GCSE Citizenship: Revision Class #2 Who can make a difference? Power in our Communities
Remember him? James Bond Independent Councillor for Headstone North
but what exactly does that mean? <ul><li>Harrow is divided into 21 wards – these small areas are each represented by 3 Councillors. </li></ul><ul><li>There are 61 Councillors in Harrow – they represent local people and make decisions that affect the local area </li></ul>The local council is made up of local people who make up local services. These councillors represent the different parts of the borough, called wards . They are chosen in an election by the people who live in that ward. COUNCIL: a group of people who are elected to look after the affairs of a town, district or borough. Councillors can come from different political parties or be independent
How can I communicate with my Councillor? … but the most common ways of communicating are through letter or by attending a surgery (a session held by the Cllr where you can go along and speak 1-1 about issues affecting you)
How the Council works <ul><li>Councils get their money from central government grant, business rates and council tax. </li></ul>After an election the Council meets and elects a leader and members of the cabinet . These people come from the political party that got the most votes. Cabinet: the main decision making body of the council. Each member of the Cabinet is responsible for an area of the Council’s work . e.g.. Schools & Colleges, Housing, Leisure, Planning & Development All councillors, whether members of the cabinet or not, must represent their ward in council decisions. They have a vote in meetings and must use it in a way that serves their ward best.
council tax is calculated based upon the value of your home, the greater the value, the greater the tax. … but in 1990 it was different – the ‘Community Charge’ or Poll Tax was a single rate tax charged per adult. It’s introduction led to widespread direct action including rioting and refusal to pay. The tax was very unpopular, only 2% of people supported it, this helped to bring down Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher and the tax was scrapped in 1992 when council tax took over.
How does the Council fit in with National government? <ul><li>Some local issues attract national attention… </li></ul>The main link between local councils and central government in England is the Communities and Local Government department . It is responsible for national policy on how local government is set up, what it does, how well it works, and how it is funded. Other central government departments deal with national policy on local services, eg: Department for Education Department for Transport Why do you think national and local government have to be involved?
In 2008, Ed Balls (Children, Schools & Families Secretary) sacked Sharon Shoesmith who was in charge of Children's Services at Haringey Council in London. This happened after the Baby P case where a 17 month old boy died after abuse from his mother and her boyfriend. A report found a ‘ catalogue of errors’ by the Council. This shows that central government still holds power over local government .
Community groups and charities also help to build a stronger community <ul><li>Think back to your controlled assessment </li></ul><ul><li>project and answer the questions below: </li></ul><ul><li>What was your charity/group trying to achieve? </li></ul><ul><li>How was it helpful to the community? </li></ul><ul><li>3) If your charity/group didn’t exist what would the impact be? </li></ul>
Your representatives and the media Just last month a Harrow councillor was forced to apologise after making posting about rivals on his blog– a form of new media. But it was traditional media, the local newspaper that reported the issue to the public. Does the media always represent our interests?
Councillor David Hall <ul><li>Watch to the video and note down the following: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What is a Councillor? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What responsibilities does the job involve? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What kind of work does the Councillor do? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What challenges does he face? </li></ul></ul>