Since being elected (2007) I feel local government tries to do too much. I could list them all but then that would take me another electoral cycle! I feel local people desperately want to see council’s getting ‘back to basics’ and ‘getting it right’ and I think this is also what the majority of councillors want to see. I believe that this needs to be championed by the CCA.
In my view the CCA needs to start campaigning to reduce the cost of local government and this I believe can only be done by ensuring that the councillor is given the freedom and opportunity to execute their democratic responsibilities without red tape and bureaucracy.
Since being a member of the CCA I found it at times frustrating not being able to identify where my £30 subscription actually goes. The CCA needs to up its game and start communicating more effectively and efficiently to the needs of the councillor and to be able to demonstrate that the organisation is our CCA!
Culling the quangos is essential if local government wants to get ‘back to basics’. We abolished regional assemblies and replaced them with regional equivalents. Did you vote for these unelected and unaccountable bodies? Neither did I.
As a councillor I want to feel empowered to make changes by taking action for the benefit of the community. Delivering services that people need rather than want is the only way to sustain the future of local government and this is something the CCA should start to embrace and act upon.
I asked 100 people what they would like to see their council deliver with their council tax and 87% said; collect my bins, sweep my streets and cut my grass. I then asked what their council should enable and facilitate 91% said; provide leisure, transport and support businesses. But when I asked if the council should fund those services the majority said; reduce my tax so that I can decide where I want to spend my money.
Councillors are the guardians of the public purse and we must be given the freedom to ensure every penny we need to spend is spent wisely and empower people to spend the rest how they see fit.
So if you elect me as our chairman I will champion the voice of the councillor and not of the politician. I will campaign to ensure that the CCA becomes the only real voice whilst we hold the majority in local government. I will communicate with you the progress the CCA is making in ensuring that Conservative councillors are in control with an increased mandate within the foundations of local government.