Thursday, 26 May 2016

Kent Corruption: special TDC Tim Howes

This is funny.

Even for Kent corruption and incompetence.

I promise you, you won’t believe it at first then find it hilarious. Then be horrified.

And I thought I’d write a longer than usual blog post as it is the Bank holiday and there’s only a nothing to do event organised by RTC and TDC.

Anyway. It’s only a few million in tax to waste.

Tim Howes is the in-house lawyer at TDC.

Kent corruption at TDC you’re familiar with say the new Port £165k fraud and coverup:


But quickly a last-minute addition:

Surin Thai restaurant: the best Thai restaurant in Kent and one of only 45 of any cuisine in Kent according to KM:

Surin is recommended by KM newspaper, Kent's largest newspaper, as one of the top 45 restaurants in Kent.

Surin is one of only 3 Asian restaurants recommended in Kent (and the other two are Japanese), the only Thai restaurant in Kent, and one of only two restaurants in Thanet.

The Surin review is:


Thai restaurants may be two a penny, but the Surin offers astonishing bang to the baht. It’s cheap and cheerful but with a freshness and verve you’d expect from a high-end London establishment. Chef and owner Damrong Garbutt has West End training, but it’s her home cooking learnt from her mother and grandmother in north east Thailand, near the Cambodian border, that really hits the spot. Cambodian and Laotian dishes throw in an element of the unexpected and there are locally brewed house beers, blonde or dark, to complement the flavours. Among reviewers who have dug deep for sufficient superlatives to do justice to Surin is food writer Jay Rayner.

The full KM listing is:


Chris Wells is proving a gift: tax problems happen- but he claimed it was 2 months’ worth of problems and it’s actually 4 years(!) including bankruptcy(!).

Special. And do NOT mention his role in the Airport Committee at Manston as a Tory.

2008 Manston documents onwards available here:

Or even KCC corruption and the Toxic Three and the Manston monitors/fines illegally removed by TDC: more aiding and abetting in keeping shtum after financing much of Manston over the years as the jewel in the crown of Kent regeneration.

You may even remember Paul Carter’s infamous “the planes fly straight out to sea” comments as jumbo jets and banned planes illegally flew over the towns.

We never hear much from Pedro in the control tower any more do we? I wonder where he ended up?

Indeed the Egyptair crash in the Med is interesting (to lose a Malaysian airlines flight is careless but to lose an Egyptian one too suggests aviation radar and black boxes etc isn’t ideal) – as you may remember Egyptair often flying into Manston and Ostend at 3am. When the airports closed at 11pm. And would have been closed even allowing for the Cairo time difference when the planes set off…

Making up your own flight rules certainly...but ideal for a plane full of heroin or simply saying stuff it in jihadi and flying into Big Ben just a few minutes away. Maybe even a plane full of guns rather than a tiddly boat at Cuxton Marina in Rochester for Britain’s biggest ever gun haul of 30 machineguns.

Big lumps of gunrunning and blood diamonds is what Ostend is notorious for after all.

You may remember some of the planes that were UN-embargoed from the Congo eg DASAir or even IranAir or KAMAir flying in from Kabul with a fresh load of heroin (the largest ever crop this year despite US/UK NATO and 400 UK troop deaths) With Shan state in Myanmar a close second.

Take a look at the tsunami of junkies and dealers washing around on East Kent’s streets for the effects.

Maidstone is a far, far country though where the Toxic Three do things differently.

But Tim Howes at TDC.

My raising the corruption at TDC has obviously irked him somewhat.

As when I raised BVI Pleasurama etc – and in the week of the AntiCorruption Summit.

A reminder of my note/blogpost: below 12th May "Fantastically Corrupt"

This is the email Howes sent last Friday:

"For a prolonged period of time, you have contacted the council on numerous occasions, asking for
information, and making comments/complaints, most of which are sent to multiple officers, and which
invariably result in further contact from you, despite being already responded to in detail.
You have been provided with a copy of the council’s Policy on Vexatious and/or Unreasonably
Persistent Complainants. This appears to have made no difference to the way in which you conduct
business with the council, and therefore you have now been formally designated a vexatious

The consequence of this decision is that the council will not respond to any emails relating to
subjects that have already received a response. This includes emails specifically relating to the
following subjects:

1. The Royal Pavilion/Wetherspoons
2. 100 South Eastern Road
3. Toni’s Newsagents
4. TDC information rules
5. Allegations of corruption at the council
6. Staff salaries and costs

I have instructed our IT department to set up an ‘auto-forward’ rule which means that any emails you
send to the council will be held centrally, and my staff will co-ordinate any necessary responses. To
be clear, this means that any email with a ‘’ suffix will be automatically forwarded to a
central point within the council.
For the avoidance of doubt, this designation does not affect:
 Your right to make service requests
 Your right to complain of service failure
 Your right to complain to the Standards Committee alleging a breach by an elected member
of the Member’s Code of Conduct
 Your right to attend Council or Committee meetings during such times as the press and
public are not excluded
 Your right to lobby councillors and seek the assistance of your ward councilor
 Your right to make a request under the Freedom of Information Act 2000 or the
Environmental Information Regulations 2004 (subject to the council’s policy on vexatious
requests) or to make Subject Access Requests under the Data Protection Act 1998; and
 Your right to complain further to the Local Government Ombudsman
I will review this designation in six months’ time and determine in the light of your conduct whether or
not to remove the designation or extend it for a further six months.
Yours sincerely
Timothy Howes
Director of Corporate Governance and Monitoring Officer"

Funny I know.

TDC’s lawyer says it’s illegal to raise corruption issues at TDC.

And in the week of the AntiCorruption Summit.


I don’t know what the Law Society whould make of that. Probably membership fee reduction and a pat on the head for the most absurd defence.

More later on One Essex Court and a rather special clerk at the barrister Inns of Court.

But this is double-funny.

Howes created some Vexatious Public Policy (I’ve asked for a copy but he hasn’t deigned to reply – you can only make so much up I suppose…) and I’ve certainly never heard of it before his email that bans me by describing the public as Vexatious Complainants.

No appeal necessary or allowed it seems. All Heil Howes.

The double-funny part being: he didn’t ask the councillors.

A council lawyer not knowing that. And making the decisions for 56 councillors himself. Shades of Philip Bensted at TDC with the Wetherspoons approved by…Philip Bensted and nobody else(!)

And triple-funny.

Howes actually banned me for communicating with any TDC civil servants and elected councillors by redirecting the 56 email his email.

(I’ll come back to the council-issued email in a moment).

But the 4x funny bit is…he didn’t even ask the councillors about that either.

And then…5x funny: he then agrees that I can contact the council about…FOI(!). As well as formal complaints(!). As well as lobbying(!).

So according to Howes, corruption banned from discussions at TDC. Except for FOI. Or complaints. or lobbying.

You just couldn’t make it up.

Sniffing glue would be the only credible explanation for this tripe.

I’m tempted to charge for even reading his nonsense produced on the rates.

Maybe he’ll be banning Christmas next. Bank Holidays events certainly seem a stretch for TDC and £400k Styles at RTC don't they?

I won’t even mention the democratic abuse in a political candidate being blocked in this way – Howes seems to have forgotten my manifesto is…”Stop the Corruption etc…”

And here’s 6x funny.

Stop tittering at the back.

The twerp forgot that not all councillors use the council-issued email.

Many prefer – as I would – to use their own email address eg etc for convenience.

And he can’t block those.

Jenny Matterface is coordinating a response although she's no sure what’s going on:

And as well it now raises the Stalinist prospect of a Howes or whoever at councils or public organisations censoring emails from the public by refusing to pass them onto councillors – simply switching the email on and off or redirecting it wherever and whenever they feel like it.

A separate issue I have is with email forms rather than an email address as you simply never know if the email form has been sent, or have a copy of it.

But with Cllr emails ( I think all TDC councillors should remember who elects them and pay their and Howes’ wages and cancel their TDC email and use their own. They’re not council staff after all but paid to regulate the council staff.

At least then they and the public know they will actually be receiving public emails.

Another TDC niggle seems to be councillors refusing to issue their home address/telno but using the TDC council office address – a piece of information usually rectified by using the phone book or asking them.

Again a democracy deficit.

I've had problems with the publc complaining Shonky's not replying to letters or phone calls on 100SeRd (one of Howes' Do Not Discuss issues). To be fair he's not the only councilor doing that.

There's even an argument that we seem to have councillors that get elected and do nothing. A few monthly council meetings if that. Simply a sheepdip for clerk decisions. Or nothing at all.

Civil servants should issue their home addresses too. Why just councillors? At the very least it would highlight how any/who actually live in the area they are making decisions on/for – localism and all tht. esy for example to rush through 16,000 extra houses at TDC if you don’t actually live there. Why would you care? 16,000 houses or 60,000 is irrelevant to you and merely a task on the way to your paycheck or salary.

Especially if the calibre of councillors is weak – say the Stolen Valour brigade etc. Now driving over a shop assistant’s foot while shoplifting it seems(!).

My view is clear: Howes should be sacked sharpish.

Civil servants banning councillors contact and information – especially when it revolves around corruption is horrifying. But we’ll see.

The calibe of the councillors is now in question as to how they deal with this. Public representatives or clerk's patsy's to sheepdip decisions and hike tax for pensions and payoffs?

As a councillor, I’d sack Howes on the spot. No salary or payoff. No pension. Gross misconduct and out the door. A written formal warning to Madeline too for allowing it.

What would you do?

Howes’ Do Not Discuss ban has one purpose and one purpose alone: to try and hide and dampen down criticism of TDC for corruption by any means possible.

As well we have no the strange saga of Cllr Mo Leys who resigned from TDC/RTC a week or so ago – is anybody left? What are their policies apart from a nice natter on the rates? And the election notices are up by Madeline Howes as TDC Returning Officer.

I’m going to stand. Garbutt for RTC/TDC. But it’s rather baffling.

But contacting TDC on elctions is like juggling treacle. 3 days of requesting forms to silence and Pauline McGandy at TDC saying there aren't any TDC elections until 2019(?). How difficult can it be. Elections come around every year or so. Much the same sports hall or volunteers. It’s not rocket science nor reinventing the wheel.

And no further reply in TDC. Strange. Mo defintely was both a TDC and RTC councillor. Maybe Madeline doesn't want to have an eletion at all or one with me in it? I had similar problems way back when I was refused an election slogan on a ballot paper fo “Stop the Corruption”.

Stalin, I think, again said don't rig the election just bribe the one who counts the votes. I paraphrase.

Kent elections are so weak. Why would any delay in counting them the next day? As with PCC and local elections take all the ballot boxes…and leave them overnight before counting them.

Apart from the dilemma of a day with nobody in charge of PCC or whatever (or someone elected but sharing it with the incumbent for a few days!).

What’s to stop the ballot boxes being stuffed or fiddled with?

I'm not suggesting Madeleine would creep around the TDC election warehouse prising open the boxes and stuffing in votes for herself or an increase in the £60k Returning Officer fee. (There’s a tax cost that could be cut instantly). Indeed increasingly I think no local government salary should be more than £80k. Certainly at TDC we can see a competence and productivity gap (thick and idle in old money) in the service. While the horrific Birmingham council failures in social serices is exactly as happened with KCC albeit fewer deaths and injuries.

But I wouldn’t put it past Vexatious Howes to prise open a ballot box ort two and declare it illegal-but-legal. Maybe a TDC ballotbox stuffing policy?

High on glue or whatever he’s been sniffing in his cubicle at TDC, maybe Howes decides he’ll pad out the ballot for say elderly Trevor Shonk, too forgetful or frail to remember the election or where he’s put his glasses (on top of your head), but he wins with 99.5% of the vote? Hurrah! Mayor for Life? UKIP on and on? Shonky’s Big Book of Farageisms? KCC and TDC and RTC roles? OK that last one is real. So many titles, so little done.

I joke – but it’s not that long ago we had the TDC Panama councillor who was signed into council meetings by colleagues despite living 5,000 miles away wasn’t it? (I dread to think what expenses or pensions are being signed off at TDC or RTC?).

Or Steve Keegan the Terry Painter handyman owning the BVI Pleasurama company in the Caribbean with Kent’s largest seafront development and no blueprints other than building above the clifftop?

Coincidence. Of course. Silly me.

And let’s not forget Berry, Button and Sproates at TDC and their deadly decision to secretly remove the Manston monitors and fake the fines and pollution data – pollution 4x the EU safe limit.

400% dangerous.

How many deaths and early deaths and injuries has that crime caused?

I think they should be jailed. 3 years would be my guess. What do you think?

Elderly Paul Twyman as Airport Chair confused month in and month out for years over by Button and Infratil’s Fitzgerald and Clark and then Gloag, over where the monitors were and why they weren’t or were working. And there was no danger anyway. Phew, he must have said, as he signed off the Manston Airport minutes, no cancer at all.

Twyman like Latchford and Gale is elderly so would likely die in prison if arrested and jailed. Maybe just an electronic tag to keep him out of the Darby and Joan club too late of an evening? Certainly none of them will be in politics again. If they ever were.

Vexatious Howes may well scurry around trying to cover that up. Certainly a qualified lawyer has a duty covered by perjury and perverting the course of justice to raise crimes they know of.

Being a lawyer doesn't give you the right to lie and cheat, despite the liar-for-hire view – quite the oppostite in fact. As with the Police, and Plebgate cops in jail and doubt soon enough the Hillsboro cops too.

More than a few TDC officials will be joining them despite Howes’ feeble efforts.

A minor but strange point for RTC; Styles is advertising for a cleaner: 6 hours over a week (frankly that’s hardly worth bothering with a staff of 5 is it – take it in turns to vacuum and washup yourself? The office is closed every afternoon anyway). But I don't think of a 6 hours on minimum wage job also having a auto-enrolment public sector pension? Have you? Maybe if it was the bottomless fund of tax?

That’s why bureaucracy chokes off economies: ever more expensive to do ever less and ever more burden back onto the private sector. Work harder. Work longer. Pay more. Shut up.

Time for Change

Garbutt for TDC/RTC June 2016 – unless it’s Madeline’s fake election
Garbutt for KCC Leader 2017


Tim’s Titbits

1. FOI Finchy at Kent Fire is the same. Simply refusing to provide salaries etc because it would raise questions around the value of the service etc.

One interesting statistic that emerges from the Fire Service nationally (the reforms of having Police mergers etc) is the Fire Brigade is 95% white and 96% male. UKIP’s accused of wanting to turn the click back to the 1950's but the Fire Britage seems to be in the 1920’s.

I'm not really one for quotas in principle and certainly not tokenism but that's astonishing. As is women on boards or parliament ar under 20%. Kent Police achieves 50% BAME membership and there you’d probably say Kent is more white, ethnic minorites may not want to join, work to be done etc etc. but 96% in KFRS?

So a factor either deliberate or not is preventing a more balanced workforce/society. Norway passed a 40% gender equality law c.3 years ago and lo and behold it achieved a more equaly society. UK needs to do the same.

Nick Chard at KCC seemed capable initially but has let things drift with FOI Finchy and now there’s calls for the PCC to take over from councils on Fire Brigade reviews as well as Police-Fire mergers. Seems sensible to me: only 400 fire deaths in UK, and those would invade the police anyway. 43 forces whether police or fire and certainly both of them is far too many and backoffice bloat.

Sometimes Chief Constable Alan “Chief” Pughsley rings me late at night – he’s either preparing for a drug den raid the next morning or he’s jumped in the Jacuzzi to relax with a team debriefing – almost in tears as to what the cops are all doing in the station, and trying to keep tabs on them.

CCTV he reckons or banning Candy Crush and Ginsters. I don’t know, it’s upto him.

But if they do end up being stabbed with a machete on a drug raid then he’ll know they’ll be moaning about Trade Station machetes and daggers and crossbows and bongs and LeftisLife blood tests. Stick to parking tickets is what he should tell them. At the very least charge them for their police vest and underpants. Why should the public fund those? And not enough catalogue trousers. Or Deputy Chief Paul “Marlon” Brandon will when he’s back from PredPol Vegas tomorrow.

2. An interesting article on Central Asian Dictators:

3. Magnitsky Act and List: progressing

4. EKFOS: East Kent Film Office and film Studio underway; Christopher Nolan, perhaps the UK’s greatest living film director, shooting Dunkirk next month. And an interstellar cast too: Cillian Murphy, Peaky Blinders, Kenneth Branagh, One Direction popstar etc. Should be good for Ramsgate and Little Ships, maybe not. An opportunity missed. Styles at RTC too busy on his afternoon nap – what do they do all day/ And the afternoon within the office closed? An expensive way to waste the rates on meaningless meetings and memos. Small merices they’re not actually doing anything though. Imagine the mess.

5. KORA underway

6. 2LB later

7. 100 SE Rd: Lin Fairbrass in hiding. I've in not so many words called her a lying so and so basically in saying that she had replied to the November minutes. A foolish lie but a fairly common clerk trick. And certainly foolish for the Deputy Leader to attempt. But if she can’t provide the email when requested several times…Public meetings are the only real pace where councillors can be held accountable. The smell of the crowd and baying of the mob and all that.

8. The drought in ASEAN is one of the worst ever – certainly in Vietnam. Concerning with the multi-million UK investment in DaNang University and CCU University exchange programmes. More needed by KentUni and CCU and EKCollege and Churchill House and KSE etc.

9. Discovery Park and #STEM focus and Third World vaccines massively underdeveloped as yet. A random business park of random businesses is destroying East Kent’s future in #STEM.

10. Sincerity Agency article on tobacco and China –

and an interesting SkyTV news report on the Philippines and Chinese Spratlys bases (one a grounded rusting ship rather than a reef!). the UNCLOS ruling due soon: the Chinese claim seems absurd as the Spratlys are further South than HCMC, and even the Paracels are on a parallel with DaNang. As absurd as the UK claiming the Falklands in our 9,000km dash line. The sooner we have the end of such Empire fragments, along with Gibraltar, with a HongKong style handover the better. Argentina and Spain are now modern demcraices and Uk allies, even in the EU, to be held hostage by 3,000 sheepfarmers. Just as Germany and japan are. And again massive waste of Uk troops and kit. And, separately, both Argentina (with much of the Southern Cone) and Spain are massively underdeveloped in terms of UK trade.

11. Nadeem Aziz the PCC Returning Officer silent on my complaint over Henry Bolton standing given he’s a civil servant at OECD etc on borders. Surprising as Nadeem’s usually one of the more capable East Kent clerks. Maybe not

12. EK Remedial points:

13. EK strategy 2016:

14. Chilcot Inquiry to be published at long last – I ws in favour of the Iraq War: remove Saddam and potential danger of nukes etc. We’ve seen subsequently both the disarming of Gadaffi and Assad and chemical weapons in Syria. 3 monsters. Some of the justifications were weak eg the 15 minutes nonsense which referred to NATO nuclear howitzers. I certainly can’t see how Blair is a war criminal though by declaring war as PM on the information he had, and potential dangers.

Rather, what has been disastrous is the post-conflict development of Iraq and Libya – for much of Iraq to subsequently be overrun by ISIS is astonishing. And same with Afghanistan and loss of Helmand again. Certainly disastrous handling of the war (and all the fancy GCQ/NSA kit) but as reasonable as it could be in declaring war. Chilcot report due c. 7th June: taking longer than the Iraq War itself

15. UK doubles its peacekeeping troops to Sudan and Somalia: two other basketcase nations left to rot and descend into chaos. And an interesting report that almost all UN peacekeeping troops are from Bangladesh, India, Nepal (but not the Ghurkas) and Rwanda. Peacekeeping on the cheap funded by USA, UK etc. What’s the point of our military I they’re incompetent at wars such as Iraq and do almost nothing in terms of peacekeeping? A military training and training and training and kit and kit and kit – to do nothing or to do it so badly so often in the rare instances it’s required.

16. LuckyIronFish a superb product combatting anemia in Cambodia and ASEAN: - can you Tweet

17. Surin Thai restaurant: the best Thai restaurant in Kent and one of only 45 of any cuisine in Kent according to KM:

Surin is recommended by KM newspaper, Kent's largest newspaper, as one of the top 45 restaurants in Kent.

Surin is one of only 3 Asian restaurants recommended in Kent (and the other two are Japanese), the only Thai restaurant in Kent, and one of only two restaurants in Thanet.

The Surin review is:


Thai restaurants may be two a penny, but the Surin offers astonishing bang to the baht. It’s cheap and cheerful but with a freshness and verve you’d expect from a high-end London establishment. Chef and owner Damrong Garbutt has West End training, but it’s her home cooking learnt from her mother and grandmother in north east Thailand, near the Cambodian border, that really hits the spot. Cambodian and Laotian dishes throw in an element of the unexpected and there are locally brewed house beers, blonde or dark, to complement the flavours. Among reviewers who have dug deep for sufficient superlatives to do justice to Surin is food writer Jay Rayner.

The full KM listing is:

Surin is also recommended by The Good Food Guide, The Times, The Independent, Thai Embassy Select: UK and European restaurants, and Time Out, BBCTV and The Observer:

18. Brexit arguments very dull. Are these the best politicians and arguments we have on the unity of Europe? The flaw in both sides seems that they are unable to detail how wasteful the EU is and what reforms would be required. Simply saying it costs Xmillion is too vague. and 0.3% of UK GDP is hardly outrageously wasteful or problematic – with reform. And it would hardly be redeployed to the NHS. Which departments are wasteful? If we stayed in which I think is for the best and likely then how would it be improved? Certainly it seems the end of the ever more ridiculous Boris.

19. Surprising BBCTV report on 200 London families placed into the redeveloped Howes Barracks site in Canterbury (good to see the prison turned into a CCU site) by London Redbridge council...ahead of East Ken families on the council housing list. Bizarre. First time ever and largest quota ever apparently. And at the very least it knocks into a cocked hat all this tripe about immigrants coming here and taking our jobs etc etc – the largest quota of non-Kent families and vulnerable children are placed form London. Not Calais or Kabul. And much of it could be controlled by the councils already anyway. Mere lack of effort.

20. As with the live animals export: the 1847(!) Ports Act could be tweaked to ban UK exports and it anway allows for Special constables ie the Port staff or police to refuse ships or animals etc. Vexatious Howes our own legal beagle preferring to take up council legal time banning councillors and the public from discussing council corruption or competence it seems…

Time for Change

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