Tuesday, 26 March 2013
"A CULTURE OF CORRUPTION" IN THANET, SAYS LOCAL WRITER
The imprisonment of the ex-leader of Thanet District Councils is evidence of a culture of corruption in Thanet, according to a local historian and journalist.
Norman Thomas, editor of Thanet Watch magazine, says that Sandy Ezekiel, sentenced for 18 months on four charges of misconduct in public office, is not one rotten apple in the barrel but the latest example of whats been going on in the area since the 1970s.
In the 1982 a leading councillor was jailed for forging money, says Mr Thomas. Since then Kent police have spent years and years of man-hours investigating fraud and criminality in public life in Thanet.
Their efforts have shown little result but this isnt because the criminality isnt there, its because of another kind of culture in the area a culture of secrecy.
The council is a huge employer in the area. They give grants to groups; they help groups to get grants. Nearly everyone or their brother or friend is directly or indirectly beholden to them.
People are simply too afraid to speak out.
Beginning this week, Mr Thomass magazine Thanet Watch will be publishing a series of articles exploring what he calls the curse of corruption in Thanet.
People like Ezekiel have had an all-pervading, destructive impact on the life of our community. The time has come to expose this and set things right, he said.
The new issue of Thanet Watch is due out on Thursday 28 March.