it clear that Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s council housing stock, all 3,963 homes will more likely than not be brought back in house rather than outsourced again.
However, we have to ask Santa Monk and Dr Susan Priest, Head of Paid Service at Folkestone & Hythe District Council why when they discovered that P & R were overcharging in July 2018 they did not undertake a forensic audit of payments to P & R and suspend payments?
The answer is simple. The contract did not allow them. This clearly demonstrates our Council along with Canterbury, Dover and Thanet Councils contract were written so poorly they made the holes in Swiss Cheese look positively watertight.
All four Councils knew P & R were overcharging in late July 2018. EKH knew in Feb/March. However when our Council were informed of the overcharging they continued paying P & R, because the contracts were written so badly.
Moving on, not a single opposition leader, Whybrow (Green), Prater (Lib Dem) or McConville (Lab) questioned Cllr Monk on where the land supply for these extra 900 homes would come from, or how much the land would cost to build these promised 900 new council homes.
How and who will pay for all this borrowing Santa Monk has promised has not been clarified yet. We are quite sure some of it will have to come from raising council tax, and as you know we already have the highest council tax in the county. Merry Xmas.
The Shepwayvox Team
The Velvet Voices of Dissent
In relation to the P&R contract was it reviewed by the legal departments of any of the four councils who signed it? I assume the contract was on P&R’s standard terms. However, I would have expected it to be reviewed internally by the lawyers and then signed off by senior officers on behalf of each Council. In addition, I would have assumed that this contract would have been presented to and reviewed by the Cabinet of each Council. Was it?
In addition, did the board of East Kent Housing review and sign off the contract. If they did not we need to know why not.
Keep up the good work – this sorry saga is drawing to a painful conclusion.