Well today Tom Brake announces that Sutton are re-thinking their strategy on the Charles Cryer Theatre – the sort of news that someone thinks will make up for all the previous nonsense that we have been fed about “Commercial Rents”.
What has happened is that the leadership has finally realised that a Civic Council is supposed to listen to the electorate – the people they are supposed to represent. The recent apologist document about the Incinerator that has been widely shared on Facebook is another indicator of this dawning realisation that they have relied on their organisation, the election machinery and bombardment of the electorate with their own biased perspectives rather than talking to people on the ground.
And anyone wondering just how insidious that election machinery is, should read the small print on the bottom of a typical Focus leaflet. The following came from Sutton North and a self-congratulatory editorial about the recent library improvements.
The Liberal Democrats and their elected representatives may use the information you’ve given to contact you. By providing your data to us, you are consenting to us making contact with you in the future by mail, email, telephone, text, website and apps, even though you may be registered with the Telephone Preference Service. You can always opt out of communications at any time by contacting us or visiting www.libdems.org.uk/optout. For more information go to www.libdems.org.uk/privacy.
Fortunately, forthcoming changes in Data Protection under GPDR mean this assumptive consent will no longer be adequate – sadly for us, the new rules don’t come in until 25th May 2018 so you may still get an unwanted piece of literature.
From then on, you will have to positively consent to the use of your data and furthermore, if you do not consent, it will no longer be enough to delete you off their database, they can be required to effectively erase the history of contact.
I expect that the London Borough of Sutton has a complete implementation plan in place – yes, even if you are on the lists for Garden Waste, they will have to ask for your consent to write to you.
But at least when the next election comes round, if you once emailed Tom Brake about a constituency issue, you won’t have to read some piece of guff from his Lib Dem colleagues!
Politicians will all have to listen – that will make a change!