Do You Trust This Man?

Dr Susan Priest1

We recently reported Dr Susan Priest, Chief Exec of Folkestone & Hythe District Council had received a £40,000 pay rise, in 2019/20.

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:

Screenshot from 2020-07-30 09-51-05

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.

Given the fact Cllr Monk has lied to the people of the district in the past, we believe that one has to be very careful believing what Cllr Monk says.

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.”

Screenshot from 2020-07-30 10-06-40

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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2 Comments on Do You Trust This Man?

  1. Get rid of all those who take the micky out of voters, £40,000 pay increase are they having a laugh , I am a 78 year old disabled war vet and i am still paying £200 a month for council tax (because of me having just over the £16000 savings limit ) and I am paying for some jumped up pen pusher to have a £40000 pay rise!!!!! Disbloodygusting!!

  2. doggerbank56 // August 6, 2020 at 16:07 // Reply

    I listened to David Monk’s statement with interest. I know nothing about his educational history or what qualifications he possesses but, he did not come over as being particularly intelligent.

    Some individuals however conceal their intelligence in order to outwit their opponents and deliberately disguise their true (and often Machiavellian nature) while others use fear, intimidation or false flattery to achieve their objectives.

    Is David Monk the “organ grinder” or the “monkey” in this particular instance? I do wonder in the light of all the interesting issues being written about by the Shepway Vox team whether David Monk is the controlling mind in the local Conservative Party or, a placeman who does the bidding of others?

    I would be interested to learn what others think.

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