The report covers Phase 1 of the Dreamland project, up until shortly after the opening of the Dreamland Amusement Park in mid- 2015. It also raises serious questions about how Thanet Council selected the Dreamland Park operator, Sands Heritage Limited, stating that “fledgling companies with no track record or accounts, set up for a particular purpose carry a greater risk than is being acknowledged through the due diligence checks being undertaken by these multi-disciplinary groups of officers and members”. Sands Heritage is now in administration owing it creditors over £14million and has a charge on its (( year lease agreement with Thanet Council by an offshore, Cayman Island’s registered hedge fund.
Although I welcome this report it doesn’t go nearly far enough. Serious mistakes have been made by politicians and council bosses and the overspends and losses to the taxpayers will eventually be much, much greater than the reported £2.25 million, especially when the outstanding compulsory purchase compensation claim is settled with the former owners. I’m also concerned that this report has been an internal production which means that the council was investigating itself. Self-investigation of major public sector incompetence and failure, such as this are seldom objective and truthful and often result in cover ups, allowing senior managers and politicians to avoid responsibility for actions.
This is why there should be an independent public inquiry into what went wrong at Dreamland, who was responsible for it and what lessons can be learned.
Here's a link to the report http://democracy.thanet.gov.uk/documents/g4354/Public%20reports%20pack%2013th-Dec-2016%2019.00%20Overview%20Scrutiny%20Panel.pdf?T=10