Andy’s contributed to a new NALC pamphlet “What is localism?“. Andy argues that town and parish councils are uniquely placed to make a major contribution to building the Big Society.
The Big Society vision is one in which town and parish councils can flourish as enabling organisations in their community. It is not essential to have large budgets or permanent staff in order to develop and deliver a vision for the community. Town and parish councils must harness and seek to develop strong local civil society, working with existing and new community and voluntary organisations. Business and the local public sector should also be part of the conversation too. This is what many councils are doing, often with the support of the local district or upper tier authority. The role of the town and parish council in this vision should be first and foremost is as an organisation that makes connections and choices with and on behalf of local people. This will require effective councillors who can offer local leadership and who can connect with the people they represent.