‘Kent TV is a waste of our tax money’
£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.