Friday, May 24, 2013
Ferrygate - Why Did They Pay The Ferry Man?
Really? Then how come she didn't manage to 'protect' the £3.3m in the first place??!!
In every other business I know of, it's drilled into the employees that they must treat the company's money as if it is their own. Thanet Council is the only outfit I've come across where the money is actually their own (it comes from their taxes as well as ours), but the employees spend it like water!
Anyhoo, one of my regular readers has emailed me this list of very pertinent questions. Comments on the usual postcard please!
The front page of the Isle of Thanet Gazette today quotes the Chief Executive of Thanet Council as saying: 'The council entered into an agreement which would see the recovery of the debt in full by 2014.' Then on Page 6 the paper writes:
'The debt accrued over two years following a secret agreement which allowed the firm to defer port fees.'
Where is this agreement? Why has it even now not been published? Why was it done in secret? What other secret agreements has the incompetent executive of the Council entered into that, like skeletons, are waiting to fall out of the community chest? There needs to be full and immediate public disclosure.
Hasn't the Council's lawyer and Head of Legal Harvey Patterson heard of the expression 'not worth the paper it is written on?' Why did he and the executive who is ultimately responsible for protecting the public's funds, namely the Council's Section 151 Officer Sue McGonigal, bind local tax payers in an agreement with TransEuropa when common sense, let alone due diligence, if they'd undertook any, would have told them the other party was offering no security for the debt already incurred, let alone the debt to come? They knew full well Transeuropa had no assets at all in the UK, and were on notice that Transeuropa were most likely already insolvent!
Such an agreement was only going to benefit Transeuropa, and be detrimental to Council taxpayers. The 'sub-prime' lending that took place prior to the global financial crash looks cautious by comparison. When will these executives pay the price for squandering public funds?
It is no defense to claim there are other budgets available within the Council to cover these massive losses. The reserves of the council, or money somehow conjured up from the failed budgeting of the council (which is also under their control), are not there for the executives to play secret games of poker with.