My KCC Election Manifesto & Video

Thursday, 25 April 2013


Here is the link to a video of Thanet Council's Overview and Scrutiny Panel meeting held on 23 April.

I was the Chairman of the meeting. At the meeting Councillors decide to over-rule my decision to allow citizen journalists to make video recordings of the meeting.

So much for open and accountable government at Thanet.

I have now written to Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles MP complaining about the undemocratic actions of Thanet Councillors and have asked him to investigate.

A copy of my letter is reproduced in the post below.

Here is a link to a letter from Bob Neal MP to all Council Leaders

The letter makes it perfectly clear that the Government wants Councils to allow the public to film its meetings. But what do Thanet Councillors do? The total opposite! Its time for a change!


  1. This issue is not just about a few people getting their own way. The real problem here is that an issue was made of it at all. Since 2008 local authorities have been told they must do more to encourage people to engage with the local democratic process. It's time the old guard just admit that they need to change.

    1. Whilst more open governance may be desirable, surely good governance must be the first priority. The shambles revealed by the film hardly supports that.

      Then there is the question of who should be allowed to film. I am a freelance writer who researches and has published articles, mainly historical, in a range of specialist magazines and journals, but I would never describe myself as a journalist, citizen or otherwise. I am not a member of the NUJ nor do I work for any accredited newspaper. Neither does Mrs. Tongue.

      If the filming of meetings is to take place let it be by proper journalists capable of reporting facts without political or other bias so that the electorate can draw their own conclusions.