Not having time to blog having other fish to fry, as it were, I just thought that these following stories from professional sources might well provide, interesting reading.
This one for instance I assume, will not just trouble conservatives but councillors from all parties particularly those living some distance from Maidstone, it seems that in tax terms, councillors are easy pickings for HMRC who are seeking to get back taxes, for travel expenses, it's been well documented that senior tax officials are happy to accept hospitality, from large corporations, who are even more happy to rob the British economy of billions, for the price of a meal, in a swish restaurant rather than stump up tax due.
For mere mortals which includes Kent's councillors, along with you and I, businesses outside the multi-national league, who cannot afford lavish hospitality or employ armies of Tax experts and lawyers, HMRC are happy to act tough and pick off easy targets, unlike the alleged actions in writing off many millions owed to the nation by companies like vodaphone.
On a similar topic, this story concerning, Deputy Leader of Kent Council Alex King, also highlights, travel in this case, the use of a tax payer funded chauffeur driven car (15 times in a year) to take the deputy to his exclusive London Club, outrageous you might think, however I'm sure, once you understand that these trips were council business, and that lobbying guru Douglas Smith is also a member of the club and a close friend of Alex King, you'll be assuaged of any thoughts of inappropriate use of your council tax.
Finally to round up, I suggest that you read this article, which delves into the spending by KCC of £394,000 on lobbying firms, (these are the mysterious companies which communicate with politicians to sway government policy) anyhow interestingly, assuming you don't have the energy to click the link above, here's a couple key points KCC paid out £394,000 in an eleven year period to companies founded by Douglas Smith, a friend of Cllr Alex King and the former chief executive of the council (when they still had such a post) Peter Gilroy is reported to have "said he cancelled a standing contract with Westminster Advisers because he felt it "could be seen as inappropriate". Surely not!
PS I've always been of the view that Kent Council has misspent your council tax on PR, it's been a regular item on the agenda here at Bignews Margate, particular concern is the way the councils press department has often avoided engaging openly to explain our local government, perhaps a final story, which once again highlights the secretive nature of Kent Council is this one basically it refers to the case of Jane Clarke, who as former head of communications at KCC, found it necessary to take the authority to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal. Ironically once again a former employee (this time a communications expert) has agreed a confidential settlement and we the taxpayers are left wondering what KCC couldn't allow us the taxpayer to know.
Of course Conservative councillors will no doubt sight confidentiality and all that, as a reason, for doing yet another secret deal with a former employee but what conclusion can we the public draw other than the former communications director was unfairly dismissed, or why else would the council be giving our money away, and further we can all be forgiven for thinking just what are the conservative administration hiding?
I think the public interest outweighs any need for confidentiality in this last matter, clearly the former employee accepted that her claim for unfair dismissal would find its way into the public domain, during a tribunal, so what possble reason could there be for confidentiality, other than hiding some embarrassment to Kent's Conservative council.