Monday, November 28, 2011

KENT WATCH - Launch of Regional Growth Fund - Ironic choice of venue?

I see news reported in the local papers including Kent on Sunday, that "county hall chiefs" and local MP's have had an official launch, of a scheme to offer grants to local businesses in East Kent to encourage up to 5000 jobs in the area, 40 million is on the table from the billion pounds national Regional Growth Fund.

I think its fair to say that KCC have done well getting this money, however its going to be even tougher I think to realise anything like the "up to" 5000 jobs figure quoted by Kent on Sunday, and I can't help think near impossible that jobs created will be solid, if you know what I mean.

This intiative is against a backdrop of the governments attempt to face up and deal with the very real instability in the economy in which half the population live courtesy of the taxpayer in a non productive or wealth creating world supported by the remaining generative industries.

Manufacturing appears to be one of those areas of the economy that no longer employs the numbers it once did either due to improved productivity or manufacturing having moved abroad, which as I understand has been the case with Hornby Hobbies in Margate who moved production to Guangdong Province, China in the latter half of 1990's.

This week will highlight the division in our economy and society between the " haves", public sector workers go on strike, and the rest of us who create the wealth are held to ransom. And yes of course some are getting a raw deal, but without those of us in wealth creation, the public sector wouldn't exist particularly those made up jobs.   

Clearly Hornby Hobbies, like other businesses has prospered having exported manufacturing jobs, particularly those which are labour intensive, hence the suggestion of irony, in launching this scheme where KCC did, still presumably since Council Leader Paul Carter, and  Kent Cllr Kevin Lynes, (regeneration and economic development) both represent divisions in prosperous West Kent, they would be unaware of local history.

Digressing slightly, in previous times, Kent Councils top officer would turn up for such events, however I see no mention Katherine Kerswell, the current Chief of KCC, and am reassured having rung KCC's press office that everything is still hunky dory, although they didn't comment on the suggestions that Katherine Kerswell has not been seen for a while, the Kent press bod could have allayed fears of another expensive high profile departure but didn't or rather couldn't, still if the worse comes to the worse, that's another job vacancy.

Its a pity few and certainly no one in the public sector, realises how important it is to have genuine wealth creating jobs, particularly with the countrie's gas and oil running out, although it's often been suggested that the UK is in terminal decline, maybe it really is, now that this country is more reliant every day on importing energy, and earnings from intangible services such as banking, insurance look every more shaky.

Finally if the top job at KCC has suddenly become vacant, then surely Paul Carter's position as leader of the Council will be untenable and no amount of shilly shallying from the councils press/PR department can save Carter, crikey that could be another job vacancy, blimey maybe the jobs market is looking better  already.


  1. Dont hold your breath for this cash if you are a east Kent business. You could still be waiting this time next year if the government's record on the first group of bids is the norm.

    Only five of around 45 bids that were approved in April 2011 have so far had their money. The government says sign-off should take on average six weeks, but it has now been six months and most of them haven't seen the money.

  2. There are so many companies in Thanet that could do so much with this cash injection into their balance sheets.
    Thanet as we all know is just in need of that helping hand to get back up onto its feet and then we will see real sustained growth. Projects such as China Gateway,Manston Airport,Ramsgate Harbour,Dreamland revival,Faster train links and our superb road infrastructure put us at the forefront of business growth and future prosperity.
    The council need a coherent long term plan to help push forward plans that really stretch the investment and positive intentions that exist here.
    Thanet is a great place, too many people forget this fact and talk it down, but compared to anywhere else on the south coast, this is where it really could and should happen.

  3. Re Kathrine Kerswell expect an announcement on wednesday or late tomorrow afternoon

  4. After todays announcements by George Osbourne Manston will become dead in the water. Even KCC leader Paul Carter on the radio this morning failed to mention Manston as an alternative to the Thames Estuary.

    Infratil wont stand for losses for another 5 years while the feasibility takes place.

  5. Wishful thinking again 10:12? Don't you just love all these people who want to kill off every prospect of work and business Thanet ever gets. If its not close Manston it is stop trade from the Port of Ramsgate. Turner is a white elephant, but please don't knock down our lovely useless towers at Richborough. Quite unbelievable!