Tuesday, December 16, 2008

When The Boot Goes In

In my capacity as Chief Churner Out of Crap at the Ministry of Misinformation, I'm duty bound to report the latest rumour regarding the East Kent Maritime Trust, the charity that used to run our lovely museums (RIP).

If you recall, our beloved council stopped all their divvies and scuppered them after they failed to produce accounts for three years, and the question of what to do with all the artifacts, and who technically owns them, has been doing the rounds for several months, including a threat from the Preston Steam Museum to sue for the dreadful neglect to the steam tug Cervix, er, Cervia which the steam museum had placed in EKMT's 'care'. Now reader Walter of Ramsgate reports:

The rumour is EKMT has now given up and handed over all their assets to the Preston Steam Museum lot including the Sundowner (one of the Dunkirk little ships moored in the inner basin). If this is true we should be told. I have been reliably informed that a TDC solicitor was present when the dirty deed was done in London this week.

If the Preston lot take over they have not got Charity status, but I bet negotiations are taking place with TDC and the Charity Commission to apply for it. I hear that a sum of £80k goes with the settlement to the Preston three. Let's hope whatever happens that the Museum stays and the Cervia is removed, so the lock gate can be put back on Smeatons dry dock and it can be used again for what it was built for, 'repairing and building ships'.

My feelings are that the EKMT trustees knew from the start what way this was going and that they were personally liable, so did TDC.

Hmmm. Curiouser and curiouser. We await the full SP with bated breath. In the meantime, here's an example of how not to preserve a piece of maritime heritage:


Rick said...

ECR There is an ongoing Charity Commission Inquiry.

A case officer there is Ann Marie Grayling.

The first notification the Commission had, that there had been a £267,000 legacy, was from me.

I asked some weeks ago that Charity Commission be represented at any mediation process between EKMT and Steam Museum Trust.

The Charity Commission site is now showing that accounts for three years were submitted at the end of November.

If the process was Civil Procedure rules alternative dispute resolution then both parties must certify they are authorized to settle on behalf of their organisations.

I think that such a declaration from EKMT Trustee(s) whilst they have not submitted accounts, declared a legacy etc may be open to question.

The inquiry team at Charity Commission has transferred the file to another department.

What I told the Commission yesterday (as a concerned member of public) is that if Mr Cates (former EKMT director) ends up running a museum service in Ramsgate (unencumbered by trustees from Thanet's tory old guard) the outcome may be as good as could be hoped for.

I think the legacy may have been contested at the time and that may yet be a direction questions about disposal of the £267,000 arise.

I am loathe to fight another Thanet issue. Sericol and Thor are now in public domain.

It is probable the Charity Commission will at some point inform me of their actions and opinions re EKMT.

It would be interesting to know the role of the TDC solicitor as that should be susceptible to an FOI request (He surely cannot have been advising trustees courtesy of the public purse ? He must have been safeguarding TDC assets ...)

Rick said...

bull terrier tugging locals ECR ?

Rick said...

Having said that I am loathe to fight another Thanet issue ECR. I am having a quick look on internet at "Ectopic pregnancy" as this may be a condition for which existing records show that Thanet has the highest incidence in UK.

Perhaps Daktari would be the man to take this forward.

Anonymous said...

As a Blackpool fan I would strongly oppose any dealings with Preston.

Anonymous said...


Have you got Ann's direct dial number at the CC having trouble with the switchboard to get her.