A Statement from the Liberal Democrat Councillor Group

Like many residents, we have been concerned by the recent reports in Private Eye about the role of previous councillors in the allocation of a site in the Draft Local Plan. The allegations have now been shared in the local press and social media groups. At present, we will not be commenting on the substance of these allegations.

We welcome the announcement of an audit by The East Kent Audit Partnership (EKAP). This is a body hosted by Dover District Council to provide independent audit services to the four East Kent authorities Canterbury City Council (CCC), Dover District Council (DDC), Shepway District Council (SDC), and Thanet District Council (TDC), it is sufficiently independent of the activities that it audits, and we trust it will provide impartial and effective professional judgements and recommendations. We expect the Council to abide by its findings.

We are confident that senior officers acted in what they thought was the best interest of the City Council. There is no suggestion that any senior officers stood to gain from their decisions.

In the meantime, we as elected councillors wish to let those who put us here know that things have changed. This means we will pursue more openness and honesty, as has been our commitment throughout the previous election campaign.

We will hold all of our councillors to the highest standards and rather than rely entirely on legal advice as to what is permissible. We will be guided on what is right by the Nolan Principles of Public Life. If any councillor feels there might be a conflict of interest it should be declared and dealt with openly. We welcome rather than fear scrutiny.

Canterbury City Council Liberal Democrat Group Councillors

Micheal Dixey, Leader

Mike Sole, Deputy Leader

Lee Castle

James Flanagan

Roben Franklin

Steph Jupe

Peter Old

Alex Ricketts

Dan Smith

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