Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Access Denied as Thanet Council officer initiates security clamp down

Thanet council officers have launched a security clamp down, following a fairly innocent enquiry to the councils Democratic Services, not the first time that Bignews Margate has been responsible for a hasty deletion of sensitive info, from TDC's website, last year I queried a dubious entry in the councils attendance records concerning the former councillor Broadhurst, which eventually resulted in a by election, although I think Clive Hart put a different (labour) spin in some leaflets, still just out of interest did Chief Exec Richard Samuel ever enquire how a bogus entry occurred ?

Having a bit of time, on my hands at the moment, I thought I'd see what entertainment was on offer down at Thanet's council offices, a quick look-see and I realised I'd missed the blimin Cabinet Meeting, last week, Blast!, this usually has a few good laughs an d bit of knockabout politics, with a touch of tired haughtiness from the ruling Conservatives whenever well groomed Labour bods, get indignant and self-righteous with the occasional comment which starts with "When we were the ruling group…. blah blah.

The meeting that disappeared from TDC website
secret meeting

Please,  excuse the digression the only meeting this week, on the Council's calendar was involving the "Coach House Working Party" I thought I'd click the link, I then thought, I'd check the agenda, see if there was anything interesting, as appeared it unavailable I phoned up the Democratic Services. I spoke with the contact, who told me that the agenda was not available to the public, uh?  apparently neither was the meeting open to the likes of Bignews Margate, so what is all the fuss about ?

The contact came back to me explaining the meeting was definitely not public, so I asked could he, as the meetings contact person, at least confirm that we were talking about the Coach House, at Northdown Park, well after waiting  some several hours, I thought bollix, and rang someone else who took the risk and confirmed my suggestion.

Its a worry that Thanet Council carry on as if the public don't have a right to know what goes on, its even more worrying that a Labour government, gave simple minded council officers up and down the country, investigatory powers under the prevention of terrorism laws, I cannot begin to imagine why TDC have now removed details of this meeting just what is the big secret.

Since there is no publically available agenda, concerning the meeting of "Coach House Working Party" here my is summation of what they ought to be discussing, Thanet council leased this property back in the mid eighties, it was meant to have been museum, this never happened now 25 years down the road the property is in a fairly dire state and now boarded up, TDC have apparently done nothing to encourage the lease holder to maintain this asset and will no doubt attempt to gloss over the past and then try to flog it which covenants prevent. Click here for an earlier commentary.

The Coach House belongs long term to the community, what possible benefit can be derived from dealing with this issue in private since we have a new leader at TDC would it not now be time for Thanet's Conservatives to grow up and stop treating the public like idiots particularly with lunatic initiatives like council the Blogging protocol which Simon Moores seemed so keen!
secret calender the meeting that no longer exist


  1. According to the Thanet Gazette FaceBook page one of the subjects discussed was the Dalby Square land grab & that things got very heated!

  2. The coach house is also a very contencious issue.This as well as the last council administration are actively looking to replace the tennancy due to the deterioration of the asset.
    The new leader has gone on record saying he wants to change the way that the council interacts with the general public, here I guess is the answer.

  3. I see no blogging councillors commenting on this one!

  4. Anon 10.01 I think you will find that Kentonline will remove claims that could be libelous and Tony may also give you the chop. As far as KCC are concerned it receives a 4 star rating from the Audit Commission that is suppossed to ensure that taxpayers get value for money. TDC'S rating is another matter. However the government is to give the Audit Commision the sack (13/8) and allow councils to appoint their own auditors. One wonders what this cosy arrangement will lead too.
    And thats another 2,000 to join the dole queue plus loss of fees for many professional councillors that worked on council audits outside of their own county.

  5. Anon 5 05 your right I'm no expert but whilst 10:01 Now deleted might well hold that opinion and I've no way to judge and will always remove such comments for the same reasons Kentonline did

  6. I agree with the policy of removing the current Audit system as it does not work.The whole Council system needs a good shakeup, and give the public a greater say in public affairs, rather than being ignored!