“If you take care of the small things, the big things take care of themselves.” said Emily Dickinson. But more evidence emerges Folkestone & Hythe District Council can’t take care of the small things, so why should we trust them with the big things?
Idom Merebrook are a company you’ve probably never heard of. There is no need for you to have heard of them. They are a contractor to Folkestone & Hythe District Council and provide such services as project management, environmental assessments, infrastructure services, according to their website.
According to the Council’s Payments_to_Suppliers_for June_2020, Idom Merebrook were paid £3,408 for “Dog Kennelling Fees”
Idom Merebrook have undertaken work for the council on the Otterpool Park site; and the Princes Parade site, which Cllr Monk believes to be “the biggest dog toilet in the South of England“.
All too often anomalies in the payment to suppliers and purchase orders show up, which are never explained by officers or cllrs.
According to the Local Government Transparency Code 2015, it states:
Where errors in data are discovered, or files are changed for other reasons (such as omissions), local authorities should publish revised information making it clear where and how there has been an amendment.
But of course our council do not make it clear where and how there has been an amendment to the data, a small thing, but important.
Just last month, we ran the story cock up, conspiracy or incompetence. There we showed how Envirocure Ltd were awarded a contract by Folkestone & Hythe District Council titled “mobile phones“. Envirocure Ltd describe themselves as “Legionella Hygiene Specialists“. The value of the contract for twelve months is £97,208.00; and the reference number is: DN275103.
On 01/01/0001, Gas Contract Services Ltd were awarded a contract by Folkestone & Hythe District Council titled: “** landline phones“. Gas Contract Services Ltd undertake compliance in areas such as gas safety for social housing. The value of the contract for twelve months is £36,616.85; and the reference number is DN455840. The start date is the 15th June and the end date is the 14th June 2021. The description of the contract is:
independent auditing services to support the management of Heating Servicing, Heating Installations and Repairs.
Prior to this, the payment of suppliers data revealed there had been two payments of £797,500 to Leo Griggs company, Alliance Building Company Contracts Ltd, for building the six flats at Roman Way, Cheriton.
Leo Griggs pictured far left.
The then s151 officer (the person responsible for the council’s money), Tim Madden – said one of the payments had been a cheque for the full sum.
Now ask anybody in the building game if they receive all the money for large construction work up front. There answer will invariably be NO. They get paid for meeting and complying with milestones in building out the development, as per the contract.
Tim Madden did stress the cheque had been cancelled, without providing any proof. Of course, the council did not make it clear where and how there had been an amendment to the payment to supplier data, as had to happen, but hey these are just small things.
The council department who generate the data for the payment to suppliers; and purchase orders, is the Finance Department.
The responsible Corporate Director for this department is Charlotte Spendley. Charlotte is the Council’s s151 officer (the person responsible for the council’s money) and earns an annual salary of approx £105,000 (including fees and allowances).
So with the evidence before you – Did our council pay £3,408 to Idom Merebrook for “Dog Kennelling Services”?
The Council have NOT got the small things right and many believe they probably haven’t got the big things right.
So, is it another cock up, a conspiracy, or just plain and simple incompetence by council officers, who by the way, get paid very well to deliver these small things to the wider community in our district.
The Shepwayvox Team
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