Monday, November 18, 2013

Happy Bunny?

Word has reached the perfectly formed Eastcliff lugholes that Thanet Council's Corporate and Regulatory Services Manager Harvey Patterson may be heading for pastures new.

If the rumour is true, and I have to emphasise that I'm only running it up the old flagpole, it could mark the start of an admin shake-up at Duffer Central. Mr P has been the legal mandarin in the eye of many a recent Thanet storm, including the loss of £3.4m in the secret Ferrygate deal, the ongoing Pleasurama eyesore, and the recent row over the Royal Victoria Pavilion.

Of course, the head honcho in all these dubious doings has been Chief Exec Dr Sue McGonigal, and in my ever-so-humble opinion it should be her who's throwing in the towel. But then who am I to explain the Machiavellian machinations of the Margate machinery?

If the rumour proves true, I wonder if, in time-honoured Cecil Square tradition, Mr P will be offered a huge wodge for walking away? I think we should be told!

Meanwhile I see that the four independent members of our beloved council's Standards Committee, who are all members of the public rather than politicians or apparatchiks, have today reported that 'there is a local suspicion of secrecy, corruption and distance between the Council as it is perceived in the offices in Cecil Square, the reality of people’s lives and the needs of the district'.

They can say that again!

In fact, I think I'll say it again! 'There is a local suspicion of secrecy, corruption and distance between the Council as it is perceived in the offices in Cecil Square, the reality of people’s lives and the needs of the district.'

You can read their tut-tuttings in full by clicking here.

Update: After a, er, lively meeting of Thanet Council on Thursday, the Standards Committee report was rejected by our arse-covering councillors, following which the four independent members of the committee resigned en masse. Nuf said.

Update Feb 2014: My scoop about Harvey Patterson's departure finally makes it to The Isle of Thanet Gazunder. Quite why they get paid to print 'news' that I've already published two months earlier is beyond me. Kuh!

35 comments:

Anonymous said...

About bloody time too. Rat leaving the sinking ship springs to mind, and after he has knawed through the planking. McGonigal next please.

Anonymous said...

So true to form. Executive officers have been pedalling their CV's for months I am sure. Classic too - some many have left employ either before the police are brought in or there is a judicial review... His new employers should be made fully aware of what they are getting!

Richard Eastcliff said...

It's only a rumour at the moment, and I am certainly not suggesting he may be leaving because of any wrongdoing, m'lud.

Ian Driver said...

Mr E I suggested a senior management re-structure in one of my recent blog posts which would involve regulatory services. I hope they have not nicked my ideas

Richard Eastcliff said...

I'm sure most sensible people would say that it's about time, Mr D!

Anonymous said...

I always thought that Harvey was the assassin of TDC - he was given his orders and he had to do the hit and bury the bodies... I also hear that other heads are rolling at TDC towers... Section 151 officer to be removed from Sue - does this signify she is on her way out??? Fingers crossed!

Anonymous said...

I always thought Harvey was a figment of the imagination, though judging by some of the nutters on the blogs I don't doubt that they think he's real!

Anonymous said...

When these are all gone, who will know where all the bodies are buried? Metaphorically speaking of course....

Anonymous said...

The blogs get a special mention. I applaud all local bloggers for continuing the good fight.

Anonymous said...

" I wonder if, in time-honoured Cecil Square tradition, Mr P will be offered a huge wodge for walking away? I think we should be told!" .. er.. no you will not because in the same tradition, that should be made illegal in local councils as well as the NHS, he will be paid to sign a confidentiality agreement like all that went before. This is why there needs to be an external investigation now before they all clear off cash in hand and lips sealed, and it all starts all over again, nothing learnt, no example made.

Anonymous said...

And another sick joke the following statement on the Standards Report made today by Cllr Bayford who has overseen the downward spiral failure and secrecy of the council yet has the cheek to say

“The report reflects very accurately the fears of members of this group, who believe the council’s reputation is in real difficulty. I pledge both my personal and my group’s support for steps which will change the public perception of council affairs.

“A good start may be to agree to the live streaming and public filming of council meetings, which many of us have undertaken at KCC meetings without serious issue.

“The Conservative Group is fully supportive of action which will achieve the aim of ‘high standards of conduct’ without compromising genuine debate. We call upon all other political groupings to engage seriously with us in taking action to change the public view of the council and councillors before it is too late, and people turn away from politics and representative democracy as a way of their voices being heard.”

Reach for your buckets

Anonymous said...

When will Labour comment?
I note that 2 people have tweeted Cllr Hart has blocked them on twitter this is hardly open governance

Anonymous said...

The council's reputation has been spiralling downwards for at least 15 years. In my opinion it all began to go horribly wrong under the antagonistic reign of Coppock. This was followed by the dour reign of Nicholson, followed by the nasty reign of Bayford. Who have we had since then? I'm not sure I can remember because they all merge into one inadequate mess.

Anonymous said...

"The nasty reign of Bayford"? The generally opinion from all sides is that things were far worse under Ezekiel!

Readit said...

I don't think HP is the source of all the problems in Thanet but a new recipe may get us out of the current pickle.

kandy jones said...

this gagging order thingy??? what happens if he is needed in a court battle? could he be called up and asked to defend his reasons for such mad decisions! its not right 'they' should get away with destroying our Island.
well done to everyone who make this fiasco more public :-)
people power does work
i am/was/am worried a lil bit coz HP is the person to give the final word on the independent panel, hows this gonna work, he too is incompetent.

Anonymous said...

Is this the same party who were in charge when TDC was privately dealing on night flights with now departed owners infratil? And I vaguely remember something about a council leader calling someone a fecking tosser and ending up in jail?

Bob's got a lot of convincing to do alongside allowing filming - something that is going to be forced through by law anyway.

Simon Moores said...

I read with interest the comment about "The nasty reign of Bayford" because that included me and the like sf Alasdair Bruce in cabinet.

During that short time before Worrow, Cohen and Driver turned teh Council over to a minority Labour administration, some very real steps were made.

As an example, as Cabinet Member for Planning 'ANY' private meetings with developers were stopped dead.. and a number of Council officers went on their way; remember the furore with Margate FC?

The asset disposal list was reviewed, council meetings were videod etc etc. In fact it was all change for the culture until of course it was rudely jerked back to 2003 by the independents one night and remains there today.

Barry James said...

Simon as the public perception of TDC hasn't changed maybe it is time to join hands with Labour and work together for the good of Thanet #ProudofThanet.

Anonymous said...

Barry

The Thanet tory position, concerning their own history, is both irrational and hypocritical.

Their clear wish is that a line be put under their history in order "To move forward".

They expect this to happen without them ever acknowledging the history (Cyril Hoser, George Maison, Watt Ruffell, Bill Hayton, Sandy Ezekiel etc) and apologising for their despicable and seedy record.

Whilst bleating that people live in the past and that misdeeds are historical (implying they should be forgotten) they nonetheless proffer a revisionist version of their own history.

For example Simon. His history includes his hobby of shooting. Recently he informed Thanet there were no middle easterner Al Quedda suspects live fire training at a Thanet Gun Range. A classic case of wanting his cake and eat it. On the one hand to condemn mention of the gun range history then offering a revisionist version of the history, for which he was unable to later produce any evidence. Of course faux outraged when asked if he had used the 6th Thanet Gun Range himself.

If the Thanet tories are sincere in wishing to put their sordid history behind them then they should own up to what happened. Admit they never took any remedial action. That they did nothing to stop the wrongdoing reverberating down the Thanet tory generations.

Perhaps Simon could produce a video "Simon's sorry, so sorry, so so sorry".

November Remembrance. I share Simon's sentiments. Important to remember the sacrifice.

Important then to remember 22nd Sept 1989 when 11 Royal Marines were killed at Deal.

Roger Gale MP still not answering whether he in any way influenced police decisions not to pursue the breach of security warnings given by concerned Thanet citizens BEFORE the bombing.

All the sentiment of Remembrance and none of the substance.

Best wishes Rick

Anonymous said...

Bob Bayford on my side at last re filming! I love it.
Christine
Thanet Watch

William Epps said...

Rick, I fully understand your position and suspicions concerning the Deal bombing and the 6th Thanet gun range, but the perpetual implications of Tory involvement gets tedious and bordering on malicious. You also name past and present Conservative councillors although some that you brand as criminal by collective association have never been convicted of anything. You may suspect something but that is not proof.

You and I have had one to one exchanges and I respect the levels of research in which you engage. Nonetheless, as a Conservative councillor, I resent the implication that we are all bent.

You seem to have conveniently forgotten those Labour councillors who were convicted of benefit fraud just as recently as some of your alleged wrongs cited.

William Epps said...

Christine, nice to see you happy at something a Conservative has done. Shame the present Labour administration seem to be a lot slower acknowledging the implications of the independent report. It is always necessary to fist acknowledge a wrong before it can be put right.

Richard Eastcliff said...

Christine Tongue reports on Facebook: 'I just rang the council and talked to him (Harvey Patterson) and he says he's still there! Quite friendly really....'

Anonymous said...

Now why couldn't you have done that ECR? It's quite simple really!

Anonymous said...

So is ECR 6:14.

Anonymous said...

He's a lawyer. If you phone him and speak to him it is patently obvious that he's still there. He's told you nothing. But did he say that he would still be there at Christmas?

Anonymous said...

He definitely won't be there at Christmas. TDC shut their offices then.

Richard Eastcliff said...

I agree, 6:30pm. I am a simple, two-dimensional, cartoon character running a simple, two-dimensional cartoon character blog! I do not phone people up, that's not what I'm about. I leave that to the likes of the Gazunder, Christine Tongue, Michael Child and Chippy Tone!

I've got better things to do with my day, frankly.

Besides, as 7:39pm has correctly pointed out, HP's response to CT's call was weasel-worded to say the least. If a proper journo had called him (and I know of no-one in Thanet who qualifies as such), we might have had a proper answer!

Anonymous said...

You've phoned TDC before. I recall you posting the message where you disguised your voice.

Anonymous said...

You mean this one 8:31?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4KNDjJ8M_pU

Richard Eastcliff said...

Funnily enough, I was just about to dust that off!

Anonymous said...

Surely there needs to be a Civil Servant Blacklist so the incompetent or fraudsters don't get a payoff and then pop up in another similar job and continue the failure.

And surely we need a pledge from all councillors not to agree above-contract or secret payoffs.

They could be filmed at the next TDC council meeting making that pledge and even releasing all contracts and staffing etc - as is now happening in the NHS.

Anonymous said...

Why hasn't Macgonigal been sacked and the Police been called in? We seem to have councillors and civil servants above the law and funded by us.

Ferrygate or Pleasurama or 0% fraud would each be grounds alone for dismissal.

Anonymous said...

Which council did Magonigal work at before TDC?