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Sheppey Sunday Football League boss, Mark Rogers, slams Swale council's £55k internet plan

By Lewis Dyson

Swale council has been slammed for spending £55,000 on recording equipment so members of the public can watch meetings from home.

The cost includes audio and visual gear and TV screens which are to be installed in the cabinet chamber and adjoining committee room of Swale House in Sittingbourne.

Mark Rogers
Mark Rogers

It will be set up to coincide with a monthly cabinet meeting on July 16, and will eventually allow for full web-casting, although the audio recordings will be tested first so members can get used to the equipment.

The meetings will eventually be available to view on the internet, similar to a service provided by Kent County Council.

The move has been described as “ludicrous” by the secretary of the Sheppey Sunday Football League, Mark Rogers, who says he has tried and failed for years to get funding from the council to improve “barbaric” conditions at some of the Island’s grounds.

He said toilets and changing rooms are desperately needed as some players have to get changed in cars.

He said: “For years I have been fighting to get 21st century facilities in the Swale area, but they are reluctant to do it and say the clubs should pay for it, which they can’t afford.

Council leader Cllr Andrew Bowles
Council leader Cllr Andrew Bowles

“And yet they can waste money on something like this. Surely it’s more beneficial to the area if sports were supported. It’s amazing that we have such a high standard of clubs.”

The Kent FA council member added “very few” people would watch the web-casts.

Council leader Cllr Andrew Bowles said: “This has been discussed at cabinet meetings for some time so I am delighted it has all been approved by the members.

“We have taken this initiative following [Communities Secretary] Eric Pickles’ draft resolution encouraging local councils to be more transparent and open within their communities.”

The council chamber has had audio before but, now 20 years old, it was due to be replaced by new digital equipment.

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