Wednesday, November 20, 2013
Before They Were Famous
A long time ago in the year 2000, in the beautiful Buckinghamshire hills, there was a council. And this council was called Chiltern District Council. Now, the good councillors of CDC wanted to save some money, so they decided to create a trust and hive off their three leisure centres, which meant they could avoid paying business rates. They called their not-for-profit trust the 'Chiltern Leisure Trust', and off it sailed, and everyone lived happily ever after.
Well, not quite.
Four years later, the trust had run up almost £1.2m in debt. More than half of that was owed to the council itself. So the poor councillors were left with no other option than to write the money off. They were very sad, as the amount represented roughly 10% of their council's annual income.
Does that story sound familiar? A little like writing off the £3.4m that Thanet Council idiotically allowed the decrepit TransEuropa Ferries to run up before it went bust?
Well it may not surprise you to learn, then, that one of the directors of Chiltern Leisure Trust was none other than Thanet Council's very own Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager Harvey Patterson, star of my previous post. Not only that, but HP was also Head of Legal Services for CDC during the same period.
So, now you know what Harvey was doing before he was famous!
Click here to read the full story of the Chiltern Leisure Trust debacle on the Guardian website.