Tag Archives: town and parish councils

Your Parish and Town Councils need you!

ALDC are often reminding us that we should run candidates everywhere in local elections, and far be it for me to disagree. But it isn’t always easy – not everyone wants to be a councillor, and in years like 2023 with the prospect of a Conservative collapse in the Districts, there is a risk that even supposedly paper candidates may get elected.

But let me introduce you to a world where elections are usually uncontested, and where not every seat is filled.

The National Association of Local Councils has published its review of the 2022 elections at Town and Parish Council level and, whilst it was a relatively “off year” for the tier, with just 10% of local councils holding elections, just 11% of those elections were contested, representing 888 of the 8,068 council seats up for grabs. Worse still, 1,639 seats remained vacant after the elections, or 20% of the available places.

As liberals, that tends to offend, especially given our general view that citizens should be engaged and consulted by those who represent them. Indeed, the laws that determine how local councils are elected permit co-options within thirty days of an election where vacancies remain unfilled, a recipe for affirming undemocratic local cliques.

For many small Parish Councils, the lack of power is a contributory factor – how can you entice people to sit in meetings every two months where most of the issues are dealt with at higher tiers of local government? – but even towns with five figure populations and significant budgets struggle to find sufficient candidates.

Posted in Local government and Op-eds | Also tagged | 7 Comments

NALC appoints new cross-party President and Vice-Presidents

The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) has appointed a cross-party group of parliamentarians in its presidential roles at its Annual General Meeting today.

Baroness Ros Scott of Needham Market has become the new President of NALC. The Liberal Democrat peer took up the role, which became vacant when Conservative peer Baroness Jane Scott stood down after becoming a government whip.

NALC has also changed its rules to introduce the new position of Parliamentary Vice-President. Baroness Bennett of Manor Castle (Green), Andrew Gwynne MP (Labour), Lord O’Shaughnessy (Conservative) and Lord Lytton (cross-bencher) were appointed to this role.

Posted in News and Press releases | Also tagged and | Leave a comment
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