Lights out on beaconicity

30th May 2008 at 01:00
A new period of glasnost in local government is promised, it seems, as councils around the country - soon to play a central part in funding further education - promise an era of gobbledegook-free communication

A new period of glasnost in local government is promised, it seems, as councils around the country - soon to play a central part in funding further education - promise an era of gobbledegook-free communication.

One of my moles was a bit sceptical after discovering the list of bogey words on the Local Government Association website. It seems "stakeholders", "partnerships", "multi-agency" and "step-change" are banished.

Methinks the likelihood of authorities sticking to this is roughly zero. Or, to put it in government-speak, the LGA has set itself a "challenging target", that is one it won't meet.

Nevertheless it is the thought that counts, and you have to give credit to the LGA for being brave enough to take a stand.

Interesting to see that, apparently, the LGA doesn't see a council tax- paying member of the public as a "customer". Most of us knew this already. "Person" is a safer bet, it says.

Others on the list of "100 banned words" include "value-added" and "welcome" (thus banishing the cliche, "We welcome this initiative but need more cash to make it work").

Horrors which councils may find easier to avoid include "citizen empowerment", "improvement levers", and - a real classic - "predictors of beaconicity".

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