Local Government & Councils
As I write this blog, one thing you can’t escape hearing at least once a day is BREXIT. Parliament this, Prime Minister that and all kinds of weird and wonderful statements from MPs. Don’t get me wrong, what happens at Westminster is very important and does indeed effect us BUT for some of us we feel so detached from these “politicians” we often feel that what we say or do, doesn’t make much of an impact. Herein lies the beauty of local government!
What is local government?
Local government are your councils, the people responsible for an array of services such as:
- Social care
- Waste collection
And many more services and amenities that directly impact us on a daily basis.
Who run these councils?
According to the Local Government Association, roughly 1 million people work in local government providing more that 800 services to local communities. Local government or local councils are lead by councillors who are elected by the public to deliver on local priorities. These decisions are implemented by permanent council staff and council officers, who deliver these day to day services. It is worth noting that these councillors that you elect are ordinary people who do this role on a voluntary basis, you don’t get paid to be a councillor. However, some councillors do have an allowance for things such as stationary, travelling for council business, childcare arrangements and conducting council business generally.
Why should I care about local elections and local politics?
The people you vote for at local elections are those who make decisions that directly affect you.
- Should your council tax increase?
- How often your bins get collected
- Should there be a new medical centre in your area?
- Is it OK to build tower blocks opposite your home?
And many more decisions that will impact you and your community.
Because councillors are local people who live in your community they are more accessible than say your member of parliament, a lot of the time you can just pick up the phone and call them directly (remember they are ordinary people with families and jobs).
When deciding who to vote for, all the above should be taken into account including the fact that these people are responsible for striking a balance between providing services and staying within budget. If a council runs out of money you may lose essential services, and before you know it bin bags will be piling up outside your home.