Monday, July 18, 2011

Did Chief Exec receive 30 K for Election– Thanet Council refuse to answer

I've heard several rumours that allege the recently retiring chief executive of Thanet council was paid anything between 30-50,000 for acting as the returning officer, in the May local council elections.

Now due to the irresponsible action to Thanet Council, whereas in the past I could ring the council and enquire, for clarification or correction to a rumour, this is now blocked by the council.

This afternoon I contacted TDC's democratic & electoral services, eventually an officer spoke to me but not knowing the answer, referred as I understand to TDC's communications department, which now administers the conservatives councils blunt censorship of media.

I didn't expect, an answer necessarily immediately but I'm told I will have to put in a Freedom of Information enquiry.

I spoke to one Conservative Cllr at the time TDC introduced their policy of refusing to allow people like me (Non Conservative) to use the council Press Office, and was told that I could still speak to officers, if my conversation today is anything to go on clearly I cannot.

Councillors in the Conservative party have long tried to restrict bloggers, its a stupid obsession, as someone who takes a responsible line, without hiding behind a pseudonym, I am no longer able to correct such a rumour as above.

I always thought that the senior officer of the local council acted as returning officer during elections as part of normal local government duties, still having read this story about the former Chief officer for Kent council, I feel these things need investigating.
whats this for
Perhaps one enquiry I should make, is whether the councils newly appointed chief executive, has checked on the legal implications of press discrimination.

I wonder if it's time to recall Sandy Ezekiel as Leader of the council at least he has a bit of savvy.


  1. One has to wonder whether such alleged payments are remuneration for 'services rendered' in overseeing a 'free and democratic election'... nudge nudge, wink wink, say no more.

    It was obvious that both elections of monkey boy Bush were dubious, and the second Irish refendum on EU ratification also stunk to high heaven. Ahmadinejad's most recent election, too, had been tampered with by the CIA, but was discovered and turned around.

    The men who control the purse strings will stop at nothing to get their people into the power centres.

  2. Yes it is time to recall Sandy Ezekiel back to TDC as Leader, he was a"make it happen" Leader with charisma and good old fashioned leadership skills. He truly appreciated that jobs were the answer to Thanets woes unlike the present leadership that is process driven without any flair, come back Sandy all is forgiven

  3. If flair means thuggish, boorish behaviour with constant questions about relations with local businessmen then the previous Tory leadership would be the right choice for you. Most people would opt for higher standards, I think.

  4. So what's wrong with the present leadership then? No fighting or swearing or do you miss that?

    Likely the smartest lot that Thanet has ever had

    Mr T

  5. Is this another "Bonkers" case Tony?

    On the website there is a FOI asking for the details of the ex chief execs payoff details and fee as returning officer.
    The request was refused on data protection grounds and due to the fact that a compromise agreement ensuring that any payoff details remain private was signed by both parties.
    Since the returning officer fee was not part of the severence package I cant see how the council can refuse this part of the request but witholding the payoff and the pensions top up seems to be valid.
    However TDC has published the £92K severence payment and £81K pension top-up in their draft accounts, clearly breaking TDC's own position on data protection.
    Maybe next years (2011-2012) accounts will contain the returning officer fee.

  6. FOI on What do They Know

    By making an FOI you give the recipient time to research and provide a response. That seems preferable to seeking an immediate answer.

    A problem, with blogging, is that when issues are multi-facted there is a tendency for internet trolls to bay "Conspiracy theory" and for certain tories to shout "Libel" in the hope they will frighten off further pursuit of detail.

    Two days ago I was grateful to receive a phone call from retd Det Supt Nick Biddiss.

    Nick Biddis to BBC this month re News of the World

    Firstly I pay tribute to Mr Biddiss because he is the only Kent Police officer, albeit retired, to get on and set out his stall.

    We had a 35 minute conversation. Or frank exchange of views.

    This was mostly about the murder of retired MI5 officer Ken Speakman at his Ramsgate home in 1996 for which Mr Biddiss was also case officer.

    Readers may recall that Anthony Swindells was arrested near the 6th Thanet Gun Range after breaking into a house and being shot and wounded by the householder. Police arrested wounded Swindells and found he was carrying Ken Speakman's stolen gun collection.

    Also in 1996 former tory Cllr Margaret Mortlock was assaulted by a combat suited man on her doorstep and in her hallway where she hit the assailant with a vase and got a good look at him before he ran.

    She was later told that the man arrested for the Speakman murder had confessed to the assault on her.

    Mr Biddiss explained that due to legal indictment reasons sometimes a "TIC" is not put into charges that involve murder.

  7. However that was an hypothesis and he the Det Supt in charge had never heard of the paramilitary assault on Mrs Mortlock. And, hence, he must never have known about Mrs M's description of her assailant.

    At the murder trial Kent CID (junior to Mr Biddiss) told the court that Mr Swindells had invented a fictitious accomplice he called "Billy TOMBS" upon whom, he was blaming the murder of Mr Speakman.

    Mr Biddiss confirmed that every TOMBS in UK had been checked out.

    I named one.

    He asked "Who's he"

    I answered "A man who exactly answers the description given by Mrs Mortlock of her assailant"

    I also pointed out that the man owns a company which provides live fire training at gun ranges.

    WE then spoke about a warrant raid in Ramsgate which allegedly occurred before Mr Swindells was arrested. The information suggesting that the warrant raid plod already had the name "TOMBS" and thus implying it could not be an invention later of Mr Swindells.

    Mr Biddiss informed me there was no such warrant raid conducted by his murder inquiry..

    There was a request from HM Coroner to re-open a 1978 sudden death case which was rejected without Det Supt Biddiss knowing anything about the Coroner request apparently.

    Because Mr Biddiss was unawsare of the assault of Mrs Mortlock he knew of no significance to check out concerning Mr Swindells arrest which was near 6th Thanet Gun Range the neighbour to which was Mrs Mortlock's son.

    When tory Cllr George Richard Maison was found guilkty of libel in 98 Cllr Hayton gave evidence for him allegedlky that there was no process of inquiry in place concerning him.

    The HM Coroner request calling for inquiry (which did not reach Mr Biddiss) had been blocked. A kent Police Authority call for inquiry was still open.

    But when TDC Standards sat to consider Cllr Hayton's role at High Court the evidence file was withheld (See FOI application)

    What is emerging is serious.

    I end by saying Thank You Mr Biddiss. You can see what he is saying to BBC that officers flogged info to News of the World that put his Kenny NOYE team at risk.

    I suggest Mr Biddiss you could do worse than find out which officers extended hospitality to Kenny (allegedly) to fire at Kent gun ranges.

    It takes tenacity Tony.

  8. On the subject of the warrant raid mentioned above. This is a metter I wrote to HM Coroner about some years ago. She replied that Supt George ROGERS had nothing to do with the Speakman murder inquiry which was run by Det Supt Biddiss from Nackington Canterbury station.

    I replied that my information suggested that it was Supt ROGERS who took the warrnt and custody decisions.

    I will write a courtesy letter now to the HM Coroner that this alleged warrant raid which allegedly already had the name "TOMBS" and which was allegedly searching for Ken SPEAKMAN's stolen guns was allegedly conducted by officers under Thanet Supt ROGERS command and without the knowledge of Mr Biddiss' murder inquiry.

    I sprinkled a lot of allegedly in there because I anticipate the target of the alleged warrant raid is about to devlop amnesia.

  9. One of the first actions of the outgoing Chief Executive was to copy all correspondence related to the above Standards Cttee meeting to Police.

    In my view he was more savvy than the TDC solicitor who appeared to be overlooking certain Common Law Obligations to report.

    So it is ironic that he is leaving just as these issues may be coming home to roost.

  10. Good bye, considerate chum :)