Friday, February 20, 2009

For once I agree with Kent Tories

I think any fair minded person reading my criticisms of Kent's conservatives, will realise that the main reason I complain about their policies, is more to do with competent management than any wild ideological mission.

So just to make a change I would like to, for once support, Paul Carter's administration, in making this years pay offer to Kent councils staff at just 1%. 

Now I realise if your employed by KCC, you'll be outraged at the prospect, but then many of my friends, working out side of the state sector, object to finding there jobs disappearing, pay rates being held, or even cut, whilst the public sector is immune. 

Still if staff at KCC find it unacceptable having job security +1% pay rise, the answers quite simple, get another job! 

I think its a pity Paul Carter could not, have been tougher and just said no increase. One thing is  for sure all those who have lost jobs recently, forced to take a pay cut, been generally bullied into accepting poorer conditions will not be shedding any tears and neither will the business community who are also suffering.

Maybe the time is coming when those in the commercial sector, will refuse to accept, the unequal situation which allows public sector workers better pay and conditions. 

Whilst he is in the mood perhaps Paul Carter could get the scissors out on some of those frivolous areas of KCC activities like Healthwatch,  Kent TV, and maybe cut some of the six million pound advertising budget.


  1. All three political parties at Kent County Council agreed that a 1% pay rise was reasonable in current circumstances.
    The differences were over how that money should be distributed.
    The Conservatives proposed and voted through 1% across the board, giving the highest paid many thousands of pounds extra.
    The other two parties wished the same amount of money be distributed differently, the Liberals as a flat rate increase of £170 for all staff, Labour to use the money to raise the lowest paid grade (less than 12,000 a year) to above this theshhold.

  2. What will be happening to the allowances paid to county councillors?

  3. Tony, you don't just agree with the Tories, you ARE a Tory. Face it.

    £6.5MILLION on Publicity
    When it comes to self publicity, KCC was the third highest spending Local Authority in England and Wales in 2006-07. Infact KCC expenditure on publicity had risen a whooping 367.4% over just 10 years, from £1,409,000 to £6,586,000!
    (this would almost cover the £8million needed for a pay increase in line with other boroughs.)

    £1.2MILLION to Pilot Kent TV
    £200,000 capital costs and £600,000 revenue costs to run a pilot Kent TV Station via Broadband. Will the pilot be successful? - a mere 589 viewers logged on to the KCC web cam to watch the Full Council Budget Debate on 22 February 2007. The Business Case, a breakdown of the costs and details of how the TV Station will become self funding are currently unavailable due to commercial sensitivity.
    EU-Jet and Virginia Project £0.5Million
    Two failed project in less than 3 years with losses of £408,559.56:

    1. EU Jet / Planestation - total loss £110,00.00. In June 2004 KCC bought £100,000 shares in EU-Jet Ops Ltd. Planestation took over EU-Jet and the shares were converted into warrants in the company, KCC also invested an additional 15,000 (£10,000) Euros working capital in Planestation. Both investments of £110,000 were lost upon liquidation of the company

    2. Charter flights to Virginia - KCC total losses £298,559.56. This can be broken down as £57,491 the cost of the consultancy fees for the initial feasibility study of Freudmann Tipple and £241,559.56 for the direct flights - to secure the hire of a plane and to market the flight programme and non-refundable. The losses to KCC represent 27% of the overall cost of the project of £783,000.

    "High salary" pay from the public purse? The Chief Executive of Kent County Council does oversees the largest council in Britain, with an annual turnover of £1.8billion; but he earns more than the Prime Minister (£250,000) so is his salary really appropriate?

    Kent County Council has defended its payment of £1/4 million per year to its Chief Executive by saying that this is the going rate for "the best man for the job". It is difficult to see how this view can be justified by the facts:

    1. The vacant post was never advertised externally.

    2. The current Chief Executive was never asked to interview in competition with any other applicants.

    So KCC Conservative Councillors never gave themselves the opportunity either to test the Chief Executive talents with those of other applicants, or to explore the possibility that any equally talented person might have been prepared to do the job for less.

    Alex King, Conservative Deputy Leader has in the past stated in defence of the salary of the Chief Executive "... receives no company car, health insurance, mortgage relief or any other fringe benefit.". Perhaps he could explain why the CEO's reported salary increased by £20,000.

    £50 million lost in Iceland .

    Can't afford 2.5%? I wonder why.

  4. What KCC invests your money in:

    TOTAL is one of the companies that KCC like to invest in. As at March 31, 2008 they had £8 million in TOTAL shares.

    Perpetual Income Fund 237,034 Mitsui & Co 4,421
    Vodaphone Group 36,353
    Canon 3,613
    Glaxosmithkline 29,749
    Nissan Motor 3,107
    Royal Dutch Shell 28,038
    Japan Tobacco 2,699
    BG Group 27,714
    Rakuten 1,998
    HSBC Holdings 25,302
    Asahi Breweries 1,991
    Anglo American 23,239
    JFE Holdings 1,821
    BP Amoco 21,810
    Keyence 1,657
    Unilever 20,493

    Arms 13,416
    Oil 65,525
    Tobacco 19,179
    Zimbabwe 109,557

    Figures March 08.

  5. Anon 5:12 I've posted about 900 times on this website, in that time, its fair to say I've covered most of the items you mention, more than probably any other blogger, the advertising scandal is a regular, Kent Tv up enough to receive threatening letters, flights to Virginia and you forget to mention the later waste of many hundreds of thousands when Kent council sent 50 odd to a folk festival or exhibition for two weeks, Peter Gilroy salary got a mention or two.

    I must say yours looks like a rick comment.

    You might care to trawl the depths of Bignews its there somewhere

  6. I realise you have been bravely critical of KCC and I applaude you for it but in that case why are you so against ordinary working people getting the same rise in Kent as everywhere else in the country?
    I'm not talking about executive salaries. I'm referring to people who run and staff public services face on (sometimes a thankless and difficult task that a manager wouldn't touch with a barge pole.)
    This pay offer is an insult to their dedication, patience and hard work.
    The incompetent fat suits who threw our money away in the first place should be the ones to take what amounts to a pay cut.

    PS I am not Rick

  7. Not rick

    First off those working in the public sector are not ordinary people, they have jobs that are as secure as is possible, also they expect me to dip into my pocket to fund their retirement.

    I'll tell you why ordinary people are against automatic pay increases, in the commercial sector thousands are losing jobs, every day, agency workers get no notice, many have not had pay increases, pay cuts are quite widespread and these are the ordinary people who fund, public service employees who often do non-jobs.

    Good luck to those who get away with it but I don't want to pay any more on job creation especially those 140 odd on 50 grand plus.

    If the public sector reflected the real world it by now it would have seen large scale redundancy's

    I ought ask the question what makes council employees special, yeah its tough for them but a damn site tougher for the rest of us.

  8. You don't know what you are talking about.

  9. is reporting bonuses of more than £100,000 have been paid to its senior officers.