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Thursday, 3 October 2013

THANET COUNCIL'S CHARTER FOR CORRUPTION

Thanet Council Agrees “Charter for Corruption”
Green Party Councillor Ian Driver has condemned Thanet District Council’s revised Planning Protocol as a “Charter for corruption in public office”.
The Protocol (1), approved by an overwhelming vote at a meeting last night (3 October), allows councillors to accept gifts and hospitality from planning applicants of more than £100, provided they are noted in the Register of Members Gifts and Hospitality which is not available for inspection by the public (2).
The £100 figure has been increased by a staggering 400% on the previous Protocol which was agreed just over a year ago in July 2012 and  which had a limit of £25(3).
Whilst allowing councillors to accept what many people might see as inducements or bribes to support and speak in favour of planning applications, the new Protocol prohibits council planning officers from accepting any gifts or  hospitality whatsoever. 
Previously planning officers, like councillors, were allowed to accept gifts and hospitality provided anything worth more than £25 was declared (4)
Furthermore the new Protocol also includes further unjustifiable preferential treatment for Councillors involved in submitting planning applications.
For Council officers - if someone submits a planning application on their behalf or if a planning application in which the officer has a financial interest is submitted this must be declared and is then specially determined by the Planning Committee (5).
For a Councillor - if someone submits a planning application on behalf of a Councillor, or if a planning application in which a Councillor  has a financial  interest in is submitted it does not need to be declared and the application is processed in the normal was (6).
Said Driver “These new rules are outrageously corrupt. They legitimise the procurement of expensive gifts and hospitality from planning applicants and provide encouragement for councillors to pimp out planning permission in exchange for booze, meals, tickets to shows and costly gifts”.
“I am disappointed that the vast majority of councillors – both Labour and Tory – voted like pigs with their snouts in the trough – to approve these rules. The actions of these greedy politicians has brought the Council into disrepute.”
“I am also amazed that rules for council officers involved in planning were massively tightened up. But the rules for Councillors have been relaxed. Why is this? What can’t they be treated the same?
“In my opinion nobody, officer or councillor, should be allowed to accept any gifts or hospitality from people submitting planning applications, not even a cup of tea.  And planning applications submitted by councillors or officers should be treated in exactly the same way”.
“These news rules are disgraceful. They have damaged the Council’s reputation. The councillors who voted for these rules last night   have  behaved in a shameful and selfish  way. They should be thrown out of office at the next election”

Jessie J says its all about the money money. Too true Jessie, especially for Thanet's greedy, grasping Councillors

 
Ends
For more information contact Cllr Ian Driver on 07866588766
Notes
1.   See Annex 1 pages 95 -106 of the separately attached document for the new Planning Protocol.
2.   Declarations of Councillors Interests are published on the Thanet Council website. The Register of Members Gifts and Hospitality is not published on the Council’s website and is not available for public inspection.
3.   See Appendix 2 page 110 para 4.1 of the separately attached document.
4.   As in 3 above.
5.   Page 111 para 8.1 and 8.2
6.   Page 111 para 7.1 – 7.3
 
 

6 comments:

  1. What's this then councillor ho's? Localism gone mad. Sack the lot of them...can the public institute a vote of no confidence before the election...
    It's the Ezekiel Charter!

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  2. I think Anon 11.52 if you had wanted a charter printed to order then old Cyril was yer man. The question of current interest is the printing of engineering qualifications. And whether this led to someone, whose engineering expertise may only have existed on Cyril paper, gaining employ ahead of skilled engineers. And whether the suspected pseudo engineer polluted Thanet ground water with massive tonnages of cyclohexanone.

    I see that Libertarian UKIP picked up another council seat in Kent (Sevenoaks). I think if they were to really push the public interest questions about the contamination of Thanet ground water and the TDC, KPA and High Court evidence cover up they could take both Thanet parliamentary seats. Richard

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  3. LOL@Libertarian UKIP You must be having a laugh, Nick Griffin is more Libertarian than that lot! Libertarian's that tell people to go back to Bongo Bongo land and discriminate against Marriage Equality..... they are about to pass their peek!

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  4. Why is the register of interests not available for public inspection? If they've relaxed the rules on receiving gifts and bribes surely a reasonable compromise would be to ensure that the register of interests is open to scrutiny and that it contains details of what was received and who it was received from.

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  5. UKIP are unlikely to emphasise the pollution given Latchford was in charge of TDC now UKIP at KCC. The register is (should) be available for inspection on the TDC website or via an FOI request. Are they hiding it?

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  6. UKIP made a bad mistake by making Latchford leader. Since being elected, they've just disappeared. He's successfully turned them into a wing of the Tory party.

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