by John Holden
Over the last few years, the government has tried to reform and reinvigrate local government. One of the ways of doing it was to introduce cabinet-style local authorities with or without executive mayors. I was speaking to a young local councillor recently who said the new system was demoralising him and his peers. Under the old system, every councillor had a say, and sat on at least one committee where they cut their teeth. Now everything gets decided by a small number of older cabinet members. " I don't know what i'm here for" he said, " half the time I don't know what's going on."
That's one unintended consequence. At a lower level of government, attempts to make Parish councillors more efficient and responsible by overloading them with obligations and initiatives has simply led to an exodus, and the whole system of Parish Councils has been weakened.