Tweets on 2011-02-13

  • Richard Kemp still vs the Tories #
  • @helenduffett there is certainly something in it, but there might be a bit more overlap – spending time with other people's kids. #
  • Today's earworm, inexplicably, is the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. #
  • Does anyone who knows me sing bass, like singing psalms, and wanna do a cathedral week in Hereford in August this year? #
  • RT @Psythor: RT @elganjohn: Going to try librivox after hearing about it on the @poddelusion think I might even volunteer to read a book… #
  • RT @dan_lepard: Australia won!!! Australia won the marmalade ashes, their 11 vs British << marmalade ashes don't sound tasty #
  • Such treats in the post today. 100 premium tarantula legs, off eBay, and a HEYUUUGE win (£25) on premium bonds. #

  • This week, the Internets made me pickle a tarantula #

  • RT @LloydieJL: Nearly that time of year already. The wheel's going up. #nottingham #
  • Is it bad that my first instinct on learning people's addresses is to look it up on Google Streetview and judge it? Ooh… new build. Hmm. #
  • @bykimbo 3 cups is a pound of flour. I think. Maybe. No… wait? #
  • @bykimbo there's about three cups of fluid in a bottle of wine. #
  • @bykimbo three cups of coffee is enough to keep you awake all night if you drink them after 9pm #
  • RT @fentonstevens: Confirmation from Angus on Loose Ends that we're releasing HeeBeeGeeBees on CD. And that I have a lovely voice. Bless x #
  • I know, I'm a stereotype. All guys from Quebec are good at karate. #
  • "Don't try and do anything stupid." / "I don't HAVE to try!" #
  • @dan_lepard must be hard to reduce a wooden spoon to ashes #
  • We've been watching "Milk" tonight. *wipes tear from eye* #
  • Wants to watch The Times Of Harvey Milk: #

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Tweets on 2011-02-12

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Tweets on 2011-02-11

  • Floppy drive organ plays toccata – Boing Boing #
  • Curious sporadic noise in my right ear. Sounds like a rubber band twanging, or a curare dart being launched in my direction. #
  • @miketd ah crap 😦 wasn't that to have been first hol in aaaages, too? #
  • Blimey. Gas man just knocked on door. Neighbour reported gas leak smell. Now he's replacing my regulator! #
  • Homemade Vanilla Extract? … or tarantula in a jar… #
  • @Psythor – @sillypunk on other side of the world. Four podcasts in a week. Hmm. (sotto voce: come home @sillypunk!) #
  • Lib Drinks (@ Fellows, Morton & Clayton) #

  • Unkind people might suggest this is as close as I get to a Proper Job #
  • @artesea g'wan! #
  • Bleurgh. (@ Nottingham Railway Station) [pic]: #
  • @sarabedford tell me about it! I even managed 6 hours of blissful sleep first. #
  • RT @ChristofHughes: @kayray congratulations on making 1000 librivox recordings, Kara. You are awesome. 🙂 #
  • Ooh, think I just passed Bill Newton Dunn at St Pancras. #
  • @DrEvanHarris is that a concern or formal granting of permission? #
  • I'm at Local Government Association (Smith Square, London) #
  • Fire Commission pretty rowdy – mainly because there are two worthy-but-dull items on agenda and everyone wants to talk about something else. #

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Tweets on 2011-02-10

  • @Meryl_F gave V5 log book to Renault garage but didn't get a receipt or owt. #
  • @tom_geraghty are you there now? *gets travel thrill by proxy* #
  • @rfenwick here's a recommendation: never go to a restaurant on Valentines Day. It'll be too crowded for even halfway decent service #
  • @melodysparks I'm a fairly established Twitter user! Was in the Eve Post about it and everything! #
  • @rfenwick this much I learned from Waiter Rant blog. don't think I have ever actually been wines and dined on Valentines Day myself. #
  • @rfenwick I don't think he can afford the sorts of restaurants I like #
  • has been sent Seven – Feature: #
  • Good grief, if Rowan Williams thinks something is "wordy"… #
  • @rfenwick I think my reputation is more vulnerable than his #
  • @helenduffett do you not make them write thank you letters? We once had a work experience teen who didn't know how to address an envelope. #
  • @JaysFan1992 not me, ducky! #
  • @helenduffett think he means @alex23foster #
  • @NCCLols and this is what's costing over half a million a year. #
  • @Foxfontaine I don't think my freshly laundered fitted sheet is dry enough for me to practice yet. #
  • These things are ridiculously cute. #
  • If @johnprescott wants to read the Shipping Forecast, it's here. No reason the rest of us should have to hear it. #
  • @cjmillsnun I'm happy for forecast to be on radio, just don't want to hear it read by Lord Prescott. #

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Tweets on 2011-02-09

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Today was a nice day

There. I haven’t been able to say that for ages, but today the sun came out, and partly because of that, and partly not, I have had a good day.

I didn’t massively oversleep. I didn’t quite get up when I planned, but baby-steps, eh?

I made significant inroads into the Undelivered Leaflet Mountain. I had almost forgotten that it can be really enjoyable to go out on a sunny morning and get leaflets out.

I got a lot done. I reported some problems to the Council and I got to talk to some residents on my way around. I had a nice healthy lunch and got back on the trail.

Then this evening I cooked a really nice meal – Nigella’s meatballs and Gordon’s chocolate fondants. There was enough spare to feed the freezer as well and enough time whilst cooking to clear down the work surfaces and not the leave the kitchen looking like a minor disaster had struck.

I got to eat with my husband for a change, which was nice, and we watched the latest Episodes together, which still makes us laugh, even if Twitter is full of people who hate it.

Then out to the Print Cave to begin undoing the dent I made in the leaflet mountain earlier, then home.

Of course, it wasn’t a perfect day. I didn’t get my 5-a-day, even if I did get my NHS recommended exercise. I couldn’t park outside my house when I got home far too late. And despite it being closer to midnight than I’d like I still can’t go to bed until I’ve got a few more things done. And tomorrow is another whole question.

But still. Today was nice.

Tweets on 2011-02-08

  • Stood up and my loose change trickled unpleasantly down my leg. So *these* are the jeans with the hole in the pocket. #
  • My group leader keeps correcting "FOCUS team" to "FOCUS Team" – I'm guesing It's a dwindling band of folks think the distinction important. #
  • Apparently, the way I currently clean my glasses is totes wrong. No soap EVAR! (@ Specsavers) #
  • RT @moronwatch: RT @Beatidude: Abstinence is 100% effective in preventing unwanted pregnancies << Starvation is 100% effective in … #
  • Brush with death as wandering through Old Market Square when plastic patio table fell from sky and landed on tracks just feet away from me. #
  • Full Council today (@ Nottingham Council House w/ @nghodder) #
  • @turtlestack risks removing protective coatings. Use proprietary cleaning sprays (which they sell) #
  • @dr_nick high winds today, guessing it blew off a roof garden somewhere I can't see. #
  • It would be hilarious if cllrs score my speech later on today È la CDWM. Unfortch it's on far too serious a topic and the mood will be wrong #
  • @Meryl_F P has Skoda Fabia and loves it. His Dad (former Merc employee/driver) v enthusiastic about Skodas generally. #
  • RT @lordbonkers: @alexfoster But I do think council meetings would go better with a snide voice over #
  • It costs the Council »0.5million to respond to FOI requests, apparently. #
  • Grief. We've already spent over 2hrs on questions. #
  • @Meryl_F yeah, think so, but not exactly 11 reg! #

  • Haha, brilliant. Lab cllrs has put a pair of marigolds in my desk drawer, as a nod to #CDWM #
  • Have made my speech. Reading verbatim from District Auditor's report listing wrongdoing at Nottm City Homes. #
  • @stephentall always, there will be greater and lesser iPads than yours. #
  • Great joke at expense of late Cllr Cowarn: "like him, I don't have a law degree. Unlike him I don't think I do." #
  • RT @NGHodder: Been in the chamber for so long. Council started at 2! Democracy is good but it can take aaagggeeesss. #
  • RT @alexfolkes: #outcasts = spooks in space << would watch based on description, if not still in full council. #
  • @alexfolkes that was Defying Gravity and was great! #
  • Popped out to get caffeinated drink. Relieved to see the Lord Mayor's Sergeant prepping the Council's guillotine. #
  • Scchhhwing! Down falls the guillotine. It's been used so seldom it's a bit rusty, but serves its purpose. #
  • @Alexander_Ball thankfully now over. The County are expecting their budget to go on till 4am. #
  • So many peeps in my timeline talking about #outcasts #
  • Well, that's long horrid day finished. Now, shall I binge eat or binge drink? #
  • Sky's slogan "believe in better" is a bit incongruous when plastered all over what looks like really trashy tv: Cougar Town. #
  • And to cap it all, CHOMPS HAVE SHRUNK! #
  • Coming late to the Gay Pirates party. But it's quite catchy, isn't it? #
  • @Mighty_Booth Gah! Spoiler, much?! #
  • @kayray haven't seen it yet. Mixed reviews on my twitter feed… but loads of people talking about it… #
  • @kayray what's not to like? #
  • @tom_geraghty if the requests are similar enough, the Council can say "info already in public domain" and point you at answer already given. #

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What is the truth about councils and spending data?

Well, here’s a rum one.

During today’s Full Council, Cllr Collins answered a question from the Tories about whether Nottingham City Council would respond to the pressure coming from central government to join “Google Government” and automatically publish details of all spending over £500.

The response wasn’t quite “over my dead body” but it wasn’t far away. According to the Leader of the Council, Nottingham City will only publish the data if it becomes a legal duty.

In justifying that, he said that about half of all councils had decided to publish the data, about half were yet to do so. Comparable authorities to Nottingham had discovered that publishing the data proved pretty expensive: Newcastle and Manchester were mentioned, as was the figure £100,000 – not to publish the data itself, but in terms of additional queries generated from the public as a result of the greater transparency. FOI requests are already costing the city half a million a year to answer.

Those FOI requests are certainly interesting. Someone has already asked for the financial data, in the correct format, using an FOI request rather than wait for it to be published. It will be interesting to see if this is refused on cost grounds. Another interesting one was this management structure chart – which is more detailed than anything I’ve seen for ages! (hat tip NCCLOLs)

Anyway this blog from the BBC is suggesting, far from 200 councils taking Nottingham’s side, Nottingham is alone in the world in holding out and not publishing.

I’m personally a bit ambivalent about the value of doing so. Nottingham spends hundreds of millions of pounds, so you’re looking at millions of pieces of data. I’ve had a look at the County Council’s equivalent data and I’m not immediately bowled over by the usefulness of it. And there certainly is a lot of it – Cllr Collins had printed it out and brought a paper copy with him and it wouldn’t take many months before you had a telephone-directory-sworth of paper.

I first came across the idea of “Google Government in a David Cameron speech to Local Government Assoc annual conference, and I blogged about it then for LDV. I do stand by what I said then.

I do think that the political process in Nottingham is well served by having opposition councillors holding the executive to account. The Labour party would much rather that Nottingham were even more of a one party state than it is now. But it’s not just the job of us oppo cllrs. There is a small but perfectly formed community of local political bloggers and political journalists who are all contributing value to the process. Step forward The Evening Post, NCC LOLs and Nottingham Graffiti. Do any of you think you will be able to use data like the County Council provides in a meaningful way?

Tweets on 2011-02-07

  • First ever aerial footage of uncontacted Amazon tribe released #
  • RT @turtlestack: RT @paulmasonnews: Twenty reasons why it's kicking off everywhere. Blog: #
  • @rfenwick my friend @bykimbo refers to it as Poetry?! Puh-lease! #
  • Yet again my thoughts are turning to an unhealthy quantity of alcohol. But first! a quarter peal attempt. #
  • Fancy that. For once, I'm not late! #
  • Aaaah. Stephanie's #CDWM night is available on 4OD again – and now they've bleeped the "sh*t" #

  • Wow, soda bread really is easy. What a whopping rise. #

  • Getting vaguely more organised in the kitchen. #
  • @helenduffett ooh, I can do that tonight with no outlay! #
  • Went downstairs to make a cup of tea. Remembered we're out of milk. Came back upstairs with a gin'n'tonic. #

  • For no good reason the earworm that has been with me since I awoke this morning is "An Austrian Went Yodelling" #
  • RT @CouncilMouse: Think Cllr Watts must mean 'wellies' when he writes 'children are being urged to wear willies' at fun day… <<< Oops! #

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