Local government defends Taxpayers’ Alliance (honestly)

This in an unexpected post on the We Love Local Government blog which is worth sharing; someone from the sector speaking out in favour of one of its sternest critics. The points made, around the need for openness, transparency and explaining clearly the reasons why the public sector funds particular services, are well put. If taken up, some of the points made by the Taxpayers’ Alliance could be rebutted more effectively.

I’ll be interested to see the debate which follows.

Links I like 12.04.04

Local elections 2012: predicting the 50 councils to watch – LGiU blog
The Local Government Information Unit charts the more hotly contested local councils elections this year, which have yet to turn the heads of many people if my (very basic) tests of public opinion represent a wider view. It identifies a number of councils in the area I cover, including Southampton, Portsmouth, Swindon and Reading (where I have reported on elections in the past) amongst its ‘top 50’. Informative and useful. Lewis Baston makes interesting points in his post too.

Councils warned about politically sensitive posts during purdah – PR Week
It wouldn’t be election time without a warning in PR Week about purdah, with the latest edition containing an article about the use of digital and social media in the run up to polling day. In the piece, Alex Aitken makes the point that I’d like to hear more of: “The business of the council continues and reassuring people that we’re fixing potholes and looking after the vulnerable should continue to be communicated.”

Links I like 12.02.25

The most overused jargon in press release headlines – PR Daily
This post links to Schwartz MSL’s study into the use of keywords in American press release headlines, which can increase the prominence of PR content on internet search engines. It cites some examples of jargon which will be familiar to Brits, with ‘solution’ listed  as the most frequent offender.

Top 10 words that need to die, immediately – Lit reactor
Need I say more?

 

Trouble for Times: hacking gives Harding a headache

There were some highly uncomfortable moments at The Leveson Inquiry today for The Times editor James Harding, who apologised after one of his reporters was found to have hacked into an email account to unmask anonymous police blogger DC Richard Horton (aka Nightjack).

Harding told the inquiry he ‘sorely regrets’ not disclosing the actions of his former media correspondent Patrick Foster at a High Court hearing into a privacy injunction brought by Horton against the paper. The hearing found in favour of The Times.

Continue reading “Trouble for Times: hacking gives Harding a headache”

Housing hits the headlines

The publication of the housing strategy has led to some interesting headlines over the weekend, which I thought I’d share below. Notwithstanding the complexity of the issues around housing in this country, it’s interesting to see how different media treat the same information. 

The Guardian played it straight on Friday with a piece setting out plans to use brownfield sites to deliver 450,000 new homes. It also highlighted a Government-backed mortgage scheme which would help first time buyers struggling to access finance get on the housing ladder.

The Telegraph, meanwhile, yesterday wrote of plans to double the right to buy discount offered to council house tenants, to up to 50% of the value of their home, with receipts being used to build replacements. 

Continue reading “Housing hits the headlines”

Links I like 11.11.02

The notion that social media is a great leveller is wrong – Jon Worth
A great post from Worth who sets out why, after six years of blogging, he appears to be less influential than when he was ranked in the ‘top 10’ by people like Iain Dale. Despite the talk of social media being a way for people to influence discussion and debate, Worth argues that the more widespread social media use has become, the less this appears to be the case. I don’t disagree with his post.