A member of the public asked a question at the latest Folkestone & Hythe District Council question and answers session, held on the 29th July at 4pm via Zoom meeting, open to the public via the council youtube page.
Ms C Abott asked the following question:
Cllr David Monk, Leader of the Council responded to the question by stating the increase included payment for Dr Priest’s role as the district’s returning officer, as he sets out in the brief video below.
However, there is NO evidence in the public domain which supports Cllr Monk‘s statement, other than his word.
We note that prior to the 2018/19, the council accounts always made it clear, how much the Chief Exec as returning officer received in this role each year.
In the 2017/18 accounts, it states that Alistair Stewart then the Chief Exec & Returning Officer received £7,915.46 (highlighted in blue below)
“Chief Executive salary includes £7,915.46 in respect of Returning officer fees.”
The accounts for 2018/19 and 2019/20 are remarkably silent on how much the Chief Exec, Dr Susan Priest received for her role as Returning Officer.
There is no evidence in the public domain which supports Cllr Monk’s statement other than his word. His statement does not meet the criteria of “beyond all reasonable doubt“, or even the lesser threshold, “on the balance of probabilities“.
As we said, we know Cllr Monk has lied to the residents of the district previously. So, until proven otherwise, the Chief Exec pay rise was slightly more than £40,000; and it didn’t include her payment as returning officer, as there’s no evidence to support his statement.
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