The publicity starts thus:
"Should local authorities encourage grass roots campaigns, or by doing so are they simply creating sticks with which to be beaten?"
One part of the publicity stands out: Among the list of speakers, are there any Councillors? Or anyone who has been elected?* You would have thought that this may be a priority for the e-Democracy team at Bristol?
So. No Councillors. Maybe they're all busy? And who does the e-Democracy team at Bristol want to facilitate a dialogue between? Answer: "..Councils and the Communites."
Not Councillors specifically. They can watch I expect?
Back to the blurb: Without prejudice to any conclusions that people may draw from this discussion, it goes on to say:
"The conference will also include the national launch of CampaignCreator, an online campaigning toolkit which is to be available to members of the public for free. Aimed at encouraging community campaigning, CampaignCreator offers advice on all aspects of campaign management.
Users can also create their own campaign websites, produce their own posters and manage their own mailing lists. The scheme has been piloted in Bristol and achieved 160 registrations in the first three months. "
I suppose the 160 in three months figure should give some cause for comfort. Publicly managed websites often aren't very good at getting people to actually use them - with a bit of luck, CampaignCreator won't buck this trend.
But the conclusion would appear to be that the Council should be handing out the sticks to all and sundry. I wonder if a speech made a while ago - in Bristol, as it happens - will come up at all during the day?
(*OK, I admit, I've nicked this line of criticism from Cllr Bob's post on The Power Report).