January 09, 2009

Who can influence local authorities?

Are local authorities out of control? Paul Waugh's interesting blog picks up the news that thousands of people are being forced into bankruptcy by town halls aggressively chasing council tax arrears. The Lib Dems commented that
Public bodies should do everything they can to ensure that bankruptcy is avoided where possible.

Overstretched families are already struggling to meet their mortgage repayments and keep their homes but this survey shows that failing to pay council tax can have just as devastating an effect on householders.

Waugh adds that when you look at the list of most aggressive councils, top is Southwark, second is Sheffield and 10th is Hull. "Given that all of them are run by Lib Dems (in a minority or majority capacity), I wonder what they make of the criticism from their national party spokeswoman?"

One commenter says that Hull and Sheffield only changed hands in May 2008. It takes time to change things, he says. Why?

Remember the council which rejected the views of 3,100 residents on gispy camps because they were deemed to be racist? Mid-Bedfordshire District Council is Conservative controlled.

So are these local politicians in the same party as their MPs? Has local power gone to their heads? Or are the officials out of control?

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