Is Arc­tic roll still on menu?

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Off The Record -

IT is re­as­sur­ing to hear KCC firmly in­sist that there will be no im­pact on ser­vices or coun­cil taxes if it loses some or all of the money it has locked in with Ice­landic banks. But the re­as­sur­ances have come with an im­por­tant qual­i­fi­ca­tion – that there will be no reper­cus­sions in the short-term, a sub­tle but im­por­tant dis­tinc­tion. What might tran­spire in the long run if things go awry, of course, is an en­tirely dif­fer­ent mat­ter. And: it might be true that in the con­text of its over­all spending, £50mil­lion is a rel­a­tively small sum. But in th­ese days of fi­nan­cial tur­moil, was it that sen­si­tive to keep re­peat­ing the fact?

WHICH brings us to a press release is­sued by the county coun­cil barely 24 hours af­ter it emerged that it could be among the big­gest losers of all town halls whose in­vest­ments in Ice­land re­main er, frozen, if you’ll ex­cuse the pun. Without a trace of irony – or in­deed mod­esty – it is headed: “Kent is tak­ing the lead by call­ing for pub­lic agen­cies to in­vest in Bri­tish banks.” Coun­cil leader Paul Carter says: “Bri­tish tax­pay­ers money should be in Bri­tish banks. But we need the Bri­tish gov­ern­ment to guar­an­tee that pub­lic money will be safe.” In­ter­est­ingly, we hear KCC has in­deed moved some of its cash into other in­sti­tu­tions re­cently. To banks in Aus­tralia and Ire­land.

EX­CEL­LENT news from Prime Min­is­ter Gor­don Brown, who has ap­pointed a new hous­ing min­is­ter, the vet­eran politi­cian Mar­garet Beck­ett. Now, as a Gov­ern­ment growth area, Ash­ford is very keen on the hous­ing agenda but sadly, this in­ter­est has not al­ways ap­peared to be re­cip­ro­cated by min­is­ters. Caro­line Flint, who Mrs Beck­ett re­places, did not make it down to the town to see how the Gov­ern­ment’s plans were pro­gress­ing in her short stint in the role and her pre­de­ces­sor, Yvette Cooper, made just a fleet­ing sin­gle visit. Fin­gers crossed, then, that Mrs Beck­ett will find a gap in her di­ary be­fore an­other reshuf­fle...

FI­NALLY, Off The Record can­not pos­si­bly com­ment on the ru­mour that in a tit-for-tat row with Ice­land, Kent County Coun­cil has or­dered that Arc­tic roll is no longer served in County Hall’s restau­rant...

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.