It’s a bit like picking a scab, this – kinda painful but at the same time irresistable. Anyway, seeing as this blog has become semi-official place for ICELE-related news, I thought it only reasonable to provide the latest in the saga – this time in the form of a press release from ICELE:
Cllr Matthew Ellis, Chairman of the International Centre of Excellence for Local eDemocracy, said:”Whilst it has been made clear that Lichfield DC would not be seeking to take ICELE forwards in the future, we have been calling for a formal decision to be made by the Minister for some time. It takes considerable time and money to create a trusted and recognised brand, which ICELE has now become, not just in the UK, but in Europe. It would be unfortunate if the Centre was closed down before a useful and sustainable home for both its products and its brand can be secured.”
He continued: “The Centre now has partners across the UK and Europe, having been successful in securing, with others, future funding for specific areas of work. We believe it would be unfortunate if ICELE, as a focal point for sharing information and best practice, and some of the projects were simply abandoned. I’m hopeful that the talks we are now having with CLG will ensure that a thorough review is undertaken to find a sustainable future for areas of potentially ongoing work.”
Although ICELE will cease operations at the end of June, with the interim funding recently agreed with CLG it could provide resources for work to be undertaken to secure a future for VOICE and other aspects of the Centre’s work.
I’m not sure what to say, really, which makes a change. I am, however, started to put things in place for a community driven way forward on this stuff. If you’re interested, email me or leave a comment.