Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Has Leader Carter lost control of costs as well as cancer at Kent’s Cement Hall?

Let’s forget about Carter in cahoots with Infratil for the moment: removing monitors, airports on the drinking water supply etc.

Here’s the latest KCC structure reform.

Personally I think it’s not bad as these things go.

But two points:

1. Here’s the salaries -

Aren’t we all in this together: reducing costs etc – and more importantly at least two of these pay grades are over the £150k cap on salaries recommended by George Osborne only last May.

And this on top of the new KCC CEO on £200k – one of the top 20 largest council salaries in the UK according to the Sunday Times.

And what happens next year with inflation – a further rise?

It looks as if the civil servants are simply writing their own salaries willy-nilly and Carter has no control over budgets whatsoever. And putting up council tax to cover these bloat costs.

And no plan or vision for the Garden of England except as London’s Patio. And a public sector tax-economy. Or at best a Tesco economy of minimum wage, shift jobs and retail sheds.

2. A more detailed point. The KCC structure refers to the “top tier” of KCC management but I may make it at least 4 and upto 7 tiers – all paid much the same. Have they no idea of what encompasses a tier? Are we to assume the announced tiers simply have layers and layers of tiers or “bloat” within them? Just bureaucrats and all the way down until the tax pips are squeaked? And the Treasury has to print more promissory notes and debt? And this for a top 3 UK council. What are the other 30 like?

As I say leave aside cancer and pointless building and Carter seems to have lost control of basic cost management. This only 8 months after the Austerity election. And some 3 years after the recession has bit deepest into Kent.

Innovative companies like Pfizer that struggle now somehow have to join the end of the queue while Murphy and Jacobs and Land Securities dip their trowels in the tax-bucket for pointless tarmacking of the Garden of England’s farmland and greenbelt.

Anywhere except the brownfield and contaminated land sites or cleanup construction.

Builders’ children walk along main roads past empty houses to asbestos schools and portakabin lessons.

Past business parks stand empty while tarmac is poured for more empty office blocks.

Past dumptrucks of topsoil and landfill rubbish.

Past a derelict power station as some sort of cancerous tourist attraction.

And back home calling into queue for the eco-cancer ward for their eco-asbestos vaccines.

And not a solar panel or water meter or wifi or flood defence in sight.

And Carter wants more tax-tarmac.

Not only have there been almost no cuts. But now layers of increase and salary bloat in direct contradiction of election policy.

It’s as if it’s just empty nonsense made up at the time.

And still nothing on publishing every cost over £500 as required by DCLG by last week. And some 5 years after FOI.

The reality is KCC public services are simply run for the economic benefit of the cosy monopoly of senior civil servants and politicians and construction cronyism:

• hush over, deny or lie about any scandals
• increase council tax regardless
• staff up and pay rise up regardless
• reserves for failures
• lavish benefits
• rejigs rather than P45 for failure
• FOI for secrecy rather than transparency

Why not? It’s not their money. It’s simply given to them.

Why doesn’t Carter speak out on:

1. Infratil, Thor, Manston and Richboro
2. The civil service corruption at TDC with 0% salary fraud, EKO million pound memo
3. EA permits to pollute at Thor and Manston
4. All KCC costs over £500 – they must have them and be paying them already. It takes tow minutes to upload them to a website
5. Call in the Met and Fraud Squad for any hidden costs and cancer costs

We have councils confusing building a road or a new public sector building with that somehow creating jobs or meaningful long-term industries.

Even in Canterbury with the Uni tax-building another glass stump hall of residence with an attached hotel(! – presumably the equivalent of the developers few extra rooms or attached stump for profit). Why? Canterbury’s hardly short of halls of residences. Private sector landlords would lose out. The greenbelt required would disappear. Less budget for lecturers and books. And Cliftonville sits derelict 30 minutes away for the sale of a student bus and being zoned as student digs.

As always it’s simply slathering cement on cheap public land on the cheap. Paid for by the public’s tax. And in direct contradiction or ignorance of public manifestos and elections.

Take Infratil – if they’re such a wonderful multimillion pound aviation company how come they’re bust - and everything requires a public land permit or waiver and tax-funds for construction.

And property consultant Carter comes running pulling on his wellies to start the cement mixers?

And the KCC Cabinet and councillors wipe the tarmac off the permits and sign away like so many nodding dogs.

We might have needed roads and public buildings in the 1970’s. Whatever happened to refurb and repair? Aren’t these buildings supposed to last 50 years rather than build and knock down.

In the Austerity Age and Climate Change Age it makes no sense – except for feeding the likes of Balfour, Murphy, Land Securities and the bitumen-bureaucrats that rely on more white elephant schemes such as bridges, airports, roads, dual carriageways – all on cheap public land and cheap tax funds.

The taxpayer owes them no duty.

And the silent Gang of Four of SchtumGate should be in jail not Coutts. When will the Police inquiry begin? Wasting public money is one thing. Deliberately removing aiprot moniotrs and failing to replace them is another. Allowing tax haven corruption with fake or non-existent consultations another.

It's impressive though to have it funded by the public themselves.

And with genetic birth defects or land lost or debt piled up not just this generation but the next and the next.

A little cancerous gift from the council that keeps giving.

Where are the coucnil contracts, the office opening hours, the public costs charged -and the money wasted for rebate. With the internet it's simple to total and rebate costs wasted or lost. Why should the publci pay top dollar for substandard services. Why pay for future debt for civil service failure to secure grants?

And while KCC may be wasting money on bumf and bloat, it might be better used on cancer drugs.

When will Carter speak up?

When will the KCC 84 speak up?

The TDC 56?

The 3 silent MP's.

Only the Election Ferry has resurfaced. When will Kent democracy?

Or is it shut up, pay up and cough up.

Council monkey busienss as usual.

Time for Change.

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