Making a bureaucracy out of representation

I’ve previously written about the Swindon Local Involvement Network (though the information on the council’s website is more informative than their new website). Swindon LINk is now progressing… to a fully fledged bureaucracy. The administrators appointed by the council to support the group are currently trying to recruit a ‘Start Up Group’. The principle task of the group during its six-month existence? To set-up another group.

Tasks of the Start up Group

  • To plan the setting up of the LINk Steering group
  • To agree a development and engagement policy for LINk membership
  • To develop and agree a work program for the LINk
  • To develop a terms of reference for the theme based working groups
  • To agree expense policy
  • To develop the relevant policies for Swindon LINk
  • To agree a complaints policy

All that for a group with a mailing list of just over forty people. And note the mention not just of a steering group, but of talking shops working groups too. This little group seems set on creating a web of committees more akin to a government department than to small players in the provision of local health services.

If they really want to match their name and involve local people, rather less talk and more action would be a better approach: skip the Start Up Group and get straight to work.