Friday, September 18, 2009

A blank page and hidden agenda for the Gazette

Politics, yes boring! but it colours pretty much all our life even the vast swathes of those who opt not involve or take an interest.

Still tedious as it is, I was not surprised when I turned up at Thursday nights TDC Cabinet meeting, to see that apart from me there was only one other in the public gallery, and myself missing the first half hour.

Not really remarkable was the absence of any proper news hounds, although usually there’s one member of her majesty press present, the Gazette generally has somebody still Thom Morris has now jumped ship, leaving three journalists and an editor to churn out KRN’s three Thanet papers ( I think we can expect more animal stories and slightly rewritten council press releases in the coming weeks).

So has the public missed out, probably not as far as I can tell, there was no real excitement, basically the cabinet meeting consists of Tory’s nodding through agenda items, with backbench members or the Labour groups raising queries, which may or may not be answered by cabinet members or council officers who have to sit around waiting to chip in not, no doubt as they contemplate office gossip or a late dinner or what’s occurring in Emmerdale Eastenders or corrie.

Anyhow as you can imagine these meetings can be turgid, just to give a flavour I think Cllr Wise at one point spoke on the lack respect for authority ( the anarchist in me was tempted to shout something like for “gods sake who cares?” or “boring” ), why was I there, well, I was interested item 11 Cabinet Advisory Group, Thanet works, as a brief explanation Thanet Works is government sponsored scheme involving the WNF (Working Neighbourhoods Fund), TDC has around £4 million of government to play with.

The aim of WNF is apparently to “tackle concentrated pockets of worklessness”, I’m hoping this will also include Thanet’s unemployed, still as this issue doesn’t seem to interest our official Tory group cabinet members who didn’t expand on it and indeed apparently it didn’t excite any questions from Cllr Clive Hart’s Labour group either it was nodded through with no elaboration (Labour as we all know no longer represents the underclasses preferring the well healed self perpetuating public sector workers).

The only excitement thereafter seemed, the issue of asset sales with minor points scoring on the earlier flawed attempt to sell Northdown House without bothering to check the legality first, at least its now confirmed that TDC wont be attempting to flog off Northdown Park estate for a while.

All in all not a great example of what democracy is about, still at least we still go through the motions not that you’d always know from the Gazette, Adscene, or Thanet Times.


  1. Has TDC done anything yet about getting the area a Bizz Fizz scheme ?

    Or is the nearest one to you still at Hastings ?

    Ken Gregory mentioned it to TDC officers some months ago.

    I will look up the umbrella organisation website and put you a linkie on wait out.

  2. If I still have the draft on memory I will attach it to you as an email Tony to give you an idea of how it can work.

    The attachment in confidence is a brief business plan and cash flow forecast and calculations of working tax credit. The conclusion is how much per week, at a moderate cash flow, the person is better off working self employed. Also there is a first year calculation that at forecast trading the public purse will save £14 per week as opposed to maintaining the person unemployed.

    In the second year a bigger public purse saving etc.

    Forget all the bollix about having an idea and making a business plan.

    The Bizz Fizz person visits. They take notes. They note business ideas you have. They then present anonymously to hundreds of people on their network. Hence accessing a collective thousands of years of commercial and industrial experience. Then they summarize the advice returmned with a list of the offers of work and contracts that are made.

    Hey presto self employed and on the network run by Bizz Fizz.

    Forget public servants in council and jobcentre they been dishing out erroneous job seeking and benefits advice for years.

  3. To be fair the newspapers' number one priority is to (erm) sell newspapers, & the fact is that poisoned cats & naked protests appeal to far more people than council meetings...

  4. The reworking of the Local development plan to give housing a major stake on Eurokent instead of employment was slipped past? Wake up, Tony. If TDC revise their LDP in this way, they will then claim they are short of employment land and hey presto will attempt to designate CGI's agricultural land as development land and China gateway Phases 2 and 3 then will be trundled out. Its called doing a favour for your developer friends.