Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Thanet Council “Ferrygate” scandal. Cllrs demand Independent investigation

Thanet  Council “Ferrygate” scandal. Councillors demand Independent investigation.
A group of Green Party and Independent councillors have submitted a motion to the 11 July  meeting of Thanet District Council (TDC) , demanding  an independent investigation into how TDC struck a top-secret deal with, now insolvent,  Transeuropa Ferries (TEF) which allowed the company to run up “eye-watering” debts over a  5 year period.
TEF went into receivership in April owing TDC £3.4 million. The be-leagured Council is  now being forced to raid its reserves and under-spends to make good the massive hole in its 2013-13 budget.
Mover of the motion and Green Party Councillor said “this is the  worst example of local government financial mismanagement I have ever encountered.  A small group of very senior managers and politicians of both the Labour and Tory Parties, struck a  top-secret deal with a failing  ferry company. They  deliberately manipulated the Council’s constitution to hide the truth about this deal from the majority of elected Councillors and the public”.
“Top council bosses and politicians thought it was acceptable to recklessly  gamble with taxpayers money. The gamble totally failed and ultimately the voters of Thanet will have to pay for this ill-conceived plan through increases to their council and reductions I council services”.
“I have been trying over the past few weeks to find out more about what has happened byt the Council has refused to let me see the secret documents it is holding. There should now therefore be independent enquiry which will look at what has happened over the past 3 years and name and shame those people who are responsible for this disaster.
The meeting to discuss the motion will be taking place on 11th July 7pm at Thanet Council offices Cecil Square
The motion to the Council reads
This Council agrees to establish an enquiry into how Transeuropa Ferries (TEF) was allowed to run up a debt estimated to be  £3.4 million to Thanet District Council.
This enquiry will review the legal, constitutional, accounting and ethical issues relating to the management this debt. It will report back on any inappropriate actions and make recommendations on how best to manage similar situations in the future.
Because the decision to extend credit and allow  TEF to run up debt was made at the highest  managerial and political level, this enquiry must be conducted by a suitably qualified person who is totally independent of the Council.
The results of this enquiry must be made public”.   


  1. That should certainly happen, but those seeking to get the motion through are in the minority. The rest don't want to expose their own inadequacy and naivety and wont support it. Whether the public want to know the truth doesn't come into the equation because most Councillors haven't clue what they are doing and couldn't give a damn about public opinion in between elections. Thanet Council is a spent and broken administration.

  2. Interesting concept of democracy whereby the majority must be in the wrong.

  3. It is not the majority who are in the wrong but the few henchmen on both sides who will have 'bullied' their nodding donkeys who don't understand, into believing in and supporting the news blackout. That's local politics I'm afraid until we select some Councillors with backbone.

  4. Why are you surprised that you are prevented from sight of confidential documents Driver? You have proved you can't be trusted with such items, let alone for the poor constituents who voted for you under false pretences.

    How much media exposure do you think you can get for yourself using this hobby horse, before moving onto the next Driver?

    I have yet to see what you would have done differently that would have saved the council tax payers the £3.4 million lost Driver, can you send me a link to where you have published such information...

  5. As a member of the public I strongly resent the suggestion I am being fooled. I understand perfectly well that in an attempt to keep afloat a company that provided jobs and income to our local port, the council took a business decision to defer berthing fees and introduce a deferred payment plan. The kind of decision taken regularly in the commercial world. Thanet never had that money and the best chance of ever getting it was to try to keep TEF going.

    OK, so TEF still went under, but if TDC had not tried they simply would have gone a lot earlier and Thanet would still have not seen those berthing fees. I understand that and several councillors have explained the rationale behind the decision. There is no cover up despite Driver's usual shouting from the rooftops.

    Now TDC have to join the queue of sundry creditors seeking to recover what they can from the assets of the bankrupt company and that means court. Hence their reservation about releasing documents, particularly to someone with a track record of disclosure on a par with that of Assange, is understandable. They have a duty to get back what they can and should be advised by their lawyers, not a maverick councillor.

    Maybe Mr Driver thinks such actions get him support, but I for one resent the fact he seems to think I do not understand and he is my champion fighting my cause. He most definitely is not and on the evidence of his statements I reckon I understand a lot more than he does.

    1. During the time that TDC was "lending" Trans europa £3.4 million by not collecting port dues, they were taking court action and selling the boats belonging to private owners who had not paid their harbour dues.It stinks of double standards one rule for the rich who wined and dined and schmoozed and one for everyone else.

    2. I fail to understand the argument "TDC had not tried they simply would have gone a lot earlier and Thanet would still have not seen those berthing fees" . Since when is it the local councils job to decide to lend ( which is exactly what not collecting amounts to ) £3.4 million to an ailing failing foriegn ferry company. We saw several years of arguments over how TDC couldn't possibly reduce harbour dues for historic ships , and it wasn't the council's job or within in their remit to support historic vessels. Yet without telling the majority of Councillor's a senior coterie decided that this was a wise investment of TDC resources, this doesn't take into account the £3 million that was kept keeping the ferry terminal open. The cost to the local taxpayer £6 million +. perhaps a phd in bean counting does not include double entry book keeping or basic tenets of operating a business.

    3. The anon twins, you REALLY can't understand the difference between the situations, wow this is REALLY simply stuff!

      Still waiting for anyone to post a suggestion as to how TDC could have avoided losing the £3.4 million, surely someone has a better suggestion...

    4. John, you remind mre of Pooh, a bear of very little brain .TDC could have avoided losing the £3.4 million by not extending the credit to TEF. P & O understood the position, one month without payment and they repossessed their vessel, a sound business decision. If TDC had done that 2 years ago they could have reduced the running costs of the port as they have now had to do. they could have concentrated their efforts of getting a viable operator into the portover the last 2 years. They would have had a managed reduction in their income, there would have been no secrecy and everyone would have been aware of what's going on. Secret deals in small back rooms are not the way a reputable council carries out its business.

    5. Oh dear Bill, how naive of you.

      So lets make it simple for you;

      TEF forced into recievership 2 years ago by TDC = loss of income at approx £3.4million.

      TEF allowed to trade to try to keep a viable business in the port = loss to TDC of approx £3.4million

      So once again, Bill, I am STILL waiting for anyone to post a suggestion as to how TDC could have avoided losing the £3.4 million, surely someone has a better suggestion...

      Sadly, TDC have to deal with clowns such as Worrow and Driver, and thus have no choice to to protect commercial confidentiality from publication from clowns such as these. When they are happily removed in 2015, I am sure that TDC can function far better than it is having to right now.

      I still await a better and actually realistic alternative that TDC could have followed :)

  6. Name names.

    Who took these decisions?

    Hart? Bayford Everitt? McGonigal? Any others? Just 4 out of 56 councillors and 750 civil servants?

    Name names.

    1. A demand to name names from an anonomous poster HAHAHAHAHAHA

      Now that is priceless!

    2. Almost as priceless, John, as Driver's latest offering about the turnout for Cameron in Margate. Just look at the photo of the crowd, hardly Egyptian proportions, and DC did not even see them. What do they think they look like, let alone achieve, and then there is tonight's meeting which, according to Driver, will be well attended. Correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the same bloke who reckoned he would take the second county council seat in Ramsgate. Incredible how some folk really fail to see how silly they look and sound.

    3. But the elected officials are neither anonymous nor paid to be so, is the point. That's why they duck and dive trying to be secretive to hide their incompetence and perpetuate their salaries and pensions. We should name names.

      Who took these decisions and as importantly was it only 5 people out of 800?

    4. Ask Cllr Driver, Anon 15:10, for he knows all. On second thoughts, he probably knows as much as you which is not a lot.

    5. Oh you are SO right Farnie! They claims huge turn outs, but if they managed 30, I would be stunned! They are totally irrelevant now and always will be.

      Driver is simply a deluded fool, trying to work out which party to snuggle down cuckoo style to try to get re elected in 2015. I think the electorate worked him out LONG before his 4th change of allegence.

      i think it's clear that what ever bandwagon he jumps on, he dooms to failure. The poor naive fools driving the bandwagons are to gullible sadly to see what's in front of their face.

    6. Ferrygate was Hart, Bayford, Everitt, MacGonigal and Harvey. None of the others knew or approved it. District elections nearing and we have too many and too expensive councilors and civil servants. Who would you sack?

    7. Agree with 10:01 a shameless and secretive fraud and waste of public funds.

    8. See old senile dementia is agreeing with himself again!

    9. The ferry scandal is made worse by Seed etc at TDC refusing FOI on the documents to Cllr Driver. A quite blatant fraud and why have the councillors not spoken up?

    10. What's happening with the Port itself and Pleasurama? TDC have destroyed the whole seafront now and looks like a BeachRetreat apartment block by the old Neros?.

  7. Drivers own fault 18:13, Driver has proven he can;t be trusted. He has never served his electorate, and continues in that style in issue after issue.

  8. "Correct me if I am wrong, but is this not the same bloke who reckoned he would take the second county council seat in Ramsgate. Incredible how some folk really fail to see how silly they look and sound."

    Couldn;t agree more Farnie, I always laugh when I remember how seriously trounced he what at the KCC elections, and will be again in 2015 :)


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