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Inside Politics with Michael Wilkinson: Victory for democracy

By citizenmike  |  Posted: March 20, 2014

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Each week public affairs correspondent Michael Wilkinson takes an alternative stroll down the corridors of power.

VICTORY FOR DEMOCRACY

FILMING will now be allowed at Gloucester City Council meetings after I brought a ban on filming to the public’s attention.

This is a small victory for the taxpayer who will now, at least in principle, be able to catch up on the happenings within the council chamber should they wish to do so.

I am sure there will be people out there who are willing to test the council’s resolve on this. I wonder if the next meeting of councillors on March 27 will see a posse of taxpayers armed with iPhones, video cameras and dictaphones?

CITY PRIDE

CITY residents can now pick up a Residents Card ahead of the Residents Weekend at the end of March, which will see hundreds of city businesses and venues offering discounts and freebies for the good people of the city.

The card will also allow you to enjoy discounts on shopping at Gloucester Quays, The Eastgate shopping centre and Kings Walk shopping centre all year round.

What a fantastic idea to instil a bit of city pride in us all.

It just goes to show what Marketing Gloucester is achieving for our city as a company working alongside the city council rather than being in its pocket.

CULTURAL HEART

PUTTING the cultural heart back into Gloucester seems to have caught the imagination of quite a few people lately.

In the last week I have revealed plans for a new name for our city centre – The Four Gates – and a whole raft of cultural plans for the year ahead, including a new street art festival.

I also went underground to the King’s Bastion chamber, which I firmly believe could be part of an amazing subterranean museum for our city.

One reader told me this week: “Your reporting will capture the imagination of Gloucester people. Hopefully it will also attract visitors from other parts of Britain and from abroad. A thriving City Centre is the lifeblood of our community and we need to share our history and heritage with tourists from far and wide.”

I couldn’t agree more with those sentiments.

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3 comments

  • Kay_Powell  |  March 25 2014, 3:43PM

    Talking of hissy fits on this subject, please read Councillor Chris Witts' letter in the Citizen on Saturday 22nd March. He clearly doesn't understand the 'Victory for democracy' at all.

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  • Soft Data Internet Limited  |  March 20 2014, 10:48AM

    The Four Gates of Gloucester - run by local business at no cost to you or the council http://tinyurl.com/pu95loa

  • Snappy_Happer  |  March 20 2014, 12:11AM

    Actually, I wouldn't characterise what you brought to 'the public's attention' as a ban on filming. That implies that a decision was made along proper channels, subject to accountability, rather than Gordon Taylor having a spur of the moment hissy fit. http://tinyurl.com/psub5ts It would be nice to know the full details of how Taylor's 'ban' was refuted. In the meantime, if you want to help the public again, you might explore how a decision was reached to end the previous practise of concealing the postal addresses of anyone commenting on planning applications. Again, we're just expected to accept this, without scrutiny, if the stony silence of the planning department's Gavin Jones is anything to go by. Does it in fact have all the validity of the 'ban'? They kept publishing my address before the change, despite a notification to the contrary, so I have nothing to lose, but how many people will hesitate to comment in future?

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