Complaints lodged over Sandwich councillor’s ‘paedophile’ comment about festival accounts


Complaints have been lodged with Sandwich Town Council over an ‘inappropriate’ comment made during a meeting on October 31.

During the meeting Independent member Paul Carter raised the issue of the recent 50’s Festival organisers submitting accounts audited by themselves. He then shocked other councillors by saying: “These accounts are audited by their own people so it is a bit like asking a paedophile if he did what he did.”

Broadstairs musician  Sonny West and Simon Green, who is from Deal, head up Killertone Records and organised the huge 50’s Festival in Sandwich last August.

Part of the festival included a photo exhibition at the Guildhall from the Eddie Cochran collection- some never seen in public before.

Sonny says Dover District Council, which is the local authority for Sandwich, signed off the accounts months ago and the issue is not Killertone Records or the festival but the “inappropriate” language used at the town council meeting.

He added: “Our accounts for the festival were signed off by Dover District Council. I think the deputy mayor was being overzealous . The mayor, who attended our festival,  and other people at the meeting, were offended by his stance and also his particular use of language.

“His use of language in the meeting was definitely inappropriate.”

Sonny added: “We had amazing time in Sandwich and a very successful festival.”

Conservative town councillor Harry Sampson says he wants Cllr Carter to apologise and even resign over the comment, saying: “The Kent 50s Festival was a roaring success and I share their anger at being equated with an horrific sexual crime.”

He added: “I am saddened but not surprised by Cllr Carter’s behaviour. His unacceptable comment could have dangerous consequences for the Kent 50s Festival organisers. The volunteers held a great event and I hate to see them treated so shamefully. Paul should make amends, apologise and resign.

“If he does not, all Sandwich’s festivals and the local economy could suffer as a result. I’m most disgusted seeing some online have taken his remarks as gospel”

Cllr Carter said the matter has been “taken completely out of proportion by my opponents on Sandwich Town Council to discredit me.”

He added: “The simile was used in context with a long-term financial situation between Sandwich Toll Bridge Fund and a private limited company set up by Killertone Records, it was not and has never been directed at Killertone Records or any of its staff so I am amazed at any comments made in this context.

“I cannot give a comment as it is a confidential matter between the two parties.

I would like it to be known that I did not refer to Killertone Records or its staff in relation to my comment only to the financial transactions made by their separate Festival company.

“It’s a storm in a teacup, nothing more.”

Cllr Carter has been a member of the town council 2007 and is also a school governor.

Sandwich Town Council has confirmed that complaints have been received following the meeting. It is understood complaints have also been lodged with Dover District Council.