Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Ferrygate - Inside The Secret TDC Committee
The minutes had, until a year ago, been published on TDC's website. Then the powers-that-be decided that what they were discussing was way too confidential for the likes of you and me, the people who actually pay their wages, to be privy to.
Councillors who are or were on the committee, according to those minutes that have been published, include Bayford, Campbell, Gideon, Huxley, Roberts and Watkins, with occasional appearances from D Green and Poole, and TDC officers such as Maritime Operations Manager and Harbour Master Rob Brown, and Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager Harvey Patterson.
Now, what is interesting is that on 26th January 2012, the last meeting where the minutes were published, the committee decided to spend a £20K EU grant that had to be used up by June 2012 on hiring a consultant to see what could be done to attract new business to the port. And here's the clincher. The reason? Because 'no-one within TDC was expert enough in this field'.
So, by their own admission, by the beginning of 2012, when TransEuropa's debts were already piling up, no-one at TDC was competent enough to run a maritime business in such a way that alternative shipping lines could be attracted to take up the slack. Un-flipping-believable!
Of course, we'll never know if a consultant was indeed hired, or if anything was done to attract any alternative, viable business. Because the minutes end with this killer punch: 'AOB: The Ramsgate Port and Marina Cabinet Advisory Group agreed that all future meetings would be private.'