I spent nearly two hours this afternoon with Trevor Sturgess, Group Business Editor of the Kent Messenger Group (click here to access their site). He wanted to interview me about my new role as KCC Cabinet Member for Regeneration, and although I didn’t think I would be able to tell him a great deal at this early stage in the job, I agreed.
Trevor is an affable, honest and professional chap – I first had dealings with him when, some years ago, I was tasked by Sandy Bruce-Lockhart with bringing broadband connectivity to Kent. Kent had some 113 exchanges, of which only three were broadband-enabled, and it was a challenge to create relationships with SEEDA, BT, Microsoft, Intel and others to pull together our efforts and ensure that every area of the county had access to high speed telecommunications.
Both Trevor and the Kent Messenger were great – they championed our cause, talked up the benefits and communicated the successes. Now, years later, it was fascinating to spend time with Trevor, comparing then and now; noticing the cyclical nature of economy and growth, the innovations that nowadays are commonplace, the great ideas that never quite won through.
We talked about the need for regeneration to make a real impact on people’s lives – on skills, on employment, on health and well-being. We discussed the over bearing bureaucracy of Government, and how the real performance indicators should be the people of Kent; the real outcomes their pride, confidence and hope.
And it made me realise that without our media in Kent, we could have the greatest outcomes, messages and stories of all time, but nobody would ever know.