Arming the Parish Councillors

In my last post ( HERE ) I hope I proved that any political party with the drive to improve the failing bottom tier of UK local government could gain a significant representation in Parish/Town councils across the country without really trying. 

In most cases their candidates would not even have to go though the process of being elected. (Yes. Things are that bad!)

But what happens then?

If a party wanted their councillors to do more than simply “get by” they would need to arm their councillors with some form of structured support. Support that is sadly lacking today. Irrespective of what party (or none) you are in.

Yet people join political partys to make a difference. So I think it would be reasonable to assume that the average party member is pre-disposed to helping out. 

While many (the majority - in any party) would not wish to become actively involved to the extent of (say) actually being a Parish Councillor, they may well be willing to provide support to those that are.

Just as MPs have "staffers" running their office, maybe there should be mini "staffers" for Parish Councillors. People providing a couple of hours a week to letter-write/research and read through reports. 

This would significantly reduce the Parish Councillors work load. More importantly it would give the Councillor a base of support to whom they can turn to for ideas, advice or simply a chat.

This support would itself make the prospect of becoming a councillor less daunting and increase supply of candidates.

After a while as the lay-supporters also gain experience they may themselves feel more confident and put themselves forward as councillors.

However, this would entail considerable commitment and organisation from any party that tried to implement it. If the party in question sees only Parliamentary success as important then this is a waste of time.

Sadly I don't think there is ANY political party around today that has either the will-power or the inclination to rescue this vital bottom tier of UK government. 

Everyone is focused on the top of the tree while the bottom rots away.

Next: It's Parish Councils and political branding. Also whether a party ticket can sometimes be a hindrance rather than a help.

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