You may wonder why I do this, blogging stuff, well I am full of it, ideas opinions etc. I am also motivated, in this world of globalisation, where you have no control over where your, insurance or banking details are administered, or which country manufacturers your Smarties or even HP sauce, this seems the only medium where you might reach out to those who influence our lives.
Even in matters of local government, it seems that we are almost powerless in confronting bad practice, poor decisions and bad ideas. What checks and balances are there, well some time ago, I highlighted the fact that you and I (Kent readers only I'm afraid), through the good management of Kent County Council, stake holders (one those phrases that means nothing really) in a little known a hotel in Maidstone Oakwood House.
Now so what, you're saying, Kent County Council own a hotel, the point is that for several reasons this is a wasted asset, firstly when I spoke back in May to the council I was informed that their rate of occupancy, was 35 per cent, which is well short of the average hotel occupancy which is 70 per cent plus, what this means is that they are losing something in the region of £350,000 in turnover every year.
Although I am informed they actually make a profit, I am pretty sure they would make a lot more profit were this hotel functioning closer to full capacity. I would also imagine that the running costs are higher, because if they employee KCC staff, they presumably are entitled to a very generous local authority pension unlike anyone employed in the private sector.
Now I pointed this out, to Price Waterhouse Coopers, KCC's auditors and they have noted in their draft report*, electors concerns, briefly, now as I'm a simple-minded labourer, there did not as I could see, appear to be any rebuke regarding the running of this property.
In very simple terms running a business at half capacity, as Oakwood House appears to me, to be, the equivalent of investing your savings at 0.5% interest per year instead I'll say 5% per cent per year.
I won't even get on to the £8 million near enough, flushed out to sea, in the Turner offshore debacle, however I would suggest, it is about time, that government introduce tough ruthless monitoring of the way councils conduct business, perhaps they could ask E-wit(as always mispelt) manual workers to do what bureaucrats clearly can't.
* I will furnish a link when they've posted this report on there website
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