Thursday, January 10, 2008

Who matters

Just a casual couple of observations on Thanet councils propaganda magazine Thanet Matters, apologies for the late review but for some reason my copy never gets delivered, despite TDC bunging around six thousand pounds for every copy or more for this delightful journal.

So apart from having to pick this up from our genetically modified library/council offices first thing I query the objectivity of its reporting, in a piece of unashamed backslapping from the authors, praise is heaped on the council, after the awarding of some car park accolade from the Association of Chief Police Officers( don't they have criminals to catch or pay bargaining to do) . The car park is as safe as it is because council employees like any other motoring community are quite territorial about the car parking to the extent the public are excluded from using the car park all week.

Secondly on the back-page in the panel entitled “Thanet District Council – your representatives" some of the faces look vaguely familiar, have I seen them in some institution, then after checking I realize, their all Tories, no doubt there is some logical reason for the lack of biodiversity, perhaps there are so few Labour and others that show them in the same panel would distort the make up of the council. I just hope this isn't a case of looking after your own, as we see from Kent council with its somewhat unrepresentative squandering of tax payers money.

If like me your copy of "Thanet Matters" went straight to landfill or over the fence on some waste ground. Click here for a PDF copy


  1. Tony,

    As one who is depicted, I would point out that these are 'Broadstairs' District Councillors, and since May 2007, Labour have been a bit 'Thin on the Ground' in the town. (Although at Town Council they do have a few good Councillors)

    Next Thanet Matters will have a different area, and you may well see some of the 'Red Brigade'

  2. Ken thank you for that.

    Well maybe that could have been made clearer, admittedly I was fairly sure that a reason would emerge as to their appear to be such a blatant bias.

    Still the abuse of taxpayers money being given away to council employees in the form of free parking continues to stink, and will until such time as its resolved.

  3. Tony,
    It has always been the council's policy to 'Advertise' Councillors pictures and contact details in Thanet Matters, done on an area by area basis. Perhaps its time to tell everyone again?.

    With regard to the 'Free Parking' for council employees, it is a taxable perk, and as we pay lower wages than other local authorities in east kent, it can sometimes be a cheap 'hook' to make the mind up of a quality member of staff that is considering going elsewhere.

  4. Mill Lane houses the many Council worker's cars and has thus had alot of money spent on it due to adjacent vincinty to the Council offices. If it was not solely for this purpose?? presumably less resources would have been spent on it and it would have not won an award. College Sq car park seems too far for council workers to walk to, and look at the state of it!!!!

  5. Anon 8 27

    Mill lane is for all to use, it was refurbed under the terms of it's lease. College Square is not owned or leased by the council, all we are contracted to do is to police it, ie issue tickets and collect the money.

  6. Mill Lane carpark is full of Council permit holders and there are very few spaces for the general public!!
    Ratepayers have paid twice, firstly for the upgrade of the car park and secondly for the subsidy for council worker's free parking permits, everyone else has to pay to park ie 240p per day!! And the council has the front to boast about Mill Lane....

  7. I think these magazines are a problem.

    Not just here in Thanet but in other places I have lived the Council produces a magazine, thereby fulfiling its duty to communicate with the people.

    But when it comes through the door it looks like a load of other glossy marketing literature otherwise known as junk mail - and is put staight into the recycling bin.

    It becomes quite a problem if that is the only way the council communicate. I remember attending a public event run by Hackney council - because it was part of my job as an NHS employee at the time.

    No members of the public turned up. The glossy mag. equivalent of Thanet Matters in East London was the only source of advertising - which is equivalent to no advertising.

    I think the local newspapers are more widely read as is the internet, these days. Obviously, the council should not rely on only one method of communication.

    I think -advertising the local councillors - and a lot of the other content of the magazine could problable be done on the TDC website and perhaps through notice boards strategically placed in Council buildings (and or libraries?).

    Not via a glossy mag through my door.

  8. College Sq car park, I understand is leased to Somerfields from KCC. Why has TDC not done more to press the leaseholder and freeholder to do something about this eyesore, maybe it is more interested in collecting revenue and has little influence in KCC. The Thanet Times this week has an article about grafitti with a picture of the welcoming garffiti on approaching the car park which says " Welcome to Hell" this about sums up the state of the car park. It is a bad advertisement for the town and visitors must have reservations about leaving their cars etc. TDC must take some responsibity for the state of the carpark, and surely also Community Wardens etc can police it better?

  9. Awaiting Ken Gregory's reply to Jan' 17 comment...Welcome to Hell still welcomes people to the carpark!!