Good post by Paul Convery over on the Cally Councillors blog about investigation and enforcement action against the Cally Road landlord who featured in the recent BBC documentary. It seems that the landlord concerns owns far more than even came out in the documentary. Including possibly the Pleasure Garden ‘massage parlour’ and the notorious Pappeos Nightclub that caused havoc with local people. It’s also worth looking at the comments on the Cally Cows protest.
I did my best to help with enforcement action on Pappeos last year by monitoring social media for upcoming promotions and tipping the council licensing team off when events appeared in Facebook and Twitter, including the one that finally shut it down. Paul lists a load of enforcement measures and goes on to say:
Cally Councillors have drawn-up a set of further actions that Council officials have agreed to pursue over the next 2 weeks to fully identify all properties owned by Mr Panayi and to check for compliance with planning permissions, building regulations and residential environmental health requirements.
At the heart of this is an information problem. If we don’t know what local businesses are up to we don’t stand a chance of working as a community to get the best result for everyone. Few regular readers of this site subscribe to a passive citizen world view where we expect the council to get on with everything and be omniscient. We can’t help the council if we don’t know what’s happening. The council’s databases of planning, alcohol, entertainment and other licensing etc is opaque to citizens who try to use it online and in need of renewal. For instance i can’t subscribe to a feed or email service for all licences issued in Caledonian Ward.
Last year I asked super-coder Anna to do the basic work for a feed last year, but we couldn’t take it further. It would be a great time for the council to look at providing open access to their databases and modern web feeds of the information that they present so that citizens can play more of a role in local monitoring and enforcement and play a more informed role in local decisions.