In an unusually move Paul Carter Kent's senior Tory politician and the leader of Kent Council, has made a remarkable call for restrictions to the freedom of information act after earlier complaining about building rules and regulations.
Those who have followed the goings on of Kent Council, must often like me find themselves bemused at some of the enterprises Kent Council gets involved with, which are frequently notable inasmuch as they fall outside, the services you would expect of a local authority, for instance Kent TV, temporary employment agencies, bus and taxi services, health advice line, and this, which is something which I had forgotten about for a while, Oakwood House, the 37 bedroom hotel situated in Maidstone run by the blooming KCC .
Now since Paul Carter happens to be a Tory, you might think, how enterprising a conservative council, running businesses, which would be fair enough, if it weren't for the fact, that the taxpayer who probably subsidies these businesses, isn't able to see all the facts pertaining to them, nor can hard working business entrepreneurs, who risk there own money.
Paul Carter apparently cites business confidentiality as a reason for not disclosing full information about council owned businesses, but here is the reason he's wrong, in a fair market businesses shouldn't be subsidized by taxpayers, which because of Kent's secrecy we are unable to determine whether for instance business premises are cheaper than those commercially available thus giving council run business is an unfair advantage.
Assuming Kent Council are actually are running these businesses in a commercially proper manner, it seems nothing short of outrageous, that Kent Council who are under the leadership of Paul Carter, should wish to ignore freedom of interest inquiries and push presumably for legislation to stop us the taxpayer knowing what's going on.
As far as I'm aware, normal commercial businesses are required to publish accounts, so exactly what does Kent Council have to hide? Here's two possible answers ruthless efficiency or gross incompetence the truth is probably something in between, but if Paul Carter gets his way, we will never know. For me Kent council is like on of those loony London councils from the eighties, just what are they thinking!
PS Paul Carter also mentions in the Kent on Sunday newspaper, how he believes business is being stifled by rules and regulations, not surprisingly he makes no comment, how he would feel if he were having compete with companies subsidise by the taxpayer. I always thought Thanet had a lot of front with 26 miles of beaches but its nothing compared to Kents Tories!