LGA Labour Group: Why do parish councils matter?


Author: Cllr Shaun Davies, chair of the Local Government Association (LGA) and former leader of the LGA Labour Group 

Along with being a Leader of Telford and Wrekin Council and the LGA Labour Group, it's been my real honour to be elected to the local councils that serve my ward; Lawley and Overdale Parish Council since 2019 and the Great Dawley Town Council since 2007, and Chair since 2011. I know first-hand the importance of our parish, town and community councils.

Local councils are the closest tier of local government to the people and communities, which means they are the first place people go with local concerns. They are a vital part of any community and central to local activity.

Local councillors are our community leaders, playing an active role in bringing people together and always striving to improve the quality of life in our local areas. As a parish and town councillor myself, I understand the pride of seeing how the decisions you have made have benefitted your community. The Dawley and Malinslee Community Library, which Great Dawley Town Council took control of in 2017, was recently relaunched, offering a brand-new computer suite and printing facilities for the community. We have also overseen the installation of defibrillators across our local area, which could prove lifesaving for someone in cardiac arrest, along with leading youth services and services for our older residents.

Local councils are closely tied to their community, which makes local councillors useful partners to principal authorities. They possess an abundance of local intelligence, allowing them to voice the views of their community. As the leader of Telford and Wrekin Council, I recognise the value of local councils; they give the best reflections of how a community is feeling. Collaborating with local councils and taking their views seriously is essential to making decisions that benefit the people we serve.

In the future, I look forward to seeing local councils continue to work with other tiers of local government. We all stand for election to represent residents and to deliver positive changes in our local area- yet this is only possible with collaboration across the tiers.

The following blog post is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional or legal advice. The views and opinions expressed in this post are those of the author and do not reflect the official policy or position of the National Association of Local Councils. Any links to external sources included in this blog post are provided for convenience and do not constitute endorsement or approval of those websites' content, products, services, or policies. Therefore, readers should use discretion and judgment when applying the information to their circumstances. Finally, this blog post may be updated or revised without notice.

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