Part 2: Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a hilarious, heartfelt holiday Xmas classic, so keeping to the theme of Xmas, we thought we’d take a stroll through the evidence of Cllrs and Officer travels on these modes of transport. We wrote about this for the first time in Nov 2022.

What we now know is the following:

A week after Cllr Georgina Treloar (Green) passed her Climate & Ecological Emergency at full Council, one officer – now a former officer, and one Cllr had tickets purchased for them on the last day in July, to attend a iESE Innovation Club, in Glasgow, in August (page 8).

The visit was well-received by attendees who were taken on a tour of the council’s projects and achievements such as their transformation in health and social care and community regeneration projects. Attendees visited the prestigious stately home, Dumfries House, where they heard from Cllr Douglas Reid, Leader of East Ayrshire Council, and came together for a meal.

Tim Madden, Corporate Director for Organisational Change at Folkestone & Hythe District Council, said the trip had been an “eye opener”. “We came expecting to hear more about the digital transformation side, but what they’ve done is made that connectivity about how it all works in real life (in the community with the people) and how it can be translated into actions for the local authority,” he said.

Cllr Ian Meyers (UKIP), DID declare this jolly on his gifts and hospitality register.

One notes they were invited by – iESE. This also happens to be a limited company based in Canterbury, at 37 St Margaret’s Street, which is the address of Kreston Reeves Accountants. We note that, according to Companies House, there are three Cllrs who are directors and a charge of £415,000 in favour of Surrey County Council has been placed on the company.

Moving On, we know officers and Cllrs took the Eurotunnel train to France.

The expenditure with Eurotunnel was for the Tall Ships project. However, Cllr Berry’s journey was to attend the tenth anniversary of the twinning between Folkestone & Etaples Sur Mer.

NB: Transaction dates 04/04/19 and 20/05/19 – These are not payments for journeys.  They are for refreshments purchased at Starbucks, Eurotunnel.  Officers’ subsistence expenses claim whilst working unsociable hours in relation to the Tall Ships project.NB: Transaction dates 04/04/19, 20/05/19, 20/05/19, 18/06/19, 26/06/19 and 31/07/19 all related to the Tall Ships project, including activities such as supporting residentials.NB: Transaction date 03/10/19 was in relation to a formal reception to celebrate the tenth anniversary of twinning between Folkestone and Etaples Sur Mer. What is strange, is there is no mention of Cllr Philip Martin, who also attended the twinning ceremony, along with past Mayor of Folkestone & ex Cllr Rodica Wheeler.

As for automobiles, payments for these were very limited indeed in 2019/20.

All, these payments were made on the Council’s procurement cards – read credit cards. We don’t know which officer made the payments.

As you may recall, the Council MUST publish their procurement card data quarterly. However, as of yesterday, 11 Dec 2022, it is clear there is four years & three months worth of data still to be published, to be compliant with the Transparency Code 2015.

If you are taking a Plane, Train or Automobile over Xmas, we wish you a safe journey.

The Shepway Vox Team

Dissent is NOT a Crime

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