Lambeth Council finally published its draft White Paper on the co-operative council yesterday. You can download it here, read @Jason_Cobb‘s fine analysis here and contribute to the Lambeth wiki page here. There are still some questions to be cleared up, namely who on earth is on the Citizens’ Commission? Will it, as I first thought, include citizens or is it just a commission of council advisors who talk to citizens through so-called ‘community engagement’ events? Has it been chosen already? The announcement is somewhat confusing: “A Citizens’ Commission is being set up” – so a work in progress then? Oh no, it’s “meeting for the first time today”. What was the selection process? And what will its role actually be, since the White Paper seems to somewhat pre-empt the findings of any commission? The paper even comes up with the questions it thinks the Commission should consider.
Lambeth have embraced social media this time around, but although a wiki, twitter hashtag (#lambethcoop) and a Facebook group are all very well, only a small proportion of Lambeth residents are likely to log onto to Twitter, wiki or even Facebook in order to add their views to the mix. The ‘community engagement’ (what a terrible phrase) events will remain vital.
Whatever it may be, the Commission Report is due for October, in time for the launch of the Co-Operative Council in April 2011.