Monday, January 24, 2011

THANET LOCAL BOARDS -What to do on a Tuesday evening

Every few months, Thanet residents are treated to an audience with local Kent county councillors, tomorrow night is that opportunity.

Now these are important people, they must be because a while back they voted themselves a fat increase in allowances, more than £1000 a month, and are busy because every few months they have to attend a council meeting in Maidstone.

What can you expect, at the meeting, well in truth not a lot, that is of significance, however there will be, upbeat info on small grants given out to local organisations, but don't expect any great insights into such things as

When is that 50 million pounds coming home from Iceland, or

What was the point of paying more than £400,000 in one year to retiring Chief Exec Peter Gilroy and not fessing up until later or

Why is the counties finance boss on gardening leave, is it really because she helped the media, surely that's what public servants might be expected to do or

Why push ahead with closure of old peoples homes in the county and not take seriously the consultation process or

Will you be making anymore "Gilroy" type payments or

In the time Bignews Margate has been published why has KCC spent around £25 million pounds on Advertising and PR

And finally why don't Kent Tories dump Leader Cllr Paul Carter

I believe the local board consultations are deliberately non controversial PR exercise mainly run for the convenience of the ruling Tory group, a more useful meeting would explain the counties finances, why children's services have been so criticised, why senior staff are given gold plated pay deals, still we wouldn't want anything unpleasant in public would we.

Anyway the Draft Agenda is available here, and remember Kent council is run by Conservatives, whom anywhere else, you would expect to be careful with public money here in Kent ,this is not the case, KCC has indulged itself in several high profile vanity projects such as Kent TV, which I'm proud to have helped get closed down. In my opinion if anyone is considering any err


  1. As you said Tony, you cant expect too much from this meeting. The decision makers of the elected council are the 9 cabinet members and Thanet has none. The decision to close the care homes and disregard the present occupiers was taken by one man alone. But with a few expenses the 9 are rewarded with at least £45k p.a. Next come the 13 deputy cabinet members who receive something approaching £30k each. I dont have a clue what they do other than vote yes when the leader tells them too. Add in the other 62 members and you and I pay £1.8 millions p.a.
    But Paul Carter is about to purge a few of the 22 in an attempt to save £200K. He could take the lead and take a cut himself.

  2. Gentlemen,

    There is always a moment in this meeting when you can ask any question you wish and put any of us on the spot. Just like there are moments when you hear of the good things KCC do as well as the list of criticisms above. You could always come and ask your question and listen to the answer.

  3. As one who was once asked to run for the county council and declined when I looked into the demands on my time involved, I can only suggest that the Anonymous commentator above is either ill informed or spouting through the wrong orifice.

  4. Anon 8.23 all the payments made to KCC councillors are available on the KCC web site, they are not made up by me.
    Anon 8.23 it looks like you were only interested in becomming a councillor for the money - surly not!
    Many KCC councillors complain about the amount of work they do but many of them seem to be able to sit on both the county and local councils and work as well.

  5. Anon

    I was not interested in giving that much time to a secondary role to my main working life. The money did not enter into it but from what I cleaned of the demands on their time, these councillors deserve what they get. If you think it is so great why not try it yourself.