“This is a site dedicated to sharing ideas, thoughts and opinions on issues in local government. The site is aimed at officers, leaders and anyone who has ever dealt with their own local council. As a former council officer I want to lift the lid on the inner workings of town halls ….This blog is an open forum and welcomes posts from anyone who wants to contribute. Your articles can be general reflections on why things go wrong or specific stories about your own dealings with your council and how things might have improved.”
It’s intelligently written and conveys some of the real flavour of being a counciilor or council officer , much better than anything you will find on say, facebook. Though because it is a national blog not everything will apply to Rochford.
Essentially more and more councillors are becoming the middle men; passing on a message from the electorate because they are not getting the service they expect. Sometimes these expectations are unrealistic, more often they are just being fobbed off so have to escalate their issues. Officers getting a phone call from a councillor respond differently and more effectively than they do to a call from the public. Therein lies the problem. If the public got the “councillor gold standard service” when they rang up then councillors wouldn’t get dragged in. Elected members then become the sticking plaster to deal with the wider problem of councils not providing the right level of service to the public. But while councillors continue to get dragged into the proverbial fire-fighting activities they are unable to focus on preventing the fire in the first place.
Perhaps some councillors are loathed to change this approach. “Being seen” to be the councillor sorting out the broken streetlight will guarantee at least that one person’s vote. However being the councillor who sorts out the street lighting service as a whole behind closed doors is largely invisible and while it helps 100,000 people it might not result in a single vote.
The above paragraphs are fairly perceptive but don’t tell the full story – most councillors here would like to sort out the streetlighting service or pavement repairs service etc. but don’t get a chance to…
…This is an ALL OUT Election and the Conservatives could lose control of Rochford District Council.
But this is not news for our local papers who have failed to tell readers that there even IS an Election….
And they certainly have a point. But the local papers aren’t the only ones keeping the elections quiet. The Lib Dems have two websites mentioning the local council elections (including this one), Rochford Residents have one website, the Conservatives don’t seem to have any. For example look at today’s front page of the local Conservative Party website. It’s about the same as the previous 400 days. Maybe they have a technical problem.
Rochford District Council’s own website doesn’t give much publicity to the elections either. This is last night’s front page – the highlighted story was on self-build housing.
You can get to election information here – either by clicking on the pale green link “Elections on May 5th – Notice of Poll”, or by clicking on “Council and Democracy” and following a longer route. But it could be more obvious.
We now have another Lib Dem website for Rayleigh – our candidate James Newport has set up his own blog at www.jamesnewport.co.uk . It’s already got a lot of good stuff on it- including a copy of his election leaflet for Sweyne Park and Grange.
Hopefully, the hacking attack on onlineFOCUS has been dealt with now (fingers crossed).
We are trying to get back to normal.
The main event this week is tomorrow night’s meeting of the Development Committee, where a decision will be made on the big housing application on the SW Hullbridge /Rawreth borders and the roundabout application at the Hullbridge Road / Rawreth Lane junction…
If you love museums, you might enjoy reading the blog “Tincture of Museum” – you can find it here..
It’s written by someone passionate about museums – particularly the smaller ones. Here’s a sample:
Our heritage, our history, our quirky collecting natures are being eroded and erased by the need to make financial savings, to economise, to pare down and re-shape. The Museum of Fire in Edinburgh is housed in the engine room and stables of an original fire station, with fireman’s pole, high tiled walls and large entrance doors. It makes sense, it makes total sense to have the collection there, it makes history come alive, you can live it and breathe it everywhere you turn. You can smell it and feel it. A new museum is promised, somewhere at some date. This all sounds very familiar to me. What happens to the passionate volunteers who work so hard to keep that history alive in the meantime? They drift away, as museums sit in storage and plans drag on and never see the light of day.