Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Thanet District Council’s new local news history project

Keeping an eye on the council’s much talked about but little understood RSS news feed I was interested this morning to note that it has just updated and sent me the latest news form the council saying that:

Birchington residents can learn more about fire safety and crime prevention advice, when the latest Operation Cleansweep visits the village.

The Kent Fire and Rescue Service drop-in vehicle will be parked outside the Co-op at 56 Station Road on Wednesday 26 January from 12.30 pm until 4.00 pm.

Kent Fire and Rescue Service officers will be joined by a Crime Reduction Officer from Kent Police, who will be giving out crime prevention advice.

Operation Cleansweep will be visiting Birchington and Westgate over their next two-day operation to do enforcement checks, clear communal areas and offer advice and support to local people.

If you would like any issues that you feel need tackling in the upcoming Birchington Cleansweep or have ideas for future operations, please call 01843 577737.

I would of course normally have alerted the press office to this latest error but of course I am not allowed to communicate with them, perhaps I am supposed to raise a foi request any ideas anyone?

I think the problem here is the council just don’t appreciate the importance of this I have sent them the following official complaint:

This is an official complaint that TDCs news feed is feeding the news that there will be a village event in Birchington on January 17th 2011, today is 15th June 2011 the main news event that the council should be feeding to the rest of the country in Margate’s Big Event due to start 18th June 2011.

I should further add that the council has sopped sending me press releases which I used to publish for them with proper working news feeds at there reason for doing this appears to be that I should use their feeds which evidently do not work.

The net result of this will be probably be a few thousand less people attending The Big Event with the associated loss of income for local businesses and even the council because of lost program sales.          


  1. Michael let it go forget about it and do something else. I am now promoting other towns in Kent and considering changing my blogs name. I cannot grasp the costs involved in pressing send to a cc on a email but TDC obviously are now cutting costs to keep us with a weekly bin collection so I appreciate that savings on a scale of nano seconds is important to the council. Plus now you wont contact them when the put six month out of date info on the rss feed. WIN WIN you never bother helping them again and they save by not sending you e-mails and not putting right their mistakes.

  2. Don the problem here is that this is an important issue and an issue that costs both the council and local people money.

    This is a tourist area and the promotion of local events is important, as it is important that the council grasps the use of the internet as a tool to promote the area, communicate with local people and to save money.

    Things like the use of the bcc button and the understanding of feeds is very important, we now live in the age of the internet, the goose quill is no longer sufficient.

  3. This is just the usual local government incompetence. Presumably Mr Wise will consider that any criticism of this error can be safely ignored and placed in the bin marked 'rubbishing TDC.

  4. On reflection, Mr Wise could do something useful and find out who was responsible for this error and ensure that it doesn't happen again.

  5. Michael my blog no longer promotes Thanet, I will continue to promote family businesses but the wider scheme of thing if the counncil cant be bothered why should I care

  6. John, Martin Wise is not a government employee but the cabinet member whose portfolio this is.

    I think at one time the council had a press office, you contacted them and they told you what was going on, the also issued council press releases and then there was an information management initiative, which generated an information department, I think this swallowed up the press office. Obviously the information department was intended to look after information and only release information if requested under the freedom of information act.

    I think having a press office just giving out information without it being requested through the proper channels and of course normally being supplied a month after it was requested was seen as unsporting.

    Don I would say because you live here while the senior council officers do not.


Please note comments that may be libellous, comments that may be construed as offensive, anonymous derogatory comments about real people, comments baiting internet trolls, comments saying that an anonymous comment was made by a named real person, boring comments and spam comments, comments in CAPs will be deleted. Playground stuff like calling real people by their time stamp or surname alone, referring to groups as gangs, old duffers and so on will result in deletion. Comment that may be construed as offensive to minority groups is not allowed here either, so think before you write it, remember that the internet is a public place, that it is very difficult to be truly anonymous and that everyone who uses it leaves a trail of some sort. Also note the facility to leave anonymous comment will be turned of during periods when I am unable to monitor comment, this will not affect people commenting who are signed on to their blogger accounts. When things are particularly difficult on the commercial spam front I may turn comment moderation on for periods.

If you feel that someone has left a comment that is offensive and directed at you personally please email me (link on the sidebar) asking to have it removed, you will need to tell which post and the date and timestamp of the offending comment. Please do not reply to the offending comment as I will assume you continuing the dialogue as meaning that you want the comments left there.