Rotherham’s Democratic Deficit – Is democracy thwarted, democracy denied?

The outrageous democratic deficit experienced by 75% of voters in Rotherham’s parish councils, was exposed entirely by accident when an occasional contributor highlighted a broken link on RMBC’s website, now working, I suspect as a result of this exposure.

The last parish elections were held in May 2011, except in 3 out of 4, no one was even allowed a vote! Some elections these! Some democracy this!

How often have we heard from some Labour wag commenting, even on Rotherham Politics, that elections are too expensive!

This viewpoint is the grandest delusion of all, that those in control, know best and have a right to go untroubled by elections!

How do they do it? Is it an offence under legislation? Who looses in this process? Some of the immediate questions that come to mind, they will be dealt with, in a later posting exploring this phenomenon in detail. If you would like to make a contribution, please leave a comment.

9 thoughts on “Rotherham’s Democratic Deficit – Is democracy thwarted, democracy denied?

  1. As in my previous comment, if there aren’t enough people to stand for election, there isn’t one. You can’t force people to take part and stand as a candidate if they don’t want to!

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    • True, but only part of the story!

      Most citizens have simply no idea that they even have a parish council, never mind know about meetings or when elections are coming.

      So why would anyone seek nomination for an election they knew nothing about?

      Catch 22 really!

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    • Spartacus – I entirely agree with your point-of-view, it’s a matter of historical fact that the world has always been run by those who get off their R’s and attend meetings and bother to vote.

      The sheep and goats who can’t be R’sd will always bleat and whine that they don’t like the outcome – but “TOUGH” that’s life, get on with it and deal with it. End of.

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  2. Yes, unlike the rates surfers down at THT, parish councillors are in the main wholly voluntary i.e. they give (yes give!!) their time to the community that they are serving and as such, there are very few ‘volunteers’ willing to come forward to serve in that capacity. So, if not enough aspiring parish councillors present their nomination papers at election time, then the current incumbents cannot really be challenged and so there is no need to incur the administrative and expensive process of an election. Remember £4 or £5K is better spent on local facilities, than funding pointless administration.

    Fortunately, most parish councillors are not politically motivated, neither do they draw ‘expenses’ – unfortunately, some are and some do, hence the need openness by the PCs and for scrutiny by the public.

    In principle, there should indeed be elections for these positions, but until we have more community minded volunteers, the status quo will prevail.

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  3. Unfortunately, some people do stand for Parish Council’s but are so disillusioned by the experience they walk away. Parish Council’s tend to be controlled by ‘elders’ who know nowt and have known nowt for years. All that happens is you go for the monthly fight, get home and bang your head on the wall, till it bleeds.
    After a while you realise nothing will change and it’s too hard on your head so you walk away.

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    • anne I@anteggs49) – I know exactly the feeling which you so clearly describe.

      I found that instead of banging my head on the wall it feels much better when I give the Corn Fed Grunters, Muppets and Clowns a metaphorical “Attercliffe Kiss” …

      It sure makes their peepers water …

      They don’t like a well-aimed shot from an active and empowered citizen, tee hee 🙂

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  4. Oh I forgot to say – even volunteer’s need to make themselves ofay with the rules and regulations of the body they are joining. It is incumbent on the ‘volunteer’ to ensure they are interested enough to educate themselves in all aspects of local government. Too many over the years have failed to do this – hence The Comedy Club on Rotherham Politics !

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    • Why does no one seem to take a pride in conducting meetings properly any more?

      There was a time when common reference was made to Citrine’s ABC of Chairmanship, as a guide to the conduct of meetings. Still in print and available from Amazon and should be required reading for any one with pretensions to being an effective Chair!

      Is there anybody left who could deal with the procedural motion, previous question? I rather doubt it myself.

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  5. I have stated elsewhere of the help available for parish councils – councillors and clerks. Citrine is not always appropriate but there a numerous publications directed at chairmanship and meetings. and anteggs it’s ‘au fait’ as it’s a French expression meaning keeping up to date with developments,

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