Mr Cameron on localism

The Economist today reports on David Cameron's recent visit to Manchester:

"The champion of localism pledged to use his office at the head of the central government to help voters overcome local woes"
"These local officials are accountable, they work for the council, he said, with some vehemence. Go and see your councillors, he recommended. “If it is not working, I’ll help you. I’ll bash down the walls of the council if I have to.”

Ok, in this instance he was talking to a parent of disabled children but nonetheless but the sentiment  is the same no matter what the subject.  Both local council officers and councillors are accountable to local people and is about time that Broadland District Council took this on board and stopped following the aspirations of certain members without listening to local residents.

Meanwhile, let Council leader, Simon Woodbridge or the Chief Executive, Colin Bland know about any concerns you have. You can email them:

or write to them at this address:
Broadland District Council
Thorpe Lodge
1 Yarmouth Road
Thorpe St Andrew
Norwich NR7 0DU

1 comment:

  1. Mr Cameron is in fact merely doing a bare minimum to implement the United Nations Aarhus Convention, that is, the UNECE Convention on Access to Information, Public Participation in Decision-making and Access to Justice in Environmental Matters.

    This was adopted on 25th June 1998 in the Danish city of Aarhus at the Fourth Ministerial Conference in the 'Environment for Europe' process.

    The Aarhus Convention is a new kind of environmental agreement. The Convention:

    •Links environmental rights and human rights
    •Acknowledges that we owe an obligation to future generations
    •Establishes that sustainable development can be achieved only through the involvement of all stakeholders
    •Links government accountability and environmental protection
    •Focuses on interactions between the public and public authorities in a democratic context.
    The subject of the Convention goes to the heart of the relationship between people and governments. The Convention is not only an environmental agreement, it is also a Convention about government accountability, transparency and responsiveness.

    The Aarhus Convention grants the public rights and imposes on Parties and public authorities obligations regarding access to information and public participation and access to justice.

    The Aarhus Convention is also forging a new process for public participation in the negotiation and implementation of international agreements.

    Further amendments were adopted at the second meeting of the Parties held in Almaty, Kazakhstan, on 25-27 May 2005 - here is a quote from the Document:

    "Recalling principle 10 of the Rio Declaration on Environment and Development, which
    states, inter alia, that environmental issues are best handled with the participation of all
    concerned citizens, at the relevant level,
    Recalling also article 3, paragraph 7, of the Convention, which requires each Party to
    promote the application of the principles of the Convention in international environmental
    decision-making processes and within the framework of international organizations in matters relating to the environment, and paragraph 31 of the Lucca Declaration, in which Parties, Signatories and other States and stakeholders recognized the need for guidance on the implementation of this provision of the Convention, ...." etc. - you get the picture.

    I think we need to blow a few of these mighty strong words up into a huge, bold size - on a poster or something? - and wave these banners at meetings. These legal words are like cannon blasts, and nothing less will shake our Councils!

    By the way, the existence of international canons (or cannons!) like these, is the reason I have been bold enough to state, on Broadland Council's comment form for the GNDP Documents, that not one word of these Documents complies with national or international law.

    If asked to explain myself in person, I would of course bring a copy of the Convention with me. But in any case, I am now going to reference it directly more often when I comment on environmental matters. I know the Convention is always there in the background, but unless it is literally brandished VERBATIM in front of public authorities, it will carry no weight - like a policeman with no uniform and no other members of the force backing him up.