I want people in Wales to feel connected to those making decisions says Leighton Andrews
Minister says Councils must reflect the make-up of those they serve
“Our vision for local government in the future cannot be a kind of weary managerialism. No-one is in local government to cut and shut or to manage decline.
“We can no longer pretend local government can do everything. Our vision has to be about sharing power and responsibility with communities.
“I believe our people are impatient for this change. In half of our 22 local authorities, tenants have voted for social enterprises to run their housing. Social enterprises now run many leisure facilities and communities are also taking control of libraries.
“We need to embrace these new models of service delivery and encourage people to think creatively about how we can build on them.
[pullquote cite=”Public Services Minister, Leighton Andrews” type=”left, right”]”Public life is about representation, leading by example and reflecting the views of communities and I want people in Wales to feel connected to those making decisions.[/pullquote]
“Our task is to create a partnership between the different sectors – the public sector, the professionals, and of course the voluntary movement, who know what is needed and are committed to providing this.
“Fundamental change needs to bring communities closer to public services they receive. Only by sharing power and responsibility can we restore the connection between communities and those that represent them.
“We must encourage more people who are active in their communities to stand for elected office. I come across many community activists who would make great councillors but most would probably run a mile if asked to stand for public office. I want to encourage more of these people to see themselves as potential leaders of change in our councils.
“Council chambers must reflect the population of Wales in all its diversity. It is a shame that many people who take up the baton for good causes or represent their communities in other ways do not feel they could translate this activity into democratic representation.
“I want a real debate about who represents us locally and how they connect with the community they represent and will publish a White Paper in February.”