Real Progress on Local Democracy

Devolving Power to the Local Community

The Green Party believes in a form of democracy which is participatory and empowering, enabling citizens to take an active and informed part in the decision-making processes which affect their lives, with the decisions themselves being made at the most local level appropriate. If powers are devolved to the local level and more resources placed under the control of local government, this would draw in more consistently high-quality Councillors and give local people more say in the issues that matter. Unfortunately, both the central Labour Government and local authorities have taken many decisions that centralize power rather than handing it back to the citizens of Worcester, making it more difficult for ordinary people to scrutinise policy decisions and actions.

The Green Party is committed to openness and freedom of information in all aspects of government. We believe that the decision-making processes should be easily understood and widely participated in and that everyone should know how to use local authority services.

Our vision for democracy

The structure and activities of local government can be difficult to understand and often seem remote from everyday life. Worcester residents are often affected by decisions over which they have little influence beyond elections. We would like to see Worcester residents promoted from the role of electors to that of citizens.

Greens will:

  • Increase participatory democracy through methods that are already succeeding elsewhere: petitions to trigger single-issue referenda, using the Sustainable Communities Act, recalling councillors, and genuine consultation that comes before decisions are made, not after.

Devolve more powers to ward level

Where appropriate, decisions affecting a particular area can be made by ward councillors and residents. This would make councillors more responsive to their constituents. Good Councils should welcome the input of their residents at all times.

Greens will:

  • Devolve powers to ward level and give residents the opportunity to directly influence Council priorities and the way the Council spends its money, through a fully participatory budget processes.

Make the Councils more accessible

A key part of effective local government is careful management of resources. Rigorous monitoring is vital to make sure that tax-payers' money is spent on front-line services. Councils need to gain the trust of residents by making all Council activities as open and transparent as possible. In Norwich, where the Green Party is now the official opposition, Green councillors have been central in improving management of the council's accounts.

Greens will:

  • Open up and explain local authority information, data and processes. Encourage people to use their rights through the Freedom of Information and Data Protection Acts, and make use of open source data and software.

 

Green Party Meetings

All Green Party members are welcome to come along to our monthly meeting to discuss our plans for Worcester and Worcestershire.

Our next meeting is our AGM and starts at 7:30pm on Wednesday 15th July. Our monthly business meetings will now be online via Zoom. Please contact Louis Stephen by email if you would like to attend. If you need any help setting up Zoom, please get in touch.

For more information, contact Louis via email or telephone 01905 359 509.