The £5.1 million compensation was paid to individuals / companies involved in the export of live farm animals from the port of Ramsgate following a High Court case in December 2013 which ruled that TDCs decision to ban the cruel and barbaric trade in 2011 was unlawful and in breach of EU free trade regulations.
In 2016 I was approached by a source from within TDC who told me that some, or all, of the compensation payment, should have been covered by TDCs insurance policies, but that the claim had been “submitted out of time/ late and that the insurance company had refused to pay out.
I wanted to double check this information and on 18 December 2016, I submitted a Freedom of Information (FOI) request to TDC seeking clarification. My FOI request was rejected by TDC for what I believed to have been the totally unjustifiable reason of commercial confidentiality. Today, 6 months after submitting my FOI and following a successful appeal against TDCs original decision, what my source had told me all that time ago has been confirmed as being true. Here’s what TDC said.
“The Council confirms the claim submitted was unsuccessful; the insurers were notified about a potential claim too late to be accepted”.
So there you have it – a major administrative cock-up by TDC means that taxpayers have been forced to foot a £5.1million bill some, if not all, of which would have been covered by insurance payments has the claim been submitted in time. But it wasn’t.
I accept that these events go back 3 or 4 years and that TDC may arguably be a different organisation now. But the question must be asked why did TDC refuse to tell truth about this major administrative cock-up? Does TDC prefer to watch its corporate arse, rather than being open and honest with taxpayers when it makes a blunder like this? What do you think?
One final point I was, and still am, a campaigner against live animal exporters from Ramsgate Port, or anywhere else. Contrary to what some people claim, campaigners against this cruel and barbaric trade never exerted pressure of Thanet Council, its officers or politicians to ban the live export trade from Ramsgate. We knew all along that the trade was permitted by EU law and that TDC was powerless to stop it. The decision to stop the trade; a decision which was ultimately to cost taxpayers dearly, was as Mr Justice Birrs correctly pointed out in his High Court Judgment of 2013 take by former TDC Director, Mark Seed “but I infer that very considerable pressure was placed on him by the councillors at the meeting….Cllr Hart and Cllr Poole” who were at that time the Labour Leader and Labour Deputy Leader of TDC.