Last Wednesday, Dia and her grassroots team went to Maidstone to speak to as many residents as possible. We encountered with numerous people who were angry at how the council were spending their money on useless schemes and activities. For example,
- Up to £700,000 was spent on compensation to school pupils over the past five years
- £4 million has been spent by the county council on a street light switch off programme that will not save any money
- £420,000 payoff to former Kent County Council Chief Executive Katherine Kerswell – on top of her £140K salary.
Some residents were unaware just how much of their money was being wasted on the Street light scheme, and hence were fascinated to learn more about their local council’s activities. Cllr Gordon Cowan, Kent Town Councilor, claimed that it had been a 'shocking waste of money and incompetence on a massive scale'. He added that there will be a net loss of £1 million to taxpayers, an error that should, according to him, have been spotted right at the beginning. Rather than instigating the current scheme, Gordon Cowan suggested that they should learn from other Councils such as Durham where a much more appropriate system was introduced.
It is essential to realize that wasteful spending is occurring in numerous places in Kent! It recently came to our attention that the Competition and Markets Authority spent up to £500,000 of taxpayer’s money in their legal bid to terminate MyFerryLink from the Dover to the Calais route. Robin Wilkins, MyFerryLink Chief stated that ‘It’s been a massive travesty of justice and a waste of public money. It was not a case of public interest, we had no consumer complaints, and it was a corporate battle’.
The investigation was hugely time consuming lasting over two and a half years, a significant amount of time where the Authority could have been working on a number of much more important matters. It has resulted in higher freight prices, reduced competition in the Channel and it generated a vast amount of disruption to holiday makers- creating a feeling of hostility and anger towards the company.
These examples demonstrate that all too often government officials are acting in their own interests rather than the interests of the taxpayers! We need to remind them that this is unacceptable.
We want to emphasize to everybody out there that if you think your money is being wasted and that if there is a particular scheme in your area that you think is a waste – get in touch with us! We want to hear stories from all over the country to show the time scale of waste that needs to be tackled. Get in touch with us today and share your story.