Time to celebrate the new wave of local democracy
The National Association of Local Councils (NALC) on 15 May 2015 thinks it time to celebrate and support the new wave of local (parish and town) councils that came into being around a year ago.
It was in May 2014 that saw the first ever council meeting of local people serving on Queen's Park Community Council, London and Chadwick End Parish Council, Solihull and it is time to celebrate their achievements at the end of the first year of their existence
NALC welcomes these two new councils to the family of neighbourhood (community, parish, town and village) democracy. They are part of a trend which has seen over 200 new councils created in the last decade, who have joined 9,000 other parish councils already working to improve people's lives across England.
Local councils are the most local tier of local government – they are at the very heart of the community, giving neighbourhoods a voice and helping people feel more involved in the decisions that affect them.
Cllr Angela Singhate, chair of Queen's Park Community Council, said: "May 2014 witnessed the historic first election of a London parish council. Our first year has been in some ways, a baptism of fire as we have had to get to grips with our new roles and responsibilities as councillors."
"But we are keen to hold on to the reasons why we campaigned so tirelessly over the last few year to set up a local council that would service the best interests of Queen's Park residents. To ensure that we are working towards getting things right and doing what our community wants."
Spokesperson for Chadwick Parish Council, said: "From 1st April 2014 the new Chadwick End Parish Council was formed in order to give locals more of a say in how the village develops and what services are needed. We have taken on services like traffic calming, crime prevention, playing fields, playgrounds and horticulture to great success. "
Cllr Ken Browse, chairman of NALC, said: "NALC has been campaigning to make it easier for communities to create new local councils where they want them. So we are really pleased that over 200 communities in the last decade as thought they needed a bright strong new voice for themselves in the shape of neighbourhood democracy. We wish all local councils the best of luck for the future and especially to the very new councils of Queen's Park and Chadwick End."
NALC's Create a Council campaign is aimed at raising awareness of and promoting grassroots democracy in unparished areas.