Sara Hawthorn 10 July 2014

Pickles calls for statutory notices to be brought into 21st Century

Pickles calls for statutory notices to be brought into 21st Century image

Local government secretary Eric Pickles has compared municipal statutory notices to a famous scene from Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and criticised the ‘sterile debate’ of the complete abolition of statutory notices.

He compared the current approach to that of the demolishing of Arthur Dent’s house, where the planning notice is displayed "in the basement; in a disused lavatory; without a light; in the bottom of a locked filing cabinet; with a sign on the door, saying: ‘Beware of the Leopard’.”

Speaking at the Local Government Association annual conference, Mr Pickles announced plans to involve the newspaper industry which could see paid digital advertising and location specific mobile technology. He defended the need for statutory notices as an important way of ensuring local residents were informed of decisions affecting their properties and lives.

Pickles said: 'Both the private and public sector need to embrace the technology and the internet and changing public demand, otherwise they will fall by the wayside. That’s why local government is now at the forefront of the open data agenda with the new local government Transparency Code.

'We are opening up council meetings to new rights to film, tweet and blog - in a digital age, we cannot cling to analogue interpretations of rules on public access. Statutory notices also need to change.

'To take this forward, I want to bring councils and the newspaper industry together to work together on some pilots to show the case for innovation. Newspapers need to embrace new technology to survive. But they should not face unfair competition from council newspapers. And 21st century independent media offer councils the chance to reach out, inform and engage - an alternative to the depths of obscurity in a council website or lavatory without a light.'

Meeting new planning requirements for trees image

Meeting new planning requirements for trees

Concrete block permeable paving offers an important opportunity to help satisfy the requirement for extensive tree planting and retention of existing trees in developments. Chris Hodson reports.
For your free daily news bulletin
Highways jobs

Director of Children's Safeguarding and Care 

Gloucestershire County Council
Up to £116,391, plus relocation support
We are looking to fill this vital role at a very important time for us.  Our children’s services team is on an important journey of... Gloucestershire
Recuriter: Gloucestershire County Council

Corporate Director

Ceredigion County Council
£97,294 - £104,086
We are looking to recruit an ambitious and truly transformational leader to support the delivery of modernised and sustainable services to... Penmorfa, Porthmadog
Recuriter: Ceredigion County Council

Street Works Co-ordinator

Lincolnshire County Council
£21,153 - £23,791
Do you want to make a difference to how Street Works are managed within Lincolnshire? Lincolnshire
Recuriter: Lincolnshire County Council

Community Co-ordinator (Health inequalities)

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc.
The successful candidate will have evidenced experience of working in a community environment. Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Homelessness Prevention and Relief Officer

Brent Council
£32,418 - £34,209 p.a. inc. (pro-rata)
You must have an understanding of homelessness legislation, and an ability to learn legislation quickly with training, coupled with... Brent, London (Greater)
Recuriter: Brent Council

Public Property

Latest issue - Public Property News

This issue of Public Property examines how how flexible workspaces can lead the way in regeneration for local authorities, Why local authority intervention is key to successful urban regeneration schemes and if the Government’s challenge of embracing beauty is an opportunity for communities.

The March issue also takes a closer look at Blackburn with Darwen Council's first digital health hub to help people gain control over health and care services.

Register for your free digital issue