Parish Councils are Dying. So What?

This is the last in a series I’ve posted on how a new party could gain and maintain power at the lowest level of UK democracy. That is at the Parish Council/ Town Council level. 

A committed party could do this literally in a few months. In many cases without even standing for election. (See this post)

But then you have got to ask: Why would any party want to do this?

Why bother?

It would involve a great deal of effort. For what gain?

Parish/Town councils all over the country are dying. So what would be the point in gaining power in failing councils?

If a party placed candidates to fill the rows of empty Councillor seats and then walked away without providing further support then little would be achieved. In fact in all likelihood it would be an utter and complete waste of time.

Nothing would change. There may be a brief blip on the heart monitor for these councils but they will not be resuscitated. The death spiral will continue.

So how can local councillors make headway against the political apathy that engulfs their locality? 

The only way out of this is to target issues affecting the locality and to do this vocally. Get your councillors to make a lot of noise about local issues. Let people know you're party is standing up for them. Especially on issues they are concerned about. 

Yes. I know. 

That's stating the bleeding obvious.

But I’d bet that most issues affecting one Parish Council are almost identical to those affecting its neighbour or even a similar sized Parish council 300 miles away. 

Few problems at the Parish Council level will be unique.

The issues struggled with by Council A may well have been solved by Council B. Often many years before.

But nobody knows. Like the Parish Councils themselves, all the little victories are anonymous. Re-inventing the wheel is the norm, while leveraging progress made elsewhere is rare.

I mooted an idea that each councillor could have the support of a number of lay-supporters and even other non-local councillors. (Here)

Now imagine a forward looking party that links all these motivated and engaged individuals into a forum. A forum where problems can be posted specifically to find out if similar problems have been solved elsewhere.

Instead of one councillor and 2 or 3 lay-supporters grappling with a problem suddenly you have a central army of 100’s of people. 

An army ready to address a single Councillor's otherwise intractable problems and find out how they have already been fixed elsewhere.

In essence you use your small national political party as a force multiplier for your otherwise isolated and under-informed Parish Councillor. 

Couple that with courses for councillors in using social media, film editing and generally making a lot of fuss and you have a seriously effective and popular Parish Council.

Then you have a route forward. You will gain popularity and support from the community. You have a strong political base to build on.

And its all stamped with the initials of your party.

Realistically no new party is going to miraculously get an opportunity to break into the higher levels of UK politic unless it builds a solid political base first.

I firmly believe Parish/Town councils offer that opportunity.

I hope you agree.

Heres the full set of posts on this topic:

The Social Democratic Party - Where Now?

The SDP and the Brexit Party

Local Politics and the Low Hanging Fruit

Arming the Parish Councillors

Parish Councillors: Party Affiliated or Independent?

Parish Councils are Dying. So What? (this post)

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