This blog post is the second edition of an update that I’m now writing for our staff at Public-i. It’s a summary of what I think is interesting and pertinent to us and what we do. I’m guessing/hoping it might be helpful to our friends and customers, too. Hence, it’s publication in this rather hasty form.
I want (time permitting) to do this relatively regularly, but don’t yet know how regularly. I’m thinking that once I get to five things that are worth sharing I’ll probably post – so that might be every day, every week or every month!
1). Riots: not surprisingly, they are high on people’s list of priorities at the moment. Adrian Short has produced what might be the most interesting perspective on the disturbances, arguing that we need more law-abiding citizens to be on the streets rather than – as the police suggest – locked away at home.
- Some folk are blaming technology – because it makes it possible for people to communicate quickly and cheaply and to lots of other people at once.
- But there are those who think that is lazy, ignorant and, in fact, the Met has failed to understand how the rioters are using technology.
- There is considerable concern in the voluntary sector over the scale of the cuts. Gavin links to a post by Karl Wilding that lists the ‘seven deadly charity myths’ attacking what he thinks are dangerous misconceptions that are currently en vogue.
- According to the Herald (article requires registration), Scotland’s own charities could face cuts of more than £200million as Holyrood reduces its spending.
- Harry Cole of the Guido Fawkes blog reckons that the cuts are a good thing for charities.
3). Libraries: It’s interesting that, while the voluntary sector is suffering, in local government it’s being seen as a saviour. Maev Kennedy writes in the Guardian that more and more library services will rely on volunteers for survival. Maev’s report is based on a report published by the Local Government Association – press release here and report here.
4). Open Data: I missed the news (apologies) last week about Open Corporates, run by Chris Taggart. Last week Chris asked his friends to blog on the fact that the website now has more than 20million companies on its lists. You can see more about this here and – thanks to Nick Booth at Podnosh – here.
5). Eric Pickles: The Communities secretary is now decreeing that they should publish a list of public assets.
- The Guardian says Pickles is attempting to force local government to make better use of its assets (local government counters, obviously, that it’s doing a good job).
- The Telegraph has a video here of the Communities Secretary explaining and justifying his decision. It’s something, he says, that is quite normal.
- The Department of Communities and Local Government has published demo map which it hopes will become a national resource of public assets.
- CLG estimates the assets are worth £385bn. The Publican reports that they include more than 100 pubs and 130 cafes and restaurants.
6). Localism and neighbourhood plans: Nicky Getgood has written on Talk About Local about the Localism Bill. She provides a good summary of the changes it will include for neighbourhood planning. Nicky also talks about the way that digital technologies can be used in these neighbourhood plans.
7). Elections: ZDNet has news that Scotland is trialling an e-counting system for its local government elections next year.
8). Privatisation: This thoughtful piece about the Open public services white paper, published in July, criticises it for open-door privatisation of public services. Its description of the ‘privatisation dilemma’ is well observed.