Tag Archives: jason kitcat

Eric Pickles gets it right

Not quite what Liberal Democrats always says about Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles, but his pronouncement this week about access to local government meetings was spot on.

His department’s press release says,

Councils should open up their public meetings to local news ‘bloggers’ and routinely allow online filming of public discussions as part of increasing their transparency, Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles said today.

To ensure all parts of the modern-day media are able to scrutinise Local Government, Mr Pickles believes councils should also open up public meetings to the ‘citizen journalist’ as well as the mainstream media, especially as important budget

Posted in Local government and News | Also tagged , and | 10 Comments

Data sharing and electoral registration: there should be a second opt-out

Over on the Open Rights Group blog, Jason Kitcat has recounted the recent meeting hosted by the Cabinet Office about the government’s plans to improve data sharing across the public sector in order to improve electoral registration, particularly as we shift to individual registration (the benefits of which I’ve blogged about here).

These plans could range from the helpful (such as giving people the option when, say, telling the TV Licensing Authority that they have moved also to have the information sent to update their electoral register entry) through to the very different (such as linking up tax records …

Posted in Election law and News | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Updates on earlier stories: Kitcat and Davidson cleared

Excellent news about Brighton Green Party councillor Jason Kitcat, who has been cleared of standards charges for posting footage of a council meeting on YouTube (story covered previously by us here and here).

Meanwhile in Scotland, charges against Labour councillor Gilbert Davidson for inappropriate behaviour towards a female colleague (which we briefly covered here) have been dropped.

Posted in News | Also tagged | Leave a comment

Jason Kitcat: update on the councillor facing censure for using YouTube

A quick update on my post about Brighton Green councillor Jason Kitcat, who is facing disciplinary action over putting footage of a council meeting up on YouTube. He’s posted the latest news over on his blog, and it is good to see that he is getting support from across the political spectrum:

ConservativeHome’s local government blog had yesterday posted a supportive piece which Local Government Minister Grant Shapps MP then tweeted a link to, adding his own view:

Surely no justification for reporting a Cllr who seeks to promote openness to the Standards Board

Indeed! The comments on the ConservativeHome piece are

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , , and | Leave a comment

Councillor faces standards censure for posting council meeting footage on YouTube

Brighton & Hove City Council webcasts many of its meetings and makes the footage available for people to watch again afterwards. Cllr Jason Kitcat (Green) extracted from the footage examples of himself asking questions, put the footage on YouTube and blogged about the questions on his own site.

He only used footage the council has already made available, he didn’t alter the footage and he had a good reason for using his own copy rather than the council’s original (because at the time the council’s way of presenting the footage made it hard for people to go direct to a specific …

Posted in Local government, News and Online politics | Also tagged , and | 6 Comments

Scope calls for online voting to assist disabled voters

The BBC reports:

Online voting should be introduced to assist disabled voters after access to polling stations failed to improve for this year’s election, a charity said.

A Scope survey suggested more than two thirds of the general election polling stations failed basic access tests.

Ms Scott said the country’s voting system “isn’t working for other voters either,” demonstrated by “scores of people queuing outside polling stations” at the recent general election.

“Over the last decade there has been next to no improvement in the overall accessibility of polling stations or postal voting,” she said.

“There is a pressing need for clearer accountability

Posted in Election law | Also tagged and | 4 Comments
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