Residents who come within the area of the council have to agree to the equivalent of the end user licence agreement that comes with software – and in the case of the Manningham Council it runs to 2467 words!
There are two bills I normally get from the council each year – one for the annual rates for the house in which I reside and the other for the licence fee for my dog.
This year, the council included a separate sheet of paper about sending bills in digital form along with the bill for my dog's licence – but provided the code for signing up on the bill itself.
It includes text that indicates that the council can sell any data that is provided to it and also text that says it will not be liable for any digital nasties that invade the website. Presumably, the council still uses Microsoft Windows, the operating system that plays host to a veritable army of malware.
The 2467-word agreement appears to indicate that people who work at the council — which loves to erect gargantuan buildings and put up unsightly sculptures here and there — have a lot of time on their hands.
But then that is nothing new. A few years ago, I was visited by one of the worthies who works there and told to remove a basketball ring that was on the front of my car port. Reason? The man said someone had committed suicide by hanging themselves from a similar ring and hence they all had to be taken down.
My response was to ask him to send me an order on a council letterhead to that effect. But nothing came of it and I have never heard back from him.
Perhaps he has been busy all these years writing that 2467-word agreement.