Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Kent TV the jury’s out and probably in Sweden?

Here is my latest view on the saga that is Kent TV, as you will know in common with many others, I consider Kent TV to be a complete and utter waste of Taxpayers money.

Just last Friday the Corporate Policy Overview Committee discussed a document prepared by Capgemini, the document imaginatively called “Kent TV review”, now I’m no expert but hopefully my readers are able to distinguish between a well thought out objective report and polished media waffle.

A quick glance at this report is all I needed to wonder at what is the purpose of a review, is it to critically evaluate, appraise, question, or perhaps report in a manner which would please the organisation commissioning it.

Now I wouldn’t seek to promote my own view in fact I’ll remind you that in connection my comments concerning KCC’s Kent TV I have myself found myself subject to some hostility as a result.

So with that preamble, you form your own judgement but one big concern I have, must be the fact that the author of the report consulted with only 36 people of whom 16 were directly linked with Kent Council or Kent TV in addition several of the remaining 20 people consulted would have to a greater or lesser degree, links to Kent council and that artificial world of the public sector.

Mrs Trudy Dean Leader of Kent council Liberal Democrat group during last Friday’s Overview meeting, made it quite clear, that the report has a lack of meaningful figures in it and for me she’s right on the mark and gave a better report of Kent TV than the anyone else.

Still you make your own mind up click here for Capgemini Kent TV Review also click for a webcast of the meeting fast forward to 02:17.

To get some balance I contacted the author Nigel Waterson and briefly spoke with him, despite interrupting his lunch, he was kind enough to give me some context to his report and it seems that his report was balanced in context that he undertook it, as his understanding is, that whilst he spoke with “stakeholders” (which in this case predominantly means public sector bosses) rather than members of the public, its his understanding that KCC were also getting views from proles like us via some questionnaires.

Intriguingly and rather surprising I though I’d contact Tanya Oliver (Director of Strategic Development and Public Access), only to be told as I understand, that she would be out of the office till next week, apparently in Sweden along with Peter Gilroy KCC Chief Executive and I think John McGhie of Kent TV.

I assume that this means that Kent Council’s Kent TV have won the er highly prestigious award for eGovernment “in the use of information and communication technology in public services” I think the e stands for electronic although I reckon, eccentric, extraordinary, exorbitant might also be applicable.

My final thought if and when Kent TV win one of the eGovernment awards, will there be a highly charged tearful acceptance speech, from either of the local authority bods, in which, after they’ve thanked their mum and dad, they might add, that without the contribution of hundreds of thousands of Kent Taxpayers, most of whom have never heard of Kent TV (unless the read Bignews Margate) it wouldn’t have been possible which it wouldn’t.

PS I’d like to think that Kent taxpayers aren’t being saddle with the cost of hotel and accommodation but with two mill flushed down the drain that doesn’t seem likely.


  1. According to a KM FOI (todays Paul Francis blog) request the Capgemini report cost £8,000. Its may seems a lot but that amount of money does not buy a lot of a CapGemini consultants time. Maybe thats why the report did not get to the real hub of the matter, namely whether Kent TV is saving KCC money in reduced publication costs. As you know Tony, this is the boast of Mr Gilroy but its never been justified by facts and figures.
    Indeed I suspect the jolly to Sweden will cost more than the report. But KCC knew they would have to attend the event in Sweden when they entered the competition. It was a condition of entry if you were one of the 52 selected on the short list.

    Hopefully next week with pressure on budgets, with most councillors getting real and with Mr Giroy going, the decision meeting will be the last occassion KCC spend time and money on this extravagant project.

    This pilot has cost KCC a lot of staff and councillors time as well as hard cash. How can two senior staff find time to go to Sweden fot the best part of a week knowing that its future may be in doubt? Its looks like a few staff could be chopped here without affecting the frontline.

    But if the service contractor thinks the product is so good they will keep Kent TV going without us tax payers money. They could even make it a subscription service!

  2. Since Big Bob is about the only beneficiary of Kent TV, perhaps he's paying for the flights and hotels

  3. Flight are at least £900, hotel rooms about £150 per nignt, add in the taxis, food and booze and you have a tidy sum for 3 people. And for what benifit to KCC tax payers?
    What KCC budget does this come under?

    Maybe a FOI in a few weeks time will give the total.

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  5. Tony I suggest you delete Zanes blantant advert unless he sends you some cash!

  6. Tony,
    Given recent events I should warn you to check your facts about the 'jolly' to Sweden. I was at a conference in Maidstone yesterday where Peter Gilroy gave a presentation. He's definitely not in Sweden.
    Strangely though, one of the other speakers was a guy from capgemeni.

  7. I think the competition will result in all those Swedes voting for the Danish entry dead cert to win