Where we are and where we will be

Where we are and where we will be
The idea of Edinburgh is a combination of place, soul and symbolic leadership of a nation

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Another nail in the coffin of transparency

We have been asked our views on the Council leaders report. This is the report done by the Council Leader as part of the Council meeting. It goes to around 20,000 people by e mail as a way of communicating the vision and direction of the Council without the filter of the press.

The leader can then be questioned on the report, or any other matter as part of the Council meeting. The present administration don't like it because it is another form of scrutiny, something they hate. They have already made it more difficult for the public to come on delegations to the Council and now they want even less transparency.

Anyway, I was asked for my views and here is what I wrote in reply:

"My view and that of the Labour Group is that the Leaders report has the potential to play a distinctive role in democratic transparency, accountability and communication and to change its place as the precursor to the Council Meeting would send a message to the city that such things were not of importance to those charged with its Governance.

The Council is charged with leadership of the city. The holder of the post of Council leader personifies that role and should offer his or her regular reflections on the life and the direction of the City as part of the context in which the Full Council Meeting, as the sovereign body of the Council, makes the decisions set before it at each meeting.

I and the Labour Group regard this as matter of the principles of democratic accountability, not of party politics and any changes you may propose will be scrutinised in that context."

On part performance it will be ignored as have our views have been ignored again and again but I thought it worth saying anyway.

No comments:

Surgery Times

1st Wed @ Piershill Library, 30 Piershill Terrace.
2nd Wed @ Craigentinny Community Centre, Loaning Rd.
3rd Wed @ Duddingston Primary School, Duddingston Rd.

All 7:15pm -7:45pm

and the last Sat. Lochend YWCA, 198 Restalrig Road South
12noon -1pm

(no appointment needed, all during school terms)
Printed and Published by Ewan Aitken on behalf of the Edinburgh Labour Party, 78 Buccleuch Street, Edinburgh, EH8 9NH