The drawbacks to independent councillors are well-known. However the political party candidates are not without their faults. To highlight just a few of them: a) you never know whether their job is to represent you and your fellow constituents or their political party in the council chamber b) we are electing councillors, but sometimes councillors belonging to political parties give the impression of wanting to be members of the Senedd or Westminster and see being a councillor as a stepping stone to power elsewhere (and this influences how they act) c) political parties’ manifestos don’t give as much weight to local issues and concerns – they all prefer a one size fits all approach d) people who don’t support the party of the winning candidate inevitably feel more unrepresented – there is always a chance of persuading an independent councillor. Whereas most political party candidates appeared to have decided everything already.
There are obviously some good councillors who represent political parties, but there’s no evidence that a party rosette is some kind of sign of quality, competence or originality,
In many ways it is so much easier for a party candidate to get elected as they have the support of an electoral machine behind them, so how safe really is any independent’s seat?
However, i admire anyone who is prepared to enter the bear pit of local politics. It appears a rather thankless occupation, even when they are doing their bit for the greater good.
I would not disagree with most of the above. I was so disappointed when the City Status debate by the 42 Councillors was cut short by Bithell and Pritchard’s counterproposal to allow only the Executive Board to vote on it. Whilst under the constitution they were perfectly within their right, I felt it was a show of the power they hold.
There have been instances when a councillor belonging to a political party has given the Exec Board quite a bit of stick. Then having moved to an independent and getting elected to the Exec Board does not say boo to a ghost.
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