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Letter: Councillors Should Represent Their Constituents – Not Their Party

Published on: 22 Sep, 2018
Updated on: 22 Sep, 2018

From Robert Shatwell

In response to: Local Government Needs Independent Thinkers – With No Party Line

All councillors, irrespective of party, should remember that they are the democratically elected representatives of the people and not their party. I don’t believe any councillor ever seeks the advice of their electorate before making major decisions which affect the residents.

We should also accept that our councillors, in the majority of cases, are part-timers having occupations during the day. When a council produces documents extending to some 100 pages, councillors cannot be expected to read all these documents. I believe this is a ploy by council officers to “push through” their own agenda.

Councillors should refuse to entertain this ploy, they should, a) have time to read the document, and b) have time to consult with their residents and obtain the views of residents in order that they, the councillor, can truly represent the residents in the council chamber.

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Responses to Letter: Councillors Should Represent Their Constituents – Not Their Party

  1. Martin Elliott Reply

    September 22, 2018 at 1:21 pm

    An interesting initial definition of a what a councillor is as a first sentence.

    Unfortunately, I am not sure that is actually enshrined anywhere in the (unwritten) Uk constitution.

    I fact going through official UK Government guidance the nearest I could find was in the GOV.UK

    “Councillors have to balance the needs and interests of residents, the political party they represent (if any) and the council.”

    Perhaps the problem is where the fulcrum to that balance is positioned.

  2. Chris Fox Reply

    September 24, 2018 at 11:47 am

    During twenty years on the council, I always tried to consult my electors on major issues within the constraints of time and council secrecy. If the electorate viewed matters differently from my party, and I agreed, then I had no problem in disagreeing with my party.

    Chris Fox was a Lib Dem councillor from 1979-1997

  3. Bernard Parke Reply

    September 24, 2018 at 1:43 pm

    Having served on the council with Chris I can confirm what he has written

    Times seem to have changed and not for the better.

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