Some questions for the Chief Exec of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Dr Susan Julia Priest.

Dr Susan Julia Priest (pictured) is the Chief Executive & Head of Paid Service of Folkestone & Hythe District Council. She arrived at our council in 2013 and was slotted into the organization as Corporate Director; Regeneration & Growth. On 1 April 2018, she became the Head of Paid Service and later the Chief Executive as well.

Prior to her arrival she worked for South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP) between Apr 2012 – Sep 2013.

Prior to that she worked for the quango known as SEEDA between Feb 2000 and March 2012.  She reached the rank of Executive director, and when SEEDA was closed, Dr Susan Priest received more than £170,000 in compensation for the loss of her role. As an aside, she worked with Katherine Harvey at SEEDA, who is Chief Economic Development Officer at Folkestone & Hythe District Council.

Dr Priest’s doctorate, or rather PhD, was awarded by St Catharine’s College Cambridge, and sponsored by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) and the BCC. Dr Priest studied the effectiveness of government policy to stimulate SME (small to medium sized enterprises) growth and competitiveness from the 1970s through to the mid 1990s.

Dr Priest was brought into the organization as former leader of the council Robert Bliss stated: “for her extensive contacts list“.

She has according to Companies House, been a director of nine companies, and the company secretary in two companies, between May 2000 and present.

She is currently a joint director, and a joint person who holds significant control in Themak Holdings Limited. The nature of the business is –

Other letting and operating of own or leased real estate

this means, she along with her business partner, has a property portfolio, to which she is lawfully entitled to hold.

She is also a joint director, and a joint designated member in Themak Family Partnership LLP, of which she is also a joint person of significant control. This is a tax efficient type of company for property holdings.

See – for a more detailed explanation.

Themak Holdings Limited is also a designated member of the LLP.

Furthermore, is there any connection between the two companies above and Themak Limited in Cyprus, a known offshore tax haven, given that her other business partner in the companies has British nationality, and has family living in Cyprus?

Both UK companies were incorporated on the 20 Dec 2021. They are both registered at Yoden House, 30 Yoden Way, Peterlee, Durham, England, SR8 1AL.

Durham is a location where our Council have previously sent people due to the unaffordable cost of housing in our district. But of course, the property owned, in part, by Dr Priest, could be anywhere in the UK.

Now given the register of interests for council officers is voluntary, are the  properties owned in part by Dr Priest, earning income from the public purse?

Or from persons sent from our district to Durham?

Or any other district where former residents of the district have been sent?

These are fair questions to ask, but one she might say she does not have to answer.

Our public face, for and on behalf of the Team,  has asked Dr Priest some questions. If she responds we will of course publish her response in full.

Before we finish though, Roots Design Limited in which Dr Priest sat as company secretary between 19 Oct 2000, and the 1 Nov 2005, was dissolved via voluntary liquidation on the 1 Nov 2005, owing creditors money. It owes money to The Cyprus Popular Bank.

Also Ash Corporation Ltd in which Dr Priest was a Company Secretary, and appointed on the 25 May 2000, until 26 November 2003, was also dissolved via voluntary liquidation by reason of its liabilities it could not continue its business. It too owes the following creditors money: National Westminster Bank PLC, Euro Sales Finance PLC and The Royal Bank Of Scotland Commercial Services Limited.

There are legitimate uses for LLP companies. The inclusion of a person or entity in this blog post is not intended to suggest or imply that they have engaged in illegal or improper conduct.

The Shepway Vox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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2 Comments on Some questions for the Chief Exec of Folkestone & Hythe District Council, Dr Susan Julia Priest.

  1. Given the amount of financial irregularities at FHDC, is it possible any money to purchase her jointly owned property portfolio came from the coffers of the council?

    Salary aside of course.

  2. As nearly £2m has been overpaid to Premier Roofing, without anybody noticing, is it possible money to establish a property portfolio could have also slipped out of the council’s purse, without anyone noticing?

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