Wednesday, February 22, 2012

KENT WATCH - Taxing questions for Kent's Tories and what else is being hidden?

Not having time to blog having other fish to fry, as it were, I just thought that these following stories from professional sources might well provide, interesting reading.

This one for instance I assume, will not just trouble conservatives but councillors from all parties particularly those living some distance from Maidstone, it seems that in tax terms, councillors are easy pickings for HMRC who are seeking to get back taxes, for travel expenses, it's been well documented that senior tax officials are happy to accept hospitality, from large corporations, who are even more happy to rob the British economy of billions, for the price of a meal, in a swish restaurant rather than stump up tax due. 

For mere mortals which includes Kent's councillors, along with you and I, businesses outside the multi-national league, who cannot afford lavish hospitality or employ armies of Tax experts and lawyers, HMRC are happy to act tough and pick off easy targets, unlike the alleged actions in writing off many millions owed to the nation by companies like vodaphone.

On a similar topic, this story concerning,  Deputy Leader of Kent Council Alex King, also highlights, travel in this case, the use of a tax payer funded chauffeur driven car (15 times in a year) to take the deputy to his exclusive London Club, outrageous you might think, however I'm sure, once you understand that these trips were council business, and that lobbying guru Douglas Smith is also a member of the club and a close friend of Alex King, you'll be assuaged of any thoughts of inappropriate use of your council tax.

Finally to round up, I suggest that you read this article, which delves into the spending by KCC of £394,000 on lobbying firms, (these are the mysterious companies which communicate with politicians to sway government policy) anyhow interestingly, assuming you don't have the energy to click the link above, here's a couple key points KCC paid out £394,000 in  an eleven year period to companies founded by Douglas Smith, a friend of Cllr Alex King and the former chief executive of the council (when they still had such a post) Peter Gilroy is reported to have "said he cancelled a standing contract with Westminster Advisers because he felt it "could be seen as inappropriate". Surely not!  

PS I've always been of the view that Kent Council has misspent your council tax on PR, it's been a regular item on the agenda here at Bignews Margate, particular concern is the way the councils press department has often avoided engaging openly to explain our local government,  perhaps a final story, which once again highlights the secretive nature of Kent Council is this one basically it refers to the case of Jane Clarke, who as former head of communications at KCC, found it necessary to take the authority to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Ironically once again a former employee (this time a communications expert)  has agreed a confidential settlement and we the taxpayers are left wondering what KCC couldn't allow us the taxpayer to know.

Of course Conservative councillors will no doubt sight confidentiality and all that, as a reason, for doing yet another secret deal with a former employee but what conclusion can we the public draw other than the former communications director was unfairly dismissed, or why else would the council be giving our money away, and further we can all be forgiven for thinking just what are the conservative administration hiding?

I think the public interest outweighs any need for confidentiality in this last matter, clearly the former employee accepted that her claim for unfair dismissal would find its way into the public domain, during a tribunal, so what possble reason could there be for confidentiality, other than hiding some embarrassment to Kent's Conservative council.


  1. Maybe when the accounts for 2011/12 are published later his year we will be able to see how much this exec was paid to go quietly.
    I am also waiting to see how much the former Director of Finance was paid off. She was put on gardening leave in November 2010 but KCC have never issued any information or even that she had left.
    The 2010/11 accounts showed she was being paid in full.
    But she has resurfaced as a senior govenment audit boss so I can only assume that her record was unblemished.

    Are these more cases of KCC paying top dollar for average performing executives?

  2. HMRC are not fit for purpose in my opinion as you say can give away millions but bankrupt Thanet press and put all the workers on the dole . no joined up thinking in there acions.

  3. All public servants who work within a government corporation must be made to be accountable for their actions and without transparency this will never happen. Councillors are supposed to ensure that this happens, not be driven around in flash cars like royalty.All KCC has ever provided is a 'flavour of transparency' which is not good enough .

  4. Dont see membership of this St Stephens club under "The name of any body of which you are a member" on cllr King's KCC members interest register.

  5. St Stephens Club isn't this the same private club that David Cameron wooed Nick Clegg in, so that the LIB's would join them in a coalition?

  6. Tony, you're on fire, more please!

    St. Stephen's sounds like a proper hotbed of political skullduggery, why on earth do we allow these crooks to run our lives?

    Disraeli, who founded the club, was your archetypal political change agent, A protegé of Nathan Mayer Rothschild himself.

    The disintegration of society, that we see around us today, is the culmination of the good work started by those two bandits 200 years ago.

  7. And here's a just published document KCC don't want you to read - KCC Adoption Services OFSTEAD report

    The KCC spokesperson says that OFSTEAD mislead them and then published this "inadequate" rated report after reading a report commissioned by their own consultant. Wonder how much this consultant cost per week?

    You made be interested to know, according to the report, that children are being placed in the USA and elsewhere overseas. Surely this cant be necessary?

  8. And back come the conspiracy nuts to take over yet another thread.

  9. Anon 8.33 so far all the comments here are reporting facts. Have you nothing sensible to say?

  10. What facts, Anon 10:15, or do you mean unsubstantiated reports? Where is your hard evidence of Kent children taken into care being shunted off to the USA? Please spare us your self righteous indignation for all you spout is from questionable articles, hearsay amd make believe.

  11. This used to be an interesting site but recently it's become a bit dreary. It seems to have taken the form of a Lib Dem apologist for being in coalition by attacking all Conservatives. Tony, you must be the only person in Britain, if not the world, who thinks that the BBC has a right-wing bias! The rest of us know that if it were any further to the left it could serve as a media outlet for Pravda! Even the Labour Party don't think it's right wing.
    Shame really, because your robust views on other matters such as public sector rewards, trade union privilege etc were quite interesting. Never mind, we have the political scything down of the local Labour party by Ian Driver as this year's spectator sport.

  12. The highly secretive nature of the UK family court system, rather conveniently but unfathomably "in the best interests of the children", precludes that a lack of hard evidence is to be expected.

    What we can prove is that there is a top down global policy to destroy the family and that eventually all 'human resources' will be bred in-vitro and that the state will become the only 'family'. Of course, all of that is still some way ahead, but that is the plan (see Huxley's Brave New World).

    But one of the ways this breaking-up of families is currently being achieved, is by introducing a profit incentive into the care system, so that the system will drive itself. That is not to say that everyone in the care system is wittingly complicit in child trafficking, but rather that they are being incentivised to do as required by way of hitting targets and compartmentalised from the entire scam on a need to know basis.

    900 children per month, (and rising), are being seized from families across the UK. Seems rather a lot, doesn't it?

    No, 8:23, hard evidence is a bit thin on the ground. But the circumstantial evidence is mounting, as is public awareness. It will only be a matter of time.

  13. The British government is sick beyond repair. Have a gander at this, by Christopher Booker

    an excerpt:
    "Last week, another such story came my way. It concerns a respectable family which was hit with disaster last summer, after the semi-autistic 8-year-old son –who tends to make things up – had lashed out at his 13-year-old sister, leaving bruises. When these were investigated, the boy told the police that his father had done it. The girl denied this – and the boy admitted in video evidence what had really happened – but the police stuck with his earlier story and arrested the father. Although he was never charged, the interventions of social workers became so menacing that, last October, the family escaped to Ireland, where the father has his roots.
    There they have happily settled, and the 13-year-old daughter has become a star pupil of the local school. But the social workers eventually tracked them down – after the children’s grandmother, back in England, had been arrested by 10 police officers, handcuffed, held for three hours in a cell, and told she would be charged with perverting the course of justice unless she revealed their whereabouts. The English social workers pressed their Irish counterparts to co-operate in getting the children back to England (there are no court orders), but were told there was no reason for this because the children were in no danger.
    The social workers then tried to lean on the school principal, saying that the children were “at risk of emotional harm”. The sensible headmistress gave them very short shrift, saying that the English social workers had behaved deplorably in trying to destroy a perfectly normal family, and that England’s loss was Ireland’s gain, since the girl was a brilliant pupil, who was learning five languages. Thanks to their origins, the family will soon be safely confirmed as Irish citizens."

  14. Isn't it interesting that the minute child trafficking and what is really happening to the children being taken in massive numbers from their parents is brought up people are labelled conspirators.

    Probably by the exact same people who believe that we still live in a democratic society and that our votes count, when it is quite obvious to most that it doesn't matter which selected party gets in, just exclusive private clubs . I would call the latter the real conspiracy nut jobs who should know better.

    Keep on shining the light on corruption for all our sakes especially the children's , goes to show they are bricking it.

  15. Yeah, and there is smoke coming out of the top of the Richborough Towers so it is anybody's guess what is happening there. Also around Thanet there are several places where children go in at 9 in the morning and are not let out again until 3.30 in the afternoon. What's that all about?

    No there really is a plot out there and a funny looking guy with a small dark tash and brushed over hair was seen goose stepping into county hall with his right arm stuck up in the air the other day.

    There's your hard evidence, 8:23. Just keep your eyes open.

  16. Nothing to see here, get back to your grindstones. Everything is wonderful, just shut up and leave the politics to those of us who understand it.

  17. Yep nothing to see here expect the truth that you would probably prefer was keep quiet.

    Brian Gerrish - Satanic abuse of children in the UK...

  18. Tim Clark is some kind of cretin surely, as regular reader, I dont see Tony following any particular line, if anything he seems to have more right wing views than liberal.

    Tim you are a tory stooge

  19. Lets hope KCC are watching very closely because we are !

    Council bosses in legal battle

    27th February 2012

    A LANDMARK court ruling will force senior staff to reveal their outside business interests.
    “lower-paid staff’s privacy would be protected, but that outside interests of some of its highest-paid staff — those of chief officer level and above — should be made available “in the public interest”.

    The case was the first of its kind and could be used as a precedent for judges hearing similar appeals from other councils.

    Chief officers include directors, assistant directors, chief planning officers, specialist lead posts and the chief executive.”

    “ In a written ruling, Judge Fiona Henderson, of the General Regulatory Chamber for Information Rights, said: “Senior officers would have an expectation they would need to carry out their tasks transparently and be accountable for the decisions they took. There is a strong need for clarity on the personal interest of senior officers for this reason.”

    The council has a month to reveal the information.

  20. I bet Kent's Council bosses are quaking in their boots that you are watching them. You seem to have been doing so for several years now to no avail so when is this great awakening ever going to happen?

  21. It's happening 9:09, be assured of that.

    May soon be time for a career change... prison cook, perhaps?

  22. I think they should be quaking in their boots any wrong doers who are of course criminals will be exposed and brought to book sooner rather than later.

    Prison cook ? I was thinking more along the line of toilets and toothbrushes.