I’ve not really brought into the citizen journalism idea of blogging; it’s always seemed a poor imitation of what we get from mainstream journalism. Not surprising really when it is being done with fewer resources and less training and little or not editorial over-sight.
But, at the local level there’s clearly a niche that could be filled*, particularly around the “village” geographies that we identify with more easily than we do with boroughs.
I see that with some of the things that The Forest Hill Society have been doing with their blog, but Brockley Central has gone a couple of steps further; and with the judicious mix of interviews, views on planning developments big and small, and polls I think it has become a valuable and involving local hub.
And now Nick has secured an interview with the Council on planning issues. Of course, this being blogland we the reader get to put our questions forward as well as relying on Nick to develop his own line of questioning. From the look at the comments so far there’s a strong interest in planning enforcement as much as future plans for the area. Given that when I last had any involvement in these issues there was only one planning enforcement officer in the borough it’ll be interesting to see what sort of response the council are able to provide on those concerns.
It’s good to see the Council being open to the idea that communicating at this level is worth doing and credit to Nick for pursuing it.
* Given that the regional press (in London) doesn’t do much local reporting, the sub-regional doesn’t offer much of a focus on this bit of South East London, and the freesheets are so poorly resourced.