Don’t be shy, you like being on TV
WITH so much interest in County Hall’s finances just now, you might have thought councillors would be falling over themselves to at least be seen to be taking the matter of the £50 million locked in Icelandic banks seriously. But when a local TV station asked to film the meeting at which finance chiefs were quizzed about events, certain Conservative members of KCC’s scrutiny committee sought to block the move. Apparently, they were concerned that their presence at the meeting, which was broadcast live on the internet anyway, would be undesirable because what was said might be taken out of context. Their representations were eventually overruled by committee chairman Mike Eddy, the Labour group leader. He quite rightly pointed out that KCC’s Conservative cabinet has never been shy about inviting the cameras in for certain decisions.
IT has suffered chronic delays, costs have soared and even the politician in charge of Kent’s roads has described it as not one of KCC’s most triumphant projects. But this did not stop county council leader Paul Carter singling out the Ashford ring road project as an example of KCC’s “visionary investment” and of the authority’s determination to “leave a legacy of vision and determination”. We suspect the jury is still out on the legacy side of things. And it should be pointed out that the bulk of the money has come from the Government.
VITAL matters of state – well, the issue of whether KCC might lose its £50 million stuck in Iceland – preoccupied councillors at a meeting of the full council. But such weighty matters did not stop Conservative leader Paul Carter and his Labour counterpart Mike Eddy spending a bit of time trading playground insults about who has the most-read blog. Cllr Eddy wanted to know how many people had visited Cllr Carter’s blog over the summer. We shall not trouble you with the figures, suffice to say that Mr Eddy gleefully seized on them to reveal that his site was more popular. (What is it about men and the size of their blogs?). Asked why he was receiving fewer hits, Cllr Carter retorted to the effect that he wouldn’t bother putting the kind of rubbish on his site that Cllr Eddy did on his. Oscar Wilde would have been proud.