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Confusing council jargon compared to George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four
9:20am Wednesday 24th October 2012 in News
HEREFORDSHIRE Council has been told to mind its language after jargon-filled committee papers were branded unreadable.
The local authority’s phrasing in agenda booklets has been compared to those in the George Orwell novel, Nineteen Eighty-Four.
Matters came to a head during a cabinet review of the council’s customer services network which included phrases such as “dynamic customer contact“ and “multi-layered network”.
Proposed changes included the “consolidation of existing customer strategy aims” and “dynamic customer contact within each of the localities”.
Leading opposition member Councillor Alan Seldon, who is chairman of overview and scrutiny committee, said the wording reminded him of Orwell’s classic which features a world under the control of an inner party elite that persecutes independent thinking.
“I’ve read through this report and parts of it are in a language all of its own,” said Coun Seldon.
“I am sure George Orwell would have been proud. I think of Nineteen Eighty-Four and that is what I see here.
“We need to be more blunt about the position we are in, not shrouding things in jargon.
“There is far too much in here that means absolutely nothing,” he said.
"Let’s ditch all this gumpf. What needs to change is the language in these reports as I’m not clear what half of this means. Everyone needs to understand it, not just the officers.”
Lib Dem leader councillor Terry James went further saying the confusing language was apparent across the whole agenda, including a review into older people in Herefordshire.
“There is going to be a reduction in the service," he said.
"Don’t dress it up."