Anyhow in the meantime Cllr Chris Wells agreed to be a guest blogger, and my apologies for not publishing earlier but blame channel four news, anyhow belatedly Chris continues the parking discussion, commenting on Labours recent press release. (PS If anyone from Labour or indeed elsewhere would like to do us the honour firstname.lastname@example.org)
Understanding the Politics of Press Releases
If you are in power within the local council, your policy normally comes out as a press release from the council channels, which means it must be not overtly political. If you are in opposition the only channel you have available is your group release.
When a governing group issues releases under it’s political group channels, that means what follows should be checked carefully for the bias and politics banned from the council releases.
So it is with the Labour Group press release on parking, (http://thanetlab.blogspot.com/) which contains so many political tricks it is positively educational in the care which must be taken in the reading of such releases.
Firstly, it rebuts something not actually said by the opponents – an old, but gold trick – in claiming the Conservative release said things it did not. I never claimed the parking review and policy as a solely Conservative idea; merely what we had left for consultation when in charge.
Secondly, it uses seeming authoritative knowledge of dates and procedure to try and prove Conservative members had no part in the policy formulation; and then has to concede formal discussion with appropriate Cabinet members in formulating the policy paper.
Thirdly, it then evidences that Cllr Wells did not write the report to Senior Management Team; something again I did not claim. And then concedes it would have been inappropriate if I had.
Fourthly, it claims evidence of parking fee rises in the budget papers, but misses the vital point that the fees and charges are held till at least June; so that they can go before full council rather than being part of the standard fees and charges review, which was all I asserted.
The final claim, that this was all part of a normal annual review is shown to be farcical by this being out of step with the annual budget cycle, and was consciously withdrawn for thorough review. This changed timing was openly discussed at the November Joint Transportation meeting, which Cllr Mrs Johnston attended.
It would appear that in the interests of transparency and cross party working Cllr Mrs Johnston dare not concede any good work done before her holding office.
I hope you have found this necessary deconstruction of some political press releases useful and informative.
Have a Happy Christmas.