Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've just been informed that the film they were making for the launch of the Everybody Online project in Gorgie Dalry is on YouTube. I've embedded it below. Although launching on 6th of February the project was first organised and brought forward by the Council's E-Government Division, BT, the now demised Gorgie Dalry Partnership (Council Cuts - don't get me started on that one again) and of course myself. As more and more of the Council's services and communications move over to ICT and the Internet it becomes increasingly important to take local communities along with you. So much is available and with more needing to be done online, I believe that to be truly healthy, a community must be encouraging and extending access as well as promoting the many benefits of digital incluson. I would describe this as fighting to address the 'Digital Divide' which is something I have always felt strongly about.

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Reporting bad news to the local area gets too depressing after a while although of course it is virtually impossible to find a positive side to the closing down of the Gorgie Dalry Gazette, the West Edinburgh Times and the Gorgie Dalry Partnership to name but three. Given the enormous contribution these organisations have made in the Sighthill Gorgie area the 'disinvestment' strategy employed by the Lib. Dem. / SNP administration is doing catastrophic and irreparable damage to the local community.
There is a sense of shock and anger at every community council, neighbourhood council and residents association I attend. Even the organisations that are left have received cuts that threaten their future. This administration clearly does not believe in the voluntary sector at all!
The relatively small sums of money involved represented fantastic value for money including as it did volunteers and local support that could not be replicated in straight council services. No doubt the administration would try to blame this, as they have everything else, on the previous administration but the fact is that from the second Jenny Dawe signed on the dotted line to take the money from the Scottish Government and freeze the council tax they forfeited the right to blame anyone but themselves. If they were not being given enough to do the things they wanted to do then clearly they should not have signed! Supporting these local groups and organisations is obviously something they do not want to do then.