And the win­ners are…

Kentish Express Ashford & District - - Front Page -

The School Swot of The Year Award: KCC was top of the class (again) and ex­cused its home­work for a fort­night when it was ranked as among the best-per­form­ing au­thor­i­ties in the coun­try. We sup­pose they were en­ti­tled to a bit of gloat­ing. But pre­sent­ing their achieve­ments in a six-page press release set­ting out their ver­sion of the re­sults in a foot­ball league ta­ble for­mat did seem to be rub­bing it in. over a claim that it had been “neg­li­gent” over its £50 mil­lion de­posits in Ice­landic banks. Af­ter much sabre rat­tling and threats to take the Com­mis­sion to court, the word “neg­li­gent” was re­moved. Only to be re­placed by “care­less­ness”. The Eurostar Pub­lic Re­la­tions Award: Pub­lic fury over MPs’ al­lowances was at its height but did county coun­cil­lors grasp that the out­rage was about all politi­cians? It didn’t look much like it af­ter they voted for an in­crease in their own al­lowances – worth eight per cent over four years – that pushed their ba­sic “earn­ings” up to £13,290. To make mat­ters worse, it was the first thing they voted on af­ter the county coun­cil elec­tion. Oh dear, where were the spin doc­tors? said he was un­per­turbed by a Tory threat to flood his divi­sion with ac­tivists. They did. He was hu­mil­i­at­ingly beaten into fourth place in his Deal ward. And his group re­duced to just two. The Ricky Whit­tle Should Have Won It Award: Maid­stone MP Ann Wid­de­combe of­fered to sus­pend her re­tire­ment plans and pitched in to be­come an in­terim Speaker. Out­side West­min­ster, she had over­whelm­ing pub­lic sup­port, judg­ing by var­i­ous polls. Un­for­tu­nately, it was not repli­cated among her peers in the Com­mons. Re­tire­ment to Dart­moor is back on the agenda. The Most Ex­trav­a­gant Waste of Pub­lic Money: Al­ways a hotly con­tested cat­e­gory. Nat­u­rally, Kent TV had a few nom­i­na­tions. And how about the £109,000 it cost the Met Po­lice to ar­rest the Ash­ford MP Damian Green? But the glory goes to the Ash­ford “shared space” ring road and the money spent on de­signer street fur­ni­ture. Rub­bish bins at £1,500 a throw and £7,000 for each street­light? Re­ally, could there be any other win­ner?

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