We’re being asked to make impossible choices

I’m just looking at Kent County Council’s budget consultation document for 2016-2017. It makes for abysmal reading. After asking us how much Council Tax we would be willing to pay, it goes on to offer a series of increasingly impossible choices. We are asked to identify the most and the least important services from a set of lists of what £1,000 of council spending buys. There are 14 lists altogether. Here are some examples: Twenty two faulty street lights to be repaired; sixty two attendances by a young person at their local youth centre; five hundred journeys on subsidised bus … Continue reading We’re being asked to make impossible choices

Have a careful read of library proposals

Oh dear. “Kent County Council is transforming the way it delivers its services as well as reducing costs.” I’m quoting from the KCC website here: the Libraries, Registration and Archive Service Consultation page, which links to the consultation document about the future of our public libraries. It all sounds very nice. To quote from the document itself: “We strive to continually affect people’s lives in a positive way and deliver services for every community in Kent”. What can be wrong with that? Well nothing, obviously. What these soothing words do is to mask the real reason behind the consultation document: saving money. … Continue reading Have a careful read of library proposals

The evil twin of fracking is on its way to Kent

You will have seen the footage from Balcombe, where fracking company Cuadrilla have been running an exploratory borehole in the search for shale gas and oil. Actually what I’ve seen reminds me of the road protest movement of the 90s. It’s the same unconventional alliance of green activists, twitchers, hippies, druids, romantics and middle class Tories worried about property blight. It seems as if something similar is on its way to Kent. Not shale gas, this time, but coal bed methane, referred to as “the evil twin of shale gas”, being even more polluting. If you ask Kent County Council, … Continue reading The evil twin of fracking is on its way to Kent