As I write, an election is looming.
If this is without a doorstep or leaflet campaign, it undermines our democratic engagement and it risks being a battle of the marketing experts.
The important point about local government is that we are part of the same community: local enough to listen and understand.
It is our Independent Group members, at the forefront of local neighbourhood help schemes and putting local interests first, who are best placed to respond in the interests of our communities.
“We are part of the same community: local enough to listen and understand”
We are reeling from new variant coronavirus strains, where tests and vaccines need to keep pace. The importance of good local support remains critical, for residents and local business.
We asked government for help with COVID-19 costs, to secure long-term funding of adult care and to let us keep the local business rates. Instead, we have a funding shortfall.
You would think we should all be focused on tackling the pandemic and a green recovery.
However, we face sweeping proposed changes to planning, centralising more of the decision-making; the reorganisation of local government into bigger, less local units; and the same for the NHS. All this, with lots of risk and little discernible gain.
Now has got to be a great time to make sure your voice is heard in the places where your residents are communicating – online and on the phone, if not on the doorstep.
Hopefully they will know that you are there, trusted and working for them, now and always.