A reduction in the number of Local Councillors
Local Councillors were initially given out-of-pocket expenses for their duties in serving their Communities. This prevented a system whereby only the idle rich had control of Local Authority affairs ensuring a fairer sharing of power. It worked well for the most part. The position of Local Councillor has now become a waged career with expenses as an extra. The Public spirited being replaced by income chasers in pursuit of their own financial gains. The number of these positions and the high payment they demand is in real need of reduction. There are too many doing too little and we can no longer afford them when other more vital areas are facing cuts. Ward boundaries need to be redrawn to take into account the use of E-politics and the use of electronic information sharing in our 21st Century lifestyle.
Resilient Dave commented
I am a local councillor and get nothing - none of the other councillors on our parish council get expenses - we work hard to represent people in our village - and there is no competition to be a councillor - we have vacancies for months. Get your facts right...or be more specific.... why not try standing as a councilor yourself?
Time and time again we do not see our local representatives representing their constituents at all. It is all taken up with back biting and party sniping and the man in the street is ignored by people with, sometimes, less experience of his area of expertise. Then there are the "Leaders" of the Council, earning £80-90,000, who push matters through against locals wishes, supposedly for "the greater good"! Usually the "Leaders" do not live in the area of "greater good". The system stinks. Councillors are paid, plus expenses, plus extras for committees, regardless of
the electorates view of their performance. Now a performance based payment system really would be worth a try, requiring a percentage of local votes in order for a Councillor to be paid.
Oh dear, no one wanting to do the job anymore?
Alan Rayner commented
If I could allot a "minus" vote I would do so on this one.
Local democracy is now too complex to be undertaken
without dedication of time - and it needs the BREADTH
of experience that can come only from several minds
addressing the situation.
Already we have executives/cabinets with a primary
objective of getting their way. What we need is real
independence of thought among councillors and this
is unlikely until STV reduces the power of party whips.