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Reform local government

Comment 2nd July 2010

Combine 2 tier councils- for more efficiency and clarity for members of the public

Reduce number of elected members or change their roles. There are too many involved in decision making. Local representatives are needed, but these not be of a particular party.

Have fewer councillors involved in council decision making.
Some services need to be run by professionals only, they do not require democratic input. eg Surely all areas want an effective refuse collection service at minimum or reasonable cost.

Council committee membership is apportioned in line with the political balance of the constituency. This means that some local areas never/seldom have their representatives speaking for their area.

Take the party politics out of local councils. Too many decisions are made to keep the party popular rather than what is best for the community. The cost of democracy- servicing committees, writing lengthy reports, slow decision making, lack of direction- is too high. There are too many people involved, with different agendas to run an efficient organisation

Centralise collection of Council Tax, the giving of Housing Benefits- and possibly other services. Each council reinvents its own wheel. The winners are the computer suppliers. The losers are the tax payers – this is administratively expensive.

Refocus councils on essential services. Some are not effective and non essential. Some are best provided by local people/volunteers

Some councils are commercially naive- specifying, negotiating and managing contracts , poor at purchasing and  project management, work in service silos, poor at defining and changing internal processes, fail to join up with related services. It all needs a shakeup and input from business people.

Insist on zero based budgetting every say 3 years

 

Why does this matter?

To reduce cost of running local councils, and reduce Council Tax
To improve the image of local councils – currently viewed as inefficient, and lacking in local knowledge
 


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