Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Healthy discussion?

Is the A&E department at QEQM going to close? We will get closer to that answer at Thursday’s Cabinet. There has been a LOT of talk about what’s going to happen mostly based on conjecture rather than fact. Such talk has focused on a Facebook Group set up to “Save A&E at MARGATE HOSPITAL”. 

The report basically says we will have a verbal update. At Overview, Cllr Iris Johnston made comment on this as part of her presentation saying “in rumours there is some fact”. As the meeting she has now had with Stuart Bain was after that comment was made, itll be interesting to see quite how much fact there is in this, though I doubt this will be the end of it. I expect a Full Council motion fairly soon. 

To bring up my drone about webcasting, this is another agenda that cries out for recording. I can understand things like Licensing or Standards not being recorded, but there is a big case to be made for adding Cabinet and Overview to meetings being recorded, in exchange for going audio-only. The Council's argument that such a system would make it extremely difficult to know who is speaking was refuted some time ago when I transcribed two parts of the last Full Council meeting when there was basically no camera to see who was speaking.

Another issue that’s caught my eye is the Asset Disposal item. With the times we are in, we have to be very careful with how the Council estate is managed. As the Gazette reported there are in excess of 660 assets worth in total around £65million. To put it in laymans terms, it would cover the Councils budget three times over.  

It needs noting that its difficult to find online the list of assets currently up for disposal. This is something that needs addressing not only as part of a scheduled review but as a part of normal business.

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