John “Buy Me A Car” Bunnett

John Bunnett

John Bunnett (pictured) is currently Folkestone & Hythe District Council’s Corporate Director for Otterpool Park. He is the man who is able to spend the £100 million granted by full Council back in Nov 2019. He is also the man dealing with the purchase of Cozumel Estates land at Otterpool, owned by the Reuben Brothers.

Otterpool Park is where the Council wish to build up to 10,000 homes.

Ever since we first mentioned the name John Bunnett on our blog, a growing number of sources, both ex-employees and current employees of  Thanet District Council (TDC) have been in contact with the Shepwayvox team.  Many have wanted to unburden themselves about the goings-on at Thanet while John was Deputy Chief Exec.

The sources started off as a trickle after we first blogged about him. They then became a steady flow, before becoming a torrent.  All the sources informed us of two things.

The first was John sanctioned fictitious overtime to the extent of £1.1 million. This took place between April 2007 and late 2009. John left TDC in Oct 2009 to take up the Chief Exec’s job at Ashford Borough Council

After John moved on that’s when the overtime issue stopped, according to the East Kent Audit Partnership Report to TDC’s Audit and Governance Committee on the 28th Sept 2010, which states:

  • Management can place Limited Assurance on the controls in place during the majority of the period audited between April 2007 and Late 2009 however the changes which have already been implemented by Corporate Management Team in this area have had a significant impact and accordingly the assurance level is considered to have risen to Reasonable by the end of the period of the audit (May 2010).

  • The overtime granting and payment approval procedures showed signs of complacency and a number of controls did not appear to work as envisaged. Management will need to remind all officers of the correct rules governing the payment of overtime and take positive action to correct the slack approach to recording correct information on each claim.

Much of the overtime was paper overtime sources have confirmed. A steady stream of sources have stated that double-time was paid to persons while on holiday in America. Other sources have made it clear double time on Saturday was paid and nobody turned up to do the work, but all were paid. This say the growing chorus of sources was all sanctioned by John Bunnett.

The second issue a vast majority of the sources spoke to us about was John sanctioning the purchase of a Mitsubishi Shogun (pictured) for a worker by the name of Andrew Barnes, more commonly known as Barney, from the public purse.


Barney worked in the Grounds maintenance department. The purchase of the Shogun did NOT go through proper procurement channels, according to more than a dozen sources. This begs the question about the P11 D form too. Now as we said at the beginning, John is in charge of a £100 million pound budget and with his track record, Cllrs and Folkestone & Hythe District Council should be very concerned.

However, it doesn’t stop there. We understand from sources inside the Council building that John (pictured below left) informed developers about who would be developing the land at Biggins Wood. John it would appear is in the habit of sanctioning ultra vires payments and disclosing confidential information to developers. Now perhaps you might understand why we are concerned.

Screenshot from 2020-01-27 16-13-43

If that wasn’t enough, John’s No 2, Andy Jarrett, (pictured above right), was let go by the Council in 2007 due to various improprieties with developers sources inside and outside the building have reliably informed us. When Andy returned to the Council there was a sharp intake of breath by those who were there when Andy was let go thirteen years ago.

If you have information regarding John “buy me a car” Bunnett while he was at Ashford Borough Council, or even Folkestone & Hythe District Council doing anything untoward, please do drop us a line at shepwayvox[at]riseup[dot]net.  The same goes for Andy as well. Birds of a feather flock together so they say.

We never reveal our sources. Look forward to hearing from you.

The Shepwayvox Team

Not Owned by Hedgefunds or Barons

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16 Comments on John “Buy Me A Car” Bunnett

  1. A former TDC employee. // January 28, 2020 at 00:08 // Reply

    As a former employee at TDC in the Grounds Maintenance Department, I’m very happy the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth has come out about John Bunnett’s time at Thanet District Council. Thank you.

  2. You could equally call him, John “where there’s a land deal, there’s” Bunnett.

  3. ask about shepway pay award of free parking permit in sandgate rd car park. should that be declared on tax . white paper photo copys

  4. Bloody true ever word about Bunnett at Thanet. His laissez faire attitude to management was a disgrace and sanctioning that Shogun for Barney was deplorable and an abuse of position. He should be sacked now the truth is out.

  5. A Developer // January 28, 2020 at 09:40 // Reply

    As a developer I can honestly say Bunnett has disclosed confidential information to me when he was at Ashford Borough Council. Drop me a line and I’ll give you the details.

  6. doggerbank56 // January 28, 2020 at 10:58 // Reply

    I would ask Councillors what due diligence was carried on him out before he was appointed! Any senior manager who facilitates unauthorised overtime and makes suspect purchases using public funds should not be appointed to a similar position. Are there suitable controls in place at Folkestone & Hythe Council to prevent a recurrence of his past behaviour?

    You should continue your investigations over his relations with developers and you can offer him a right of reply if he believes that his past and current conduct has been misrepresented.

  7. Well sounds like he will ‘fit in’ well with others involved with ‘Otterpool farce’ thanks for Shepwayvox for sharing yet another reason the whole planning application and proposals should be scrutinized by an Independant Authority as it stinks of Corruption.

  8. I see he left Thanet 2009 ? A very interesting time as it happens.

    In 2009 the then Health Protection Agency called for epidemiology inquiry to assess long term public health impact of cyclohexanone leaked at Sericol Broadstairs into the aquifer from which Southern Water Rumfields abstracted drinking water.

    We are talking hundreds of tonnes of leaked cyclohexanone. A further question is how did TDC conceal the burials of highly toxic PCBs by GEC at nearby Westwood over same aquifer. Which TDC first knew about in 1977 but concealed.

    Under the 1990s Environmental Protection Act TDC has to maintain a contaminated land register. In TDC case how come the register never had any entries ?

    In 1996 ex tory Cllr elderly Margaret Mortlock drafted an expose’ alleging that TDC was enabling developments on contaminated land She was assaulted on her doorstep and into her hallway by a combat suited man 1996. Police obtained a confession to this assault but chose not to use it. Which is why the current police economic crime unit inquiry, into Manston acquisition, has been asked to call in two cold case assault crimes. That on Mrs Mortlock 1996 and a 2014 assault seeking to dissuade a withdrawing Manston investor from blowing the whistle. The 1996 assault did seem to dissuade Mrs Mortlock from publishing her expose’

    In 2007 DEFRA Drinking Water Inspectorate issued warnings about highly toxic chemical residue of firefighting foam at airfields and firefighting schools whose sites may give access to drinking water aquifers. Manston should have leapt off the page at TDC elite. The Manston aquifer for drinking water to Thanet is 150 feet of fissued chalk under the airfield and fireschool. By ignoring the warning TDC left Manston as a drinking water source for a further 12 years till a member of public went over TDC heads and called in DEFRA DWI to get an overdue ban on use of Manston aquifer for drinking water.

    2009 the new Public Health England reinforced warnings about PFOA chemical contamination reaching water supplies. TDC again ignored warnings and thus also sustained the aviation use only for manston aspect of 2006 local plan.

    2009 was also when yer man jumped ship at TDC ….. Part of his legacy is Westwood Cross Shopping Centre built over anthrax burials alongside the GEC highly toxic chemicals burials. And a legacy that kept cumulative imoact and precautionary principle risk assessments out of all Thanet developments. And breached statutory duties to report environmental hazards to health to NHS CCG Planning.

    The current concerns about the appalling record of QEQM Margate maternity unit have so far not examined the risk factors of the concealed environmental hazards. Like pre eclampsia and stroke. The two causes pursued re stroke unit decision and maternity tragedies both concealed TDC breaches of statutory reporting duties in NHS planning.

    Welcome to Thanet. Highest COPD rates in country. Highest stroke rates in Kent. Awful history of maternity wing tragedies. A hospital and an area that has not enjoyed wholesome water standards of law since 1963 until 2019 when a member of pubic acted the grown up and called in DEFRA.

    I would advise anyone thinking of buying a home in Thanet or investing in Thanet to forget it. Welcome but bring your own private health care, drinking water and hard hat !!

  9. John's worst nightmare // January 28, 2020 at 16:26 // Reply

    John ought to be very concerned as there are many of us out here who know how certain projects came to progress in Ashford. Not shy of breaking a few rules is our John to get what he wants.

    I’m prepared to share docs with the Shepwayvox Team and go on the record too. Watch your inbox 😉

  10. He was a senior manager at TDC. If that doesn’t give any potential employer a huge flashing red alarm then I don’t know what will. Hardly the best track record.

  11. This is the same man that has been proven to bring significant income to the Local Authority, keep council tax rates down, transform education, dramatically improve the local economy, reduce crime and help troubled families, and completely regenerate a town?! If only all people in public office were as visionary and transformational as him…..

    • shepwayvox // January 28, 2020 at 22:19 // Reply

      At TDC he sanctioned fictitious overtime payments of £1.1m. How’s that saving the public purse? He too sanctioned the purchase of a car, which did NOT go through proper procurement channels. Furthermore Developers have evidenced issues while he was at Ashford.

    • Where, Folkestone? Is that irony or do you live in a parallel universe?

    • Looks like you may be in a majority of 1.

    • Landrover26 // January 31, 2020 at 20:19 // Reply

      Now if I were partial to a little flutter now and again, I’d risk a few bob on Betting that you were a recipient of one of Johns good deeds?

  12. A Mate of Barney's // January 31, 2020 at 19:26 // Reply

    I benefited from this fictitious overtime John so kindly sanctioned. I had two holidays in Spain and each day I wasn’t at work, I was paid double time. What a guy John is spending other people’s money.

    Barney’s Mitsubishi was lovely, inside and out. He used to give me a lift quite often. Bunnett loved buying cars for employees. Barney’s isn’t the only one he bought, that’s a fact.

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