Don’t be shy, you like be­ing on TV

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Countryfile -

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.

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