Thursday, 26 April 2012
'Be a Councillor Campaign'
I received an email today from the Local Government Association thanking me for expressing an interest in their new ‘Be a Councillor’ campaign. I cannot remember making the enquiry, but then, I visit many web sites, send a fair few emails and speak to a number of people in my quest for knowledge on planning and related matters.
The LGA have recently re-launched the relevant website with a range of information available to assist with decisions re '...representing your local community as an elected member'.
View the ‘Be a Councillor’ website
I was intrigued by their 'X Factor' - Talent Spotters Recruitment Guide for LG Elections, here are a few quotes:
...Local government is only ever as vibrant, effective and relevant as the people elected
to run it. The decisions made by councillors in England’s district, borough, metropolitan,
unitary and county councils affect people’s quality of life in countless ways, from education to housing and regeneration, community safety, environment, roads, care for older people, sport and culture, and helping local businesses to thrive.
...Increasing the pool of talent from which councillors are elected is a key challenge
for local government. Only by encouraging the brightest stars to stand for election can
we ensure that councils are able to do the best for their communities. We need plenty of
high-quality prospective councillors ready and willing to work hard and make a difference
to their local communities.
...We need councillors who are capable, vibrant, energetic and engaged, with a commitment
to local people and a passion for change. Ensuring that councils better represent their
electorate is not simply a case of encouraging more diversity in terms of age, gender
or ethnicity, although that does play a part in making councils more relevant. The most
important thing is raising the quality of all councillors. We need different kinds of people
willing to stand for election, whether for a party or as Independent candidates, to get a
choice of quality candidates.
...The number of Britons who are members of the three main political parties is estimated to be fewer than 500,000. From this small proportion of the population is drawn most of the elected politicians who exercise democratic power.
...We risk ignoring the greater potential of our communities if we confine our councillor candidate recruitment to local party members, activists, safe pairs of hands and ‘friends’.
We need councils that truly represent the local population. This is not just about diversity by
race, gender, age, experience or education; mostly it is about talent and ability, potential and ambition.
It is now just a week away to the elections, with 170 candidates soon to become 80 councillors. Will the make-up of the new Highland Council be 'All Change' or 'More of the Same'?
COSLA produce a ‘A Candidate’s Guide to Becoming a Councillor however, I am in the process of sending an email query to COSLA to ask if they have a similar initiative to the one mentioned above - I'll update this post with the reply.
Very fast response from COSLA with links to both the 'Candidates Guide' as linked immediately above and a link to another page of information here on the Improvement Service. Not quite the same campaigning stance. Perhaps I shall ask if they have any plans to prepare the ground for the next local authority elections?