Ever considered being a councillor? MPs want to hear from you
Have you ever thought about getting involved in local politics - but decided it's not for you?
If so, MPs want to find out why - and how things could be changed to encourage more people to get involved.
The Communities and Local Government Committee at the House of Commons is inviting anyone who has considered standing to become a councillor to get in touch.
That includes people who actually did stand in local elections, including sitting councillors, as well as anyone who chose not to.
The MPs say they are particularly keen to hear from:
- People who serve their communities in other ways (for instance through involvement in voluntary, community or faith groups) but have consciously decided not to run for election to their local council; the reasons behind such a decision and what would need to change before such a person might consider standing in future.
- People who have wanted to stand to be a councillor but have encountered specific barriers to becoming a candidate.
- Former councillors who chose not to seek re-election (within the past three years); the reasons for this and whether (or not) they would recommend being a council to others.
- Councillors elected within the last three years; what made them stand; whether the experience has so far live up to expectations and whether (or not) they intend to stand for re-election.
They also say they are especially keen to hear from those sections of society currently under-represented on some local authorities - for example: women, young people (including young business people), people from black and minority ethnic communities and disabled people.
But anyone who has something to say is invited to contribute.
The Committee chair is Sheffield MP Clive Betts. West Midlands MPs on the Committee include James Morris (Halesowen & Rowley Regis) and Mark Pawsey (Rugby). Like all Commons committees, the committee acts on behalf of the entire House of Commons and all parties.
The Committee is also attempting to publicise its inquiry on Twitter, using the hashtag #YBaCouncillor?
Submissions of no more than 3000 words are invited until 16 July 2012 Each submission should be labelled with the subject 'YBaCouncillor?', sent to firstname.lastname@example.org, attached in Word format (with as little use of colour or logos as possible) and be accompanied by a covering email containing the name and contact details of the individual submitting evidence. A detailed guide for written submissions to Select Committees may be found on the parliamentary website at: http://www.parliament.uk/documents/commons-committees/witnessguide.pdf; it should be noted that written evidence is often published and made available in a report and on the internet.