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Some time ago I put some questions to the council 1 to 7 below.
1 Any progress with webcasting council meetings?
2 Any progress with the new planning website, is any of it online yet?
3 Is The Thanet Contaminated Land Register available online?
Next the Sericol pollution incident, I have had considerable interest from the press after posting about it and am concerned that accurate information about this is available soon. I am concerned that the public safety issues aren't exaggerated and because the EA letter is in the public domain but leaves a lot of unanswered questions I can foresee this happening.
4 I haven't had any reply form Brian White, could you please chase this up?
5 Which agency is monitoring the public health side of this and have there been surveys of the health of the people living and working in the effected area?
6 Is the vapor form the chemical spilt still coming out of the ground in the Westwood area?
7 Who is monitoring the private water abstraction boreholes?
I have received a response to some of them, a response from Brian white and the promise of a response to the others soon, below the response.
Webcasting - Our current system is incapable of handling this
technology. However, I am undertaking a piece of work that is looking to
see what other options are available e.g broadcasting a recording of
meetings via the web. We would hope to be able to start something in the
E-Mail addresses - Both HES and Leader email addresses have been
deleted from our system, so you will now receive a bounce back of
Planning On-Line - Unfortunately, we have encountered some technical
issues with trying to link our two systems in order to get Planning
files completely on-line. However, progress is being made and we are
looking at a go-live date of February 2009.
Contaminated Land Register - There are no current plans to offer this
on-line, however, our aim is to have as much as possible available via
the web and this is a project that I would like to see undertaken. So
although no definite dates it is on our horizon.
My reply to the response below.
Webcasting my understanding of the situation is that you have the technology to record the meetings to disk, why not do as I have already suggested and send them to KCC who would host them on their Kent TV site for nothing?
I feel that deleting the leaders email address sends out completely the wrong message, especially when senior council officers still have extra dedicated email addresses, the only inference one can draw, as the leader is that the leader is the most senior representative of the electorate, is that the council officers hold the electorate in contempt. Please can you get it reinstated otherwise I will raise this as an official complaint.
With the UKplanning website one of the main problems with it is that it has been written in a very complex and expensive way that makes it impossible to link to.
As you can see if you look at http://www.michaelsbookshop.com/seafront/sections_and_rear_elevation.htm it is possible to publish plans in ordinary html so that they can be viewed on any computer and be linked to any other website. Making them only available if you have a pdf program is just a hindrance to a lot of ordinary people.
A further thought is that when viewing plans online they really need to have a scale drawn showing the represented distance on them, as unlike a printed sheet they appear in different sizes on different computers.
With the contaminated land register would it not be possible as an interim measure to list the largest pollution incidents, with details of what escaped and what remedial work has been done?
Their reply 17th November
I apologise for the delay in getting back to you, but I have been waiting for more information regarding your questions.
Regarding webcasting, yes you're right we do record the meetings on disc, and we are currently looking at how we can use this media to broadcast. Kent TV is one option, but not for free. As I mentioned we are looking at a range of options and obtaining prices. We will then need to put a paper to Cabinet in order to seek their views.
The Leaders email will be reinstated - I agree that it is a recognised name within every Council.
With regard to UK Planning, as Richard explained in an earlier email there is a new project underway that will mean we host our own plans (due to commence Feb '09) - this should then overcome the issues that you are raising.
I think I mentioned in my earlier email that discussions were taking place re; Contaminated land - I will pass your comments into the discussion.