We are focusing on digital democracy in the June edition of c’llr. Regular readers of the local democracy blog and other LGiU reports will know that we have long been advocating the immense opportunities offered by open data and social media technologies. The potential to find, listen to, respond to and engage with people, with communities, with groups small and large is exciting. As is the creative challenge offered by these technologies to do things differently – the possibility of designing and delivering services in new ways, of adding new dimensions to the definition of democracy.
In June’s c’llr we hear from councillors and officers from around the country about how they are using digital tools to enhance and develop what they do. There are articles from leading practitioners in the digital world, including Martha Lane-Fox and Anthony Zacharzewski, about the opportunities, challenges and problems that will present themselves as councils go forward in a digital world.
Elsewhere in June’s c’llr Mark D’Arcy interviews Francis Maude, the minister responsible for public service reform about his hopes for public mutual companies. As Mark D’Arcy writes: “The drive to mutualise is already much more than a gleam in a policy wonk’s eye; it is one of the central tenets of David Cameron’s Big Society vision”.
Ken Maddock, the leader of Somerset County Council talks to c’llr about the council’s hope for an all clear to build a third nuclear reactor at Hinkley Point and their response to the nuclear accident at Fukishima. Jim McMahon is Oldham’s new leader and, at 30, probably the youngest council leader in the country – he tells c’llr about his determination to turn Oldham into a truly ‘cooperative council’.
And there’s more – too much to mention here. So do read June’s c’llr. Copies are delivered to all our member authorities or you can read the PDF version. Oh, and let us know what you think; suggestions for future topics or articles are also always welcome – you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org