Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Crikey Labour give Kent TV notice to Quit!

Labour manifestoLooks like Kent TV might be about to lose any hope of carrying on, as Labour pledges it will scrap the project in their manifesto for the Kent elections.

I for one cannot say that I’d be too bothered if the Kent TV experiment, came to an abrupt end, I would of course have every sympathy with those who produce the content.

That said, I’ll not shed a tear for one well known Kent figure Bob Geldof, who as a director of Ten Alps winners of the contract to produce the thing, was allowed about five minutes, back in November to give us the benefit of his thoughts on Kent TV presumably at the taxpayers expense.

My experience of Kent councils project is clearly tainted by Kent Councils apparent lax defence of personal liberty only resolving my concerns after I had emailed every county councillor to explain my situation.

Tories that I have spoken with on the subject, seem to view Kent TV as a big mistake, which of course it is but it didn’t have to be, had things been handled differently.

Anyway aside from this issue, their are other items on the menu to be sorted out including £400,000.00 on Kent’s Healthwatch advice line (which duplicates existing services), the not inconsiderable £6,000,000.00 spent on advertising etc .

The way I see it Labour have changed and Kent’s Tories have yet to show, any willingness to appreciate that taxpayers don’t want money wasted on vanity projects.

If your a Tory County Councillor and want to get re-elected start asking yourself this, who should Paul Carter be listening to, the taxpayer his colleagues or advisors and just ask yourself this, who’s coming up with policy “Kent TV”, “Healthwatch”, “Gateway” not I fear elected representatives, voters nor even Conservative HQ.


  1. I agree that Kent TV is a total waste of cash, but Labour making its scrapping an election commitment will have no bearing - the odds of little green men downing pints of Spitfire in the Mechanical Elephant are lower than anything other than a Tory victory in June!

  2. Just maybe this election the voters of Kent will vote on the local issues and how the Tories have been squandering our money.

    The recent review of the council by the Audit Commission was made in June 2008 before the £50,000,000 mishap.
    I quote from the report:

    The Council's capacity to deliver its ambitions would be stronger if it adopted a more inclusive, listening approach - particularly with local partners and, internally,
    with opposition parties. This is needed for the full development of localism and of
    inclusive decision-making that reflects fully the needs of all communities.
    Although KCC's strengths are widely-appreciated, there is some alienation at what is perceived by some to be an over-dominant style with some local partners that does not take enough time to listen and build consensus. KCC's branding is
    active and strong, but this can be misconstrued as an over-inclination to take
    credit for partnership work. Opposition councillors have fewer opportunities for
    their views to be heard at a formative stage of policy than is usual. The Council
    can be unproductively sensitive to external criticism. By changing these aspects
    of its style, the Council could be even more effective.

    What an arrogant lot!
    I think TDC has had experience of this with KCC trying to tell it what to do with the millions that central government has given it to help with the unemployment situation.

  3. Voters voting on local issues? Now there's a dream that I'd love to see become a reality.

    One of KCC's problems (one of many, to be fair!) is its sheer size. Sevenoaks, Dover, Margate, Canterbury and Dartford, just as a few examples, are very different places and any sort of "one size fits all" policy is never going to work.

    However, despite the faults, I've yet to see any evidence in Medway that a system of Unitary Authorities across the county would perform any better.

    However, having said that, this will be the first KCC election since 1993 to be held in a non-General Election year. That will make a heck of a difference to turn-out and throws the whole outcome into more doubt than with a higher turnout.

  4. Kent TV is an excellent way to find out what is happening around Kent. Much better than any local paper, radio or TV station.

    People like you who don't understand it or use it are doing a disservice to disabled people like me who don't have the chance to get out and about. There are many people in my position, and pensioners who welcome the service which is very different from anything we have had before.

    It may not be useful to you Mr.Flaig, but I pay my council tax too. So don't be so selfish and leave this alone for people who are not so fortunate as you.

  5. Anon Wed Mar 25, 12:10:00 AM,

    Its all about value for money, you can get the same information from the Kent and local commercial newpaper and video web sites and even the KCC sponsored Vistkent which costs us tax payers £0.00.
    The news on these sites is more upto date.

    In the case of HeathWatch at the last count it was costing us over £600 per telephone call. Alongside this KCC seems to ignore the PALS network and does not in anyway produce any information about the local heath watch scheme run by the government - LINk. http://www.thekentlink.org.uk/

  6. Its my opinion that senior conservatives have not lead but been lead by Senior officers, are arrogant and aloof, when I had a problem Paul Carter just appeared to pass the buck back to council officers.

    Crazy schemes like Healthwatch will lose Tories votes on target to waste £400,000.00.

    Anon 12:10 Kent TV is so excellent that Thanet Council which represent Kent residents can't put recordings of Council meetings for those of us who cannot get to them to view later. Just what are we paying for

  7. Tony,

    Agree with your points re: Officers running County Hall and it's a disgrace. It's not just KCC with this problem, but one across the county with the various district councils and the rest of the country.

    The only thing that can stop it is to get councillors with the balls to turn around to the officers and remind them who is actually in charge.

    One quick example: How many rows have been caused by officers producing woefully sub-standard reports and councillors allowing them to be formally presented? If the reports are not up to standard, make the officers redraft them!

    The turnout for local elections is bad enough, but at least let those who are voted for make the decisions. If they can't, they should step down in favour of people who are prepared to step up to the plate.