Thursday 31 October 2013

Who watches the watchers

As yet my email remains unanswered however tonight, 31/10/2013, spookily the Chief Executive, Dr Sue, (she was finance officer in 2009 and in charge of "due diligence" partially answered some of the points.

It seems that for those of us who follow the finer points of this saga they will know that part of the evidence said to prove the finances were in place to build (?) the flats and hotel was a letter from SFP Services ltd stating Wetmore were prepared to fund the hotel build to the tune of £5M.

Now questions being asked today wonder whether TDC ever checked the veracity of this letter and when asked by the T&F the same question Dr. Sue said yes but this was done by "External Solicitors"

Wow where is this report and why wasn't it part of the appendixes attached to the 2009 agreement?

Tonight we found out, it seems TDC's solicitor Eversheds were asked to write to SFP's solicitor (Prettys of Ipswich) to ask them to confirm the offer from Wetmore was genuine, that there was a valid agreement and that the finances were available.

No I don't know whether I'm cynical or not but considering Wetmore Foundation is 100% owned by Colin Hill, Shaun Keegan's son in Law I bet you can guess Wetmore were given a clean bill of health

Thursday 24 October 2013

Smoke & mirrors

New information has been given by the TDC Chief Executive concerning the 2009 agreement which has opened a can of worms over the openness or otherwise of information given to the Task & Finish Panel.

my new email to Harvey Patterson (under a freedom of Information request) follows:

The Task & Finish Panel have recently asked a series of questions to Dr. Sue McGonical which have now been published on the TDC website as an appendix to the upcoming meeting on the 31st October 2013. As the answers are in the public domain I would like to raise some questions under an FOIA.
Also, I believe, you stated at a previous meeting of the T&F you said that a full disclosure of all papers was not an issue as only current negotiations would remain confidential. Is that still the case?

Both Ian Driver and Richard Nicholson asked broadly the same question as follows:-

Letter from SFP Ventures UK Ltd dated 2 June 2009 page 27: This letter states that Wetmore Investments will be funding the construction of the hotel through a £5million  investment.  What  checks  did  the  Council make  into  the  validity  of  this  claim  e.g.  obtaining copies  of  development  agreements  with  SFP,  and what  steps  did  the  council  take  to  check  the  bonafides  of  Wetmore  Investments  e.g.  securing information  about  company  registration  and ownership of Wetmore Investments and copies of its accounts.  Was  Wetmore  Investment  ever  contacted by the council?

Dr. Sue’s answer

External solicitors were used to validate the ability of Wetmore to provide the agreed level of finance, and that a binding legal agreement was in existence.

Having investigated both SFP and TDC over this affair for many months and accumulated much written evidence Dr. Sue’s answer comes like a bolt out of the blue and raises more questions than answers.

In the interest of openness please would you answer the following:-

1.       Who were the External Solicitors?
2.       Who instructed them and the date they were formally engaged?
3.       What was their brief?
4.       Was their final report to Council Verbal or written?
5.       Where is this report?
6.       Why wasn’t it included in the Pleasurama file given to the members of the T&F panel?
7.       Who are Wetmore?
8.       Where are they based?
9.       What was their financial standing?
10.   How long was the offer of £5M available for?
11.   Who owns Wetmore?
12.   How much was the Solicitor Invoice for?
13.   When was it paid?
14.   Who authorised payment?
15.   Why weren’t the findings part of the appendixes to the 2009 agreement?
   Harvey did state all relevant evidence would be given to the panel members so it does seem likely he is unaware of this External Solicitor report else he would have furnished to all members but then it is also likely smoke & mirrors are being deployed.