Tuesday, May 21, 2013
Yes folks, that's 3,300,000 of your English pounds pissed up the swanny, without so much as a 'by your leave'. That's your council tax, that's my council tax, that's money that should have been going towards funding decent public services in Thanet, not propping up a failing foreign business.
So what did we get for our mulah? The answer to that has to be: 'Chuff-all'. I've seen councillors on other blogs justify their actions by saying TEF was a major business that couldn't be allowed to fail. Really? Are they actually suggesting that it was a worthwhile exercise to clandestinely syphon off our money into a Slovenian firm, owned by a couple of Maltese barristers, for the sake of protecting, what, ten jobs down at the port? That's £330,000 per job!
Someone, somewhere has dropped a massive bollock. Or worse, there's been enough council collusion and corruption going on to make even a crook like Sandy Ezekiel blush. Who ordered this unlawful secret subsidy? Councillors? Council officers? Why aren't they in jail too? Wasn't Brian White, the former Head of Regeneration and Planning, in charge down there at the time? Why did he get a £70,000 pay-off for this, er, sterling work? And why was the port accountant, the only person with the bottle, experience and nouse to flag up this monumental misappropriation of public funds, suddenly sacked in 2011 and told that all the number crunching would, in future, be done at Duffer Central in Cecil Square?
In order to pay for this ferry fiasco, we are now told that, amongst other things, £1m will be taken from something called the 'New Homes Bonus', a government grant aimed at helping local authorities build affordable homes and bring long-term empty properties back into use. So to line a few pockets, people are going to lose out on much-needed accommodation. Kuh!
The whole thing stinks worse than Margate Harbour when the tide's out. I think Eric Pickles should be told!
Meanwhile, in other Ramsgate seafront news, TDC have concluded that something needs to be done about the Pleasurama eyesore, and that they're now not entirely happy with the decade and a half of dereliction they've been promoting down there. Call me a cynic, but releasing this 'good news' straight after their Ferrygate revelations strikes me as a rather obvious attempt at media manipulation.
And to be honest, it ain't all good news either, as it's going to cost us council taxpayers several more millions in legal fees to undo that particular mess. You couldn't make it up, could you?