Widely reported in the press today (14 June) is the launch of a new guide on access to local government. Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said that councils must implement the law allowing bloggers, journalists and members of the public to tweet, film and report on council meetings. The new law was introduced last year, but many councils have ignored it or sought excuses to avoid it. “Data protection rules or health and safety should not be used to suppress reporting or a healthy dose of criticism,” said Mr Pickles, a view which is supported by the Health and Safety Executive. The law introduces a “presumption in favour of openness” and also covers access to public documents and financial information.