#AskPickles: Clive Betts welcomes Government move to allow councils to send agendas electronically
Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, has told the Communities and Local Government Committee that the Government plans to legislate to allow councillors to be sent agendas for council meetings electronically.
It was raised during the Committee’s #AskPickles evidence session on 22 January that councils are currently required to send councillors meeting agendas in hard copy. A number of Twitter users submitted questions asking the Government to change the law so that councils could send agendas electronically.
Commenting, Clive Betts MP, Chair of the Communities and Local Government Committee, said:
“This is precisely why the Committee decided to hold #AskPickles. We asked people working in local government to tell us the most pressing concerns they wanted the Secretary of State to be asked about. They did so and, as a result, an issue that would otherwise have gone unnoticed will now be dealt with by the Government. “Both the Secretary of State and I were surprised to learn that councils in the 21st Century are prevented by law from sending out electronic copies of their agendas. Judging by the number of tweets we received, however, this is certainly a matter of concern for those working in local government. As a result of #AskPickles, it is now not only an issue that the Government is aware of, but something it plans to rectify.
“We hope to run another #AskPickles session within a year.”
Notes to Editors
Ahead of a planned evidence session with Eric Pickles, the Committee asked people involved in local government to suggest questions for the Secretary of State via Twitter using the hashtag #AskPickles.
Between 28 November and 4 December 2013 the hashtag #AskPickles appeared in 1600 tweets. A selection of these questions was put to Mr Pickles on 22 January 2014 (the session was originally planned for 9 December but had to be postponed because the Secretary of State was unwell).
Watch the full #AskPickles session
Read the transcript
The Secretary of State confirmed his intention to legislate in a letter to the Committee dated 13 February 2014