It has come to our attention that an event headed by GovKnow is taking place in order to help local authority persons better their understanding of Parliamentary procedures, with the aim of helping them manage their local governments. The event, to be held on the 10th of November, is about ‘Understanding and Influencing Westminster and Whitehall for Local Government’. The majority of those attending will be local councillors and cost local authorities a staggering £420 (plus VAT) per head. Of course it is really the taxpayer once again who will be footing the hefty bill.
To start the day, the attendees are to spend a whole hour discussing ‘What is government?’- a more philosophical question than a practical one (for a practical answer they need only view an official definition). They then spend the rest of the day (minus the lengthy lunch and refreshment breaks) partaking in various exercises and discussions (such as ones entitled ‘The Power of Parliament’ and ‘Making Legislation’) before being dismissed in the late afternoon supposedly full of new, valuable (and very costly) knowledge they can implement.
The course’s main speaker is Darryl Howe, a specialist training consultant who will help the attendees ‘better understand the structure of central government’ and ‘learn how to effectively influence the formulation of policy’. For the extortionate sums they are paying for him, taxpayers should expect jewels to fall from his mouth as he speaks.
We suggest instead councillors pick up a copy of Robert Rogers and Rhodri Walters’ How Parliament Works, a key text which should give them an as detailed (if not more so) insight into the workings of Parliament. The authors of which, incidentally much like Darryl Howe, have spent the majority of their careers in senior roles in the House of Commons and Lords respectively. Furthermore, this valuable information will come to the taxpayer at a mere fraction of the price (£26.99) and is beneficial across all departments of the council at all times.