Friday, February 13, 2009

Kensington Regeneration audit crisis

Today's Daily Post front page story concerns Kensington Regeneration

Liam who sits on the Audit Committee of LCC has asked for a report and a briefing for the three of us, after they were told in committee that an internal audit of Kensington Regeneration had exposed serious shortcomings in the way that contracts have been let.

I think the Post has perhaps given people the wrong impression, that corruption is afoot, which I dont think is the case, but it is true that the report said "few guarantees could be given that contracts were being managed properly". I think what they meant was that the potential for corruption exists, not that anything underhand has actually happened. But we will know more when we get our briefing.


scouseboy said...

I read the report in my Daily Post in work today, and I think they went a little over the top giving it front page.
It's also a pity the Daily post is no longer printed on a Saturday, as they could have carried the shameful decision to close Croxteth Comprehensive by the fib dem executive board on the front page tomorrow.

steve faragher said...

Presumably several of the lead officers in Kensington regeneration thought that incurring an extra quarter of a million quid for a project for no good reason and to cover up a "mistake" was a good idea, thereby rendering themselves culpable, cant wait for the explanation of this one. Pity KR have putthemselves outside of the FOI act isnt it, cant stop people asking though can it.

This joins a long list of other "good" ideas: enveloping shops, paying Hollyoaks stars to open community events (whatever happened to communtiy spirit), and a certain amount of nest feathering by individual board members.

I brought this VAT spend up at a GEARS management meeting a while a go and was advised by the KR Officer in attendance that this " had all been sorted out", "there was nothing to worry about" (I wasnt Ihadnt spent it!) and "it was only about £200,000". As my poor dead mother used to say when I mithered her for some expensive toy, "It's not much when you say it fast!".

The management of this particular project has been dogged by poor workmanship (£1.1 million's worth of work being out + VAT but looks a lot less). Not sure about the value for money on this one with or without the VAT.

Can anyone tell me why there is £250 K worth of VAT on £1.1 million when VAT is 15% shoudlnt it be about £165K, or am I jsut being a bit thick?

I'm going for Cockup on this one with a mere soupcon of conspiracy (conspiring to cover up the Cock up)but then what do I know, I only live there.

Anonymous said...

Is it not the case that ten years of window dressing (quite literally in some cases) have done nothing to solve the underlying causes of Kensington's problems?

All Quangos like these spend money ineffectively anyway.

Steve "I'll have what he's having" Faragher said...

You never know who is reading these things do you?

I've just had an call from Richie Keenan, who has bobviously read it...Richie as you may or may not know is ex Chair of Kensington Regeneration and current Vice Chairman of Kensington Regeneration, he's also a Director of Parks Options (registered at Companies House PARKS OPTIONS LIMITED
MERSEYSIDE L7 6QD Company No. 03828083, that's the same Job Bank that Kensington Regeneration pay rent to Parks Options for) and Richie quite emphatically and categorically stated that, he was not feathering his nest,and he only ever recieved a cup of tea or a sandwich as payment (he didnt say what type of tea or the filling of the sandwich), and he doesnt recieve a penny in pay,or participate in any nest feathering of any shape or form.

Neither do any of the other Directors of Park Options, (Norma Lee (KR board member), Norma Williams (current chair of KR) or the Company Secretary Graham Bell (who is also salaried Chief executive of the LifeBank (which Park Options categorically don't own...and have never owned) and a KR Board Member).

I hope all this is crystal clear........

I suggested that Richie uses this comment section to list his objections (its a free country after all) to my orginal comment (and put his name on it as I hate anonymous commenters) but he didnt seem to keen on the idea.

So just to make sure everyone is completely clear and set the record straight on this matter Richie only ever gets a cup of tea and sandwich. OK?