In the run up to the opening of Thanet Parkway Station on 31 July politicians are, as always, bathing themselves in the reflected glory of a successfully completed project to big themselves up with the public. TDC leader Councillor “Raging” Rick Everitt is no exception announcing that;-
Thanet Parkway represents a major statement of confidence in Thanet’s future by national and regional funders. This significant investment could easily have gone elsewhere in the South East. It has come to Thanet because the strength of the business case for this station was widely recognised…..The new station will make Thanet a more attractive prospect for people looking to relocate to the district”
David Brazier, Kent County Council’s Cabinet Member for Highways and Transport, also said:-
“Thanet Parkway is a leading example of how organisations can work together to bring forward improvements for local communities. By coordinating towards the common goal of improving rail connectivity across eastern Kent, we all share the success of the prosperity that this station will bring to Thanet”.
Even the Government’s Minster for Rail, Huw Merriman MP, got in on the act saying that:- Thanet Parkway will allow the local community to access better employment, education, and business opportunities.
But what these self-aggrandising politicians deliberately failed to tell you is the not so glorifying truth about what the final bill for building Parkway station is likely to be.
They were silent on this important matter not because they didn’t know, because they did – some since mid-2022. They were silent because the estimated final cost to build Parkway is such a massive increase on the previous official estimate of £34.5million that they knew thats should reveal it, instead of bathing in reflected glory the self-serving scallywags would likely be bathing in a shower of shit.
The hidden truth our petrified politicians didn’t want you to
know is that the estimated cost of building Parkway station is no longer £ 34.5million but £44million an increase of almost £10million.
To cover this huge cost increase the budget document shows
that Kent County Council has increased its share of the bill from £5,813 million to £11,585 million, an increase of £5.772 million, which must have contributed significantly to the council’s funding gap of £86million and its decision to close children’s centres and household waste recycling centres.
The Government’s Getting Building Fund has thrown in an extra £875,000 and Network Rail’s New Station Fund £3.4 million to bring the budget up to almost £44million. But even this revised figure is far from the final reckoning as attached to the new estimate is a warning which says:-
Please note: this update does not reflect further cost increases due to the level crossing. Network Rail have sent a letter to Kent County Council on 17th August 2022 stating that the costs are increasing further which will result in further expenditure this financial year. Kent County Council is awaiting further details from Network Rail to confirm the extent of this most recent cost increase
So bearing in mind that the Parkway Station project has an habit, like Jack’s Beanstalk, of growing and growing, my guess is that the final cost of this project is extremely likely to be close to, or over, the £50 million mark, an astonishing 355% increase upon the original 2015 estimate of £11million.
Also bear in mind that Kent County Council has stated that should the Parkway station project cost £52 million or over, it will not have achieved its value for money target - we are getting pretty damn close eh? Personally, I think that even at its original 2015 estimated cost of £11million, Parkway Station represented no value for money at all.
One final thought from me. Politicians such as “Raging” Rick Everitt and David Brazier should reflect on the fact they as public servants they must follow at all times the seven principles of public life (the Nolan principles) which amongst other things require them to be honest and transparent.
To deliberately withhold important information from the public they are supposed to serve, in order to falsely portray themselves as good and effective politicians is to be manipulative, self-serving and thoroughly dishonest.
As a citizen journalist I have taken it upon myself to do what Councillors Everitt and Brazier should have done in the first place – to tell you the whole truth about Parkway station and how much it will cost taxpayers. Now enjoy your shit shower councillors.