Thursday, 3 November 2011

Transparency - Monmouthshire CC leading the way

It's not often I feel inspired to write anything positive about our Welsh Councils but one in particular has impressed me this evening. Monmouthshire County Council have become the first Welsh council to adopt the Open Government Licence which means that anyone can use any thing on their website, and any data for individual, or commercial use. If this wasn't enough they are also running an effective and responsive Twitter account @MonmouthshireCC, a blog, and (and this is the really impressive bit) they are happy for members of the public to film their meetings.

I suggest other Welsh councils, particularly Carmarthenshire, who are rapidly sinking into the abyss of medieval feudalism, have a look at what's going on here and follow the lady who is clearly the inspiration behind it all, @HelReynolds 

I realise there are residents of Monmouthshire who have issues with their Council and probably have views contrary to the message in this post. However, any moves towards a culture of openness are at least a start to improving accessibility and should be welcomed.

Update 7th November;
I have now learned, thanks to Tweets from the CEO @pmtmomam and @MonmouthshireCC that this Council are publishing their spending details online. Along with the issue of filming, this was one of the subjects of my petitions to the Welsh Assembly,  both still under consideration. This is excellent news and (correct me if I'm wrong) a first for Wales - worlds apart from Carmarthenshire.

Those Armchair Auditors of Monmouthshire can now analyse the information and see if their money is being spent wisely! 
 (scroll to bottom of page)


Anonymous said...

Wow! Good news, and as you say something positive from a local authority. Which council will be next? Let's hope more will follow their lead. Sadly, it won't be Carmarthen, as the C.E.O. has his own agenda, and that is not transparency.

Photon said...

Excellent! I'm very sure that they will see people more willing to trust them, less willing to condemn them, and actually becoming more reflective of the community they are meant to be working for.

Well done Monmouthshire. Just make sure things don't slip!

Anonymous said...

This is only good news for the residents of Monmouthshire. It also means that councillors will be seen to carry out their duties for the taxpayers. Clearly Monmouthshire councillors are quite happy for the public to see them in action, unlike the councillors of Carmarthenshire.

Anonymous said...

Monmouthshire council obviously has nothing to hide.This is in contrast to Carmarthenshire where secrecy is of the utmost importance and the controlling powers of the chief executive remain unchallenged by all, exept three councillors.I suppose it is asking too much that
they act less like a flock of sheep, being herded by their shepherd Mark James, and start exhibiting some moral fibre. They will have to be quick though before next years elections.