Wednesday, 11 June 2014

KCC Leader Paul Carter Wos Ere. Why?

On 14th November 2013  Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council, attended a meeting of the East Kent Opportunities (EKO) Management Committee. Why was he there? He's never been to one before.

The meeting was called to discuss Thanet Council’s Planning Committee rejection of  EKOs application to build 550 houses on land owned by EKO at the New Haine Road Ramsgate.  It has been alleged that in order to secure planning permission for this development improper influence may been brought to bear  upon Thanet’s planning processes. This is a very serious allegation which is now subject to an independent investigation.

My estimate is that it cost somewhere in the region of £250,000 - £300,000 to prepare and submit the EKO planning application. Much of this cost has been picked up by council tax payers who fund EKO. EKO knew along that their massively expensive planning application would not succeed. Thanet Council’s planning officers told them so on more than one occasion. But the fools who run EKO pressed on with their futile efforts knowing full well what the result would be.

On 21 October 2013 the inevitable happened. EKOs planning application was rejected to the delight of many Labour  councillors who were aware that their, leader Clive Hart, had been playing a double game and supporting the EKO application whilst his party policy was to oppose it. 
How did EKO respond? Well instead of cutting their (our) losses they held a meeting on 14th  November,  which Paul Carter attended, at which it was decided to appeal against Thanet Council’s rejection of the EKO planning. An appeal has now been submitted and I understand that will take the form of a week long public enquiry in October. This will cost somewhere in the region of £100,000 maybe more, of our money!.

Why  spend approaching £500,000 in public money on a futile planning application and appeal?  Well the answer to this is because Kent County Council spent almost £6 million on building the New Haine Road right through the middle of the EKO land. They can only recover this investment by forcing through a planning application for housing on the land by fair means or, allegedly, foul!

So I think it's probable  that Councillor Paul Carter attended the EKO meeting to reassure himself that all means possible were being used to try to recover KCCs road building money. I am 100% certain that as boss of KCC Cllr Carter wants to ensure that his council's money is properly managed. I am 100% certain that in pursuing this honourable aim Mr Carter would not have countenanced or encouraged  some of the shenanigans and misconduct that are alleged to have surrounded the submission of the EKO planning application, which may or may not have breached the EKO membership agreement.

9 comments:

  1. All this seems so devious that I suspect a trimmed down resume of this and related issues, if sent to a selection of the media, would 'be of interest'. In that these sums of wasted money will be impacting on the employment prospects of Council employees, I wonder how involved / up to speed the appropriate unions are?

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  2. It wishes to ensure that a positive planning approval is obtained at.... Action Sue McGonigal. This whole affair is truly a corruption of public office. The problem is that it goes on at Whitehall/Westminster all the time and the culture remains unchanged as the protagonists are the same highly honoured, toadying, establishment suspects!

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  3. I'm surprised that Paul Carter knows where Thanet is. He was reported to have claimed that the flight path for Manston went straight out over the sea without crossing any houses. When he was invited to come down to see all of the houses in the flights paths he didn't respond.

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  4. So exactly by what means were the landed assets transfered from ownership of TDC to EKO... was a there a full meeting of the TDC council elected members called to vote and endorse this activity? which as far as I understand is a mandatory legal requirement in such circumstances or was the transfer of land carried out by senior officers which must have included the senior legal team if this is in fact the case who must surely have pointed out that such acticity was improper and potentialliy illegal of such activity took place .... so how exactly was the land transfer happen and by who was it sanctioned and endorsed?

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    1. Strange you should raise this question anon. I e-mailed TDCs Monitoring Officer on Wednesday asking him the same question. I will let you know what he said

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  5. Anon the Thanet Council Asset Management Strategy 2007-11 (which covers he period of the EKO land transfer) requires that all property disposals be approved by Cabinet. The Local Government Act 1972 section 123 (2a) requires that the disposal of open land must be advertised in local newspapers for a period of 2 weeks and that any objections be considered. I am written to the Council's Monitoring Officer asking if these 2 requirements were adhered to when TDCs land at New Haine Road was transferred to the ownership of EKO in 2008.

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  6. Who was running the council in 2008?

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  7. What's happening with macgonigal and the eko inquiry now she's on leave of absence

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  8. We need direct election of the KCC Leader instead of these West Kent tarmac policies

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