Diverging aspirations


Six weeks after the national and local elections things start to settle. At a national level, the government’s slim majority allows them to start pushing through legislation too extreme for the previous coalition. At a local level we start to devise ‘panels’ to engage better with people towards creating strategy that reflects their real needs and wishes.
And after the Guardian article, I find myself in twenty or so conversations with other groups and individuals seeking to reject the dysfunctional constraints of party politics at a local level. It does however feel like there is an increasing gap between the reality of the town level of government and what goes on nationally.
So what happens when they clash? The rejection of a fracking licence in Lancashire will be interesting – does the government orchestrate trampling on the clear will of local people? In Frome we will continue to test how far Localism can be made to really work for local people….. and hopefully increasingly share this with the growing network of others on a similar same path.

About the author

Peter Macfadyen

Social activist, ex Mayor and Leader of Frome Town Council, author, public speaker, undertaker, grandfather.


Leave a comment
  • Today is the 2nd July. For the first time ever we are voting for seats on Over Stowey Parish Council, hoping to displace the old councillors who for years have discouraged involvment, been secretive in their workings and avoided democracy.

    Wish us luck!

  • Well, Tim, I can see that 150 people voted and you are not one of those elected….. but would love to know how well you and others did? Peter

  • The gap between the reality of town government and what goes on nationally is inevitable when the national government is party-based and the local government is not.

    Political parties effectively block the contributions of non-partisans from the political system. By empowering independents, Frome brought people who advocate the community interest rather than the special interests represented by political parties into the government. As other communities recognize the wisdom of the Flatpack approach, the concept will spread and the gap will narrow.

    Fred Gohlke

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Copyright © Peter Macfadyen 2019