Saturday, 8 August 2009

Has the steam run out of SEEDA for Kent regeneration?

Chairman Jim Braithwaite ousted.

The toll of taxi fares and lack of regeneration beyond funding warehouses has taken its toll.
The nail in the coffin – UN Poverty Agency funding for a Kent’s international airport at Manston.

Even an EU investigation into Infratil.

Manston airport built on the drinking water, opposite Ostend cargo airport and only by the removal of noise and air monitors.

With the highest lung cancer rates in Kent and the most polluted drinking water.


And then stealing UN money destined for the poor of Bangladesh or China or India.

For scum like Infratil and scoundrels like the Gang of Four and sub-quangos like EKO.

But where now for SEEDA?

Where now for KCC and TDC? Never a mention of improving the lung cancer rate or drinking water in Cabinet meetings or Council sessions. Nothing.

Yet SEEDA has over £400M in budget and the new Conservative government threatening abolition of quangos?

TDC has £1M in SEEDA quango funds. The usual public statements highly inflated. But there it is in the TDC accounts. Just £1M quid. For the year.

Peanuts. A fraction of a percent for the worst council in Britain and serious deprivation in a handful of streets.

Yet TDC and associated quangos like Margate Partnership cite £40M or £60M budgets.


It’s £1M quid. Unless there’s a set of side budgets or side accounts. Unless it's over 40 years. Unless it's counting the regeneration projects twice.

An interesting idea for civil servants but that would be jail time for fraud if they did so – not dissimilar to the 0% pay rises but 30% increase fraud.

And no doubt most of the budgets will be gobbled up by appointing civil servants to check that it’s being apportioned.

And indeed it is.

Until the money dribbles away to nothing.

In effect a “bowler hat tax” of bloat and bureaucracy for bureaucracy on public funds.

86 lawyers at KCC on the public payroll: about 10 entire legal firms. For what? Road closure notices?

£110M in bank processing charges: more than the entire Highways budget.

And Thanet has £1M in SEEDA funding.

While SEEDA passes its funds onto other sub-quangos. Ever onwards. And we wonder why the Kent economy has collapsed into an alphabet soup of quangos.

And empty statements that everything is perfect.

Highest lung cancer rate in Kent.

An 11 year early death rate.

Polluted drinking water.

KCC couldn’t even arrange a meeting for September as they had nothing to do. While TDC and RTC don’t even have 12 meetings as they’ve nothing to do.

Except secret meetings and emergency meetings to hustle unpopular and made-up policy past the sheep-councillors.

Councillors don’t even look over the TDC payroll or budgets: the civil servants must be running rings round them.

And SEEDA provides £1M for the worst 5% poverty areas in the South East – no, the UK.
With the hidden bowler hat tax soaks up public funds all along the chain.

Government by Government for Government. Paid for by the public.

The best we can then hope for is Messrs Shaw and Ladyman creating a new fund of “super-dole” to give cardboard minimum wage jobs to people already on the dole to patch up the economy like a leaking bucket.

A start but ultimately utter waste.

Time to publish all civil service salaries and costs for every government and quango organisations then we can see the cost and the value of the services provided.

I’ll introduce a Bill to limit the chopping and changing of department titles and ratings procedures as the civil service plays sleight of hand with the budgets.

It looks like recording the decline or simply restating that which is already there and creating bowler hat jobs through stealth tax.

From the Parliamentary review of SEEDA, will the new SEEDA Chairman Rob Douglas publish the payroll for SEEDA? Where is the GOSE payroll? Where is the full TDC payroll? Where is the KCC payroll?

All by month, by department, separating out expenses, pensions, cars, allowances and so on: most councils and Government depts do this.

It looks like Paul Carter at KCC has been asleep at the wheel and let wheezing bureaucracy spread around Kent under his control.

No Government money to build an airport on the drinking water Mr Carter, no Government money to remove the air and noise monitors: there are no glory projects in poisoning your own citizens.

An 11 year early death rate -looks like KCC and SEEDA are building a Third World Class Euroregion not a World Class region.

Or did they not know?

The highest lung cancer rate in the UK.

An airport built on the drinking water.

Thor mercury banned in Africa but open in Margate – after being closed in 1988

As MP I will:

# publish all Government finances by dept – and region: all KCC and TDC region quangos to be itemised with a £10,000 public reward for “Close a Quango”
# merge GOSE and SEEDA – and apportion by County for oversight: too big, too broad, too duplicated, too ineffective
# all sub-quangos to be branded “a KCC-funded quango” etc: pseudo companies that are funded by KCC as former internal depts should be more clearly flagged – and itemised and in the KCC accounts for greater clarity, transparency and effectiveness
# ban all quango company cars and reduce the 4 (yes 4) Government pensions to 1 – and open it to the public
# introduce a Bill to prevent the sleight of hand of shifting job titles and departments and rating systems
# introduce service standards on the ratio of funds to bowler hats and delivery - and the timescales to outsourcing: the public sector does one thing and one thing only: take public funds and places them back into the private sector against effective plans for the benefit of the public
# all new quangos and sub-quangos to be signed off by the Secretary of State – with a remit to slash the frozen numbers and costs
# create the Green Growth economy for Coastal Kent: marine technology and renewables patents
# call a halt to all SEEDA warehouse proposals: does SEEDA build nothing else? Quick, cheap and useless. With a few new-build houses stuck on the side.
# a Kent windfarm levy of free renewables electricity for every house in Coastal Kent
# seek a KCC Cabinet Member for Deprivation and Coastal Kent to focus the abysmal attempts to reverse deprivation so far
# a “Thor” levy on the Environment Agency to expedite clean up of the brownfield sites of Manston, Thor and Richboro
# call on Messrs Ladyman and Gale for their 8 month plan – beyond mere “SuperDole” – prior to the May election on securing new SEEDA and GOSE and KCC investment for Coastal Kent: the Pharma-Corridor around Pfizer – the largest USA inward investment in Europe – has collapsed and needs reactivating with AstraZeneca as a “2nd Pfizer” and a Kent-SEEDA Malaria Development Fund for the UN Poverty Agency
# While DFID has collapsed into 2 head offices and £2Bn budgets and barely a road or school or hospital built: the sub-quango model again

It’s as if nobody knows how to regenerate a region beyond the memo.

And the “We are Klang” TV show is a fiction.

It seems the Dept of Public have been seriously let down. Over years and decades.

With lung cancer, removal of noise and air monitors, 106 breaches, poisoned drinking water and regeneration by jerrycan.

Failed. Failed. Failed.
Time for Change.

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