This is the second of my entries, and hopefully this will become a routine - every week I hope to deliver some useful information about the District Council and its activities and also occasional comments about the world at large from my point of view.
Over the weekend of January 22nd and 23rd I attended the last of the 4 modules of the IDEA Leadership Academy. Pretty much all of the group turned up in Edinburgh for a couple of cold days in January - they must find it as useful as I do.
The most interesting session for me was a visit to the new Scottish Parliament building which is a spectacular edifice. We went to discuss the Petitions Panel, where any individual can raise an issue that concerns them about pretty much any aspect of services and policies in Scotland. The process seems to be both very accessible through the Petitions Office or directly into a discussion group on the Net; petitioners are heard by a panel of MSPs and there have been enough successes for the process to have great validity.
I can't help thinking something of this type would be useful in the English system. Perhaps the Regional Assembly could offer this wide ranging public legitimacy as well as its forum responsibility. I will be getting in touch with the SWRA to discuss.