There’s a report just about to come out from a government quango, the Councillors Commission
It’s trying to promote ways of boosting local democracy and encouraging people to stand as councillors.
According to the Telegraph Guardian , the Observer and Liberal Democrat Voice (where some of these ideas are described as ‘barking’), their proposals include:
Having ‘redundancy payments’ for unpopular senior councillors voted out by the electorate.
Big boosts in pay and perks for councillors in a bid to encourage people to participate in local democracy. (at the moment ordinary councillors in our District get just over ?4,000 per year)
Councillors having a “communications allowance” to fund public relations material. (At the moment we pay for things like Focus leaflets and indeed onlinefocus ourselves)
freeing councillors from the requirement to turn up at meetings.
Councillors being barred from serving more than 5 terms – that would end Chris Black’s career as he’s already completed more than 5 terms!
a reduction in the voting age to 16
a lottery connecting with voting, so just by going to vote you could win a million!
council by-elections would be axed (and instead any vacancies filled from a list of names) So an unpopular ruling party could never lose seats at a by-election.
There’s no signs yet that the government is going to actually implement any of these ideas – perhaps the likeliest is on ‘voting at 16′. But we’d be interested to know our readers’ views on this. Would a higher councillors allowance make you more interested in standing,? If so, how high would it need to be? If someone has been a councillor for 20 years, should they be barred from standing again? Should the voting age be 16?