Friday, 7 December 2007

I didn't vote for this.

Sorry for the prolonged absence but I've been away from my desk for a while.

I wanted to resume by looking at something that's happening locally, seems really important, but no-one's yet noticed. There's a body in Thanet called the Local Strategic Partnership (LSP) that seems to be closely lin ked to the council, has power over millions of pounds but has people on there from the police, Thanet College etc who are unelected. I don't hold much truck with those who are elected but at least we know who they are and we can get rid of them when we want to.

The strange thing is that the LSP is going global, or at least joining up with Dover, Canterbury and Shepway to form an East Kent LSP. So what? Well it means that those four councils are going to work together and pool their money to the greater good. Fine if you're on the receiving end but what if you're not and our own council tax goes to support the darker recesses of Dover or an alternative arts centre in Folkestone for example? And that is exactly what could happen according to an 'interim report' on the whole issue that was launched this week.

East Kent is about a third of the county and would give us a lot of pull but given that Ramsgate are still looking for their own town council (then what, St Lawrance?) are people aware of the imminent change and what it might mean? The whole thing's got the green light and goes live from April next year. How do unelected people make such large political decisions and why don't the voters know about it?

I promise not to leave my next posting quite so long!


Eastcliff Richard said...

There was a rumour going around a while back that these three authorities were actually going to merge. Maybe this is the basis of that rumour, or the outcome of the failed merger.

They certainly share auditing services. I wouldn't want to be lumped in with Shepway, but Canterbury? They're doshed up and have done a lot of good things for Hernia Bay and Whistabubble, so...

potatoehead64 said...

Hi there from another local. Just found your blog here from the Thanet list (having just been added myself).
Re: your subject....
It seems to me there is a British disease of meetings that involve people sitting round using words like "strategic" and "steering group" etc etc. I attended a meeting like this once. 2 hours worth of drinking coffee and achieving very little other than self congratulatory comments and looking at pre prepared statistical reports that nobody understands apart from the person that prepared it!