Thursday, 11 March 2010

200 words not to use

Now you're talking my language! Wouldn't it be wonderful if Darlington Borough Council acted on the LGA's suggestion and ceased using these 200 words and started writing in plain English.

The ones I really hate are "Quick win", "Stakeholder", Sustainable Communities", "Third Sector", Step Change", Place Shaping", Funding Stream" and Benchmarking". No DBC report is considered complete without the use of at least two of these horrible words.

In fact, I believe, somewhere in the darkest recesses of the Town Hall, there's someone employed in an office lit only by a single unshaded light bulb whose job it is to ensure that no report leaves the building unless it does indeed contain a fair smattering of this nonsense jargon.


Anonymous said...

Alan Macnab writes......

What about empowerment? That's used a lot in government speak. There is also the phrase 'blue sky thinking.' That came up a lot with my former local authority. I couldn't for the life of me work out what it meant and I daren't ask for an explanation.

Anonymous said...

Personally, I think most normal people don't read most council agenda's and aren't ever likely to. That's why they elect people like you to suffer such things.

Thus posturing on such matters is just another trend or fad that politico's (new one for you) use against one another, alongside someone earning money from training or educating insecure councillors. Not counting the council officials who find it useful for reports to civil servants who many people might consider live on a different planet anyway of course...

Anonymous said...

Sadly, while there's no problem with a bunch of planning geeks spouting this nonsense to each other every day, it does also spill over into the way the council communicates with residents. The news section of its website has some comically poor press releases, including this one:

01/03/10 - A REVISED Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) is to be considered by Darlington Borough Council at its next Cabinet Meeting on Tuesday March 2. Once agreed, the Statement will pave the way for more clarity on community involvement in planning applications and drafting new planning policies.

The first SCI was adopted in 2005, and is being revised now to take account of changes to legislation, and internal processes and protocols. The revised SCI has been through an extensive six week consultation involving local organisations and individuals along with Ward and Parish councillors.

The SCI sets out how and when members of the community and organisations can take part in the planning in Darlington including shaping new planning policy and having a say on planning applications. It also gives guidance to developers, setting out the Council’s expectations of them in involving local people and other organisations in their plans before submitting their planning application to the Council.

The aim is to encourage and educate people on how to get involved with the planning process so that they have the opportunity to have their say at a point in the planning process where plans and proposals can still be changed.

Changes include the introduction of the offer to convene a meeting to allow potential developers to present their schemes in initial draft format to Planning Applications Committee Members, Ward Members, and interested local residents and any relevant statutory consultees or organisations, allowing questions to be asked and feedback to be taken on board by developers, and also includes a section about the Council’s ‘One Stop Shop’ service to applicants prior to submitting a planning application.
This will help ensure that local issues and concerns can be made clear to developers at the earliest stage possible before a planning application is submitted to the Council, and that the Council knows what local people think before it finalises planning policies to guide future development. This should make the whole planning process clearer and more streamlined.

John Williams, Council Leader said: “The Council wants to involve as many people as possible in the decisions that affect their lives. We also welcome the involvement of anyone else with an interest in the town, whether as potential investors, service providers, regulatory agencies or visitors. Darlington Partnership has worked closely with the Planning Policy team in revising the Statement and I would like to thank them for their time and commitment.”

Answers on a postcard as to what any of that nonsense actually means.

Anonymous said...

Quite agree this goverment speak is a load of rubbish that could mean anything. Why not get back to concise plain English that appears in a dictionary and that all normal people of this planet understand.