The RAG, Reserve Advisory Group, was our chance to scrutinise what goes on at Blacka. It was pretty poor stuff but it was all we had. It was killed off a few years because its format allowed those attending to ask awkward questions. The BMUF is the new, even more dumbed-down version intended to let managers off the hook.
Scrutiny = critical observation or examination (Oxford Dictionary online).
All local councils have Scrutiny Committees. Westminster government has Select Committees. No self respecting business or organisation can exist without regularly subjecting itself to scrutiny. The alternative is stagnation. Of course you can 'fix' the scrutiny so you only ever hear what you want to hear with no independent or sceptic voices around. That produces a blatant form of stagnation - inbred torpidity.
Scrutiny, or the lack of it, goes to the heart of our dispute with SRWT, with SCC and with SMP. With public land and assets there is an important role for the public. But not according to those mentioned. They will do their best to wriggle out of any process of critical examination. They fear that any meaningful process of scrutiny might mean their having to respond to questions and the answers they give may be received with scepticism, even derision.
So they racked their brains to come up with a scheme that can be made to look a bit like scrutiny but isn't at all. That's how they've come up with this new 'Blacka Moor Users Forum' to meet twice a year. (Meanwhile a secret 'conservation group' selected and appointed by a closed circle and representing just those 'on board' will meet four times a year.)
All you need to know to confirm the dumbing down is that the first meeting of the BMUF will be 'a walkabout'!!
*** From new email sent out by SRWT:
How are you? ….......................................................
Blacka Moor Users Forum
Following the recent consultation and development of the 2015 - 2023 Management Plan for Blacka Moor we are now running a Blacka Moor Users Forum twice a year which provides people with an opportunity to raise and discuss any issues relating to the use and management of the reserve as well as updating people on the delivery ofthe management plan. We are running the first one as a walkabout meeting on the Sunday 17th May,