Richard's Journal

Havant Residents
Corruption within Havant Borough Council

 

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Richard King, RLK Associates, Havant, Hampshire
www.rlkassociates.co.uk

22nd January 2010

Re: Previous contacts

Dear *******,

I am in the process of trying to put more on the Internet, both in terms of Web Sites and Blogs.

A little is alluded to and explained on
my Profile on Scientific Blogging.

There is more at
“News Blackouts, Princes and Kings” on my Blog and at “Cryptic Havant” on my “Richard’s Journal”  Web Site.

A project that took me five years to set up was taken from me and given to a Council employee.

Far more meetings than necessary, one pre month, were convened to manage my project, inviting people from business Link, universities and business, all to spend 137,000 over two years; the European money my proposal won. It was a fifty-fifty matched funding project. At those meetings “non-charge invoices” were requested; “proof of spend” when no spend had been made. It appears that was part of the process to get the Government Office for the South East (GOSE) to pay the European Funds; the Government Office, I later learned directly from them, were surprised to be taken for fools, they insisted in more proof than spreadsheets.

My project was taken from me, given to someone else who was paid full time and provided with a car, plus locating it in a plush rented Office at Brambles Lane in Waterlooville, all far, far above what the budget would stand. It was then taken in a completely different direction and wrecked. All of those involved then “ran away”. When you are dealing with Havant Council you are not just dealing with incompetence and corruption but with abject cowardice as well.

A Council manager told me that spreadsheets submitted by the Council, in general, not just my project, were fiction and he would be prepared to tell GOSE how they were made up. The manager was forced out of the Council. The Well-wisher, a senior former Council Officer at Havant Borough Council, told me that the said manager returned his Council provided car, minus its engine and numerous other items; he was not prosecuted.

It was The Well-wisher who confirmed what I suspected, half new, and along with information that had leaked out over the years.

Among Havant Borough Council’s misdemeanours were/are:

Deception

Fraud

False Accounting

Misappropriation of European Funds

False Professional Qualifications

The matter of false qualifications arose when I filed a formal complaint with the Institution of Electrical Engineers, as it was then against a Council employee who styled himself, on his Council business card “MSc(Eng), MBA (Harvard), MIEE”. All Corporate Members of a major Engineering Institution are Chartered Engineers, so his missing “CEng” on his business card was strange. The letter I received from the Institution of Electrical Engineers stated that the person concerned was “no longer a Member”, so they could take no action against him. Actually the Membership had lapsed some twenty years previously while he was at Harvard studying for his MBA; that was genuine, I checked with Kim Clarke, Dean of Harvard Business School. Having got to know the person concerned, over a year or so, I was not greatly surprised, at least reading the letter did not result in shock, more a reaction of “of course”.

I advised a number of people, including the then Chief Executive of the Council, Councillors, the Business Link Hampshire representative who attended meetings on my project and was on the Board of Havant Borough Partnership, as well as other Members of the Board of Havant Borough Partnership.

Despite false professional qualifications being a matter of such basic dishonesty, normally resulting in instant dismissal, or forced resignation, the said person was kept on at the Council, in charge of very considerable sums of money, for another two or three years.

At one stage I was told that the person concerned wanted to sue me for comments I had made. That was just before I received the letter from the Institution of Electrical Engineers, as it was then, advising me of his false qualifications and I wondered what the judge would have thought of that, thrown the case out, presumably. There was never any action taken, the Council persuaded him not to proceed; the Council was desperate to keep me out of the public domain and still is; Council Officers, admittedly most under instruction, and Councillors do their level best to avoid engaging with me; hence the ignored E-mails, or minimal responses and me putting correspondence with the Council on the internet, more or les as a matter of course.

The Well-wisher had “stand-up rows” with that person, among others. Honest people in Havant Council seem to be few and far between, at least in the higher reaches. There was one but I will leave that to another time.

The money that the Council defrauded from the Overmanned Office was paid back to avoid prosecution; the Government Office only prosecutes if the money is not paid back, or it amounts to several million Pounds. I am aware of an intermediate route by which they may have obtained the money quickly; the organisation they may have obtained it from certainly had the funds; a fellow Member of the Chamber of Commerce told me how “flush” they were for totally unconnected reasons.

For reasons that I will explain in another E-mail (this one is getting rather long) I estimate the cost to the Borough to be in the region of 500,000 to 1M, perhaps more. That is a loss to the Residents of Havant which has been kept from them; hence the specific question, given to me by The Well-wisher to ask a specific Councillor.

Apart from the huge monetary loss, the Borough of Havant is governed by a corrupt Council. I am also aware of another matter of corruption which certain traders are hoping to flush out in the next year or two; again there is a Council connection.

Legally, I, or anyone else can say what they like about a Council; you cannot commit libel, or slander, against a public body, only the individuals within it. However, I am sure that they are so scared that I could actually accuse them of things that were untrue, if I wished to do so, and they would not sue me; they really are that scared of me having a public voice.

Everything I have written here, told you in person, told other people, put on the Internet, etc., is totally true to the best of my knowledge and belief. I have masses of paper and electronic records, some, especially the later, distributed over the years - computers and discs at different locations.

I told a reporter about the records and how long it might take to go through them. The response, “As long as it takes”. Soon afterwards the reporter was moved out of the area. The Well-wisher told me that a certain editor was “a neighbour and very close friend” of a very senior Council Officer.

There is, logically, a very senior Council Officer behind all of this, though a number of Councillors as well; the names came together over the years, though I was aware of the Council Officer’s involvement from the start and that of a very senior Councillor, who went to meet the people at the Government Office for the South East. The Well-wisher filled in other names and more details.


Is “Baile Inneraora” one of your favourite tunes, or, maybe, not for much longer? One of them needs to wait for the second of the young diarist to precede.

I could really say it, write it, straight out but will do it that way for the moment.

As I said, when we met on 5th January, I am independently rated as being worth at least a 10% increase on local tourism. So, apart from the cost of the Council fraud to Havant Residents, the lost millions of Pounds worth of business that my Technology Diversification Centre would have brought to the region and the loss of a free second bridge to Hayling Island (
http://www.rlkassociates.co.uk/RLKA_hisb.htm), the Council has cost its own Borough in the region of 160 million worth of tourism business over the last decade, five to eight times that for the region. Among those people with whom I discussed my story in the tourism context, was Bob Gumbrill (former Chief Executive of Portsmouth and South East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce), Dr Jur Bernd Atenstaedt (Deputy Director General of the German British Chamber of Commerce) and Business Link Sussex.

It was Bob who was the first to rate me at worth over a 10% increase on local tourism. If he is correct the loss to the Borough in business income is well over 1m per month and mounts by that much with each month of the continued cover-up. Even if Bob was ten times wrong, that still amounts to a loss to the Borough of close to 2m per year.

The general opinion of many people, over the years, is that the chances of the above mentioned people being individually wrong in their estimates of my values to the local economy is extremely low and collectively it is essentially zero.


I am fully prepared to repeat all of this and more, explain it fully, discuss it, on a public platform, I have done so on the Internet. Havant Borough Council will continue to do all they can to prevent me having a public platform and will collectively pray that what is on the Internet does not come to wider notice than it has so far. If the Council was innocent they would allow me my say, particularly to the people of Havant and refute it, dismiss it, explain the Council point of view and actions to the Residents and others; the Council will not do that.

Recent events and developments have encouraged me, moved me towards being more active about all of this again, as well as related matters, but it involves me in a daunting amount of writing, E-mailing, blogging, etc., let alone going back to the manuscript and finalising it.

I will write again; I think the above is more than enough for now.


Regards,

Richard King

Richard King, BTech, MTech, CEng, MIMechE
Consultant Engineer
RLK Associates
Visiting University Lecturer in Engineering and Materials
Associate College Lecturer in Engineering Science and Materials
Member of East Hampshire Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Business Web Site: www.rlkassociates.co.uk
E-mail: richard[AT]rlkassociates.co.uk