An historic moment: all-party support for Open-data Brighton and Hove!

It was a truly historic moment – and a fantastic result! And I’m not talking only about Wayne Rooney’s goal last night in Manchester United’s victory over Chelsea.

In fact, I missed most of the game, because I attended the Brighton and Hove Chamber of Commerce’s hustings at City College.

The event – a full house – marked the moment when leading figures of all four main political parties formally signalled their endorsement of the following statement of support for an Open-data Brighton and Hove:

“We support efforts to transform Brighton and Hove into an open-data city – a community in which all publicly-funded organisations strive to engage with citizens to build a more creative, prosperous and accountable city.

“We are committed to doing everything we can to ensure Brighton and Hove City Council takes the lead in soliciting the ideas, input and creative energy of all our citizens.

“We believe the value of public data is greatest when it is freely and openly shared, without unnecessary licensing restrictions.

“We envisage a city in which every individual and business can use and re-purpose public data to help create a more vibrant and sustainable future, with more efficient public services, more effective voluntary organisations, and more enterprising private businesses.

“We are convinced the creation of an open-data Brighton and Hove will not only increase public participation and economic activity, but also promote transparency and accountability.

“As a result, we believe an open-data Brighton and Hove will be a better-informed, more openly democratic, inclusive city.”

Present last night and/or consulted were:

  • Conservative Party: Mary Mears and Brian Oxley;
  • Labour Party: Gill Mitchell [and Mel Davis];
  • Liberal Democrat Party: Paul Elgood [and Jonathan Eke];
  • Green Party: Bill Randall and Jason Kitcat.

As members of the Open-data Brighton and Hove Group know, you will know the statement of support draws on the recent declaration by Enschede in the Netherlands, as well as a version of the motion originally adopted by Vancouver and the words of President Barack Obama when launching the open government initiative in the United

States in 2009. After the next meeting of the Open-data Brighton and Hove Group on Wednesday, April 13 – at a venue still to be decided – we will seek other signatories (eg city MPs, individual council candidates, leaders in other public organisations).

I have already alerted The Argus to this remarkable development. Which attracted attention from across the country when I tweeted, from the hustings. 

Finally, I will be talking about the Open-data Brighton and Hove at the following events: OpenTech 2011 on Saturday, May 21 (along with fellow open-data activists from Manchester and News Rewired conference on Friday, May 27.

Please retweet this blog post and encourage members of your network to seek support from every candidate in the forthcoming city council elections.



About Greg Hadfield

Greg Hadfield is editorial director of Brighton & Hove Independent, a free weekly newspaper. He is a former Fleet Street journalist and internet entrepreneur (including Soccernet and Schoolsnet).
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3 Responses to An historic moment: all-party support for Open-data Brighton and Hove!

  1. Adrian Short says:

    Many congratulations for getting such a firm and well-supported commitment to open data in Brighton and Hove. I’m really looking forward to seeing where you take this.

    • ODBH says:

      Thanks, Adrian. We’re following in your footsteps! It would be great to see you down here some time. Failing that, let’s try to meet up (perhaps at OpenTech 2011? Or News Rewired?).

  2. Pingback: Open our data in Brighton & Hove | Scrapper Duncan

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