Parish Councils – a real resurgence?
This paper explores the ways in which parish councils are being revived. No longer are they dismissed as being superfluous or a joke. Instead, they appear to be taking up the reins of local government, and trying to make it ‘local’ again. Concepts such as ‘democratic deficit’ have been used against principal authorities and parish councils. The apparent resurgence in parish councils suggests a degree of interest in, and enthusiasm for, ‘local’ government. All of this brings into question the extent to which there may be such a democratic deficit. This deficit may be questioned further when noting the levels of interest from members of the public in standing for office at the parish council level. Part of this may be attributed to the ‘local’ issues, but there is also an important factor of party labels. Most parish council elections are fought without party labels – or, at least, open party labels. Party politics appears to matter far less at this most local level.
Citation : Jones, A. (2019) Parish Councils – a real resurgence? Public Administration Committee annual conference, University of Northumbria, September 2019.
Research Institute : Local Governance Research Centre (LGRC)