Tuesday, September 30, 2008


I'm no doubt considered to be a moaning old git, so to redress the balance here are some photos of Margate this Sunday, looking good despite the on-going improvements, I'm sure the M25 was quicker, were do they get these contractors?

I would just like to point out as I have mentioned before, the harbour arm is well worth a stroll paritcularly if the IOTA gallery is open, also you can nip into Droit house and see what's occurring.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Quick Update on Northdown House

Bit busy at the moment so this is all your getting a copy of my Email to our (Thanetonians) top local government employee Richard Samuel.

26 September 2008 13:58

Hi Richard Samuel

I am increasing concerned about the conduct of Thanet Council, concerning Northdown House, in particular the lack of any clear information as to this property's future, could you clarify the situation, is the building to be boarded up as the local paper the Gazette reported (Paul Moore informing Iris Johnson), just what is the situation. I just wonder whether as chief executive you could find out.

regards tony flaig - blogger Bignews Margate

Unfortunately unlike me (generally), Richard Samuel doesn't often do replies or answering taxpayers at least in my experience , so I received an email via the "Business Manager" informing that Brian White Head of Development services would be on the case.

Just what the hell Development services might be I suppose, is somewhat irrelevant, still today I receive a reply of sorts, which didn't hit the spot for me or explain anything much either in my opinion. Incidentally I cannot confirm or deny which if any TDC employee sent this since there happens to bee all kinds of legalese about disclosure etc and other bull.

Thank you for your e-mail of 26 September. Because my responsibilities include Asset Management, it is appropriate for me to reply on behalf of the Council. The position is that, as agreed by Cabinet in August, further legal advice is being taken, and thereafter public consultation will take place.

I don't know about you but this clarifies nothing, are they going to board up the house in December, turn it into palatial office accommodation for the upper echelons of Thanet's office wallahs, or flog it off to one those spivs, (also known as Developers in these parts).

The terrible truth is that if a first you don't succeed consult the public again, and if you've sorted out the legal angles at god knows what cost, then consult and ignore because that's usually the way.

ps Maybe the district auditor could ask TDC why in hard times they have stopped earning revenue from this asset.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Just what are the facts Mr Ezekiel?

Sandy Ezekiel once again addresses the issue of China Gateway in this weeks Gazette, in vague terms, he goes on about fiction being put out about China Gateway project.

Of course like everyone else who supports China Gateway, he seems, not particularly forthcoming with facts himself, particularly on the central issue for most in Thanet, jobs.

Suggestions that China is about to export manufacturing jobs seems to me to be ludicrous, I'm sure that for manufacturing business built on a solid foundation of poverty and slave wages, the thought of paying Europeans to produce at maybe 20 times plus is just crazy.

In short the jobs argument does not stack up.

Maybe if CGP or Sandy or Ladyman could point to one job to be created then they might get the public on side.

Maybe for balance if your not too sure on this issue, you might like to read what Roger Gale has had to say on the subject ( also as far as I know neither he or his constituency party have accepted £25,000 ) .

Its clear if there was the slightest evidence, or good jobs or any jobs the public would be supportive. I travel most days to London, if a living wage was available locally I'd be happy to reclaim 4 hours of my day.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


Just how Kent police happened to run up a humongous six mill bill for policing the Kingsnorth Power Station, climate change demo is really a matter for the tax payer and senior police management (assuming that's the right word).

Personally I reckon the fraud squad need to take gander at this one, was it necessary for Kent police to draft in hundreds of extra coppers, to police this event, the rather heavy handed policing which looked, not unlike, the treatment giving to law abiding citizens, during the miners strike, when a conservative government rightly or wrongly decided to ignored civil liberties and the law, in order to keep the lights on.

Did Kent police have to have a helicopter, airborne for hour upon hour, placing a bliming great big police carbon boot print, in the skys above the Hoo peninsular, I reckon the operation to protect the power station was over the top and poorly judged.

Just a digression flicking through photos of this years Margate's Big Event I noticed in one of my pics the Kent Police Boat, Princess Alexandra III, parked about a half mile off the beach, presumably it wasn't there on some jolly for senior officers or anything (Still I reckon they'd of had a cracking view of the air display), one can only assume it was a mere coincidence, probably dealing with local terrorist or worse still tree huggers, not sure just why those on board were so interested in what was occurring along the cliff tops though.

The bill as I said around six mill, but that's not all, here's a quote from a spokesman "Furthermore, there are other costs to consider, such as ongoing legal costs from any litigation or claims that may take some time to reach a conclusion" lets hope those who bumped into police riot shields aren't making spurious claims, dear o dear.

Read KM (whilst its still with us)

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


I'm busy this week but a couple of things I'd like to expand on, come to mind as I chomp through dinner, one why can't Thanet council come clean on Northdown House which remains a mystery despite some councillor (who was going to retire but didn't) suggesting it will close at end of the year, as Thanet Leisure force have declined to take bookings for 2009, seemingly ignoring the fact that Thanet Leisure Force who operate Northdown House, currently cannot take bookings for the building because some council bright spark has not told them whether the property will be available or not.

Even more disturbing is the rumour that the ever expanding population of council bureaucrats will soon inhabit the lower floors of the building, perhaps taking the suggestion that I made recently that senior dib dobs at the council could live out their fantasy's of self importance at Northdown House, depriving the local community of a great facility for weddings & parties etc (also ignore the whooping great big hole in finances bought about by one can only assume poor decisions) .

Housing do we have enough or what, well its or what I'm afraid, Thanet council seem hell bent on bending over once again for their mates in the construction industry, not happy with the agreement to build an 1100 home housing estate with no adequate transport infrastructure at Westwood Cross they are going to compound this already grisly plan by allowing a further 700 home in the adjacent field, according to Steve Ladyman this proposal "looks like sheer madness" and lord knows, he should know, since I seem to remember only a few days ago, Ladyman could not do more, to promote that other controversial development China Gateway, still Thanet South Labour would probably know why?

Just on the Thanet Gateway its not just Labour politicians like Ladyman who are in favour this grotesque charade in wealth creation, Sandy and Roger went on a trip last year, but none of these politicians have been able to point to any credible job creation (OR GIVE FACTS) . Even more surprising is thatCGP don't appear to have any credible information either, which if this was the big opportunity they might claim, they'd be only too willing to tell us to help get positive support surely?

One last thought Kent Highways which has a massive advertising and squander campaign running in the local media, has yet to provide adequate roads into Thanet, or even any credible plan to alleviate the chaos at Westwood, just how any of these big developments will function is beyond me and even further from the minds of our local planners.

Well that's all folks!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Thought for the week - Manufacturing Art

Damien Hirst has this week managed to trouser 111million less one assumes commission and tax, for a mish mash of butterfly paintings, dead flies and pickled animals, 218 items created (do they mean manufactured) from his six studios (should that be factories) in two years, specifically for auction at Sotherby's.

I'm no connoisseur, and in all honesty I tend to be fairly conservative as far as art goes, yes I do actually visit galleries, much to Mrs Me's annoyance, and had chance to take a butchers or should be a fishmongers at one of his pickled sharks in New York in February, stupidly I asked whether it would be OK, if I could take a picture, apparently not. I cannot see that you would actually be infringing any intellectual property rights, since even a pickled shark happens to be one of natures creations rather than art. Suffice it to say the fish didn't look to keen on its predicament and to be honest I though it looked rather unhealthy still what do I know.

Just as a sort of postscript to the extraordinary price placed on the Hirst Brand of pickles according to a report in some papers including the guardian, a painting by Damien of a cat done when he was seventeen as a favour to his girlfriend has been deemed worthless as according to journalist Ian Johnstone "because the family pet was not sawn in half, suspended in formaldehyde or even dead".

Why the photo of Canary Wharf, well I quite like it, obviously the finance industry has been in the news this week as taxpayers around the world prop up banks after reckless investments and I suspect that some institutions have probably made the odd investment in art this week. Still its reassuring that some people still have the money to fill Mr Hirsts vault, I'm can't see myself swapping Tesco for Sotherby's as my preferred supplier of pickles now or in the future.

Friday, September 19, 2008

What are Sandy & Roger doing as Thanet's assets are frittered away?

You might expect a local authority to be able to look after the local heritage, but once again things Thanets valuables are at risk.

God knows we've seen what Sandy Ezekiel and Rodger Latchford are capable of and frankly its not much, purchasing the M&S building in Margate and sitting on it for a couple of years, the Tudor house rarely open, housing developments no one wants, traffic chaos,Northdown House closed, and now with Thanet museums closing, what a legacy, I seem to remember Roger Latchford briefly lifting local spirits by announcing his intention not to stand for the local council last year, maybe that was wishful thinking on my part.

Today I thought I would follow up on an email I received from Mr Latchford, regarding Northdown House which stated ".The TLF decision to cease taking bookings after 31 Dec is a matter for TLF" which is true up to a point, but as I understand the reason Thanet Leisure Force aren't taking any more bookings is the fact that Thanet Council have yet to decide what they are doing with Northdown House. Sandy & Roger need to make a decision now, every day they leave sorting out Northdown house its costing you and me money.

Revenue will now be lost because Sandy and Roger's Tory led council are incapable of making a decision and why? for one Northdown House was given to Margate council for the benefit of the community (and not so that some sleazy developer could make a fast Buck) secondly they know that apart from the legal implications of the covenants safeguarding this much loved asset there will be a massive public backlash against them if they try to flog off Northdown house.

Still whilst their scratching their heads over this one, the local economy which according to the likes of Sandy and Roger will be driven by more cultural activities will have to wait two or three years for the Turner Contemporary to open, therefore it might be reassuring to see the council do something to save Thanet museums, still I wouldn't hold your breath.

No doubt there's no money in the kitty, unless its for paying our big salaries to managers nobody would miss, Thanet Council has a chief executive and deputy chief executive, why not get rid of one, I spoke with one councillor recently who thought Thanet council could lose 10% of its staff and nobody would notice.

Why not have our Tory council that do what we expect of conservatives, that is deliver services cheaply maybe Sandy & Roger take too much advice from "officers" rather than take charge.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Kent's Grammar School system is it bent?

I've often ranted about the Kent's grammar school system, for the simple reason that I think its bent. What's my reasoning behind this, well apart from the fact, that deciding the winners and losers of public examinations years in advance by making some clumsy selection at 10, the fact many parents pay for extra tuition to help their children pass the Kent test (eleven plus) seems to make the whole process unfair.

I found tonight's report on BBC South East Today, on children receiving extra tuition quite revealing, clearly parents doshing out cash to tutors, obviously feel their buying their children an advantage and who could blame them.

As someone who had rather mediocre education, in this county I cannot help feel that I along with 75% of the school population, had a piss poor experience which I don't doubt continues today for the majority, since from the age of ten, competition and aspiration is taken away by Kent's third rate politicians.

Ask yourself this if Kent's education systems is so good, how come most of Britain gets along with a comprehensive educations system, which produces better results. The way I see it is the grammar school is set up in Kent by conservatives, to give the well heeled a better education system.

If you would like to see the report that I refer click here. Finally if you need extra tuition in what's wrong with Kent keep reading Bignews Margate, I promise free education at the click of your mouse and wont make you take a test or judge or send you to an inferior Blog.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Kent Tory Leader wants to encourage overseas workers

I'll make this brief since like many I had a busy weekend, and tonight is the first chance I've had to comment on Sundays papers. As ever Kent on Sunday is one paper I generally read through, since it gives a glimpse, as to what's occurring elsewhere in the county.

Now Paul Carter gets to give his opinion in this latests edition on the subject of agricultural workers, apparently he wants to see the scheme that allows foreign workers to work in farming maintained or else fiddle around with disincentives like the benefits system?

Still to me its crystal clear, particularly when I hear, from one of my acquaintances that although, his particular skills are required by a manager, for whom he has worked for in the past, his boss will only employ east European labour not because of better skills, work ethic but simply because their cheap, the fact they have to be shown how to do everything is ignored resulting in a false economy.

If the public could replace costly administrators like of Paul Carter, and large swathes of the establishment with East Europeans on minimum wage, we might see an end to all this crap about exploiting foreigners, by paying £5.52 an hour.

Farmers could solve their problems by paying living wages and being smarter rather than meaner, still many industries rely on paying poverty wages rather than looking for efficiency.

Quite simply if a business cannot afford to pay a decent wage, then they have no reason to be in business, why should ordinary people end up paying large tax bills, just so that the state can subsidise incompetent business, through tax credits and the like.

Migration policy in this country exists purely to keep vast sections of British people in poverty, and to hell with any national interest. This countries population is set to rise to 77 million and what for so the countryside can be covered in concrete.

I personally have to agree, with the lone Brit I meet today working with a group of non English speakers, who said to me that we don't need all these east Europeans, and before some of my more cretinous readers, whip out the race card, I'd like point out that the guy making the observation was a British Asian, not that, that matters because for those in construction, labouring type work, ethnicity does not count when some "johnny come lately" is taking your job (my apologies for having to make some qualification but readers in the professions, management etc confuse hostility to lax migration controls & exploitation with racism).

So coming back to Paul Carter and Kents farmers try paying a decent living wage before complaining about there not being enough local labour to work in agriculture. With recession hitting low income families, we really don't need any more foreign labour, how long do ordinary people have to wait for politicians other than the far right in this country defend our own nationals.

Friday, September 12, 2008


I've a busy weekend which will probably keep me away from the keyboard, so top urgent I have despatched a grovelling apology to Adem of Thanet Bloglist (who as it happens to be a damn site more polite than myself).

Here is the text of my email "Hi Adem

I'm on my knees as I type this and not because I've broken my chair, my apologies for my outrageous attack on your good self, and the Thanet bloglist,

If I had sack cloth I would be wearing it now, Again my sincere apologies

Cheers all the best tony flaig"


A new website has been launched SAY NO TO CHINA GATEWAY with links and information about this hideous development which will ruin Thanet, for ever if you don't get involved.

Have a nice weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008


As a public service, other than my waffle please find press information from those not to keen on contaminated water, massive lorry parks, warehouses, and vague promises from politicians.

For background on the protest this Kent Online report is worth a gander and also carries a video report of Tuesdays meeting.

Received on Wednesday


A packed public meeting in Broadstairs voted unanimously to demonstrate against the controversial China Gateway project.

Campaigners claim that the plan, a huge warehousing development to store Chinese electronic goods, will destroy 175 acres of Thanet’s countryside, threaten Thanet’s drinking water, and bring traffic chaos.

Meeting organiser Christine Tongue was amazed by the turnout for the meeting.

She said “Large numbers of people couldn’t get into the building. It just shows the strength of feeling against the China Gateway plan.

“Speaker after speaker attacked the project, and not one person spoke in its favour.”

Thanet Council will decide whether to give go-ahead to the project on October 9th. Before then campaigners plan to “bombard” their councillors with protests and to organise demonstrations against the plan.

Christine, producer of the much-praised “Thanet Under Threat” documentary film, which was shown across the isle last year, said that people seemed angry about the proposal, which has been covered in the investigative magazine “Private Eye”.

“China Gateway is being promoted as a source of jobs for local people but the only example of a similar scheme, in Dubai, has resulted in no employment for local people whatsoever,” Christine said.

“The developers and Chinese businesses may make money out of this – but it will be the people of Thanet who will be the losers.

“It’s our countryside they’re planning to concrete over, our landscape they’re going to scar. We can’t let them get away with this.”

Another meeting has been called to organise action against the new development. “Anyone who has any ideas about what we can do or simply wants to help should come along,” Christine said. “Time is short and there’s much to be done.”

The meeting will be held at 7.30pm on Tuesday September 16that the Red Hall, 11 Grosvenor Road, Broadstairs. For more details telephone Christine on 01843 604253 or email inmeds@yahoo.co.uk

I will also post up more later.


A couple of weeks of senior figures, announcing their departure from important posts at Kent Council, must be of some concern to those of us who live in Kent. Tuesday an announcement was made concerning the retirement of Graham Badman Managing Director of Children, Families and Education a highly respected and important figure in education and childrens services.

Now people come and go from any organisation, but since education is one of those core areas that we expect the best, from our county council, this must be a time to ask Paul Carter & Peter Gilroy, what's occurring.

The point is that, as I mentioned in the space of a couple of weeks education has seen its cabinet head Chris Wells resign, two of its directors leave taking early retirement, and now the Graham Badman retire, which surely cannot benefit Kent's kids.

As someone who knows little about these matters, its a little disturbing to see such a significant loss of top management in as I say one of the core functions of local government, if I were referring to some of Kent Councils mission creep areas (things KCC doesn't need to involve itself, but does) like temp agencies, bus companies, health watch call centres and of course Kent TV* then who would give a second thought.

I'll leave you with these words from Chris Wells, who has until couple of weeks ago worked closely with Graham Badman

Working with Graham, with his hard earned national reputation, and forthright advice, was undoubtedly one of the best elements of being a Cabinet Member. His insight, motivation, and energy are an exemplar for us all. His ability to make, and win, a case with government is something few can, or will, live up to. It is chiefly because of Graham’s work that Kent’s educational reputation is at an all time high.

In particular he has worked constantly not only to raise the standards of education for the young people of our county, and to make all aware of the consequences of poverty and deprivation, but also to create an effective working directorate of combined education and children’s social services. He has assimilated the two elements brilliantly, and they are now ready for full and proper integration, in line with the vision of the 2004 Children Act, and as envisaged when Children Families and Education was originally formed. Kent are ahead of many of the national attempts to achieve this goal, and we must all be wary of any move from siren voices to take us back to separation of responsibility for child safety, and the silo approaches of the past.

I know that Graham’s talents will be in much demand, and I am sure we will all hear much from him again, in other roles, in the future. I wish him well, and will miss both his accurate advice and wicked sense of humour.’

* In referring to Kent TV I do mean any contractor paid for by the local taxpayer to provide service purely KCC


Not compatible with earlier Northdown House stories

Just a quick one and at the time of writing I'm waiting more information, it now seems that Thanet Leisure Force who operate leisure facilities on behalf of the council, have decided not carry on taking bookings for the venue and local treasure.

Not quite sure about the details on this but isn't Leisure Force owned by the council?

From email received today "The TLF decision to cease taking bookings after 31 Dec is a matter
for TLF"

I cannot reveal my source since the bit on bottom suggests should I do so, TDC Rottweillers will be unleashed.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Ladyman untroubled by China Gateway?

BBC tonight carried a somewhat small report, on China Gateway, for the people of Thanet we had Norman Thomas the main speaker from last nights meeting in Broadstairs, to discuss the issue and opposing Stephen Ladyman, who seemed blissfully unaware of the environmental impact on Thanet, the thousands of additional road traffic movements, the contaminated water supply and the fact that since we understand, these Chinese businesses will mainly be distributions centres with few jobs.

Still what would Ladyman know, presumably Thanet South Labour party have many reasons to back the scheme, no prises for guessing the correct number, it almost looked as if Ladyman was er .......... reluctant for some reason even to consider that local residents might have valid fears.

My personal reasons for objecting to this China Gateway are despite the generousity & hospitality being splashed around toward politicians Labour and Tory, none of them seem to have learnt enought to give us any facts, fortunately there are those who will fill the gap, local bloggers, newspapers and last nights group are the ones that will keep you informed.

I think if BBC South East, had given this item, maybe another couple of more minutes the public would have known more and it would have exposed Ladymans lose grip on his knowledge of this major issue and also his interest in his own constituency.

Still in fairness where the hell's Roger Gale, in all this?

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

China Gateway Meeting

Tonight's China Gateway meeting arranged by Chrisitine Tongue, with Norman Thomas chairing ( I think if thats the right term) was jam packed, I count myself as one of the lucky ones, since I was close to the door at the back, able to hear what was being said but also in the cooler air, since when I did managed to barge my way in, it was too damn hot.

I can't spend more that five minutes on this, but needless to say I tony flaig had to pipe up, and give my opinion and it is this,information is power and I reckon they need a focal point since their is so much information to digest and many to do it, and yes I did suggest they start a blog but hopefully a bit better than this one, more on the model of the Save Wye campaign.

The thing is I will not be using a keyboard for much of the day mostly, in my line of work it will be a shovel, hammer, bar and specialist rail tools, but if I can influence opinion that ought to be easy for this group since there are plenty of articulate angry people in Thanet.

That's it I'm not even going to read through this to edit, any errors then its just tough titties!
Posted by Picasa

Update Thanet Council Still no answer!

Copy of email sent to Rodger Latchford

Hi Rodger Latchford

As an observer of local life politics and business, I was shocked to learn that, according to the Isle of Thanet Gazette, that Northdown House is apparently to be boarded up, in December.

Now there seems to considerable confusion over the future for Northdown House, not least from the council, on one hand I'm assured I think by yourself that no decision has been made, surprising since when I contacted to Leisure Force they seem quite clear that they are no longer to take bookings for the House after December 31st.

If no decision has been made why stop taking bookings! Could this be some clumsy excuse around March " We have no income therefore we'll have to sell" ?

Anyway I've lived round here for fifty years, and consider this Northdown house to be part of our local heritage.

Maybe you could explain the haste and confusion?

Regards tony flaig blogger Bignews Margate

Now to be fair to Rodger Latchford it does contain the odd error etc including an ommision in as much as " Now there seems to considerable confusion" I missed out the word be.

Any how just how long does it take for Thanet council to come up with a definitive answer.


I've also contacted or attempted to contact Richard Samuels Deputy as the man himself is on holiday.

Thats all for now as I'm off to see what's occuring at this China Gate meeting in Broadstairs if I can find it!

Monday, September 08, 2008

NORTHDOWN HOUSE Council haven't got a Scooby

Confusion reigns over Northdown House, according to Thanet council media bods, they haven't a clue, they claimed the house will not be boarded up after December, which will obviously be news to Cllr Iris Johnson and top ish council boss Paul Moore who according to the Gazette confirmed the building would be boarded up.

Anyway I thought I'd make a quick call to Thanet Leisure Force and see what they knew well, since they arrange all the bookings, they should know and they do, its bad news I'm afraid, as they have been instructed to take no more bookings after December.

Earlier in the day I rang Cllr Rodger Latchford (Deputy) who was unable to answer his phone at the time, later he rang me back, apparently mid meeting, to ask who I was and what I wanted, once I introduced myself he seemed a tad disappointed (can't think why), yes he knew who I was and I understood him to say that nothing had been decided regarding Northdown House.

Anyway I'm sure once he is out of the meeting he'll give me another ring. Don't know if I should bring up the subject of China Gate? My final thought is that they'll tell us whats going on when they've come up plan to sell Northdown House off that isn't so bleeding obvious.

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Northdown House, we are told in the local media will shortly be boarded up, simply because Thanet Council, are not capable of safeguarding our heritage or assets.

Not surprising when the local council lead by Sandy Ezekiel and his deputy Roger Latchford, found nearly 5 million pounds two years ago to purchase Margate's former Marks & Spencer building, which is currently valued at a more realistic 2 million pounds approx.

Apparently the only thing stopping the council from flogging this to the first third rate developer who comes along, are legal arguments from descendants of James Irvine Hatfeild, who gave the property to Margate in 1937, for the benefit of the community, not so 71 years later the council could make a quick buck, to make up for a multi-million pound lash up elsewhere. I hope that if Thanet council cannot use Northdown house for the benefit of the community, they at least have the decency to return the property to the family of James Hatfield.

I'm angry, so should you be, Sandy Ezekiel, Roger Latchford and the rest of the conservative group ought to take a hard look at the legacy they'll leave, which will mainly be Thanet under concrete.

Friday, September 05, 2008



Just how careless can you get, thinking of Lady Bracknell for a second, between them Paul Carter Leader of Kent Council and his man Peter Gilroy, have some how managed to have lose two cabinet members and now in the space of two days Adam Wilkinson Managing Director of Environment & Regeneration resigned yesterday, and now today from Children, Families and Education department, Marilyn Hodges (Director of Strategy, Policy and Performance) and colleague Carol Parsons (Director of School Standards and Achievement) have accepted early retirement.

Blimey lets just hope next week doesn't start with anyone suffering from Monday morning blues.


Without prejudice
Before I proceed I have to make clear for legal reasons that all of the following comments concern KENT COUNTY COUNCIL project not any supplier contractor or even media company or their staff who unlike their bosses are sufficiently intelligent to distinguish between fair comment and defamation.

Article 10: Freedom of Expression

(1) Everyone has the right of freedom of expression. This right shall include freedom to hold opinions and to receive and impart information and ideas without inference by public authority and regardless of frontiers. This Article shall not prevent States from requiring the licensing of broadcasting, television or cinema enterprises.

I point this out since I had some er rather heavy handed correspondence from a council contractor, I'd like to say that, my rights were fiercely defended by the local authority however this from Chief Executive Peter Gilroy " I really have nothing further to add to what the Leader, Paul Carter, said to you in his email of 4 July, that in the end **** **** are an independent company acting on the advice of their lawyers" doesn't cut the mustard for me.

Any how just a quick reminder that two Governors post are available, which is something I have campaigned for, and I did think seriously about applying but since I have an instinctive dislike of political organisations funding broadcast media and I know there are those, who would probably like me to keep my mouth shut. Still I have until the 12th September change my mind .

Apart from other reasons, I've kept off commenting on Kent TV until such time as minutes from June crept on to KCC website, I believe they finally made it late August, which since I'd forgotten about was pointed out to me by a helpful reader who was also looking. Cheers!

According to minutes the last board of governors meeting only 7 were present at meeting, lets hope they weren't there just for a cup of tea an a couple of custard creams, although if you read down there were a further 3 governors in attendance, just what the distinction is between being present and in attendance I'm not entirely sure, maybe those in attendance really are just their for a cup of tea and biscuit. Any somewhere on the second page is the tricky subject of Income Generation which ought to have been titled "who's going to pay for this?"

It all looked so marvellous, just last year, this from a Kent Council Cabinet meeting of the 16th April 07

1) Income generation (see paragraph 4) may not meet expectations initially. This is low risk as we have already received significant interest in sponsorship and the company providing Kent TV will have a role in generating income.

Contrast this 13 June 2008 meeting

Income Generation: A conscious decision had been taken to step-back from income generation for the time being although there has been interest in sponsorship outside Kent.

I take that to mean minimal or no interest in advertising sponsorship whatever, so to keep Kent TV going
".... savings generated for KCC, by reducing paper publications, would allow continued funding from the Council. It was agreed that the first step has to be to get the product right and then the income/savings will follow"

I'm not happy with Kent TV, there are some positives but the news and political coverage I find..........................................................................................

This view was shared with a senior a Labour Politician who agreed...........................................

Paul Carter thinks this
"At last week's county council meeting Bob Geldof's company Ten Alps gave a presentation about Kent TV.

It's a series of online channels covering local news and features and useful information. It's run by a couple of top notch TV journalists and a board of governors who ensure its independence.

Kent TV now has lots more interactive channels like the sport, food and how to channels. It's a really interesting and easy way to find out information, everything from what to do if mum needs to go into a care home to information about recycling. You can also post up your own videos for others to watch and a "what's on" section is coming in the autumn.

No-one balks about the importance of the internet and everyone needs information about the services they are entitled to.

KCC's investment in Kent TV is small in comparison to what we spend on advertising in the local press and on printed material.

I think it's a good investment and as everyone moves away from the printed word to electronic communication it will save money in the future.

I'd like to say the 10,000 hits on Kent TV the day after the meeting were a demonstration of the interest in our monthly council meetings, but I think Kent TV's really imaginative marketing campaign was more likely the cause!

The internet is the main way that people now access information and we need to keep up with that phenomenon. Even Gordon Brown says Kent TV is a good idea.

I say….don't knock it till you've tried it."

Anyway on free speech I'll leave you with these fine words from Bob Geldoff who feels gratitude for Britain for allowing him to "get on with it and speak my mind", I wish I could say the same.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Another resignation at Kent Council

Crikey things are not looking too good in Maidstone as yet another senior figure resigns, last week Tory Leader Paul Carter had to shuffle his cabinet, as two of his county councillor colleagues realised they had more important things to be getting on with.

Today Adam Wilkinson Managing Director of Environment & Regeneration resigned for family reasons, news of which, it seems was er managed in such away that the press apparently knew before council members, who were informed later in the afternoon, emails being destpatch by Peter Gilroy's*, "Staff Officer" Mike Ballard.

It's rumoured that others are set to follow, in the coming days, maybe not every thing is quite as blooming marvelous as Paul Carter and Peter Gilroy would have us believe.

Interesting that this latest resignation is a bit of a coincidence since Cllr Roger Gough who resigned last week was cabinet member for regeneration.

*Does that make him a General?

Tuesday, September 02, 2008



As if enough money isn't spent on health administration already , KCC' latest initiative is a money wasting scheme to monitor local health services, quite why Paul Carter KCC Leader has come up with this new service, well, who knows.

Any way all I know, is that Paul Carter could be heard on radio Kent this morning telling us about a new "independant" Kent Health Watch call centre , which will allow "residents & users to raise concerns about substandard treatment in the health economy".

Well I'm thinking of setting up Kent Waste Watch, so that Kent residents of Kent can alert us to Kent Councils Five Star, er cock ups, unfortunatly Bignews Margate has rather meagre means so don't expect any fancy call centre instead you'll have to email me tonyflaig(at sign)gmail.com

Any how at this time, KCC's media centre were unable to help with a simple question of just how much is this going to cost?

I just wonder whether council officials, ever point out to Paul Carter and his ilk, that most of the public, would prefer if councils dealt with council matters like roads education libraries and that sort of thing.

**UPDATE** Just where or how you would find replacements for Paul Carter KCC Leader and Peter Gilroy Chief Executive of KCC, I'm informed (see comments) that this health "call centre" will be draining away £300,000.00 which could otherwise be used for care of the elderly, education etc. I don't know about you but for me this is a disgraceful and inept use of our money by Kent's Tory Administration, no wonder councillors would rather resign than serve in Paul Carter's Cabinet.

Just for Kent's excellent leadership, you could save the taxpayer £300,000.00 by suggest that the people of Kent, if subject to substandard medical treatment just contact the Healthcare Commission or perhaps Health Service Ombudsman who do the same job only better just a click away