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7 questions on council jargon

Midweek quiz: Council jargon

Councils have been told to cut the gibberish and speak plain English - and the Local Government Association has compiled a list of 200 banned words. But do you know your baselines from your blue sky thinking? Test yourself with this Call My Bluff-style quiz.

Person using a dictionary

1.) Council jargon quiz

What does it mean when a department is "top down"?

People in an office
  1. It is short staffed
  2. It has too many managers
  3. It's ignoring people

2.) Council jargon quiz

"Idea" is a simple word, but what do councils use instead?

  1. Seedbed
  2. Green shoot
  3. Sappling

3.) Council jargon quiz

If councillors ask you to "cross cut", what do they actually want you to do?

Man in office
  1. Work with them
  2. Cut costs
  3. Change jobs

4.) Council jargon quiz

If you're "working out" a problem, what do councils say you're doing?

Man in office
  1. Coverturing
  2. Facilitating
  3. Scoping

5.) Council jargon quiz

If a council is having "coterminous, stakeholder engagement" what is it doing?

  1. Sending out questionnaires
  2. Working with the local community
  3. Talking to people

6.) Council jargon quiz

You may call people without a job the unemployed, but what do councils call them?

Job Centre
  1. Career challenged
  2. Worklessness
  3. Home bound

7.) Council jargon quiz

If a council is "horizon scanning" what is it doing?

A man looking through binoculars
  1. Removing street clutter, like bollards and railings
  2. Doing an audit of council services
  3. Looking for early warning of potential problems


  1. Top down means ignoring people, according to the Local Government Association (LGA).
  2. Seedbed is often used instead of idea, says the LGA.
  3. Cross cut means working together, according to the LGA.
  4. It's scoping, according to the LGA.
  5. "Coterminous, stakeholder engagement" simply means talking to people, says the LGA.
  6. Worklessness has been used by councils instead of unemployed, says the LGA.
  7. The council is looking for early warning of potential problems, says the LGA.

Council jargon quiz

0 - 3 : Gobbledegook

4 - 6 : Making some sense

7 - 7 : Plain speaking

For a complete archive of past quizzes, including our weekly news quiz 7 days 7 questions, visit the Magazine index and scroll down the page.

Councils get banned jargon list
18 Mar 09 |  Politics
LGA banned words - full list
18 Mar 09 |  Politics

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