Posts Tagged ‘local councillors’

In praise of…local councillors

03/05/2012, 07:00:24 AM

by Peter Watt

It’s a big test today for all of the parties.  London and Glasgow will be watched particularly closely but so will the results from Derby, Plymouth, Southampton, Harlow, Norwich and, well you get the point!  Will Labour get more than 700 gains?  Will the Tories lose more than 300?

Will the Liberal Democrats go into meltdown?  Clever people will talk about the impact of the ‘omnishambles’ of the News International scandal and the budget on the Tory vote.

There will be a debate about whether there is evidence that Ed Miliband is convincing voters that he is more than David’s brother and is edging towards Downing Street.  The results will all be scrutinised and analysed for their national significance.  But to be honest this inevitable focus on the national is a shame because it masks the individual battles and hard work of thousands and thousands of local candidates across the Country.

I once stood for election to Poole borough council.  I came within 54 votes of winning what had been a safe Tory ward.  But to be honest with hindsight I am glad I didn’t win!  Being a councillor is just too much like hard work for my liking!  In fact at a time when politics is held in such low regard, local government is a beacon of hope.

Local councillors are the unsung heroes of the political world.  They are often part-time holding down a job as well as carrying out their council work.  Yes they get allowances, but they are hardly paid a fortune.  And for their allowances they are incredibly good value.  The endless lists of committees and panels, school governors and board meetings, the residents’ panels, full council meetings and group meetings.  This merry-go-round of public service is often interminably boring but really quite important and frankly someone has attend!


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