Political Blog, July 6: KCC's Turner Centre legal tussle and contract extension for Kent TV
not surprised that the protracted legal
wrangle involving KCC and the architects
responsible for the original Turner Centre in Margate is still
There's a lot at stake - KCC is adamant that it has a
public duty to recover at least some of the
£6million it lost on the first version of
the gallery and has already spent more than £600,000 in legal fees
doing just that.
The line from KCC is that it has a solid case and is confident
it can win the legal case now scheduled for November. But I don't
and haven't ever sensed that Snohetta, the architects, are
simply prepared to roll over and take the rap for what went wrong.
After all, it has a reputation to maintain too. The only sure thing
is that there will be one winner out of the saga. The
After taking a distinctly cold bath over its investments in
three Icelandic banks, KCC has adopted a safefty first approach to
Treasury management and stuck all fresh deposits with the
Government-backed Debt Management Board. Since October,
all new deposits have gone into the board but KCC still
has a few million on deposit abroad,
The authority has £10million on deposit
with the Belgian bank Dexia, which has not been
immune from the affects of global financial crisis. In September,
Belgium, France and Luxembourg kept it afloat with a cash injection
of 6.4 billion euros and a 150-billion-euro guarantee. There is no
suggestion that KCC’s money is at risk but apparently the deposit
has been "restructured to bring it within the guarantee provided by
the French, Belgian and Luxembourg governments."
Meanwhile, it seems that while KCC remains upbeat about
recovering the bulk of its money still locked into Iceland - as
much as 90 per cent - the estimated loss based on those
calculations is in the region of £4.5million.
There's not been much of a fanfare about this but it seems KCC
has decided to extend the contract for its controversial internet
The original two-year contract with Ten Alps,
the company that runs Kent TV on behalf of the council, was due to
end in September. But it has been given a six-month extension until
Strangely - or perhaps not - I've not yet been able to track
down any formal KCC documentation about this in the form of a
report setting out either the decision or a recommendation. It's
certainly not come up or been included in any cabinet papers, for
For the news of the extension you will need to look
at the latest set of
Kent TV minutes, which record that it was agreed "to
ensure that a review can happen before the re-tender process starts
in September 2009. It was suggested that this review would also
look at the relationship between the board, KCC and Kent TV."
Whether this extension involves any public subsidy on top
of the £1.2million that KCC has already put in is
not mentioned but I am trying to find out.
If you've been wondering why there's been a brief hiatus in
postings on the blog,it's because I've been on leave. Yes,
even political reporters get holidays...
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