Being transparent to stakeholders

Making available information to stakeholders they are entitled to builds good relationships.

Good communications means strong relationships.

Good communication means strong relationships.

A bad situation happened recently between a citizen and their local council in Wales where the citizen was arrested for filming proceedings of the council meeting on their mobile phone.  The situation ended up being reported in the UK national media, people got emotional in written words on the internet, people sued for libel, then went to court.

Chillingly councils and public authorities in the UK now have the power to sue for defamation against their citizens like any corporate or individual can, using taxpayer money to do so.  Carmarthen Council sued a local citizen for words written on a blog that criticised them, winning £25,000 damages that in effect financially destroyed the citizen.

In my town of Colchester our local council bans use of social media and filming in their council meetings, which is causing opposition from certain local bloggers.  The arguments in Colchester managed to combine with the Carmarthen dispute, being reported in the UK national media too. Because of the outcome of the Carmarthen case I have decided to ban politics from my future planned community blog-website for Colchester as being too risky.

As I pay Colchester council tax, use Colchester council services and vote in Colchester elections I am a stakeholder in my local Colchester council in that I benefit from, participate in and have a say in that council and its services.  As stakeholder I should in theory be entitled to a transparent access to all information pertaining to my council via the internet excluding legally, commercially or personally sensitive information.

From a business point of view my board game called Aquila is being prepared for being placed on a crowd source funding site such as, which means that every stakeholder who invests in it will be getting access to a website which records every action taken and penny spent in the project.

Corporate brand Patagonia created a stir recently in some sustainability circles when they made their supply chain transparent on the internet under the name “footprint”.


9 responses to “Being transparent to stakeholders

  1. with all the cutbacks, councils are more worried about avoiding responsibility than serving the public.

  2. I’m sorry to hear that the fear being instilled in US citizens who want to speak out is now moving across the ocean to your parts.

  3. What a fantastic post. Capitalism, democracy, and any social institution – even internet discussion boards – will only function at their BEST when benefit is gained from good, community-conscious behavior. It’s like a later post of yours, where you say that choice is important, and you would never FORCE a person to have your view on sustainability.

    That’s why I like your statement right from the start: “Making available information to stakeholders they are entitled to builds good relationships.” And then, of course, we are ALL stakeholders in our government, and comment and criticism must be welcomed. When suppressed, they only become more dangerous and destructive, in the long run.

    William McDonaugh and Michael Braungart’s book Cradle to Cradle is about, among other things, using design to foster positive relationships between the public, the private, the natural world, and the individual in a way which is practical, workable, and actively positive. Through the will and the imagination we can create a lot of good.

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