Rewired State

Daniel Heaf discusses the outcomes of Rewired State, the government-data-hacking session that took place last weekend. Not just from local pride, I particularly like the Brighton outpost’s Transparency Machine, which takes the Council’s PDF meeting papers and makes them searchable. If you could add that to text searching within the Council’s webcasts, you might have […]

Getting the message out

Local government has been thinking a lot about community engagement and reputation management, and one of the unexpected side-effects has been an increased focus on how council communications support the democracy and participation message. Press releases are more focused on residents’ experiences, and repeat key messages about the council’s activities. Process description is kept to […]

What’s the big deal about democracy?

I spent much of Monday at a conference in Brighton with the same title as this post. Organized by the university of Brighton, the conference (as these things do) is taking a range of papers on the topic from various academics.

It has so far been an interesting event, stretching my brain in a different direction from normal.

Monday late afternoon there was a passionate attack on democracy by Isabell David (Technical University of Lisbon) who argued for meritocracy over what she saw as a populist, media-driven liberal democracy.

Community Contracts: are they a route to disappointment?

The UK’s Department for Communities and Local Government has published a guidance document on creating local charters (also called community contracts). These are arrangements between local communities and public sector service providers, containing promises from both sides on service standards and tailored service provision. In other words, charters are deals between the state and its […]