Princes Parade: A hat trick of contract irregularities

One has to hand it to Folkestone & Hythe District Council. They have single handedly awarded three contracts to companies who were working on Princes Parade, six months after the contracts started.

How can the Council award a contract six months after it has begun, when its own Contract Standing Orders & Financial Procedure Rules says it cannot?

How can the Council pay a contract six months before it has begun, when its own Contract Standing Orders & Financial Procedure Rules says it cannot?

The first contract was awarded to UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd, to establish a new electricity supply to service the development. The contract was awarded on the 17/11/22 and began on the 10/05/22, according to the Council’s contract register. UK Power Networks were paid £55,750 on the 10/05/22, according to the Council’s payment to suppliers data. How can you be paid before a contract has been awarded?

The second contract was awarded to Southern Gas Networks Plc, to establish a new gas supply to service the development. The contract was awarded on the 15/11/2022 and began on the 06/04/2022, according to the Council’s contract register. To date it appears that Southern Gas Networks have not been paid any sums in 2022, according to the Council’s payment to suppliers data.

The third contract; which completes the hat trick, is a contract awarded to Affinity Water Ltd, to establish a new water supply to service the development. The contract was awarded on the 17/11/2022 and began on the 06/04/2022, according to the Council’s contract register.  Affinity Water Ltd  were paid £233,875 on the 07/04/22, according to the Council’s payment to suppliers data. Again we ask how can you be paid before a contract has been awarded?

 

It is clear the Council breached their own Contract Standing Orders and Financial Procedure rules as set out in Part 10 of the Council’s Constitution.

Neither Amandeep Khroud (Monitoring Officer), or Charlotte Spendley, (Chief Finance Officer),  will issue a report of unlawful expenditure, as they’ll say spending £289,625, on contracts before they begun is inconsequential, we suspect. Both are statutory officers of the Council, and Mrs Spendley has a fiduciary duty of care to look after the public pound. Mrs Khroud has a duty to report to the council and the Cabinet in any case where she is of the opinion that any proposal, decision or omission is or is likely to be illegal or to constitute maladministration. Should she pipe up and say something? We think so, given all the other Contract & Financial Irregularities we have highlighted.

Given all the available evidence in the public domain, we’ll leave you to decide two things:

  1. Is the Peter Principle and Dunning Kruger effect alive and well at Folkestone & Hythe District Council?

  2. Are some officers more incompetent than others?

especially when considering the Council contracts and finances.

The inclusion of Affinity Water Ltd, Southern Gas Networks Plc or UK Power Networks (Operations) Ltd, in this blogpost is not intended to suggest or imply that they have engaged in illegal or improper conduct.

The Shepway Vox Team

Save Princes Parade

About shepwayvox (1651 Articles)
Our sole motive is to inform the residents of Shepway - and beyond -as to that which is done in their name. email: shepwayvox@riseup.net

8 Comments on Princes Parade: A hat trick of contract irregularities

  1. Again, well done ShepwayVox for outlining these serious mistakes 👏 . The Rate Payers suffer again due to serious mismanagement.

  2. That reminds me I still not paid my fresh water and sewage bills. I guess if I try to haggle or negotiate the bill or try to avoid paying it, cough cough.

  3. Only a hat trick of irregularities you do surprise me !

  4. If the development is cancelled is the money repaid?

  5. Statutory Undertakers ( utility companies) have to be paid a percentage in advance of any contract work or design as part of the New Roads and Street Works act. Painful but a fact

    • shepwayvox // January 26, 2023 at 07:38 // Reply

      Yes all too true. However, we strongly suspect the awarded dates may well be wrong. We believe they probably should read Nov 2021, with facilities put in during April/May 2022, which would have allowed BAM to begin in May/June 2022.

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