Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more

LGC View: Unity is strength

Nick Golding
  • Comment

While parties should have the freedom to disagree, it is when local government works together that it is at its most powerful, says LGC’s acting editor

David Sparks’ arrival in the LGA hot seat coincides with the onset of the most important part of the political cycle. As he outlines in an article for LGC, time is running out for the LGA to shape the next five years.

Just 11 months now remain until the general election and the process of writing manifestos is now no longer over the horizon.

Cllr Sparks does not mince his words. He accuses recent governments of all parties of “an abuse of power”, for their persistent meddling in what should be local affairs. On more a positive note, he calls for “a renaissance of careers in local government being valued” and a renewed drive for the public to be made aware of the “fantastic” work their council is doing.

His recent assertion that the LGA should end its “consensus at almost all costs” approach in favour of allowing individual party groups to campaign on certain issues is to be supported.

The LGA has on occasion been hamstrung by the need to find agreement between all parties when individual groups, speaking out as representatives of local government, could have made a far greater impact. Cautious welcomes for government initiatives make no waves.

That said, it is when local government unites that it is at its most powerful. When Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat councillors overcome their differences to state their support or opposition to a particular measure, or devise their own blueprints for the future, the interests of localism are best served.

The freedom that Cllr Sparks has promised should not be used as an excuse to put the interests of party ahead of joint work to provide an alternative to our over-centralised system.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.