Chickens and Eggs

chickenegg

“If there are sufficient nominations, there may also be a poll for councillors of the Parish of Frome”… What a sad line with which to head the Official Polling card! But all over the country there won’t be sufficient nominations. There won’t be elections at this level – the foundations of a democratic pyramid are thus missing. The only level at which people in their communities meet regularly to chat, moan, agree, offer ideas (ie politics) is often dysfunctional largely because there are not enough people engaging.
Why? Because there is not enough true decision making power at this level to inspire people to get involved in what is otherwise, largely irrelevant and, frankly, boring. But there is a dilemma in taking the simple way out and the government giving more power to the Parishes: there need to be the skills and capacity to handle it. And it’s hard to see how ‘austerity’ will allow more resources to help provide this! Chicken and egg……

In my view giving the power with some safeguards in place is the only way forward. I seem to be contesting a parish ward with at least 7 others – surely because in Frome we’ve shown that councillors can make a real difference and grabbing some decision making power from the scraps offered to us!

About the author

Peter Macfadyen

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

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