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'The truth will out'

Contributed by editor on May 22, 2004 - 11:02 PM


<FONT color=black>'THE TRUTH WILL OUT'

Dear Ed,
  
'The truth will out' was the phrase that came to mind when I learned of the 'early retirement' of the chief executive of Shepway District Council, Ron Thompson. 

It must be a cause for celebration as he leaves behind what I believe to be a failing council. The evidence for this is as follows.

<FONT face="" color=black>The financial mismanagement that appears to be continuing  by officers under delegated powers and highlighted by the Public Accounts Committee December 2002 giving advice leading to the incorrect reporting of nine councillors to the Standards Board for England. What did this abortive exercise cost the people of Shcpway?

<FONT face="" color=black>We do know that the Audit Commission 'best value' report o­n homelessness identified officer mistakes that led to the loss of £520,000. That officer's mistake would just about cover the current capping cost.

<FONT face="" color=black>Actively causing the organisational mal-administratlon and anti-councillor ethos to permeate the workforce, as clearly identified and highlighted in the independent council facilitator report issued last year. How much did that cost the people of Shepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>Leading the council into an agreement with a Dutch development company in which they 'only had to use their best endeavours' - those endeavours resulting in a car park instead of a shopping centre in Folkestone town centre. How much did that cost the people of Shepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>I wonder if the 'early retirement' of the chief executive has anything to do with a potential 'poor performance' monitoring report by the government o­n the horizon?  What will this cost the people of Sbepway?

<FONT face="" color=black>The officers, have clearly worked with the  Liberal Democrat councillors to set a budget that we cannot afford, resulting in capping. How much will that abortive exercise cost the council tax payer?   

<FONT face="" color=black>Cllr Linda Cufley'a 1991-96 Liberal Democrat council, in my opinion, got the appointment of chief executive wrong last time. Let's hope the current Cllr Cufley-led Liberal Democrat council gets it right this time and appoint someone from outside to avoid the continuation of the current malaise.

<FONT face="" color=black>You may think I have got an axe to grind.  I have indeed, and I am continuing to sharpen it o­n behalf of the people of Shepway.

<FONT face="" color=black>Colin Tearle.