Better Local Government

Better Local Government

Many services are not run by democratically elected councils but by government departments and other organisations such as the NHS, the National Parks and the Highways Agency etc.  However, apart from the Police Commissioners, town district and county councillors are your only elected representatives locally. As such I believe they should adopt a proactive stance in influencing these other bodies who are not elected. Councils themselves need to be transparent about the way they conduct their business and their finances. I would like to see the National Park open an office here in Lewes so that people don’t have to travel 45 miles to Midhurst for local planning decisions and other services.

I believe that we need to find ways of providing the best possible service under each of the above headings whilst at the same time keeping the Council Tax as low as possible. I don’t think just throwing money at particular service always it is the benefit to the community. After May there will be further pressures on local councils to cut back as grants from central government are reduced. Senior council officials need to be innovative in their thinking and councillors need introduce policies and strategies that bring about the best benefit to the community.

Here is a breakdown of responsibilities in local government:

Department County Councils District Councils Parish  & Town Councils National Parks
Education Yes
Highways (except trunk routes & motorways) Yes
Transport planning & rights of way Yes
Passenger transport support Yes
Social care Yes
Housing Yes
Libraries Yes
Leisure and recreation Yes (some) Yes (some) Yes (some)
Environmental health Yes
Waste collection Yes
Waste disposal Yes
Planning applications Yes – outside the park Comment on Yes – inside the park
Strategic planning Yes
Local taxation collection Yes

The Lewes District Council is made up of a central ‘Cabinet’ and various committees. The Cabinet is a small group of members, who make the main decisions associated with the Council’s policy. Members in the cabinet have portfolios:

  • Regeneration and Business
  • People and Performance
  • Finance
  • Waste and Recycling
  • Planning
  • Housing
  • Customers and Partnerships

Moe information is on my local council information page  

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