Liveblog failure: an update

Oh the irony.

My  post asking why our live blogs weren’t working got more comments than all the liveblogs put together.

And the responses have been a bit of an eye opener:

I would suggest that people would like to discuss the major issues, not the periphery issues. Specifically, staffing levels, salaries and staff pensions which I assume are the biggest element of Council expenditure by a country mile.

Most people have no interest in this online blog for the simple reason the options are all about cutting services that effect us. What most people want is to see the wage bill cut from the overpacked top half of the Council. Why don’t we have the option of saying “sack half the managers?” Year in, year out these people take more of our money, and give us less and less services. Doesn’t stop them voting themselves increases in wages and expences though. Stop paying for consultants and do the job yourself, that will save money. Cut down on the amount of Councillers. It’s been shown time after time that they are of little use. They find out more about what the Council is doing by reading the Echo, then they do from attending expences paid meetings. Most of all, they had better remember it is election time next year.

Its the same old B$ response we get – nothing changes no mater how much we do or do not get involved. Why waste our time

as for the blog waste of time if it made any difference you would not have it

There is no point in commenting because most of the suggestions are not acceptable for example cutting back services to the elderly or for youth
What should be brought forward are cost saving measures that the public actually want-Cuts in number of Councillors , cuts in Special Allowances , cut expenses,get rid of agency staff, get rid of any posts that have been vacant for more than 3 months,cut out expenditure on outside Consultants, cut out expenditure on projects like “Town Centre Vision”, cut down on the number of meatings and the number of people attending them so they can do some actual work, and generally make the Council more efficient and cost effective
Why should the public have to say they would cut Youth Clubs or Concessionary Fares when these other areas are the places savings should be made

I suspect that there is no sense of an equality of sacrifice and that we are being asked to cut into too many services for vulnerable people. Cut Councillors allowances to where they were in May 2007. make a pledge to aim for a slimmed down Council. and people might begin to think their views were important.
The cost-cutting measures suggested for comment look like Civil Service impossible choices, with the implication that there is no scope for the efficiency improvements and cost of service- delivery reductions that people are entitled to expect.
If I thought that the council were really serious about cost-cutting then I might want to engage with the process, but the council suggestions so far just don’t give that impression. When I see serious proposals about reductions in the number of Councillors, removal of contract staff, cuts in allowances, reduced overheads, etc, then I will start to believe that they mean business. And even then I will want to see the accounts!

I guess too many people realized that the select inner few in the cabinet have already decided what is to happen; after all if they have shown little interest in democratic local government in the past, so why should we expect a change now?

This was just a box ticking exercise to show that they are listening.
Recent events prove they don’t care what we think, then they wonder why we dont bother going along with there stupid pr stunts.

I’m not surprised the ‘Blog’ was of little interest to people. It appeared to me to be nothing other than a propaganda excercise, designed to show that the council was so efficient, that the only way to make ‘Savings’ was to cut services that would have a highly visable impact,(closing public toilets/being unable to close down drug dens/not repairing roads etc).

Because despite anything being said by the ‘public’, people are probably of the opinion that Bournemouth Borough Council will go ahead anyway with whatever has been decided by them already. I suggest that whatever they are going to cut (allowances are NOT to be cut) has been set in stone and the agenda’s, together with discussion papers, already prepared for the meetings.

Because the council’s mind is already made up, never mind the ‘consultations, they know what they are going to do and they will do it.

And my personal favourite….

This needs to be run and controlled by an organization that has both the skills and knowledge to do a consultation in this way. With respect to the Echo I don’t think they have such skill and knowledge.

I’m not sure what any of this means for us and future liveblogs. But the strength of feeling against the council has been quite a surprise.

You can read the rest of the comments here


One thought on “Liveblog failure: an update

  1. The other day I think you suggested that people might much prefer letting things go to hell so they can complain about it than being proactive about making their point heard in advance – I’m boiling your point down and making it sound blunt, I know! – but those comments seem to bear the theory out.

    Those commenters are in a cultural version of the worst sort of passive-aggressive relationship – “I didn’t say anything because I KNEW you’d react like this” – with their local government, but ultimately they’re just whinging for whinging’s sake – they’re happy to take the time to bitch when it’s ABSOLUTELY not going to make a difference, complaining bitterly that it would have been a waste of their time when it MIGHT have made a difference.

    When really, if you’re going to waste the time ANYWAY, why NOT take a punt and see how the council reacts?

    It takes a particularly inquisitive mind to unpick the ways that they play into your assumptions, but it must be both vindicating AND depressing to know that you pegged it right!

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