‘Kent TV is a waste of our tax money’

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - FAMILY CELEBRATIONS - by Paul Francis

£800,000 cost of coun­cil TV sta­tion un­der fire

PLANS by Kent County Coun­cil to spend £800,000 on an in­ter­net-based TV sta­tion have been branded a waste of money by op­po­si­tion par­ties.

Labour and Lib­eral Demo­crat county coun­cil­lors said the money would be bet­ter spent sup­port­ing other front­line ser­vices that help the el­derly and vul­ner­a­ble.

But KCC’s Con­ser­va­tive lead­ers are stand­ing by their plans, say­ing what has been dubbed “Kent TV” will help them to com­mu­ni­cate bet­ter with res­i­dents and help enage young peo­ple in the work of the coun­cil.

The in­vest­ment in the broad- band ser­vice came un­der the spot­light at KCC’s bud­get meet­ing on Thurs­day and was sin­gled out for crit­i­cism by op­po­si­tion county coun­cil­lors.

Labour said el­derly and dis­abled peo­ple fac­ing an in­crease of up to £15 a week in their home care as part of an at­tempt to save £628,000 would find it hard to take.

Cllr Les Christie (Lab) said: “Asked to make a choice be­tween pay­ing more for day care and Kent TV, I know which one I would choose.”

Lib­eral Demo­crat coun­cil­lor Dan Da­ley said: “I find it hard to un­der­stand why we can af­ford to spend £800,000 pro­duc­ing a Kent TV ser­vice when it is not a statu­tory re­quire­ment of the coun­cil. The elec­torate will not un­der­stand why we are spend­ing money on some­thing we do not want and what they re­gard as a waste of money.”

How­ever, the plan was de­fended by Con­ser­va­tive fi­nance chief Cllr Nick Chard. He said: “Kent TV is an ex­cit­ing ini­tia­tive that will bring KCC com­mu­ni­ca­tions into the mod­ern dig­i­tal age. It will show the best of Kent to a lo­cal, na­tional and in­ter­na­tional au­di­ence, as well as en­cour­ag­ing the pub­lic more in the demo­cratic process, par­tic­u­larly the younger gen­er­a­tion.”

The project was also sup­ported by for­mer KCC leader and chair­man of the Lo­cal Gov­ern­ment As­so­ci­a­tion Lord BruceLock­hart. He said: “There are too many peo­ple out there for whom gov­ern­ment as a whole is sim­ply ir­rel­e­vant. In­for­ma­tion and com­mu­ni­ca­tion is ab­so­lutely vi­tal.”

KCC has al­ready in­ter­viewed com­pa­nies who have bid to run the TV ser­vice but no de­ci­sion has yet awarded a con­tract.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.