Is number up for old timers?

The Councillors’ Commission set out to address problems with the imbalance of elderly, male and white members occupying council seats. Paul Wheeler asks how it has fared


A Letter to Gordon Brown

An open letter to the prime minister with a wish list for local government.


How to bring on the best

As the Councillors Commission, set up to find ways of attracting younger and more diverse members, holds its first full meeting, Paul Wheeler writes an open letter to its chair, Dame Jane Roberts.

Download the full article: Politcal Recruitment (pdf file, 231kb)


Political Recruitment

A report which examines how political parties select candidates, looks at how other areas of civic society identify local talent to serve in local governance roles and highlights examples of good practice in encouraging a wider range of the local population to become councillors.


An Open Letter to Newly Elected Councillors

Congratulations on your election. After weeks of canvassing and campaigning it must be good to know it’s all paid off. If you are also part of a winning group taking power for the first time then the taste of victory must be particularly sweet.


Cinderella goes to the ball

Something interesting is happening in politics. After years of being the ‘cinderalla’ of political parties local councillors are now the centre of serious study


Putting the passion into Local Democracy

For those who have been following the debate about White Paper and the Lyons Review of Local Government neighbourhood governance is the flavour of the month. However we have to be very clear about the very low base we are starting from. A recent survey by MORI for Birmingham showed that over half of the respondents had no idea what councillors actually did!


Member Surgery

How can new members meet the demands on their time from the electorate, party and council?


View from the top

Why waiting for ‘born leaders’ to step forward is a waste of local talent when we desperately need to provide effective local leadership to improve services.


Time for action

With local democracy week the focus is quite rightly on the need to improve the profile and role of elected members. The first priority is to ensure we can recruit and retain a wider cross section of our community as councillors.