Thursday, July 28, 2011

Kent Newspapers to Close? OFT gives You only until August 8th to comment

goodbye to gazetteAs I see it, there probably isn't much time, if you would like to save our local Kent newspapers, in Thanet that would be the Times and Gazette, the Office of Fair Trading will stop taking consultations on this matter by the 8th August.

Ironically it appears that there is little news available to the public, in regard to the Kent Messenger Groups bid to buy Kent Regional News and Media (Northcliffe Media).

No surprise that when I contacted Kent Messenger group and Northcliffe Media execs, they were unable to offer any elaboration on this significant development to local news reporting .

So you may find my suggestion, that newspapers will close, as somewhat alarmist, HoldtheFrontPage website report informs us, that is the intention of Kent Messenger to integrate Kent Regional News and Media titles with their existing portfolio, as quickly as possible, admittedly integrate, could mean one of the two things, merging newspapers or merging the operational processes into one, either way, my opinion is this will lead to less competitive newsgathering and poorer reader content, also significantly less competition for the local advertising market,which must be bad for the business community (KM Group also have local radio media).

Understandably both parties in this acquisition are reticent to discuss the details (they are not charities) but as far as you and I are concerned, details and future plans are of public interest and to the end I have for the last few days been trying to contact the officer/manager in charge of the case at the OFT, who I take must be an extremely busy person,  it must be in the public interest to have more details, are journalists and editors an endangered species in East Kent and are we about to say goodbye to the heart and soul our communities.

If its the case that without KM Group purchasing KRN papers, newspapers would fold anyway, then good luck to KM Group, however if its a case of buying these papers is to secure a nice market stranglehold then, it should be stopped.

I doubt that either KM Group or Northcliffe Media's "Kent Regional" papers will be making too much noise on this one, so I suggest if you concur with my concerns that you mention it to those you know and also keep the Office of Fair Trading by contacting Raúl Nieto Fax: 020 7211 8916.

Finally both companies do a good job in certain areas, and that's how I'd like to see it remain, its possible the KM Group might if their bid goes through vastly improve news gathering, still  if you take the KM Thanet Extra as an example, it appears journalistic resources have shrunk in the last few years.

PS I just wonder whether local politicians will wake up and smell the coffee on this one!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

TESCO - Corned Beef -Some mistake surely!

I may be missing something but when did Corned Beef become so flipping expensive.

Unless I'm suffering from old timers, I recall purchasing what I thought was a humble source of protein for about 70 pence a tin (about 2years ago).

Today my perception has changed, what I thought was the byproduct of old cows tails, bits and pieces and recycled shoe leather, must in reality be made from prime cuts of Aberdeen Angus.

What was once fit only for oiks has now become at £8.80 a kilo food fit for kings.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Marvellous - Even building sites are now Iconic

iconic Site
I've been meaning to comment on this, since last week, when on my way home from a long shift, this site/sight hove into view, as I drove up Fort Hill, heading for Flaig Mansions, it made me smile.

At the time  although much impressed by the huge neon sign with the legend "Iconic Site"*, on the old Fort Road Hotel, I didn't have the energy to stop, to add yet another image to my growing collection of Iphone classic photo's, last night I had spare 30 seconds, click job done.

I don't know whether this is art as in arts council walloping a pile of wonger to some artist or art as in someone having a laugh and maybe taking the out the much esteemed Tracy Emin's neon work ( I never forgot Margate blah blah blah).
neither did I
Perhaps it's just a factual statement, the Arcadian and Fort Road Hotels, have been an eyesore for many years, and are a true icon of seaside decay and now renaissance with the coming of Turner Contemporary.

* Unfortunately part of the sign appears to have fused, anyhoo thanks to whoever is responsible.

Monday, July 25, 2011

No News is Bad News from Kent Messenger Group

Watching tonight's South East Today, news comes that the KM group, publishers of the flimsy Thanet Extra,  are in the process of acquiring seven papers from Northcliffe Media, the seven papers of the Kent Regional News and Media group include The Isle of Thanet Gazette, Thanet Times, Herne Bay & Whitstable Times.
I imagine that this, is about as much a done deal, as is possible, for this reason KM Group have apparently informed the Office of Fair Trading, who will be going through the motions, of considering the deal, whether this effects competition, is it in the interest of the consumer and all that malarkey, surprisingly neither companies web sites seem to report the issue.
Still the Press Gazette naturally have a full report click here.
Whatever you think of the Gazette (Isle of Thanet) it has usually given us a professional product over the years, and is certainly the local paper with the most original content, at this point in time.
This will have been a bad news day for East Kent, if KM Group were to absorb the area's papers into their Extra format. The thing is, you and I wont be consulted, the OFT will do their stuff, read the KM Groups submission and ink up the rubber stamp, and Kerching ! the end of an era.
Still maybe KM Group will consult us the public with their plans.
I know KM Group produce a professional product and no doubt are doing what they have to, in a tough market, as I assume is the case with Northcliffe Media, I hope that this doesn't mean less news and less scrutiny of local issues or fewer journalists.
I suppose on the plus side Thanet Council will be able to stumble from cock-up to crisis and nobody will ever need know in the future.
Still at present Bignews Margate blog will maintain editorial integrity and independence for a while longer unless Thanet Life wants to make a big money offer for Margate's favourite blog!


Ex-Kent boss Peter Gilroy hands back Taxpayers money

Not many of us face the dilemma of deciding whether to pay ourselves an extra 18 grand or not on top of a 210K salary, still Peter Gilroy former chief exec of Kent county council faced that problem and after some consideration, paid himself £18,350 for acting as returning officer, in county county elections during 2009.
No surprise then at some point later he apparently questioned the wisdom and commissioned a report, on the legality, my own view is that part of a chief executives job is to oversee the democratic process, not to think of opportunities for enhancements to salary.
When this was discussed, on the 21st of June, Liberal Democrat Cllr Tim Prater proposed an investigation, to ponder the recovery of the illegal payment, however Conservative councillors refused to even discuss recovery of the money, (why you might wonder?) fortunately for us the taxpayer due Mr Gilroy's honesty the money has now been returned.
Kent on Sunday  yourCanterbury website reported  "He claims he felt uneasy about awarding himself the money at the time, and that it was he who commissioned the review into returning officers’ pay which concluded the decision was not permitted in law.
Back in the real world, Conservative Cllr.Paul Carter leader of Kent Council is begging local schools not to become financially independent of KCC by becoming Academy's, given KCC's record in financial matters, child care and others you can well understand why school's would wish to cut out the middlemen.
Any news on Iceland? or that promised enquiry into child care services apparently promised by Paul Carter.
Finally this is a typical example of how Kent Conservatives handle things, in any other organisation, recovery of the overpayment would have been subject to discussion.
PS I wonder how much the "review" cost and also interest, and whether that was taking into account?

Friday, July 22, 2011

Says Who?

I wonder whether I'm the only commuter traveling the Thanet Way who having noticed the construction of at first, an expensive looking fence, which I assumed was to protect crops, over the weeks then realised the field was the site of an incongruous hi-tech power plant.

The Isle of Thanet Gazette, today refers to this solar farm as an eco-friendly project, although doesn't qualify the remark, I just wonder what local wildlife makes of the harsh looking apparatus, obviously nobody can ask the birds and bees, what they think of the somewhat sterile environment.

However I'm sure if the someone asked passing drivers, they'd be hard pressed to find anyone who'd welcome yet another encroachment to the countryside.

Eco-friendly, I don't think so, still unlike another much publicised Eco-friendly development hopefully this one doesn't involve sweatshop labour.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

A marvellous start for Turner and Margate

How pleasing to see the hard work of all those concerned with Turner Contemporary, is proving a big success and the knowledge that Margate has started to reverse the decline of recent years.

Turner Contemporary announced yesterday, that it had now had its 156,000th visitor (the target figure for the 1st year), Edoardo Pacchett, from Monza, Italy was welcomed by the Director Victoria Pomery with a bottle of local Kent sparkling wine, Victoria commented “It is fantastic to have hit our visitor target so early" , hopefully even the cynical would agree the Director and that this is a remarkable achievement attracting so many in the first three months.vistor 156,000
The benefits of Turner of course aren't all going to be overnight but here are some of the early positives highlighted by Turner Contemporary, 85% visited specifically to see the gallery, 25 new businesses have opened in the old town and lower High Street and SouthEastern railway report 30% more people using Margate Station.

Well done! particularly those who pushed for the gallery and those who've delivered a world class galley in the heart of Margate.

Lets hope, that this development is soon complimented with Dreamland, and that Tesco don't create chaos with their new store.

Finally a couple of points, many millions are collected in taxes from you and I, and much goes to KCC, Turner Contemporary has been that rare instance in which we've seen significant public investment, I feel we need more, particularly from Kent council who syphon your money into affluent West Kent, so ask your local KCC councillor what if anything they are doing to attract other investment? Second point, what a marvellous sight driving into Margate @ five seeing the sun rise over the new gallery, after a night grafting on the railway in a dark dingy tunnel somewhere in London see picture.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Tory Councillor uses inventive style to support Censorship @ Thanet Council

An old trick in the black arts of propaganda or sales, is to take an issue or objection, and manipulate it, slightly, I for instance have pointed out, that the councils decision not too respond to enquires, I might make, in the process of constructing posts, for this blog is political censorship. 

To explain what I mean, take this twaddle as a prime example from a Tory councillor's blog, "For the benefit of at least one local blogger, who insists, with a complete disregard for the facts, that the local council is 'censoring' its news releases, here's a link to Thanet District Council's Twitter feed, which pushes these out to the public as they appear.

Now the author might have made an innocent errorr ;-) or is manipulating the reality, anyhow I'm arrogant enough to assume by "local blogger", it might mean me, now whilst I have highlighted the refusal to deal with my enquires as being censorship, which it is, the composer in the example refers to the "fact" he claims that "one local blogger", insists TDC is " 'censoring' its news releases, although the decision of the Press Office to no longer send email Press Releases to bloggers, whilst laughable (the reasons of cost saving), is hardly censorship, just stupid, however  what is censorship, is the decision to automatically discriminate against bloggers.

The example of course comes from Cllr. Simon Moores, who in my view denigrates the role played by bloggers, like myself and others, which compliments and extends the reporting of local government, which is erratically covered by local newspapers like the Gazette, KM Thanet Extra.

The irony of this, whilst Conservative Thanet Council has implemented it's policy of censorship, probably the most frequent readers of this trash ( I refer to my contributions) are councillors themselves, from both sides.

Come on Simon, try and be accurate and concise, say what you mean, which local blogger?   who insists?  what facts?  or is it just propaganda?

Thanet council have constructed an arbitrary interpretation of what constitutes the media, I have contacted the press office on maybe a dozen occasions, posted hundreds of times, over years, with many thousands of page views. I think Moores has tried to paint a picture of blogger's endlessly harassing the council staff, I can only speak for myself but I doubt that's true either.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Did Chief Exec receive 30 K for Election– Thanet Council refuse to answer

I've heard several rumours that allege the recently retiring chief executive of Thanet council was paid anything between 30-50,000 for acting as the returning officer, in the May local council elections.

Now due to the irresponsible action to Thanet Council, whereas in the past I could ring the council and enquire, for clarification or correction to a rumour, this is now blocked by the council.

This afternoon I contacted TDC's democratic & electoral services, eventually an officer spoke to me but not knowing the answer, referred as I understand to TDC's communications department, which now administers the conservatives councils blunt censorship of media.

I didn't expect, an answer necessarily immediately but I'm told I will have to put in a Freedom of Information enquiry.

I spoke to one Conservative Cllr at the time TDC introduced their policy of refusing to allow people like me (Non Conservative) to use the council Press Office, and was told that I could still speak to officers, if my conversation today is anything to go on clearly I cannot.

Councillors in the Conservative party have long tried to restrict bloggers, its a stupid obsession, as someone who takes a responsible line, without hiding behind a pseudonym, I am no longer able to correct such a rumour as above.

I always thought that the senior officer of the local council acted as returning officer during elections as part of normal local government duties, still having read this story about the former Chief officer for Kent council, I feel these things need investigating.
whats this for
Perhaps one enquiry I should make, is whether the councils newly appointed chief executive, has checked on the legal implications of press discrimination.

I wonder if it's time to recall Sandy Ezekiel as Leader of the council at least he has a bit of savvy.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Conservative Thanet Council Bonkers Press Policy

As many observers are well aware, Tory councils in Kent are quite happy to misuse taxpayers money to present an "official" view of local Government,  Kent Council went as far as to produce it's own TV station and wasted many thousands of pounds.

Thanet council is no exception, with some Conservative's showing signs of near hysteria at the thought local people daring to comment, I myself have felt the wrath of KCC for daring to object to public money being spent on vanity projects, which amongst other things promoted Freemasonry using taxpayer funds.

Anyhow Michael Child, has made several FOI requests since the Conservative lead Thanet Council have introduced a repressive system of censorship, instead of taking a balanced approach to press enquires, using normal judgement, Thanet Council have drawn up an arbitrary system which discriminates against Bloggers like me and Michael Child.

I suggest you take a gander at Michael's enquires assuming you haven't already, anyway here's this list of those allowed to contact the press office (see below) , it doesn't mention that rather irritating multifaceted/talented councillors blog whom I'm sure wouldn't take advantage. God knows why the Local Government Association has access to TDC press office, when myself, Michael and others with thousands of local readers are censored, I suppose we should count ourselves lucky that TDC don't list Murdoch's rags.

Academy FM
BBC South East Today
BBC Radio Kent
Heart FM
ITV Meridian
KM Thanet Extra
Thanet Gazette and Thanet Times
Your Thanet/Kent on Sunday
Local Government Association

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thanet Earth–Insight into the Unite's campaign

I often get the impression that many readers don't understand or literally haven't a clue of what little protection if any, workers in some parts of business and private sector have, in fact I was surprised recently when a Labour councillor contacted me, concerning Unite's campaign highlighting working conditions and practices at Thanet Earth ( I didn't realise there was anyone left in Labour who cared about working people).

I was happy to forward contact details of Unite's organiser, whom I notice has sent me an email updating me on their campaign against Thanet Earth's working conditions, Unite's protest includes publicity stunts such as mob events in supermarkets and sending a man dressed as a tomato to M&S's shareholders meeting, reported by the Telegraph as it happened on the Telegraphs website with this gem

"16.02 Unite protesters shouting about employment conditions at a tomato glasshouse in Kent get their fifteen minutes of fame. A man dressed as giant tomato asks about working conditions.
Robert Swannell looks genuinely rattled when answering giant tomato man's question. Decades of wheeling and dealing in the City clearly didn't prepare him for arguing with people in massive fruit costumes in front of 2,000 pensioners. Tsk.

Looking at Thanet Earth, there do seem to be issues that need addressing beyond those alleged by Unite, which include hostility to union organisation, bullying, bribery, denial of pay & holiday pay. I myself would like to know why so few staff are local around the time of opening, I personally witnessed long cues to register for work, my experience was that many local people were happy to work there, despite the low pay, evidenced by the then boss of Thanet Earth who was quoted by KRN as saying this “We wrote to 350 people who expressed an interest in working for Thanet Earth and 217 are coming for interviews. also reporting "Recruitment consultant Marta Kozlowska could not believe her eyes when she turned up for work at the new Kent Staff office in Ramsgate to see an orderly queue outside the door. She said: “There was a queue of 30 to 40 people waiting for us to open. Over the two days we had about 110 applications for work, 95 per cent of which were English, at Thanet Earth.

Still there are two sides to any story and Thanet Earth are adamant that Unites accusations are, lets say unfounded. Of course in using agencies to provide staff clearly there is an area for confusion, Thanet Earth cannot answer for the agencies and so in the interest of balance, I rung one of those agencies and I have to say the person I spoke with seemed genuine enough in confirming that there was no foundation to claims that they didn't adhere to the law.

Anyway if you'd like to know more about Thanet Earth a new blog is available here also via the sidebar and of course if you'd like the facts from Thanet Earth click here hopefully you will be able to judge for yourself, and in the interest of fairness I suggest you take my views as being personal and as a result inevitably my own.
Irrespective of the rights and wrongs of this local issue, in my view the protection and rewards for agency workers in agriculture, and food processing industries are abysmal in comparison with those in other industries and sectors. If food producers are squeezed to a point where they cannot pay a living wage something is seriously wrong. Unite seem to be about the only people interested in workers getting a fair deal.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kent Police take part in Westminster Demo

67 Police officers from Kent are off on a day out, to take part in a "Day of Action" in Westminster which will involve over 2,000 off duty police officers demonstrating their concern over proposed cuts to police service budgets, a particular worry seems to be over pay.

Life is tough for everybody just now, in the business and private sector people have been suffering for some time, the money has run out. The public sector and the police are part of the same economy so why should they be different, maybe they ought to show some flexibility on pay and conditions, which might allow fewer job losses.

Anyway lets hope there's none of the normal unpleasantness which accompanies demonstrations in London, I don't suppose we will see any of that Kettling nonsense or illegal arrests, assaults and searches some of which Kent Police have indulged in themselves.

Police officers on the front line, do a tough job, and of course they should get paid accordingly which is currently the case, most people are unfortunately going to get poorer over the next few years, we all need to adjust, including the police.

Click Here to view a Guardian filmed report on a rather disturbing and heavy handed Kent Police operation.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Craven politicians make Rupert Murdoch what he is

In my mind what makes the "Murdoch media" dangerous is the way politicians have allowed an open door policy to Rupert Murdoch. Quite why you would entertain an 80 year old, in your new home, the morning after you become Prime Minister is beyond me,  unless they happened to be in a "confused state"  or owned the lions share of British media (Murdoch was seen leaving by the back door of No.10).

Of course Cameron was not the first, to bend over for Murdoch, hopefully he will be the last, Tony Blair, was happy to bask in the light of the Sun's endorsement, which might explain why Labour did nothing to curb Murdoch's dominance of the UK media, I cannot understand how for instance Sky which Murdoch is already a significant shareholder is able to hold what is effectively a monopoly of subscription based broadcast media in much of the country.

Still for enlightenment I strongly advise you read this from the Mail, if you need convincing that Murdoch is unfit to own any more of the countries media, consider the cavalier manner in which the News of the World, was closed, two hundred plus staff thrown to the wolves and a British institution gone, for what, a move that was meant to convince us, that senior management know nothing and had any moral scruples.

Finally every day seems to reveal more, last week in Parliament much was disclosed concerning the involvement of James Murdoch and Rebekah Brooks and what they knew, as I see it, the only reason Rebekah has her job still, is because when she goes who will be next, I'm old enough to remember Watergate still that only involved a president, a press baron is tougher because they can manipulate public opinion unless of course they start closing down their own papers. Hopefully some time soon when Murdoch rings a politician they'll be in a position to tell him to F*** Off!

PS That's my personal view, and I'd add this, Murdoch had  to become a US citizen, in order to acquire a large share of American media, can someone tell me why foreigners are allowed such large sway in this country. Murdoch is still smiling at the moment but just how long does he think the establishment are going to allow him power since the public have finally woken up.

Friday, July 08, 2011

Thanet Blogs how are we doing

You cannot help but be a little competitive, blogging, on occasion its worth standing back and accessing things so using an independent source here's how things stack up according to Wikio as of todays date with a cross reference to Google PageRank.

Bignews Margate 902 4
ThanetOnline 1209 3
Thanet Star 1462 4
Thanet Press Releases 1484 2
Thanet Life 1523 3
Thanet Coast 2140 3
Promote Thanet 4115 3

I have to fess up at this point, last month when I looked at my ranking it didn't look too good, so I didn't bother to tally the standings, as you might appreciate I do this for fun not to highlight my short comings of which there are many.

Still that said, on my previous posting local blogger, and purveyor of tasteful exotic photography, Peter Checksfield, has taken to berating me for not commenting on Tesco's development on Margate front, well the answers simple, do one Peter (by that I mean do your own blog on the subject).I work long hours, and can only do so much, so Peter stop playing with your camera and get creative.TescoValueMargate
Us bloggers do this stuff for various reasons, me to infuriate those who rule us, from politicians to jobsworths and all those Muppets in-between.

Still perhaps the best for me is knowing, that while I have limited talents, my original catalyst for doing Bignews (please note one word, wot I made up) Margate, was hearing Simon Moores wittering on about his blog at some public meeting.

In fact it's some joy to realise that Moores, such a talent!, who I find quite er..... ,  qualified that's the word, Doctor! Marines! Pilot! Security! Ex Teacher, Ex SDP?, Ex Labour adviser?,reborn Tory Councillor,  Airborne advertising hoarding even journalist, is not rated as highly as myself in the ranks of Thanet's bloggerati.

I appreciate some of you will feel I'm being harsh, re Moores but one other thought and this is why I mention Cllr Moores, he has access to council information, he and his Tory colleagues in Thanet council have blocked access to council information and even wanted to create a council blogging policy.

Blogging is also about the freedom to express, and enquire about stuff, without and this is the most important, being edited, controlled or censored.

None of us have to read blogs and that's all you really need to know, if it's crap we just move along.

Thursday, July 07, 2011

James Murdoch lets staff take the wrap

It seems that Murdoch, in closing the News of the World, is making journalists take the can for News International and its immoral and illegal activities of NOTW, I find it incredible that senior management did not know about journalists practices and I be surprise if that was not a majority opinion.

I'd a guess that News International are very cynical people and will probably publish a new Sunday paper, employing staff on lower pay and poorer conditions, also the fear engender by this will keep journalists in line when dealing with the Murdoch's.

A look at the Sun newspaper today shows you all you need to know the Murdoch business practice, the story is almost hidden on the front page, you have to turn to pages 6 & 7 to find any information, presumably editorial staff don't wish to upset Murdoch.

The News of the World tainted as it is, forms part of the British Sunday as much say as the roast dinner, News International have in my opinion shown scant regard for British life, which to be honest is why Rupert Murdoch and his family should not be allowed any further influence than they already have in British media.


Wednesday, July 06, 2011

LinkedIn an error perhaps

I should have taken this advice from Groucho Marx "I would not join any club that would have someone like me for a member."

I recently had an invite to connect with someone who'd joined LinkedIn, in a moment of madness I thought why not? to be honest, I've being doing some night shifts, which particularly at this time of year, have a tendency to result in a diminished clarity of thought.

To blog itself to many must be an indicator of crankiness, but by the same token reading such drivel, must also be a bit nutty.

Anyhow LinkedIn is sort of niche Facebook, which appeals in my mind to those who crave social acceptance, recognition and a wish to be loved, hence my rash action in signing up.

Possibly as a result of a lack of sleep, my biggest error was clicking the button "contact those you already know" which a few buttons/seconds later despatched emails begging those you know and those you once sent an impertinent email filled with demands for action on all sorts of things.

Not surprisingly one councillor who comes in the both categories has had the good sense to blackball me, which leaves me with the dilemma, should they ring me again do I tell them to F    Off or just forget about it, most likely the later.

One email I had forgotten was one sent to county councillors at a time that I believe Kent County Council, were trying to stop me criticising Kent TV, after I took exception to KCC apparently promoting at Taxpayers expense the shadowy world of  Freemasonry (Dec 2007) so these people are in unlikely to wish to be associated.

Just as a slight side step Kent County Council are still promoting at your expense Freemasonry, which some including me believe is outrageous, masons will defend themselves by going on about how they give to charity, what they keep quite quiet however is, loyalty to fellow members which clashes with norms of business and law.(More on this later).

So anyway an apology to anyone having received an email from me, my computer and LinkedIn who's still thinking who the hell is Tony Flaig. Despite making little effort with Facebook maybe I shall invest some energy with LinkedIn, and embark on a bit of social climbing.

Courtesy of you the taxpayer delivered by Kent County Council the one organisation I wont be joining.

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

If you object to Murdoch's Media Takeover

Frankly I never have understood how or why Rupert Murdoch's media operation was ever allowed to reach such dominance. For me it's a question of national security to have a press not dominated by a single foreign owner, who presumably has no loyalty or connection to our nation its laws or democracy.

The emerging scope of the News of the World's techniques in news gathering are a clear indication that we should. as a nation, consider whether we ought to be more circumspect.

Any how if you follow this link too an organisation about people power, you will find help in registering your objection.

Monday, July 04, 2011

KCC–Local Board meeting what is the point?

Just a heads up, tomorrow your local county councillor, may well be in attendance at Thanet Local Board Meeting, a chance for you to see what if anything your Kent councillor does for the money.

For those who are unfamiliar, these meetings are pretty much in line with other KCC public relations events, generally a lot of puff and nothing too controversial, one item on the agenda is Cllr Graham Gibbons explaining changes to Adult Services, for changes you can probably insert swingeing cuts.

Assuming you can last through Cllr Gibbons presentation,  Chris Wells, will explain what's happening with children's services, what I'm fairly sure you wont hear is the explanation, as to the cause of Kent Council allowing children to put at risk.

I suspect that should anyone dare ask, as to how things got so bad, they might well hear a lot of robust bluster, which was certainly the case not to far back at another meeting.

Asking who was responsible for the failings has been characterised as "blame" and I believe  that favourite of politicians challenged by an awkward question, has also been used, that is to accuse the enquirer of being "political".

How Kent Council managed to place the lives of children, at risk, is a legitimate question for no other reason than making sure it doesn't happen again. Imagine if air accidents were treated similarly.

What are KCC hiding ?

As I say Kent Council are masters of public relations, a little while back the Isle of Thanet Gazette reported how despite making cuts, Kent council have money for the things that matter to them, like £74,000 for image advice to managers, given the amount of managers on hundred grand salaries, you'd like to think they could at least dress themselves and speak clearly that's to much to expect.
Image counts people don't.