Sunday, 28 February 2010

Kent County Council Cabinet Members: Contact Details

KCC's website has a page which sets out the contact details of Cabinet members.

Should you wish to contact all members of the Cabinet on an issue this is the link for you.

The page does not give information on each Cabinet member's portfolio, however, this information can be found easily on the KCC website.

Lust is in the air

The sexual athletics of sundy Chelsea or former Chelsea footballers and/or their WAGS leads me to ask: where do they get all their energy from?

I am neither surprised nor outraged by the revelations. Something similar is happening day in and day out all over the country. Not far from my humble abode a man and woman live together and have a brood of five children. No two children have the same biological parents. Makes for an interesting family tree.

Principles and Rules

Following last night's knees-up it was off to Tonbridge Evangelical Church today to preach. Chose as my subject the importance of following principles rather than rules. Used as an example the activity of some of our MPs, whom on being found to have made dubious expenses claims, argued that it 'was within the rules' rather than consider the wider principle of not having their snouts in the trough to profit at our expense.

Somewhat akin to the 'only obeying orders' defence.

Party Time

Had a great night out at Rusthall Club (its gone all up market having previously been known as Rusthall Working Mens Club) to celebrate the fiftieth birthday of my my sister-in-law's fella, Dennis. Only one problem with Dennis- he supports the Addicks - Charlton Athletic.

Thursday, 25 February 2010

What do you do!

As I pontificate about the voluntary sector, social inclusion and any other topic which takes my fancy I am careful not to post anything which relates directly to my paid employment or information I have gained through my paid work.

Currently I am a director of two charities based in West Kent:

The Bridge Trust


Tunbridge Wells Mental Health Resource

Click on the links above to visit the websites of the organisations.


I have discovered how to create links to other websites!

Find out all about Kent Savers Credit Union

You can apply on-line to become a member. (You will need to have your National Insurance number to hand.)

Church in Society RIP

The imminent demise of Church in Society (an independent charity underwritten by the Church of England Canterbury and Rochester Dioceses) is a sad development. It calls into question the commitment of the Church of England to tackle social responsibility issues at a strategic level.

In the 1980s the Church of England published Faith in the City and Faith in the Countryside which were devastating critiques of the failure of government to tackle problems of social exclusion.

At a time when a draconian cut in public expenditure over a long period is inevitable it will be the voluntary sector (including faith organisations) which will have to pick up the pieces. The disappearance of an infrastructure organisation which could (a) support front-line work by churches,(b) campaign for policy changes and (c) represent the Church on strategic partnerships in Kent, is an absolute disgrace.

The two dioceses have shunted social responsibility in to a siding. So far nothing has appeared in the public domain about how the two dioceses will ensure the continuation of the work of Church in Society. My guess is that the work will be farmed out, be fragmented and ineffectual.

The rise of the Barmy Nasty Party

For many years I have worked in areas of severe deprivation in Kent and East London. The electoral success of the BNP should not be over-estimated, but why has it increased its vote and won elections? The simple answer, now recognised by central government, is that the white poor working (or non-working) class perceives it has been ignored by the major political parties whilst funding has been poured in to support ethnic minority and migrant groups.

Of course the perception is inaccurate, there are sound reasons why support has been and should be provided for migrant and ethnic minority groups. The problem has been the lack of recognition by government of the problems faced by all poor people, regardless of the diverse group they belong to. I regard the poor white working class as a diverse group and I note central government is insisting now that this is the case.

John Denham (Communities and Local Government Minister) said:

We can only challenge racism and race inequality effectively as part of a strategy that tackles all forms of inequality. This must include poorer white working class communities as well as disadvantaged minority ethic communities.

Agencies which have been blind to these issues, or thought their only remit was to address minority issues, must reassess the way they work.

I love that final paragraph. Over the years I have been berating local authorities and organisations in the 'race industry' on their collective failure to tackle the the problems in poor white working class areas. Now, I am flavour of the month!

My hope is that this sea-change in the approach is not simply a cynical government reaction to the BNP's electoral threat, but a change posited by the clear evidence of disadvantage faced by poor white working class communities.

Next Mayor of Tunbridge Wells

The next Mayor of Tunbridge Wells lives in East Sussex near Crowborough. Is this a first for Tunbridge Wells - a Mayor who does not live in the Borough?

Another councillor lives in Spalding (Lincolnshire) and a third near Battle.

A candidate at the 2009 Kent County Council elections lives in Tunbridge Wells but fought a seat in Swanley.

Gives a whole new meaning to local government.

Wednesday, 24 February 2010

I joined the Tories

Yes, I know, I know, you wouldn't have thought it possible. However, the Iraq War and Labour's obsession with spin, centralisation, attacks on personal freedom and dissembling (lying!) led me to the conclusion that Labour was not for me.

I joined the Conservative Party two years ago and I have not regretted it for one moment. The Party's policies which relate to the voluntary sector (I hate the Labour abomination 'Third Sector') reflect my experience of what is needed - less direction from the state, more responsibility for the voluntary sector and individuals.

Join Now! Kent Savers open for business

Just Google 'Kent Savers Credit Union' and, assuming you do not finish up on the USA website, you will find a link to an application form to become a member of the credit union.

Go for it!

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Kent Savers Credit Union to launch on 4th March

The wait is nearly over! For those of us who have been working towards the formation of a credit union the 4th March is a landmark date. From then anyone living or working in Kent (which is not just the administrative area covered by Kent County Council but includes Medway and bits of what is now outer London) will be able to join a credit union for local people run by local people.

Thursday, 11 February 2010

The Kent Community Development Scene

Hello and welcome to my Blog. This is my personal site and comments are made solely in my personal capacity.