On the whole I don’t do stuff about the county council or county councillors, I guess mainly because I don’t know much about it, here in Ramsgate I don’t see much evidence of the county council doing any more than the bare minimum, they could get away with.
I also get the feeling that the county council has mostly councillors from West Kent in the powerful positions and I have a perception that the council is focussed there. I have tried putting a few issues to the county council and to county councillors before without much result.
Mostly this has been to do with the state of the drains, road and pavement in the part of Ramsgate where I trade. The roads and pavements have been replaced several times in the 25 years I have been here and I have tried to persuade them that if they are going to spend the money anyway it would be a good idea to change the layout which relates to when this was the main through road in Ramsgate and not the one way street that only leads to a car park that it is now.
Anyway with the county elections coming I reckon I have some responsibility to blog readers to try and find something about the names we will find on the ballot papers.
The one bit of extra that I am aware of that KCC fund in Thanet is the Turner contemporary, so I have started by emailing all of the KCC Councillors representing Thanet.
I was surprised at my ignorance here, so a few questions for blog readers.
1 Do you now how many KCC Councillors represent Thanet?
2 Can you name any of them?
3 Do you know what the political balance is both among Thanet KCC councillors and in the whole of KCC?
4 Do you know how many of the KCC councillors are also TDC councillors?
5 Do you know how much they get paid for being a councillor?
6 Do you know if any of the KCC Councillors representing Thanet hold positions of responsibility within KCC?
I could name 2 reliably plus some vague ideas and had no idea about the answers to the rest.
Anyway here is the email I sent today, to all of the KCC Councillors representing Thanet, I will publish any responses I get tomorrow.
I am writing to you as a KCC Thanet KCC councillor about the current exhibitions at The Turner Contemporary, these are the first floor exhibitions of JWM Turner, Carl Andre and Rosa Barba running concurrently at the moment.
Please note that this isn’t an overt criticism of modern or contemporary art or the content of the three exhibitions but is a criticism of the way the exhibits are displayed managed and maintained.
I have visited this exhibition on four occasions now, Sunday February 3rd Sunday February 10th Thursday February 28th and Thursday 7th March and have become increasingly concerned about the way it must be impacting on visitors to Thanet.
When I first visited Sunday February 3rd I believe all of the exhibits were working properly however the Rosa Barba exhibition is very noisy and there are no doors separating it from JWM Turner and Carl Andre exhibitions, both of which need some degree of tranquillity to be properly appreciated, I was disappointed about the way the exhibition was presented because of the intrusive impact of the noise from this exhibition on the other two.
I discussed this with the gallery attendants who said that reducing the volume had been discussed by the gallery staff and would probably occur, so I returned on Sunday February 10th and although the volume had been reduced it was still intrusive, but I considered much less so and so I decided not to pursue the issue.
However two of the exhibits in the Rosa Barba exhibition had broken down and as they were out of order I felt I hadn’t managed to see the three combined exhibits at their best so I decided to return again.
This I did on Thursday February 28th only to discover that two of the exhibits were out of order, one that which was broken on my previous visit and a different one, I put this down to being an unfortunate coincidence and decided to come back again.
This I did on Thursday 7th March only to discover that once again two of the exhibits were out of order, one that was the one broken on my previous visits and a different, different one.
So as you see despite visiting this exhibition on four occasions I am yet to see it at its best and am becoming increasingly concerned that visitors to Thanet who have come mainly because of the gallery are having the same unsatisfactory experience.
Obviously as The Turner Contemporary running costs are heavily funded by KCC I see Thanet’s KCC councillors as having some potential for resolving issues there.
You may be aware that I write a local blog and having mentioned these issues there and the county council elections, particularly in terms of the way councillors and potential councillors handle or intend to handle local issues related to KCC.
So it is my intention to send a series of open letters to Thanet’s KCC councillors and any potential candidates I can contact, asking them what approach they would have to various KCC related issues.
This letter is intended for publication along with any replies. To help with this I will now list a series of specific questions, you may wish to reply to these or to send a more general reply.
1 do you consider this to be a KCC issue?
2 do you consider the gallery to be a key player in the local economy?
3 would you see ensuring its proper running as part of your remit as a councillor?
4 would you see the extent of your remit to request and pass on to me officer advice?
5 would you see your remit to actively pursue the issue and ensure its proper resolution?
6 do you see it as part of your remit as a councillor to keep an eye on KCC funded activities in Thanet?
7 have you visited this exhibition?
Best regards Michael.