Posted tagged ‘transparency’

Saying one thing

May 19, 2011

Hotter isn't necessarily betterIf working in local government teaches one thing, it’s that there really is a form for everything. However, if it teaches some other things, one of these is that it’s easy to say one thing and then go ahead and do another.

Our good friend Eric Pickles looks like he’s been studying this one hard this week, with his department releasing yet another one of their favourite heat maps; this time around it’s hotting up wherever there is more money to spend per head of population (sounds a little like a typical night at China Whites to me). According to this map 63 councils recieve over £1050 per resident, the same number below £830 each and the rest fall somewhere in between.

E-Pick has told us in the past that he wants local people to take control of local areas, then here tells us in his own words “It’s not how much you spend, but how you spend it.” If this were true, why release the figures in this way? Transparency is mentioned in the press release and is a worthy thing to refer to, but this doesn’t actually seem to match up with the other reasons given. (more…)

I agree with Eric

February 28, 2011

I'm as shocked as you are

Hold onto your seats and don’t adjust your screens, I am about to say words I didn’t ever expect to say.

I agree with Eric Pickles.

Not generally of course, but recently he has decided to attack local government in a new (and seemingly random as ever) way, this time under the mantle of transparency and openness.  Yes, the Pickleator has written to local government and told them that bloggers should have the same rights as the accredited press.

So that I don’t misquote him, here is the message he sent out:

Fifty years ago, Margaret Thatcher changed the law to make councils open their meetings to the press and public. This principle of openness needs to be updated for the 21st Century. More and more local news comes from bloggers or citizen journalists telling us what is happening at their local council.  Many councils are internet-savvy and stream meetings online, but some don’t seem to have caught up with the times and are refusing to let bloggers or hyper-local news sites in. With local authorities in the process of setting next year’s budget this is more important than ever. (more…)