Tag Archives: House of Commons

More House of Commons exposure for The Lichfield Blog

Whilst discussing his vision for local TV during a House of Commons debate on the future of local media [& video], Secretary of State for Culture, Communications and the Creative Industries Ed Vaizey mentioned The Lichfield Blog and it’s efforts in the local media landscape.

In response to a request from West Bromwich East MP, Tom Watson who referenced another West Midlands hyperlocal, The Stirrer, Vaizey said;

…the hon. Gentleman is right to say that we must not lose sight of the fact that there are hundreds of different initiatives that are involved in the delivery of local news.

The last time I mentioned the subject in Parliament, I was e-mailed by the local news bloggers in Lichfield, who met in the pub and now provide an ultra-local news service.

I’m taking that as another sign that we’re doing something good, to be referenced by a Government Minister during a debate on the future of local media.

Encouragingly, Vaizey followed up straight away saying,

Of course, there will be elements of public money available for that kind of research and experimentation.

I’m encouraged by that. Although the coalition has ditched the IFNCs which, according to IFNC-judging panel member Will Perrin, featured a good hyperlocal element, this may mean that the Government might be considering something similar that will be focused on smaller communities than the IFNC regions.

Watch this space!

Make Parliamentary Scrutiny More Accessible

The Free Our Bills campaign from mySociety is today encouraging supporters to ask their MPs to sign Early Day Motion (EDM) 2141.

The campaign aims to get Parliament to publish bills in a much better way which will allow software developers to come up with new and innovative ways to present bills to the public and build tools around them.

It’s another project from mySociety, a non-profit organisation, organised by volunteers who aim to “build websites that give people simple, tangible benefits in the civic and community aspects of their lives” and to “teach the public and voluntary sectors … how to use the internet most efficiently to improve lives.”

They are the creators of many popular democracy web sites including WriteToThem, TheyWorkForYou and the No. 10 Downing Street Petitions web site.

The EDM asks the House of Commons to acknowledge the need for this change and the need to work with mySociety to get it done.

If you would like to see more parlimentary scrutiny then please write to your MP and ask them to sign the EDM.