I find it really interesting that we are all very good at pointing out what the council has done wrong, yet nobody seems to want to grasp the opportunity to show people how it could be done better.
Everyone has an opinion about, alleged missing money, elected members not doing enough, regeneration or lack thereof, council officers running the city etc, and like to voice it here on Pits n Pots, which is what the site was set up for. What I don’t get is, there are options available, other than the elections in May, where you will all go out and vote, voting in someone who you hope will do the right thing for your ward, it is totally possible and feasible that you could set up a Town Council.
Over the years we have published a number of posts about Town or Parish councils yet nobody seems to have read them or even thought about progressing it further. Last week Justin Griggs, who is an authority in this area, wrote us a post. The post got barely a dozen comments and half of those were on a different topic.
If people were really bothered about how the city were being run and had the opportunity to do it themselves I would expect them to grab that with both hands.
So why haven’t you?
Stoke-on-Trent is a City made up of 6 towns, I don’t need to bore you with the history or the geography, each one of the 6 towns used to look after itself and each one has it’s own Town Hall. These Town Halls are more than likely going to be off loaded by the council at some point, and what better use is there for them than being used as, well, a Town Hall?
If the City Council is so bad at running services, then why doesn’t someone get engaged and look at setting up a Town Council for one of the 6 towns? It isn’t as difficult as it sounds, all you need to do is get 500 signatures from one area and the City Council will be obliged in law to conduct a review in to setting up a Town or Parish council. That is the first step in you being able to run your area the way you want it to be run. Obviously it doesn’t give you carte blanche to do whatever you want but it does give you a number of powers.
How would you like to control at Town level:
- The money you spend on community transport in your area
- Set up community centres
- Spend money on crime prevention measures
- Acquire land and open spaces
- Provide allotments
The list goes on and on, in short if you set up your own Town or Parish Council you get a lot of control but also a lot of responsibility.
So if the City Council are doing such a bad job is it such a bad idea to give it a go? There are lots of resources out there to help you.
I’d love to see someone do this in Stoke-on-Trent and make some changes at a local level, improving their local area, town or parish.
Picture Credit – potteries.org