Saturday, July 14, 2007

Kent County Tories find fresh talent

in the backwaters of Thanet
News comes this week from the Great Tory Chief in Maidstone, Paul Carter that he has dropped two members from his cabinet Dr Tony Robinson (Tonbridge) and John Simmonds(Canterbury West) in favour of a couple of appointees from the Kent coast one from Whitstable and the other more relevant to us in on the fringes of civilisation is Chris Wells one of our more competent politicians (and that's not just because of his occasional contributions to Bignews (comments)). Chris is now a cabinet member with responsibility for family services and education.

One can only guess what prompted this reshuffle, but maybe one telling comment in the local paper was the fact the Cllr Wells will be the first county councillor from Thanet to hold a cabinet post at KCC.

Apart from good luck! to Chris Wells, I would also say about time, that those in Maidstone, who've a rare skill in spending our money, on what I take to be hare brained schemes, such as trips to Virginia, forty plus on an all expenses trip,this month, paid by you and I at a cost of around £300,000.

Its a pity that Chris wasn't around when County Hall, was handing out free bus passes to kids in the richest districts in Kent, ignoring those out on the coastal fringes.

Perhaps Paul Carter has realised that those of us who contribute large chunks of our earnings, will no longer put up with our money being put to first use by those affluent west Kent areas, that have been taking advantage for many years.

This is just an impression but it seems to me that Kent has been ruled by a group of well healed privileged Tories for too long, who appear to confuse county Hall as another exclusive club rather than the multimillion pound organisation that they are only too ready to describe when wasting vast sums of money.

Paul Carter is quoted in the Gazette as follows "I believe it is time to bring some fresh thinking into the cabinet team" all I can add, is you couldn't do any worse. I'd take a look at Alex King next, who has been working hard for us, unfortunately quite a bit of his time, seems to have be on the wrong continent though in Virginia.


  1. Also well done to Cllr Wells. Every part of Kent should be represented at such a high level. The current role of Councils are now very outdated and wasteful. Many actions are no longer the wishes of ratepayers or take their views into account in the final decisions etc. New members to the cabinet hopefully will bring about and introduce innovative changes for the better. This will be difficult against the intrenched beaurocrats employed at the Council.

  2. As a matter of fact Chris Wells WAS around County Hall when the decision was made to give rich kids free bus passes !
    He actually said he thought that it wouldnt be a good idea to trial the scheme in Thanet !

    Hopefully he will be a reasonable representative for this end of Kent and be in a position to stop some of the madness that happens in this area!

  3. Thank you for your kind words Tony, I will do my best to live up to them.

    I did take part in the Home to School Transport Select Committee, and was part of the decision to approve Canterbury as the best pilot area, as indeed was the ever wriggling Clive Hart, whatever he says now. The Cabinet added Tonbridge after the report as a West Kent pilot.

    Clive was of course elected to the shadow cabinet a few weeks ago at County Hall, and has been shadowing the children and families brief. Now he finds himself in my shadow again! Poor fellow cant get away from me can he!

  4. Chris I Trust you will, live up to the challenge. It would appear I would be correct, to criticise both you and Clive Hart, the choice of Canterbury as a town for the free bus pass pilot.

    I'm sure that Mr. Hart is up to the challenge, anyway good luck with your new job, I hope that you will be able to educate your colleagues on some of the problems faced in this area.

  5. Abit off track here! Sea Sunday was a fantastic success and thanks to Broadstairs Council and others for this, the whole day was well planned and the fireworks were superb. But why do pedestrians have to share the pavements with cars. Along Albion St and Victoria Parade cars were fighting with pedestrians for space on the pavements so that they could pass each other. Please can somebody sort out the traffic, and we have the Folk Festival in Aug. Also Congratutions to Cllr Wells.

  6. I certainly was part of the Select Committee which recomended free bus travel to Kent's youngsters.

    I am equally certain I had absolutely no part in choosing wealthy areas of Kent to pilot the scheme - that was down to Chris Wells' Tory chums in the KCC cabinet.

    And yes - during a full council debate in the chamber at Maidstone Chris Wells did assist his chums by arguing the pilot scheme's just wouldn't work in a place like Thanet.

    Good luck Chris - you're going to need bucketfulls!

  7. It's good to see our Cllrs are very involved in free bus passes but then ignore more pressing matters on their own doorstep ie Broadstairs traffic, it's a big Rat Run and getting worse!!!