Geldof firm wins right to run Kent TV

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - REMEMBER WHEN? - by Paul Francis

Sir Bob snaps up Kent TV con­tract

A NEW In­ter­net TV ser­vice to be launched by Kent County Coun­cil is to be op­er­ated by a com­pany run by Bob Geldof.

The county coun­cil has an­nounced that Ten Alps, which al­ready runs a num­ber of spe­cial­ist dig­i­tal and web­site ser­vices, has been awarded a two-year con­tract to op­er­ate “Kent TV”.

‘Sir’ Bob, who has had a home in Faver­sham for more than 20 years, helped found Ten Alps in 1999, said Kent TV was “a re­ally ex­cit­ing ven­ture.”

“I think it (Kent TV) is very log­i­cal and it re­ally is in­evitable. Kent County Coun­cil just hap­pens to be the first to be do­ing it. It will hap­pen ev­ery- where and it will be­come a com­monly ac­cepted medium of com­mu­ni­ca­tion.”

KCC es­ti­mates the costs of run­ning Kent TV, due to get un­der­way in Septem­ber, will be about £1.4mil­lion over two years but be­lieves a sig­nif­i­cant amount will be re­couped through ad­ver­tis­ing and pro­mo­tion.

KCC Con­ser­va­tive leader Cllr Paul Carter said: “Peo­ple now want in­for­ma­tion in all sorts of new for­mats. I be­lieve this broad­band ser­vice will con­nect with all ages and stages of life.”

Kent TV, which will be run from Maid­stone’s County Hall head­quar­ters, will broad­cast a range of pro­grammes which will be avail­able to peo­ple with broad­band.

It has faced some crit­i­cism from op­po­si­tion coun­cil­lors, who say money would be bet­ter spent else­where.

Nigel Dacre, man­ag­ing di­rec­tor of Ten Alps, said KCC should be cred­ited for tak­ing the ini­tia­tive and stressed Kent TV would not be com­pet­ing with other me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions when it came to pro­vid­ing news.

That pledge came as coun­cil lead­ers said the chan­nel would com­ply with Of­com reg­u­la­tions gov­ern­ing is­sues such as bias and par­tial­ity.

Mr Dacre said: “We be­lieve very strongly that this is a good idea and it is the right time for a broad­band ser­vice like this. KCC is lead­ing the way and in a few years’ time coun­cils and other pub­lic sec­tor or­gan­i­sa­tions will be do­ing sim­i­lar things.”

Asked if he was con­fi­dent Ten Alps would gen­er­ate enough in­come to avoid costs fall­ing on the coun­cil tax­payer, he said: “This is a re­ally cost-ef­fec­tive way of com­mu­ni­cat­ing with res­i­dents. The £600,000 per year com­pared with all the other money that is be­ing spent is rel­a­tively small.”

Re­cruit­ment for about a dozen jobs as­so­ci­ated with the scheme will be­gin shortly.

Is KCC jus­ti­fied in spend­ing £1.4 mil­lion over two years on ‘Kent TV’? Write to Ken­tish Ex­press, 34-36 North Street, Ash­ford, Kent TN24 8JR or email ken­tish­ex­press@thek­mgr oup.co.uk

Bob Geldof says Kent TV is the way of the fu­ture

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