What we’re reading 09/11/10

This is the first in a regular(ish) post from the LGiU team that picks up the most interesting local democracy stories of the day.

Gritter twitter. A brilliant little initiative from Hertfordshire County Council. Anxious (and tech-savvy) residents will be able to follow the council’s operations as they happen on twitter or by RSS feed.

Warminster Assembly Rooms. David Cameron promised yesterday to “turn government on its head” by publishing detailed information on government spending. The plan is to help a nation of armchair auditors keep government in check. Here’s a nice little vignette from Warminster Web that shows what councils are in for. The blog is using council information to pressure the town council into shutting an allegedly loss-making building.

Councils defy Pickles and go fortnightly. Eric’s promised to give councils more freedom. He has, however, blotted his copy-book with a couple of prescriptive statements: on bins, lobbyists and newspapers (see below). Councils are starting to push back. It’ll be interesting to see how this one develops.

Pickles gives final warning on council newspapers. Eric’s argued that councils are wasting money that could be spent on front-line services publishing newspapers that councils use as political mouthpieces. He’s issued a final warning to councils to cease and desist. It’s not clear, however, that this will save money.

For more local stories go to the excellent Openly Local.