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Last Updated: Tuesday, 17 April 2007, 13:44 GMT 14:44 UK
County council sets up TV station
Computer
The KCC TV station will be available to broadband subscribers
Kent County Council is planning to spend 1.4m to launch its own internet-based television station for broadband subscribers.

County councillors are expected to back the two-year pilot scheme which will cost 200,000 to set up plus 600,000 a year in running costs.

Kent TV will be subcontracted to an independent private company with day-to-day editorial control.

It is hoped advertising and sponsorship will eventually fund the project.

KCC chief executive Peter Gilroy said that the TV station would benefit tourism, inward investment and education in the county.

Advertising and sponsorship

"In the public sector generally we have got to get better at communications," he said.

"This will be able to reach people that we can't reach at the moment."

He said he anticipated that news, advice and other items of 10-minute duration would be available for download on computers, MP3 players and mobile phones, making it easier for the council to get its message over to a younger audience.

The leader of the Labour group, Councillor Mike Eddy, said the amount of money concerned could have been used to improve the level of home care for disabled people or to keep more librarians in post.

"There are more effective ways of communicating with the general public such as neighbourhood forums or local boards," he added.

But Mr Gilroy said: "We are in a digital age and I am absolutely convinced that the council is right on this one."

He said that income generated by advertising and sponsorship could cover half the cost of the TV station within the pilot period and nearly all the costs within four years.

A decision on which company will run the contract will be decided shortly, ready for the initiative to air in September.

The service will carry news, documentaries and programmes on council services and council-related issues and could also be screened in public buildings, libraries and shopping centres.


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