Deft dealing as budget debate turns to biscuits
Kent County Council has not always been fleet of foot when it comes to embracing technology and social media. But let’s give credit where credit is due.
Just before Christmas, Cllr John Simmonds – the politician in charge of the council’s coffers – held what must have been the first KCC webchat over the authority’s budget plans.
Amid the more serious questions – and there were some – Cllr Simmonds dealt deftly with the more frivolous.
What, he was asked, was his favourite biscuit? “We haven’t had biscuits here in County Hall for many years! But if I had to choose – I’d say a chocolate digestive!”
Later on, he was asked what his favourite cake was. “Any type of cake produced in Kent.”
Off The Record wonders whether there might have been a PR adviser at his side to keep him firmly on message.
KCC has decided it can do without a £96,000 communications director as part of its budget savings this year but might it regret it?
A recent press release from the County Hall HQ arrives with this snappy headline: must be rather strained after his refusal to back a grammar school annexe in west Kent.
Education chiefs insist they are exploring other options.
Meanwhile, opposition Labour county councillors this week cast themselves as the unlikely sympathisers with parents who have campaigned for the school.
Cllr Gordon Cowan and his colleague Will Scobie used a committee meeting to accuse the County Hall Conservatives of “letting down parents” and “raising false expectations”. Surreal.
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