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How to hold inactive & inept councillors accountable?

0 votes
Hi Newbie here,

Introduction: our local ward has historically been neglected and mismanaged by the dominant political party for decades, and it is no different today. It's no exaggeration to say our local councillors are very hard to get hold off i.e. no public surgeries (esp with Covid-19 now), thereafter rarely respond to any form of written correspondence and generally not interested in the major issues affecting most residents (apart from lip service on rare occasions).

They are normally dormant for most of their time in office unless it's close to election time; or an issue receiving  sufficient media coverage will force them to act in order to save face and preserve their positions.

How does a member of the public hold a councillor accountable, as well as getting them to actually do their job...?!

Apart from lodging a complaint with the local council monitoring officer, are there any other avenues to apply the required pressure to get the public servants to perform their public duty?
Thanks in advance.
asked by (120 points)

3 Answers

+1 vote

 Councillor - Representing your local area

A councillor's primary role is to represent their ward or division and the people who live in it. Councillors provide a bridge between the community and the council. As well as being an advocate for your local residents and signposting them to the right people at the council, you will need to keep them informed about the issues that affect them.

In order to understand and represent local views and priorities, you need to build strong relationships and encourage local people to make their views known and engage with you and the council. Good communication and engagement is central to being an effective councillor.

As a local councillor, your residents will expect you to:

  • respond to their queries and investigate their concerns (casework)
  • communicate council decisions that affect them
  • know your patch and be aware of any problems
  • know and work with representatives of local organisations, interest groups and businesses
  • represent their views at council meetings
  • lead local campaigns on their behalf.
If you feel this councillor is not fulfilling this role you can lodge a complaint with the council they belong to.
Before you do this you need to check your evidence, double check you have the correct contact details, if this is the case send in details of dates and times you have tried to make contact and failed to get a response.
answered by (3k points)
+2 votes
The external auditor can make recommendations that the PC or TC are called on to implement but these are not enforceable.  The EA has to be made aware by residents of non compliances which have to potentially lead to adverse financial consequences.
answered by (16.4k points)
You could check out the council's complaints procedure and
follow it to the letter which would be useless if it is as inept as it's councillors and finally at the ballot box at election time. Nothing stopping the highlighting of historical performance regarding a candidate for office.
Hi,
Are you able to expand on your comments and also the abbreviations used please (as I'm not familiar with them).
PC = parish council
TC = town council
EA = external auditor
Thanks for coming back to me.
"The EA has to be made aware by residents of non compliances which have to potentially lead to adverse financial consequences."
Are you able to expand on this sentence please, and I'm assuming the EA here is the council monitoring officer?
The external auditor is an organisation that carries out an annual inspection of a parish or town council financial accounts and financial management processes. The auditor requires the council to submit declarations in a governance return too. As part of the audit, the town or parish council must submit an AGAR form to the auditor. (Annual governance and Annual return)  Electors living within the parish are entitled to object to items on the AGAR or report any other financially related issues.
+2 votes
You can’t turn poor Councillors into good ones

Do what I did, read up on election law, stand for election,  force the first election in some 30 years, pay for some flyers go door to door and win a seat
But you really need a group of you to stand for mutual support
answered by (2.4k points)

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