The picture is from a year ago this week, I have to admit to being sick of this late winter weather.
It has been a day if mixed messages first this press release http://thanetpress.blogspot.co.uk/2013/03/thanet-council-review-of-procedures.html the part that interested me the most was.
“Where officers deem it necessary to exclude the press and public due to the content of a report, the report that recommends the exclusion of the press and public will, in future, state what the public interest test is, to explain the rational for the exclusion, and what is meant by commercially sensitive, where applicable.”
I had a long chat about this with one of the council’s senior officers recently, the point I made was that all council documents should by default be in the public domain and that in most cases if a company wishing to deal with the council wanted documents kept out of the public domain they should have to pay a fee for this service. What I suggested was £500 to keep a document out of the public domain for five years after which it would be released.
Obviously there are problems associated with this sort of approach, but I think it helped to get my point across.
I think there is a feeling among some of the council officers that the writing is on the wall for TDC the possibility of a unitary authority is being openly discussed.
I guess the main weakness the council has is that it is supposed to be run for local people, it isn’t supposed to be a party political jousting field, nor is supposed to be a fiefdom run for the benefit and convenience of senior officers and senior members of the ruling group that happens to be in power.