Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Ferrygate - The Cover-Up Continues

Regular contributor Steve has sent me a copy of this reply to his Freedom of Information request for more details about the £3.4m TransEuropa scandal. It's from Thanet Council's Director of Operations Mark Seed.

Not that there's anything you could consider 'information' in it!

Thank you for your communication received on 20th May 2013 in which you requested information about the council's dealings with Transeuropa Ferries.

The information you request relates to meetings and other communications with Transeuropa since March 2011and this information would be directly relevant  to legal action taken by the council to recover the outstanding debt. Premature release of information relevant to a potential legal action could be significantly prejudicial to a legal case taken by the council.

It is almost certain that this information would be released into the public domain and lead directly to the prejudice to any potential case.

The council is owed over £3 million and any prejudice to legal action it may take would be significantly prejudicial to its commercial interests. The application of a public interest test in relation to this under Section 43 of the Freedom of Information Act relating to commercial interests has been applied to this situation and it is considered that the balance of public interest lies on the side of not releasing the information you have requested as the wider public interest lies in retaining the confidentiality of this information at this stage. This will remain the case until the issue with regard to the legal action to recover the Transeuropa debt is resolved.

However, I would wish to clarify a misunderstanding in your request as this seems to be based on an assumption that sums were being paid to Transeuropa, which was not the case. The council is owed money by the company and this sum remains payable. Given the position of the company the council is going to have to seek this sum from any assets owned by the company through legal action.

21 comments:

Ian Driver said...

Hi Mr E I too was denied access to the records and documents. I am a complaining to the Information Commissioner

Richard Eastcliff said...

Good for you Mr D!

Anonymous said...

Bully for you, Mr D, and what will next week's cause be?

Interesting to see our millionaire playboy on the same side as the champion of the far left. Not a champagne socialist are we Mr E.

Paul James said...

Anon 4:01 Please explain what on earth this has to do with socialists. It was socialists who allowed the debt to rack up from the ridiculous £1.7 to the mind-blowing £3.4M, and whilst hiding the facts with creative accountancy and on top, paying to run a ferry port pretending there was a healthy income when there was none.

Anonymous said...

Paul, I was addressing Eastcliff and wondering at this seemingly bizarre alliance of him and old bandwagon. The Ferrygate issue seems to be a TDC disaster of some time making regardless of the politics of the leadership over the saga.

Richard Eastcliff said...

I have no problem with the term 'champagne socialist'. I like champagne. I'm not entirely socialist, but close enough!

It's a bit like calling someone a 'pork pie Tory', isn't it? I happen to like pork pies too! Although I'm not that keen on Tories.

Anonymous said...

For the benefit of council tax payers, playing children, the paws of pet dogs, cyclist's tyres, tourists and everyone else who visits the promenade along Cliftonville clifftops Mr Seed's time would be better spent sweeping up the ever-present broken glass along there than sweeping his bosses misdemeanors under the carpet.

Anonymous said...

I don't mind officers refusing permission to view documents if it is justified. Unfortunately, TDC has a long and undistinguished track record of refusing permission only to have their decision overturned by the Information Commissioner. If this decision is overturned could I suggest that Mark Seed be demoted for wasting time and public money?

Anonymous said...

Anon 5:30 Believe it or not Mr Seed is the boss and as for you Eastcliffe, you are Tory through and through. Just not of the local standard.

Anonymous said...

but "Ferrygate" isn't a political issue, and those who try to make it one play into the hands of the perpetrators of this negligent act. ( if an act can last nearly three years)

Duncan Smithson said...

I managed to get within spitting distance of Mr Seed today. And Paul - I agree with your comments. Its a shame when people try to score points rather than have the discussion - an issue endemic throughout TDC

Anonymous said...

In the great and dirty past, Dane park was warded £42,000 to refurbish the fountain, which is the twin in raffles hotel in singapore, to this day you ask where the money is and tdc clam up tight, a bit like asking why the arlington house lease was never enforced, never ever an answer

Anonymous said...

to 11.13pm the answer is fraud investigation - especially regarding Dane Park's £42k.
It is time for crook councillors [and TDC hirelings]to serve REAL prison sentences after FULL investigations.

Anonymous said...

So the public and most councillors are deprived of this information? We need a clearout of this cabal of cretins at TDC.

Which 10 councillors and civil servants would you sack or jail?

Anonymous said...

What's the point of your FOI and appeal to Information Commissioner ?

If you get the information all you'll do is publish it and moan about it with an approving moaner chorus.

Mallinson, Holyer, Hamilton, Child, Eastcliff, Flaig, Aquifer Man and the anons. Whine whine whine do diddly.

Anonymous said...

Perhaps you'd like to tell us what you're doing to get our £3.4m back then? Direct action? Not paying your council tax? Egging TDC HQ in Cecil Square? Voting UKIP? Pah!

Anonymous said...

Seed and Harvey seem to be taking it in turns with the Mcgonigal coverups.

Why would the public be denied public information? Especially if there's doubts over the legality of the council?

And the information would be provided in open court too?

Backside-covering. Sack a few of them.

Anonymous said...

Egging TDC is not a bad idea. Sound your car horn 3 times as you go past!

Mcgonigal Out! Out! Out!

Why would anyone defend these criminals on the rates?

Anonymous said...

Coverups in the NHS, Kent Police and rape statisitcs and now the councils - people die or have ill-health beacuase of these failings.

Anonymous said...

East Kent 2017 City of Culture Bid rejected.

Anonymous said...

ECR may i suggest that some of your readers read up on "materiality threshold"! All will then have a greater understanding how bad the accounts have been Audited at TDC.

Materiality thresholds cut across many aspects of TDC day to day affairs from planning to Environmental- have fun people?