Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Earlier this month I reported on Kent County Council wasting £500,000 of our money. The East Kent Conservative District Councils are just as good at wasting money, here is a tale of another £500,000 wasted.

There has been a proposal for a shared Human Resources (Personnel) service. Thanet would share services with Shepway (Folkestone), Dover and Canterbury Councils. The idea was that savings would be generated across the four Councils.

Part of the savings would have come from making staff redundant to provide one more centralised service. A good idea, just like commercial organisations rationalise their services.
I hear now from a source along the coast in East Kent that the shared service will not be making any savings. There will now be no further savings for the first 2 years of the project. This will mean Thanet and the 3 other Councils will have additional costs of at least £65,000/year.

So £130,000 in Thanet but over half a million across East Kent as it is £130,000 for each Council totalling £520,000. The costs come from moving to Dover, and having to pay staff compensation and extra travelling allowances. This is a kick in the teeth to Thanet Council employees. Not only are they losing jobs to Dover, but they are also facing redundancy. They are accepting a pay award which is less than inflation hoping that fewer jobs will go. They then find there are no savings and the extra costs mean more jobs will be at risk.

I understand that when this was raised with Cllr. Sandy Ezekiel Leader of Thanet Council his response was to panic and blame it on the government. This is an internal management matter. Either he or his staff are responsible, or he needs to find out quick who from Dover, Folkestone and Canterbury has screwed up, and explain publicly so that all those staff who fear losing their jobs, so they know what happened.

He needs to stop saying that this is the fault of a government giving less money, when the facts are Thanet has had more money. I will repeat again that since 1997 the extra funding is an increase of 39% in REAL terms. That is money the granted by central government has kept place with inflation since 1997, and in ADDITION there has been an extra £39, for every £100 of Council expenditure.

That’s why hundreds of other authorities have just had far lower increases in Council Tax than Thanet District Council. We have one of the highest increases in the country because of mismanagement, and a blame culture from Thanet's political leadership.


  1. Mark who do I believe Ken says we have to pay £7.80 and I quote from his blog "If you live in an 'average' band 'D' house it will cost an extra £7..80p a year. Any other rise comes from KCC, the Fire Authority, The Police Authority,and ,if applicable, your very own parish council or Charter trustees.

    When you look at it like that I would contend that its a good budget. "

  2. Thats because Thanet District Council is a corporation run for profit and doesnt care where that profit comes from. Go have a look at Dun & Bradstreet website and do a search on Thanet District Council and you will find it listed there. They care about making money and thats all they care about

  3. anon 22:10 cant access without paying Dun & Bradstreet some money so I will ask you what they say cos I always thought TDC are the same as every other council in the country :- between a rock and a hard place. We demand evermore services but also dont want to pay for them so I am not sure how that is a achieved . I worked out seven pounds eighty as being two pence a day or fourteen pence a week not even athe price of a newspaper. How the spend the money is a completly differnt issue and if you ask a hundred different people you would come up with a hundred different ideas. I am no fan of TDC but we need someone to run the services they provide and at this moment in time they are what we have. As for profit everry commercial enterprise in the world strives to make a profit

  4. i dont have access to D&B but TDC are supposed to be a public service not a profit making corporation and thats why theyre listed on D&B along with every other council in the country as well as police, house of commons / lords etc.
    And did you know that the Labour party TRADES under the name of Alistair Darling MP and your missing the point about the extra 7.80 a year. Lets take the amount of people in Thanet - at last Census it was 126702 now lets assume that only a fifth are legible to pay council tax if you multiply that amount by 7.80 you get an astounding figure of £197,655.12p thats a shit load of money that will go nowhere its needed, and thats just the tax hike. Now lets assume that the same 5th pay full council tax of £800 (some pay less some a lot more) thats over 20 million pound alone, that excludes business rates and other income, now tell me 7.80 is pittance - Get a grip coz it aint being spent in Thanet thats for sure

  5. How can you keep banging on about wasting money when the Labour governemnt you support is throwing billions at failed banks. The last tiem Labour ruined the economy they were thrown out of office and stayed in the wilderness for 18years. How long will they be thrown out for this time?

  6. Don I am trying to get better accountability for the money we spend. Other poeple pay less and get more, why can't we get that?
    Anon 21.45 and 14.15 I agree the money could be better spent.
    Anon 18.22 Disagree with you on banks as does 99% of the rest of the world. This is a Kent blog as you've probably noticed, don't blame you for trying to change the subject, the Tories waste of money is indefensible isn't it?

  7. I just found out how TDC are wasting peoples money, i live by a very small park, it would take less than a minute to walk across it and less than 3 minutes to walk all the way round it, so why does it take 16 yes sixteen council employees with 5 strimmers, 2 sit on lawn mowers and 3 other vehicles all morning to mow the grass - now thats wasteful

  8. Anon 10:50 I have seen a similar group Mow round Northdown Park in record time mow Dane Park working like trojans some you win some you loose when They are given a list of jobs and a given time they will work to the time they wont turn up early and say what elsehave you got for me to do? When I was at work I worked faster on piece work than on day work its human nature

  9. Mark, you must have been at the budget meeting and read the papers. Just where is the money being wasted? Remember that what you might think is waste might be very important to someone else? For example I think that your idea for broadcasting meetings if it costs more than a few thosand pounds is a waste, but you obviously feel it is important.