Princes Parade Update: Oscar Winning performances at full Council by Chris Farrell & Cllr Jim Martin
Where to begin, as there was so much discussed at last nights full Council, 30 Nov 2022. As they say though, the best place to begin is at the beginning
So we’ll start with the second Princes Parade petition submitted by Miss Chris Farrell. The petition states:
“We, the undersigned, request that the development at Princes Parade is abandoned. It is financially reckless to continue”.
Miss Farrell’s performance on this occasion was also worthy of an Oscar, as was the first.
She mentioned “life changing toxins being released into the environment“. Now for those of you who might not be aware, it was agreed the site would be monitored for air quality from the outset of the development. Other Cllrs throughout other discussions on Princes Parade, during the evening’s proceedings, also mentioned air quality monitoring.
What one has to remember is Air Quality is Cllr Lesley Whybrow’s portfolio, as Cabinet Member for the Environment. Yet we note, that the Air Quality report for 2022, produced by Bureau Veritas, for and behalf of the Council, was paid for on the 12 July 2022, and cost £1,782. The 2022 report for the district has NOT yet been published four and half months after it was paid for. Ever since Cllr Whybrow took up her Cabinet position on 1 Feb 2020, the air quality report has always been published late, very late.
We wholeheartedly agree Princes Parade “life changing toxins” need to be monitored. But that is the case for the whole district, as black carbon pollution emitted from gas and diesel engines , and other sources that burn fossil fuel, have been “discovered in lungs, livers and brains of foetuses that have yet to take their first breath”
Another Oscar winning performance must be handed to Cllr Jim Martin, who reminded the full council, he had warned them time and again that, Princes Parade was an unviable site.
And every word he spoke was true. On 12 October 2017 his company Martin Arnold produced a Financial Viability Appraisal it stated:
The appraisal currently shows that based upon the assumptions listed that the scheme is not viable as the residual land value figure is -£7,642,884
Contrast that with the Council’s Financial-Viability- Appraisal in April 2018 whose conclusion states:
Based on the above information / cost Shepway District Council (now FHDC) will currently need to contribute circa £2.1m.
In July 2018 we also published the restricted-pages from the confidential report which were to go before the planning committee in Aug 2018.
We all know that costs have risen from £29m to £45.3m as of Jan 2022.
Now if the Council bail out of the project, they will be required to write off revenue costs in the region of £4-5 million. This simply is not true. According to the payment data from 2012, the best estimate we can establish for costs which will have to be written of is £9.41m.
Cllr Whybrow should also be mentioned positively in our dispatches , as her motion (Agenda Item 9) called for an “investigation into how expenditure on the project was allowed to reach £4-£5m from the £2.56m that had been spent by January 2022 despite the fact that the capital receipts had not been secured.” Fortunately the Tories did not get their way and an investigation will happen and be led by the Overview & Scrutiny Committee.
Given the track record of contract management and procurement issues we have raised time and again from May onwards it would be wise and prudent that Princes Parade is stopped with immediate effect.
Let’s not forget Report, AuG-22-21 shows £1,452,646 was spent in 2021/22, on suppliers without a compliant contract. We ould not want such a thing to happen at Princes Parade, given the overspend.
We should all hope and pray, our council do no further damages to the finances given they have a predicted deficit of £18m over the next four years.
The Shepway Vox Team
Stop Princes Parade
As a lady, who was in a former life a Military Policewoman, so allowed to use a gun, I absolutely agree Miss Farrell was worthy of an Oscar, at last night’s performance.
Me thinks Kim Jon Monk won’t be sending Xmas cards to Miss Farrell and Cllr J Martin .
Two great speeches directed at the man who has wasted our Council Tax
Two excellent speeches highlighting the crass incompetence of David Monk and his troop of blinkered dull nodding Tory dogs- Stop Princes Parade!