“In the Localism Bill, the Government will abolish the Standards Board Regime. Instead, it will become a criminal offence for councillors to deliberately withhold or misrepresent a personal interest. This means that councils will not be obliged to spend time and money investigating trivial complaints, while councillors involved in corruption and misconduct will
face appropriately serious sanctions. This will provide a more effective safeguard against unacceptable behaviour.” p8 http://www.communities.gov.uk/documents/localgovernment/pdf/1923416.pdfIt seems to me that there are more reasons for corruption than ‘personal interest’. I suppose all other problems will have to be dealt with by voting people out, if there is no complaint system other than a directly criminal one.
ok, they are also protected from being prosecuted for acting upon strong, oppositional ideas that don’t represent the wishes of the elector. p8 (Clarifying the rules on predetermination).
abolition of the predetermination rules that were developed to ensure that councillors came to meetings … with an open mind.
Maybe, at least we might know what they think!
p9. Directly Elected Mayors:
The film ‘Chocolat’ comes to mind! Maybe we will have a system of many small despots?
I’m not sure that making the ‘ruling’ people more local and accessible (ostensibly), whilst freeing them from complaint procedures and encouraging them to express and act upon their ideologies (only some of which were ratified by some of the electorate, and not all by any) can do anything more than provide us with many potential despots to keep us busy and spread out our potentially rebellious energies.
It all sounds, still, very inclined to promote homogeneity and intolerance of difference. I’m not sure I don’t prefer getting a massive petition together and heading to one office for a response, rather than the divide and rule response they can now make of saying “Go fight it at a local level.”
Next I’ll read that people from out of the local area cannot be listened to. Then we will really struggle as minorities, if we cannot gather support and strength nationally.
They are repealing the petition scheme (I imagine they are talking about the complaints procedure they are abolishing) and giving local authorities the “long awaited general power of competence which marks a transformation in the relationship between central and local government by allowing local authorities power to do anything an individual can do”
Like “act in their own interests…” p21
Meanwhile, seems we lose the power to petition or complain beyond the election process, but we do gain the ‘Right To Challenge’ … to have our entrepreneurial proposals listened to, and buy our local halls if they are being sold off. We’ll also have some say in local planning and be able to put ‘local issues’ to referendum.
I suppose issues like the ultra vires intrusions of public servants would have to be dealt with through the courts. Expensive and prohibitive.
I don’t suppose, if the local home ed families visit the council, we’ll get any further than we have done so far, and that is now our only port of call beyond the law court.
If these public servants can do anything an individual can do, can we also send them a solicitor’s letter saying they are breaking the law?