Posted tagged ‘blame’

Are the officers to blame?

September 15, 2011

Talk to the hand!

I was recently reminded of a very bad decision I had been involved in.

Quite a few years ago I worked on one of the trendy community empowerment projects that were so prominent in the mid-New Labour period. This particular one gave chunks of money to community groups for them to spend on basically whatever they wanted. I know that these schemes existed throughout the country and the quality of the spending varied from commissioning murals right through to investing in long term community resources.

The scheme I worked on was relatively small and despite being in a small area didn’t really generate the sort of interest we would have hoped for. About 15 people came forward and wanted to get involved in the decision making.

Being a local authority, and thus not wanting to give up total control, we had set some rules for the spending in the local area. These, simply put, dictated that the money needed to be spent on ‘things’ and/or improvements to other ‘things’. We also did some initial consultation work, in conjunction with some local councillors, that identified some of the key concerns of the local residents.

Unfortunately, despite all the hard work we made to make the decision as ‘reflective’ of the community’s views as possible the small group of 15 local people had other ideas.


Don’t hate the referee

February 24, 2011

Are we really to blame for the obesity epidemic?

There is a saying: don’t hate the player, hate the game.  Well, today a revision of this came to mind: don’t hate the referee, hate the game.

Listening to the radio I heard a story on the child obesity epidemic ‘sweeping the nation’.  Several London boroughs took up a chunk of the top ten places, with the rest scattered around the country.  Whilst childhood obesity is not something to defend or be supportive of, what annoyed me was the line of attack from the radio hosts and the target for their ire.

In case you hadn’t guessed, yet again local government was taken to task over this issue, and told exactly how unacceptable the situation is.  I agree, but what exactly can we do, above our current efforts. (more…)