Local council elections are scheduled be held on Thursday 7 May 2015
"As the most local level of democracy for the communities they serve it is vital that local councils do all that they can to encourage contested elections. It should not need saying, but democratically elected and accountable political representation is not an optional extra for any level of government, it is essential." (NALC)
Parish and Town Councils are statutory bodies that make up the first tier of local government in England. They are an example of important and influential grass roots democracy. Local councils serve electorates ranging from small communities to towns and small cities. The local councillors who serve on parish and town councils are independently elected and are responsible to the people they represent in their local community.
Parish and town councils are at the heart of the communities they serve. Residents can clearly see the difference that pro-active local councils can make.
Through an extensive range of powers local councils provide and maintain a variety of important and visible local services including: allotments, bus shelters, car parks, open spaces, transport schemes, safety and crime reduction, events, leisure and sports facilities, litter bins, public toilets, street cleaning, older persons and youth projects.
NALC encourages promotion of local council elections. Councils should be doing all they can to encourage people to know more about the work of councils and councillors so that they can make an informed decision about whether to stand.
There may be times when it simply is not possible to find enough people to come forward, but people should be encouraged. Not only do our local communities deserve the right to vote for those who represent them, but also it affects how the all local councils are perceived by our partners if we wish to be taken seriously as a tier of government. There is a pressing need for the makeup of councillors to better reflect the communities they serve. The only way this will improve is if we all raise the profile of the role and talk to local people and encourage them to stand.
Resources for candidates available for download:
In order to assist in the promotion of council elections you are welcome to download and use any of the resources below:
Basic text only Council Elections poster (simple image-free poster for easy download)
Poster 3 (or leaflet)
Guides to download for clerks and councillors:
Guidance Pack to download: