Thursday, 8 August 2013

Thanet Council £3.3million Ferry Debt. Councillor Challenges Accounts

Green Party Councillor, Ian Driver, is challenging  Thanet District Council’s accounts for 2012-13
“Under the terms of the Audit Commission Act 1998, I will be  writing to the District Auditor and Council’s Chief Executive  to object to the Council’s management of the of the £3.3 million debt owed to the Council by Transeuropa Ferries and its associated companies”
“It is my belief that  the payment deferral agreement between Thanet Council,  TransEuropa Ferries and three other associated companies, which led to the running up of this astronomic debt, was unlawful. I also have extremely serious concerns about how the payment deferral process was managed by senior Council officers and politicians of both main parties. I am  particularly concerned about  the secrecy surrounding this agreement and possible breaches of the Council’s constitution”.
“I have met with the Council’s external auditors  today to ask questions about the accounts and to seek their guidance on how to formally object. I will be submitting my formal objections in the next few days and intend to publish a copy on my blogsite”.
“To formally challenge the Council’s accounts is an extremely serious matter which I am not taking lightly. However, I am convinced that Thanet Council  has acted unlawfully, has mis-managed public public money  and should be held to account for its actions”  
"Driver is  also complaining to the Information Commissioner about Thanet Council’s refusal to allow him  to see secret internal  documents relating to the TransEuropa debt. "For the past 10 weeks I have been asking  to see all the  Transeuropa debt documents. However, apart from minor and  insignificant documents,  the Council has refused my requests, which leads me to wonder what they have to hide.  I have now contacted the Information Commissioner and hope that he will order the Council to hand the documents over to me.  If he does, I will publish the documents and let the people of Thanet decide for themselves if their Council and Councillors have managed public money in a responsible way.


  1. Overview & Scrutiny is establishing a Transeuropa Debt Review Task & Finish Group which Cllr Driver is a member of, and through which he will have access to the documents he seeks. The decision by OSP to set up this group was made on 29th July, therefore Driver has known this for at least a week prior to the statement above.

    I thought he said weeks ago he was writing to the Information Commissioner. Why the delay? After all, he says he reported TDC to the European Commission and that was done without delay.

    1. It is the publicity he seeks, James, not the documents.

    2. Why was it even considered to refuse Cllr Driver the accounts documents/invoices?

      And why are councillors not provided TDC costs each month? Or was Ferrygate removed anyway?

      The Fraud Squad need calling in if Kent Plod arte too stupid or too lazy or too scared to investigate.


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