At this time of year all the political parties are scratching around, desperately searching for people who are willing to stand at the May local council elections. I hope you’re sitting down when you read the next sentence… Have you ever considered standing?
No, I thought not, but I’m urging you to do so now. If we’re to reinvigorate our local democracy we need more people willing to serve their local communities and we need a more diverse range of people who become councillors. Too often, especially in rural areas, our councils are dominated by those who have reached retirement age. This is not an attack on councillors over the age of sixty at all, but I would hope they would agree with me that it is not healthy when we can’t seem to attract public service workers, housewives or young people to stand for local elections.
Being a local councillor can be a hugely rewarding experience and you don’t have to be steeped in party politics to enjoy it. We all have a responsibility to reinvigorate democracy both at a local and national level. So if you want to find out more about what being a councillor involves look at your local council’s website, visit their offices or contact the local office of whichever political party you feel closest to. Or if you can’t face doing that, just send me an email and I’ll point you in the right direction.