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'Jury still out on Kent TV' - KCC leader Paul Carter

Kent TV. Library image
Kent TV. Library image

The leader of Kent County Council says he has yet to be convinced there is a future for Kent TV, the authority's internet TV channel that has cost nearly £1.8million since it began broadcasting.

Cllr Paul Carter said while Kent TV had enormous potential, the jury was still out on whether it ought to continue.

In a candid assessment of the controversial scheme, he said there remained significant challenges to address if KCC was to continue with the initiative.

Cllr Carter said: "The jury is out. I have not been convinced, the Conservative group has not been convinced, that [Kent TV] will tackle all the significant issues that have been raised. That is the challenge.

Why KCC is undecided over Kent TV: read political editor Paul's blog>>

Cllr Paul Carter, Kent County Council leader
Cllr Paul Carter, Kent County Council leader

"The potential is enormous but we need to find solutions to the problems before we go ahead."

A decision on whether to continue with Kent TV and go out to tender for a five-year contract is due to be made later this month.

The consultant's report commissioned by KCC concluded Kent TV had been largely successful and recommended that money to fund it should come through advertising but that KCC should continue with some level of financial support.

Cllr Carter said that if he was to give Kent TV a grade, he would award it a 'B'. "What we need to do is be convinced that if we do continue with it, it can get an 'A star'," he added.

Cllr Trudy Dean
Cllr Trudy Dean

Opposition Liberal Democrat leader Cllr Trudy Dean said it was questionable whether Kent TV had been as successful as claimed. She said of the videos uploaded to Kent TV that had appeared on other websites, such as YouTube, the highest viewing figure for any had been 200 hits.

She said: "We are paying people to view it at a rate of about 80 pence per view. The two million visitors Kent TV has had is about the same as the number we get for the what’s on in Kent part of our website.

"If we are going to continue with Kent TV, it has to respond to what people want, not what we think they deserve."

She described Kent TV's governing body as "pathetic" saying: "A large number of people did not even bother to going to meetings."

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