From top to bottom, is the council rotten?
When an organisation such as Folkestone & Hythe District Council, fails to manage and curtail ‘financial irregularities’, ‘contract irregularities’ and cronyism, the proverb fish rot from the head down, springs to mind.
But according to senior council whistleblowers the rot is not just at the top of the tree. It has, so they claim, filtered down to those at the bottom of the pile as well.
The whistleblowers claim there are staff in the operations team, which falls under Andy Blazkowicz’s and Alistair Clifford’s control, who make a regular profit from what their underlings believe is ‘perk of the job‘
They claim that certain staff within the operations team use council vehicles to take home wood using council vehicles to do so, then sell the wood, chopped up as logs, for a profit. Of course, this is done without the permission of council and or their line managers, who, claim the whistleblowers, are aware of these going on’s.
Now given only 26%, or 115 council employees , earn above £35,000, earning a little extra for those below £35,000, makes the phrases ‘every little helps‘ understandable, but not excusable or legitimate.
The whistleblowers claim that a member of the public who lives in East Folkestone, sends in letters anonymously about one particular tree team council employee, raising the issue about the council employee selling logs. Their line manager, David Sephton, and his line manager, Alastair Clifford, are aware of these regular anonymous letters and ignore them because they are anonymous. However, the Council could use powers it has under the Regulation of Investigatory Powers Act 2000 (RIPA) – Directed Surveillance – to establish if what the anonymous letter writer says is true. But alas, they haven’t to date.
Now if you recall early this year, Storm Eunice brought down a lot of trees across the district trees, which meant the council tree team had to remove them. This created a lot of wood. What happened to it?
For those of you who are not aware, the council have trading and charging powers. These powers do allow the council to sell wood/logs generated by storms, and use any monies raised to plough back into council services. Instead council workers sold the wood/logs and made a few shekels the whistleblowers claim. One does have to ask if they – the council officers – declare such income to HMRC?
But it doesn’t stop there.
When a council owned property becomes empty (known as a ‘void’), former tenants sometimes leave behind white goods, eg fridges, freezers, washing machines and the like. The whistleblowers claim, when staff see these white goods in good repair, they’ve disappeared and have been taken home by council officers, or sold privately, and the proceeds pocketed by the council officer. Again the whistleblowers claim more senior staff are aware of this and do nothing to curtail this behaviour.
The council could if they desired collect these fridges, freezers, and washing machines, store them and sell them on (after PAT testing) at a reduced price to residents, to recoup costs, or offer them to Pilgrim’s Hospice shop on Guildhall Street, or in Dymchurch, for free.
If the council were to sell them via their trading and charging powers any profit made could be ploughed back into council services.
Our whistleblowers claim a complaint has been made by Cabinet Member, Cllr David Wimble, against Fred Miller (pictured) who runs parking services.
Mr Miller is a decent man, an honest man. There are others like him inside our council.
The complaint against Fred, is because Wimble was parked on double yellow lines on Hythe High St, near Iceland’s shop, close to his sweetie shop. The traffic signs visible for ALL to see state no loading unloading at any time. If caught this in an instant booking by a council contracted civil enforcement officer. Cllr Wimble was caught and given a parking ticket. Now he wants the parking ticket he received cancelled because he’s a councillor, and due to the PCN being issued incorrectly claims Cllr Wimble. But Fred has said no. And so this has led to Cllr Wimble making a complaint about Fred, which is wholly unjustified, as the council contracted civil enforcement officer and Fred are doing their job and he – Wimble broke traffic regulations.
If Mr Clifford can employee his brother, and Mr Wallner can breach/break financial procedures, then other employees (not all of them) believe they can take liberties as well, which is not a good state of affairs for the council or residents.
Does the proverb – Fish rot from the head down, best summarise, top to bottom, the council is rotten? We’ll leave you to decide that.
The Shepway Vox Team
Dissent is NOT a Crime
Why is no one accountable! This is public funds. Why do they believe they are above the rules? Why isn’t this investigated 😡😡
Because like politicians, of all parties, they believe that laws and rules are for the little people, not them.
These are not the councillors these are paid officers 🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈🙈