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Directly elected mayors, how council websites can do more and ideas on the Health & Social Care Bill

January 13, 2011

Heseltine backs ‘directly elected chief executives’ – There’s lots of debate today about elected mayors having chief executive powers. If councillors and community want directly elected mayors with chief executive powers then their introduction could work – however if these changes are imposed upon councils they have the potential to become a very expensive reorganisation that does little to strengthen local democracy.

Using council websites to help local residents generate social capital – Guest blogging for LGIU, Mark Pack argues for another dimension to be added to council websites – one that empowers citizens to take council information, use it to mobilise around issues and help build the social capital needed to bring about change for themselves. As Thom Townsend suggests in his comment – is such an idea though just ‘too big’ for LAs currently going through such a huge period of change? What type of person is needed to drive such a change, a ‘tech evangelist’ or a ‘network manager’? Are there any examples of councils pushing information around to help communities better collaborate on local issues?

Who Owns My Neighbourhood – Could this be one of those examples? It looks like a really interesting initiaitve from Kirklees Council – a practical way of helping local citizens build a sense of place in the community and take responsibility for the land, buildings and activities where they live and work. We’ve only just discovered this so would love to hear from anyone involved.

Why the Health and Social Care Bill matters (more than the Localism bill?) – Following an insightful chat with our Janet, LGIU Briefing Manager, I asked her to put some of her thoughts on the upcoming Health and Social Care Bill down on to paper. She argues that, whilst the Localism Bill was important for local democracy, next weeks events may ultimately have a much more profound impact on people day-to-day lives.

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