I've just come in from Westgate where I can confirm the cashpoint in the town is still out of order. Thanks to the Thanet Strife weblog, I only discovered this today; as you know, I have been away this week.
Bertie Biggles writes: "Cllr King has been trying to get Cllr Latchford to help in getting a second ATM for Westgate. Cllr King has managed to persuade the owners of the building in the pic to allow an ATM to be installed but is having problems getting Nationwide or another provider to install one. Its all very complicated, but Cllr King (Ind) battles on, on behalf of Westgate with what seems precious little support. Is it because he is the last of the Mohicans, oops, last of The Independents?"
To set the record straight, the Westgate single cashpoint problem is a matter I discussed with Cllr Latchford last summer. I then approached both the banks and the building society and asked if we might have a second one installed in the village, as the existing unit frequently breaks down or becomes the target for criminal gangs trying to steal credit card details.
To cut a long story short, the reply I received was that we have two more cashpoints less than a mile away at the petrol station in the Canterbury Road and more in Birchington. The fact that some people, in the absence of a cashpoint, can't walk the distance to a second is not recognised.
I was told that the request would be considered and heard no more on the subject.
This is visibly a commercial decision. Councillors of any party can ask the banks and building societies to be helpful but the matter has, I'm afraid, little or nothing to do with the councillor's primary role in acting as an intermediary with the council in the delivery of public services.
I happen to be inconvenienced with everyone else when the cashpoint is out of order but beyond asking the banks politely, there is very little that I or Councillor King or indeed, Gordon Brown, can do to make them a little more respnsive to public needs at this time.