Vote for yourself

As fellow arrsers may or may not know local elections will be taking place on 4 May 2006 (04-05-06) this year.

Now I am sure most of you will say so what? This does not affect me. What I would like to suggest is why not stand as an independent? Local politics might not set the world alight but surely it is better to be in the democratic tent as an elected representative than outside covered in pi$$.

Why become a councillor?
There are many reasons why people decide to become a local councillor. For example, some individuals stand because:
of their concern over the local area in which they live and a desire to ensure that their local community is provided with the services needed
they want to ensure that local community interests are taken into account in the council’s decision making and are committed to representing the local people’s views
they want to be involved in shaping the future of the local community
they want to make a difference and they are concerned about a particular issue in their community
it is an extension of what they are already doing as they are active in a political party, trade union or school governing body and they see the next step as to become a councillor
they want to pursue their political beliefs
they want to contribute business or professional skills.

Most people that actively contribute to ARRSE are passionate about this country and the society they probably have helped to defend at some point.

IMHO the country would be a lot better off with more independent councillors.

Questions,suggestions, comments?

I know you can all fire three rounds a minute - but can you stand?
Nice one, Sir Sidney.

There must be a number of members here who would be excellent Councillors, whether they are ex-Reg, TA, or indeed serving Regulars.

Serving personnel CAN stand in local elections, provided they stand as independents abd obtain prior permission from the chain of command. (I can post chapter and verse).

Of course many personnel would not consider themselves available due to turbulence and mobility of service life, but some may be able to serve in their current postings. No-one should be put off, in my opinion, by the fact that they cannot guarantee serving for the full term.

By the way, only some areas are having elections in May.
I strongly suggest those public-minded enough to take this route do so.

The pay is not brilliant , but a spot of Forces-savvy in local Government would do no harm at all.
I have been an independent local councillor.

Hard work, but a genuine chance to make a difference, which is, as the advert says, priceless.
chapter and verse as promised:

Candidates in Local Government Elections
a. Serving personnel may not accept membership of any local authority, or allow themselves to be nominated for election to any such body, without the permission of the Ministry of Defence (PS 2(Army))...

c. Serving personnel who are permitted by the Ministry of Defence to be nominated for election to any local authority may only stand as independent candidates. They are not to stand as candidates for any political organisation, party or movement and, if elected, are not to involve themselves in any way in the affairs of any such organisations, party or movement.
Quote is from Queen's Regulations for the Army. Dark blue and light blue versions will be the same.
Thanks for these valuable additions to my initial post.

One final thing don't forget parish and town councils which have a tradition of independents. Although most don't havea great deal of power it is still a start.
Sir_Sidney_Ruff_Diamond said:
Although most don't have a great deal of power it is still a start.
Just to enlarge a little on this:

I sat on a town council; the next in line was the district council and county council which actually provided the services. There are a number of district committees on which town councillors sit, and a number of county committees on which both town and district councillors sit. Town council also determines some local spending.

The town council may not have a lot of power but it does have a good deal of influence. It is the first stage in the approval or otherwise of planning applications; it producs a town plan, and contributes to district and county plans. There are a number of sub-committees such as sports and recreation and road safety.

However, perhaps the most rewarding part of being a councillor is in the ability to help constituents. Council employees are obliged to answer to councillors' questions - rather in the same we we might like to see a federation work with Glasgow, and lots of other people take notice when contacted by a councillor. There is a huge reward in getting a young couple with a baby rehoused after some clerk in the Housing Dept has refused to help; in preventing the Gas Board making an FEPOW pensioner pay back money that was stolen from his gas meter in a burglary, and in stopping a developer scaring old people into selling their property. There's a down side, of course - many bone phone calls about things which are not council connected; lots of papers to read; dealing with the local media.

Overall, however, the advantages far outweigh the disadvantages.
Kitmarlowe said:
One of the lads in the TA Company called up for Iraq is a serving Councillor for Hull council before he got called up.
I bet he'd rather be in Iraq than Hull! God bless him.
I am aware of a former Lord Mayor of Liverpool who is a Ssgt in the TA who was called up on Telic and still managed to deal with his constituents issues from the Palace!

I think the expenses he claimed for his mobile phone bill after 6 months put a pound on the next years Council Tax bill!

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