That’s decided – we’re moving to York!
We say this as we followed up our story Wirral Council – Where Transformation Means More Of The Same by watching coverage of the City of York Council’s Audit & Governance Committee meeting held yesterday.
As you can see their meetings are webcast so that the people of York can see how the council makes its decisions. The aim is to promote openness and accountability, and to support greater participation in local democracy. ‘A Protocol for Webcasting, Filming and Recording of Council Meetings’ on City of York Council’s website usefully sets out the operating procedure for filming/webcasts. This includes the Chair , at the start of each meeting, making the following statement : – ” I would like to remind everyone present that this meeting will be broadcast live to the internet and will be capable of repeated viewing.”
If Wirral Council wanted to promote openness, accountability and greater participation in local democracy surely they’d ditch Wirral View and look to how York conducts its business .But then again considering openness,accountability and democracy have never been a top priority for Wirral Council we suspect that John Brace won’t be out of a job any time soon!
We suggest to our readers that they spend the duration of their favourite soap opera and watch the first half hour of the video. We think they will find it most instructive. However – call us sad- we watched the entire 3 hour + as it was morbidly fascinating and as described by one of the councillors , at times ‘Kafkaesque’.
As you will surely witness as Wirral languishes metaphorically in the depths of winter , the councillors and citizens of York set out to prove that sunlight is indeed the best disinfectant .
We were sat here loudly applauding at Leaky Towers as councillors actually tried to hold slippery council officers to account and as concerned citizens asserted their democratic rights and reminded these callow council officers exactly who they were accountable to.
They made our councillors ( of all political persuasion) look like the rank amateurs they are when it comes to scrutiny and reminded us how Wirral Council manage to get away with what they do because many local people are so politically disengaged. What we need are a few more Gwen Swinburns!
However we live in hope that ,like Storm Doris, it will pass and one day Wirral will get its day in the open and transparent sun . Meanwhile it would appear the council taxpayers of Wirral are still stuck in a nuclear winter of discontent when it comes to public accountability.