Monday, February 28, 2011
Sunday, February 27, 2011
Kent council rarely inspires confidence in matters financial, particularly under Paul Carter's Tory administration.
Today's Kent on Sunday front page makes grim reading, it's been clear for many years that KCC has been over staffed and as inevitable cuts are being made, it's suggested by the taxpayers alliance that some redundancy payments will be overgenerous
No surprise really, unfortunately those in the private sector generally get just the legal minimum.
Perhaps KCC are expecting a windfall from Iceland, I wouldn't put Kent Tories in charge of the kitty for tea and biscuits let alone sliming down the counties fat cats.
Still what do I know and it's only money, ours! that's being given away.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
PLEASE NOTE THESE ARE ROUGH AND UNREILABLE NOTES TAKEN FROM MY IPHONE TYPED WITH FAT FINGURES
MARK NOTTINGHAM TURNS UP SITS ON LABOUR GROUP HURRAH!
CLIVE HART DOESN'T RESIGN BOO!
Finance department clapped as reward for their efforts hurrah!
Pfizer mentioned reference to government response and formation of task force p carter
We will see government upgrading of rail and parkway railstation, Laura sandys mentioned
Labour interruption not happy with reference to government
Clive Hart wants updates can't see how parkway, will help with travel time to Ramsgate, iris dragged in marks and sparks, Harrison anti parkway went on about 5 to ten passengers, completely mis understands the concept of Parkway stations also the need for improving connectivity with London
Fifty-eight minutes Chris wells mentioned as travel time from London with an upgrade to line you need vision said Ezekiel (good performance)
Bayford rounded up with the importance of parkway a damn sight more positive than Clive Harts Dinosaur club
Chief exec boring in my opinion (its not him its the material he has to work with)
Move on to Budget
Clive Hart Lab leader mentioned Rushed budget, Bob Bayford tory leader mention Clive never taken up offer to meet with him and discuss
Electioneering seemed to be claim from Labour bods,
Might well be true
HOLD THE FRONT PAGE Ancient history bought up by iris Johnson shared services re tourism iris levelled serious allegations of Canterbury tourist wallahs hiding Margate brochures at Canterbury visitor centres
More ancient history Thanet computer centre Harrison Lab
Burial bulk waste tennis courts Cllr Paul Lab even managed a big yawn about Tennis courts ( something he and his colleagues milked dry last time I went to a council meeting)
Simon Moores had to witter on about his specialist subject him and the interweb ( I have to leave shortly)
Joanna Gideon suggested Iris ought to move on instead of harking back to 95 or there abouts
Simon Moores speaks again goodnight Im outta here
These are rough notes and should not be treated as reliable night night
Someones got to get up b4 dawn
HOPE MARK NOTTINGHAM GOT OUT OF COUNCIL OFFICES UNFETTERED
Rather him than me
The last three occasions I've attended public meetings at Thanet District council the doors to the council offices have been locked either preventing the public entering or leaving. Richard Samuel back in September gave every impression that he was on the case! (it made no difference on next visit)
Feeling that such incompetence ( in my opinion) is a little more than coincidence I thought I'd contact Richard Samuel Chief Exec to seek assurance that I could indeed visit a public meeting with what on passports used to say was "Without let or hindrance".
No surprise Mr Samuel was "in a meeting", helpful staff put me through to someone who describe himself as "Building services assistant", things didn't go well when I suggested that Mr Samuel was his boss, " no he wasn't " came the reply, innocently I asked what is his name, born in the 1950's my non political correct question met with it might be a women. (Eventually he did agree ultimately Mr Samuel was boss)
Taken aback that Mr Samuel was not the boss, I forgot the persons name, "I told you already", things deteriorated
I came back to the core question, can you guarantee that the door will be open? How can I? apparently it all depends on chance and toiletry requirements of the security guard.
I going to take a chance and hope that this time?
ONLY THANET COUNCIL COULD MAKE LIFE THIS DIFFICULT !
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Monday, February 21, 2011
Being no stranger to obsessive or repetitious blogging and all that entails, last Friday I emailed Mick Rawsthorne (Regional Manager BBC SE) further following on from comments I made about BBC TV local coverage.
Tony flaigto mick.rawsthorne
18 Feb (3 days ago)
As a regional manager for the BBC can you tell me, why BBC coverage of local democracy is so poor across the county of Kent.
This morning listening to BBC Radio Kent, between six and seven, only a very minimal reference was made concerning KCC's budget meeting, since the programme in question is news based why no thorough report.
Kent councils budget, will directly effect every one who lives in the county, so why such mimimalistic coverage, what are the reasons, is it bias, lazyness or ignorance.
As a public service provider of broadcast media, I feel you have a duty to report the democratic process not hide as seems to be the case.
Although I spend much of my working life using a shovel I feel, I could do a better job than you and your colleagues.
Cheers tony Flaig
Unfortunately Mr Rawsthorne was unable to reply himself (some surprise) although he did delegate to a subordinate staff member, who confirmed that BBC South East, had sent a journalist to cover the Kent council Budget Meeting, however he claimed there was nothing new to report, well one item not mentioned was the reaction of Tory leader Paul Carter and his Tory group, at the suggestion of Liberal Democrats, that councillors ought not in these tough times, to be getting free lunches paid for by you and I. An issue treated eloquently and entertainingly by Paul Francis of Kent Messenger Group.
Still if you need convincing that the BBC, when they cover politics in Kent do a proper job, the BBC exec, having informed me that BBC have "extensively" covered "cuts" in Medway and looked at KKC's (KCC surely) "challenges", added this "Indeed, Paul Carter is a regular on Breakfast - alongside his colleagues managing individual portfolios. Which of course, just further troubles me, does this BBC bod, really believe Paul Carter and his colleagues, all Tories, are the soul representatives of political opinion in Kent.
Of course it might be that staff at BBC regional outposts such as BBC Radio Kent, are completely ignorant of local politics (as are consequentially, their audience) or maybe they don't give a toss, still the most likely reason is the BBC's obsessive pursuit of ratings.
The BBC is a publicly funded broadcaster, which in Kent, fails to offer balanced reporting, I note when I've mentioned this previously, Conservatives have suggested my claims of bias are fanciful, which they would with the one sided reporting they currently enjoy.
Still this is just my view and others are available.
If nothing else, you would have thought even most unimaginative, BBC bod might have spotted both the entertainment and news value of story concerning 70 odd tory councillors getting excited more about a free lunch than serving the public interest. Funny old world really.
Thursday, February 17, 2011
IS IT ME? Watching BBC's South East tonight programme a brief mention was made of KCC's budget even a quick comment from Kent Conservative leader Paul Carter but as always it seems no view from any other political party, admittedly out of 84 councillors only 11 are not Tories but come on.
Whether by laziness, bias, stupidity, lack of interest or whatever the BBC which you and I fund with our money fails in my opinion to represent fairly political opinion.
From the poor coverage, given to this topic its my view BBC in the south east could not give a flying toss, for what is, an area of government which touches those things closest to us, our schools, our libraries, our social services, our environment, our roads and future.
I've mentioned BBC's local regional reportage, more than once I know its boring but the BBC has a duty to report and support the democratic process. Its a disgrace in my opinion, that they don't bother still if you work for the BBC maybe you could justify yourself.
Thank god for KM's Paul Francis (political editor)
Paul Francis Twitter Stream which detailed the Counties Budget debate as it happened
The days of fat pay cheques for local authority Chiefs may well be over thanks to local government minister Eric Pickles.
In future councils will have to approve salaries over £100,000 with a vote by full council.
So hopefully no longer will councillors be having ludicrous conversations with taxpayers in which he or she claims, we have no choice, we have have to pay this sort of money as they try to justify some fat pay packet given to an officer with even less ability than themselves.
Even better perhaps we will see the end of mind boggling deals as was the case, in my opinion with a one year extension of Peter Gilroy's (chief exec KCC), contract which cost more than £400,000, for reasons which I think have yet to be explained to the public at large by Kent Tory boss Cllr Paul Carter.
Clearly Eric Pickles is one Conservative who understands that money spent in local government is that which belongs to the community at large. The sooner Kent Tories also learn this the better.
Story from Telegraph worth a gander
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
A particular point made here 'The first impression for a visitor arriving in a town is often formed by their view from a train carriage, and it is a disgrace that view is so often a degraded and dirty one that suggests a lack of care or pride in the area.' another member of CPRE added "The track around Cambridge Station is littered with bottles and cans and plastic bags.
I was going to give a long ponderous opinion on the de-selection of Cllr Mark Nottingham as a Labour candidate, however as I said last night Labour are digging a big hole, it seems to me to be a big ask, even from Clive Hart to suggest than Mark Nottingham has not been a hard working representative for Northwood also Cllr Clive Hart must explain why he has not followed through with his pledge to resign.
Also bewildered Labour party members must be asking what sort of strategy or thinking Clive Hart is following for the May council elections by dropping one of his teams stronger and more able members?
Still if you have any ideas?
Tuesday, February 15, 2011
I couldn't help notice the similarity between the Flaig family fat cat Mr Puss and Larry the new Downing Street Cat, admittedly Mr Puss once had drive and ambition, but an addiction to tuna and sleeping has ruined a once promising career.
LARRY THE DOWNING STREET CAT
Monday, February 14, 2011
Thursday, February 10, 2011
I mention this because both Conservative councillors including leader Cllr Bob Bayford and council officers, need to be reminded just who pays the bills, as they seek to keep us in the dark about how and on what, they often fritter our money away.
I've had indications that officers at Thanet Council, have had, significant enhancements in redundancy payments or arrangements, Matt B of Thanet Star is suggesting that the Chief Executive has been awarded £230,000.
Now I've heard bluster, that this is a fiction, Christine Tongue a local film maker has been asking questions, and sent this
"TV Choice" <firstname.lastname@example.org> 10/02/2011 11:10 >>>
Dear TDC representatives
I have read on this blog site - link below- about the amounts Richard Samuel is receiving to leave TDC. Is someone able to confirm whether this blog article is correct or not, please? Are the payments and salaries in the public realm anywhere?
Cheryl Pendry Replied
I can confirm that the figures quoted in the Thanet Star article are wildly inaccurate. The facts in the article were not checked with the council prior to publication.
The council does not publish individual information about staff members. The exception to this is that the council is required to publish salaries of its senior management team and these can be found here: http://www.thanet.gov.uk/advice__benefits/council_departments/corporate_management_team/corporate_management_team_pay.aspx?StyleType=LargeFont&StyleClass=FontSize
Press and Media Manager
Thanet District Council
SO WHY NOT JUST GIVE US THE FACTS?
A key point Cheryl mentions "the exception" "senior management team" surely that's Richard Samuel Chief Exec.
WHY NOT TRUST THANET'S CONSERVATIVE ADMINISTRATION?
Well at Kent county level, auditors, revealed that Conservative KCC had forgotten or simply not mentioned payments in excess of £200,000 pounds to keep former Chief Exec Peter Gilroy on for an extra year, of course no one would suggest that Tories were engaged in a cynical game of covering up another negligent waste of money.
No one begrudges, sensible payments to staff, particularly those at the lower levels, but stuffing up pension pay offs etc for top knobs is not on.
Until TDC comes clean with the facts, they can only expect more "widely inaccurate" reports in local blogs or what some of think might be closer to the truth than we are being told.
I look forward to Cheryl Pendry of TDC PR, promptly sending out a clear and concise fact sheet detailing arrangements for senior officers.
Wednesday, February 09, 2011
Tuesday, February 08, 2011
Thanet Council are hoping to introduce a controversial new license scheme for landlords in Margate and Cliftonville.
Briefly the idea as I understand it, is this, Thanet Council are suggesting that landlords are responsible for the conduct of tenants, and it seems they are suggesting ,Margate residents who live in rental accommodation are, I guess unruly antisocial blighters and council officers and their Conservative masters are to punish local landlords accordingly with a hefty £500+
ransom scam license fee.
This will pay for council officers to presumably do what the do best and act like busy bodies doing god knows what.
Now it will have escaped the wit of both council officers and the Conservative run council, that as a rule, most landlords seek references from tenants, so as not to attract anti social vandals, in fact I'd be surprised if any landlord did anything whatsoever to encourage unpleasantness, presumably most people want a quiet life.
Cynics like me will just assume that Thanet council is just introducing the landlord license tax, purely to plunder the pockets of local landlords and since not all landlords are rich but often people who rent property to provide investment income, perhaps for retirement, they will no doubt have little choice but to pass on the costs to their tenants who will have been squeezed by an avaricious money grabbing bunch of heartless b*st*rds who are truly antisocial, the local council.
Anyhow I understand there is to be a public meeting tonight, arranged by local landlords which I hope will enlighten me, I must admit this is an issue I should have bought up before, and its been mentioned to me by several people.
Maybe the money raise will go to pay enhanced redundancies for senior TDC officers.
Monday, February 07, 2011
|From one end of Kent||669|
|Thanet Press Releases||1122|
Saturday, February 05, 2011
Thursday, February 03, 2011
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
Thanet Councils response to the news set out below, I have spoken to KCC and have asked if they could let me have the reaction of Kent Council since this is a major blow to the region which they have in the form of a Statement from Paul Carter, Kent Council Leader
Thanet Council Pfizer Closure response
News of Pfizer’s decision to cease operations at its Sandwich site has come as a huge blow. Leader of the Council, Cllr Bob Bayford said “This news is an enormous setback for Thanet and the East Kent economy as a whole. Many of the staff who work there live in Thanet, so the unexpected closure of such an important contributor to the East Kent economy is especially worrying, particularly at a time when both the national and local economy face equally daunting challenges.
Thanet’s unemployment level is already the highest in the South East so this is going to hit us particularly hard, at a time when the economic recovery is still very fragile.
We will be seeking an urgent ministerial meeting with our local MPs to see what action the government can take to mitigate the job losses. We call on the government to intervene and provide tangible opportunities to attract business investment into East Kent to replace the jobs lost. We will be redoubling our efforts to attract businesses and investment into Thanet.
We will also be working closely with our neighbouring councils and with the county council to mitigate the impact of Pfizer’s closure on surrounding businesses and the local economy.”
KCC Leader Paul Carter's Statement
Statement from Paul Carter, Leader of Kent County Council.
“The closure of Pfizer at Sandwich is a major blow to East Kent. Many of Pfizer’s workforce live in the area and are among the most highly skilled workers in Kent. This will also have a massive impact on local people and the local economy that support Pfizer as a business.
“I have now been asked by the Department of Business, Innovation and Skills to lead a task force in partnership with Pfizer and the Local Enterprise Partnership to do everything we can to mitigate the impact of this decision and continue with our ambitious plans for East Kent.
“I will also be working closely with local MPs such as Laura Sandys, Charlie Elphicke and the leaders of Dover and Thanet District Councils to look at innovative solutions to minimise the impact on the communities of East Kent, as well as the broader Kent economy.”
Pfizers Press release in full
Pfizer Announces PROPOSALS TO EXIT Sandwich SITE AS PART OF acceleration of GLOBAL r&d strategy
Sandwich, UK 1st February 2011: Pfizer Inc. has today announced its intention to exit its research site at Sandwich in Kent. This decision is part of a global programme of changes announced today to accelerate Pfizer’s long term research and development (R&D) strategy to create a more focused and sustainable R&D engine for innovation. As part of this global strategy Pfizer is planning to exit certain therapeutic areas, including Allergy & Respiratory, which is based at Sandwich.
The number of Pfizer colleagues currently employed at our Sandwich site is approximately 2400. Over the next 18-24 months a majority of these positions will be redundant, but we hope to transfer several hundred positions to other Pfizer sites or to external partners, subject to employee consultation and other legal requirements.
Given the talented and strong workforce and the excellent facilities at Sandwich, Pfizer is working actively to find partnership opportunities which can utilise the facilities and buildings, in an effort to preserve jobs and activity on the site.
During this period, Pfizer’s priority is to support colleagues affected by this decision. Every effort will be made to mitigate the impact on Pfizer colleagues and the local community. The company will work closely with national and local agencies as this process moves forward.
A new Pain and Sensory Disorders Unit will be based in Cambridge, UK drawing on some assets from the Regenerative Medicines Unit.
In future there will be approximately 3,000 positions across Pfizer’s entire business in the UK.
Dr Ruth McKernan, Senior Vice President and Site Head at Sandwich said: “It is with a deep sense of sadness that we announce our proposal to exit our site in Sandwich, Kent. It has played an important role in the discovery and development of medicines and has brought many life-saving treatments to patients.
“Sandwich has an extremely talented workforce with a proud and rich history in science research and development. This decision is no reflection on the site, the workforce or the operating environment in the UK. We recognise that this is a difficult time for colleagues and the community and our priority now, and over the coming weeks and months, is to support our people through this process.
“It is hoped that we can retain this proud R&D heritage through strategic partnerships in the future.”