I’m fed up with Telford and Wrekin council. Fed up with the “we’ll get to it” response to queries around the launching of epetition facility on their website. Yes, I know it might seem like a little thing to get angry about but they’re not complying with legislation and not complying with legislation seems like a Bad Thing to do.
So, the Local Democracy, Economic Construction and Development Act was finalised in 2009. The majority of the duty on local authorities came into force on 15 June 2010, the e-petitions requirements didn’t come into force until the 15 December 2010. It’s not like this act was snuck out by government. It was debated in committee, ratified and got given a big and lovely name.
Here’s the tweet from @telfordwreking saying it’ll be ready in the new year. (It’s not) http://twitter.com/#!/TelfordWrekin/status/17599333897609217
Here’s the response to my FOI about the epetition facility that says the system was in place and would be ready to launch on the 15th Decemeber. (It wasn’t) http://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/epetitions_facility#incoming-117428
Petitions are an important democratic way to raise concerns that matter most to people. As the locally elected representatives, councillors are there to fight the corner for residents and make sure services are delivered.
I’ve just spoken with the Department for Communities and Local Government and have an email address to send a query to.
Epping Forest have an Epetition facility. Cannock Chase have an epetition facility. Amber Valley have an epetition facility. Carlisle have an epetition facility. Ashfield have an epetition facility. Southampton have an epetition facility. Shepway have an epetition facility. Allerdale have an epetition facility. Birmingham have an epetition facility. Harlow have an epetition facility. Canterbury have an epetition facility. Staffordshire Moorlands have epetitions. Preston have an epetition facility. Worcestershire City Council have an epetition facility. Wolverhampton have an epetition facility.
(This list is by no means exhaustive or complete)
Why not Telford? Why not?
Just had Phill Griffiths, Head of Democratic Services from Telford Wrekin Council, on the phone to assure me that although there’d been some concerns around “risks involved with data protection and data storage” but has committed that the epetitions facility will be launched by Friday.
Surprised they’ve gone from “don’t know” and “sometime soon” to a definite answer in the course of a couple of hours. Well done Telford and Wrekin council for getting it done and hitting the button to make it go live.