Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Who runs Kent Council?

I was going to ask who wears the trousers but that seemed flippant, anyhow I do often ponder who actually controls Kent County council, and since I'm no expert I just wonder what role that politicians actually play, in governing our county.

I'll give you an example, Paul Francis political editor for KM group, reports on the decision to extend Kent TV's contract for a further six months, citing that the decision, was agreed by chief executive Peter Gilroy, although Cllr Roger Gough KCC's cabinet member for corporate service appears to want, to at least, think about the situation "....any decision to let the contract beyond March 2010 will follow on from a review."

Still the board of Kent TV seem to feel a new contract for Kent TV is a done deal, this from the last published minutes "The contract has been extended to March 2010 to ensure that a review can happen before the re-tender process starts in September 2009."

Peter Gilroy might just wish to check, as I recall that when Kent TV was first mooted, Paul Carter the elected leader of KCC was himself much connected with the original decision to go ahead, as far as I can tell at the moment, it would appear that the Tory leadership, have little stomach for the sometime controversial Kent TV, particularly given the negative press, it managed to create for itself.

To see how committed Conservatives were to Kent TV, I looked at the recent Tory manifesto, which had no reference to Kent TV and certainly no proposal to extend the thing.

High hopes like this from a briefing document presented to KCC Cabinet April 2007 seem as optimistic as the day they were written “Income generation (see paragraph 4) may not meet expectations initially.This is low risk as we have already received significant interest insponsorship and the company providing Kent TV will have a role in generating income.” just a pity the sponsorship never materialised!

You can read the whole Kent TV briefing document from 2007 and see how naive it might have been.

PS has anyone seen any solid evidence of savings bought about by Kent TV?

1 comment:

  1. Tony, I think the elected cabinet put £400,000 in the budget last April for an extension. So Peter Gilroy has just got on with it and spent the money. Hopefully only 6 months worth of It.
    It must be disappointing for KCC that Ten Alps could not deliver a self financing service, If KCC thought this would happen maybe they would not have gone ahead.

    Cllr Cough's justification that its keeping 11 jobs going seems rather a lot of jobs just to keep this web site going, similar sites are fully automated. Paying a service supplier money just to keep jobs is not the remit of a county council. If it is KCC must be even handed and give this benefit to all its suppliers! In the current climate Kent TV is a luxury and KCC could soon be sacking front line workers for the sake of £400,000.
    What concerns me is that KCC paid a heavy price for the start up of Kent TV and may have got themselves in a position if they decide to continue whereby no other company can compete with Ten Alps for the contract. Unless of course KCC followed the normal commercial procedure of retaining the software rights where start up costs are involved. In which case companies tendering will have a level playing field.
    It looks like Cllr Carter has distances himself at the momment, presumably he has access to the viewing data and the publicity savings that Peter Gilroy has previously claimed to be £1,000,000. All laugh here! But then Cllr Carter is all about following a winner. Maybe thats why he skipped the Manston meeting recently and I dont think you will see him in Margate if Turner is not a great success.