As a candidate for Ealing council I have been trying to find out what the current councillors do beyond their council duties and Googling them all. Too many councillors seem to be satisfied just to just be councillors as the only urls that come up are Ealing council or Operation Black Vote or other directories of councillors. A few have made enough impact in their work life that their names come up at work sites and a few more have been active in the Association of London Government or the Local Government Association and a few references come up that way. A few, especially ex-mayors, come up in the papers, especially Ealing Times.
It is hard to find out much about the councillors themselves. Beyond the Councillors’ declaration of interest page of the council’s website there is little out there and essentially no councillor has an active website of their own. I am not saying that every councillor needs to be a nerdy blogger who is feverishly posting inane chit-chat on a blog everyday. On the other hand it might be useful to have a few words of background, an idea of what they do for a job and how much time they devote to the council. It is all very well knowing what committees people serve on but we should also be able to find out what their individual priorities are and what they are campaigning on.
No opposition councillors have any kind of web pages. The Labour Acton Central councillors shared a blog that has not been updated since November. Similarly, the Labour Elthorne councillors shared a blog that has not been updated since December. Labour Councillor Philip Portwood has his own blog but again has been quiet since February, perhaps since he had some IT problems with his council supplied PC. Finally Labour Councillor Gurcharan Singh, and apparent contender for Labour leadership after the elections, has his me, me, me photo site.