Monday, 29 March 2010

FREEDOM OF COUNCIL INFORMATION

Here is an extract from :-
Conservative Technology Manifesto

"All local councils will be required to
publish online every item of spending over
£500. In addition, we will require local
councils to publish procurement contracts
and tender documents in full. To tackle
runaway local council salaries, we will require
councils to publish the names and the full
remuneration package of all senior local
authority staff earning over £60,000. We will
also require councils to publish data on
individual councillor expenses, enabling the
public to compare councillor expenses across
the country."

But this does not go far enough,all Senior
Officers meetings should be open to scrutiny
by the public, as are the workings of Councillors.
I can hear the screams of agony from Officers all
over the country, they are not, however, loud
enough to frighten us the Council Tax payers,
Nobody in their right mind would give a service
provider £1400 a year,unquestioningly, you would
want some control over how it was used.The theory
is that Councillors should do this, but as we know from
Statements by Councillors and our own experiences,
it is Officers that control the Council and how the
money is spent.Therefore it is attendance at those
meetings which is even more important to us than
those of Councillors.The scream of “confidentiality”is
a fallacious argument often used by Officers to hide
behind what they are really doing,There are actually
only the very smallest number of activities that are
“confidential” and in terms of what we should know
is happening even they are dubious, although you
would not believe that listening to age old arguments
by Officers, Time to clear away Local Government
Official Secrets.It is time Councillors insisted that ,
Officers opened themselves up to public scrutiny,
we have a chance to do it in the next few weeks,
by quizzing all those candidates that knock on your
door, One simple question, “When will we be able to
scrutinise Officers activities” and get an answer that
satisfies you, don’t accept no for an answer!!.

It not necessarily that we would want to question every
£500 of expenditure, but much more importantly the
underlying premise for the spending of funds,quite often,
in direct contravention of what local people need or want.
This is not all bad for Officers as they may be able to justify
some of the more bizarre decisions, directly to the Public,
something they conspicuously fail to do presently. As Officers often
tell us they have nothing to hide, then they cannot object to being directly
scrutinised.

Friday, 26 March 2010

Will Anyone Notice?

Redbridge i during the pre election

Redbridge Council is restricted on what it can publicise from when an election is announced to when the polling stations close.

The Council cannot show political preference, use public resources or publicity materials such as leaflets, press releases, or the website and it’s features to promote one party or policy over another. The pre election period is usually between four to six weeks.

From 5pm on Friday 26 March 2010

  • Borough forums will be read only and you will not be able to post comments on the forum.
  • The Council Leader’s blog and the Redbridge Mayor’s blog will not be available to view.
  • The Neighbourhood Matters homepage module will not be available to use.
  • Pledges home page module will be pre moderated. *
  • The Ask My Neighbour home page module will be pre moderated.*
  • My Neighbourhood will remain unaffected.

* pre-moderation means that posts submitted to the forum will be checked by a forum moderator before it appears on the forum.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

Last Chance for King George

The deadline for the consultation on the North East London Healthcare proposals has been extended to 22nd March. If you have not already fed in your comments please do so. Here.

An additional public meeting has been arranged for people in the Chadwell area, but all residents will be welcome.

The meeting will be held from 19:30 on Thursday 18th March, at Somerville Hall, Somerville Road (opposite First Avenue-A12 end!)

Additionally, on the day the consultation closes there will be a delegation to 10 Downing Street to hand in the petition.

After that there is another protest march on 17th April 2010 from Little Heath Green at 1:15pm to Ilford Town Hall.

[Post as amended by Redbridge Eye]

Sore Tooth?

Apparently there has been a public consultation on Urgent Dental Care Treatment for Redbridge PCT. I know of nobody in Redbridge who has heard of this – Have you?

It appears that in future emergency dental care will take place at either Whitechapel or South Hornchurch. Home visits by local practitioners will no longer be funded and only 20 dentists will be providing urgent dental care treatment during opening daytime hours (in-hours service). This severely affects the less mobile.

More details here.

[Post as amended by Redbridge Eye]

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

Owwch!

Wilson's post has been pulled, without anaesthetic.

Dear Mr Chowdhry,
When you publish a post on your own blog a link to it appears over there on the right hand side bar ...>>>>>>>>>>>.........>>>>>>>>>>
There is no need to duplicate it here.
Regards
RedEye

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Redbridge Goldilocks

After the experience of the former Redbridge-i forum, as was, where the local area and ward based sub-forums had little or no use, even when all registered members could contribute our council in it's wisdom decided to recreate them in localised forums where only those people whose postcode is registered within that area could contribute. Result - nothing much happening. In fact where I live nothing at all, zilch, zero, diddly squat, silence. I've had to change my registered postcode to find someone to talk to.

Now we get to Redbridge Life, the council's monthly news sheet [checks spelling]. This gets put through every letterbox in the borough, except, presumably, those with a "no free newspapers" notice. The council take great pride in this publication. Blown up versions of the front page of each edition are ostentatiously framed and displayed in the committee rooms of the Town Hall where visiting consultants and VIPs can view them in awe. But do the residents actually want it or read it? Some obviously do, but probably about the same proportion as would answer a public consultation - about 1%.

So, to address this the Labour group, in the form of Bob Littlewood, are proposing that it should be more localised. For this read more expensive. So, people who live in the south of the borough are not interested in what's happening over at Fairlop Waters? People in the west of the borough are not interested in events at Hainault Forest Country Park? Only those people who live in South Woodford are interested in parking arrangements or the library facilities. Nobody from outside South Woodford uses the shops there or the tube station, do they?

So, would you be more or less likely to read it if it were "localised"?

Goldilocks eventually found something that was "just right", but this serendipitous eventuality seems to be eluding both our Councillors and officers.

Discuss.

Wednesday, 3 March 2010

The end is nigh - will our NHS survive?!


I have heard disturbing news that the urgent dental care provision in Redbridge is due to relocate out of the Borough. Under recent proposals from the Primary Care Trust it would seem that local dentists will no longer be funded to provide out of hours service, visits to homes (for elderly and vulnerable patients) or emergency visits to our hospitals.

If the Primary Care Trust are successful, Redbridge patients will have to travel ignominiously to Whitechapel to receive a service in what our PCT term a specialist centre. Strangely enough, it is not a quality issue that has resulted in this change - yet the Redbridge PCT still believe they are "rationalising" our service provision.
-
I have been invited to the next Redbridge & Waltham Forest - Barking and Havering Local Dental Committee meeting on the 8th of March. In attendance will be representatives from the 4 Local PCT's. I will voice my objections to the new proposals and state my preference the more favourable status quo.
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We may be fighting "tooth and nail" for the retention of any NHS services if their attritional reductions continue! Our existing government and the NHS fat cats have got people's needs and desires all wrong and we must keep galvanising our community against the destruction of our nation and it's history of protecting it's people.

It would be great to obtain resident views on this diabolical proposal...?

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

That's Interesting

My RSS feed for Redbridge-i forum topics has just informed me that there is a new post on the

"Private forum for BUG champions".

Of course, it won't let me in to read it to find out what it is all about, it's "private", but the URL tells me it is the "Bicycle Users Group". Another subject that "they" do not want us to discuss in public, or at least on "their" forum.

I wonder if there is a Tricycle Users Group? TUG!