I've long been an opponent of Party politics in the work of Parish Councils. They have bedevilled Formby Parish Council since it's re-formation in 2003.
I know that FRAG, a registered Political Party, maintain they are non-party political, but all their councillors stand in the name of the party and they behave as one group.
Just like all other political parties they spend an inordinate amount of time attacking other representatives of political parties. And worse still they are clearly very antagonistic to the Labour-controlled Sefton Council.
Flat-Pack Democracy is a way forward for Formby. Here's an interesting extract from an article describing the idea.
The theory of Flatpack Democracy or; why a town council is no longer a place for politics.
Britain is experiencing major political upheaval. A dysfunctional system means decision making often works in favour of the politicians’ needs and not the people they serve and nowhere is this felt more than at local level around the country.
Fewer people than ever are engaged in local decision making – in fact in the last 50 years turnout for local elections has fallen to around just 40%. There are also fewer people willing to put themselves forward as candidates. Did you know that in Britain only 2% of the entire population are members of political parties? That’s a significant minority making decisions on behalf of the country. Are political parties still tools of democracy if they command the attention of so very few of us?
Under the media radar we’re seeing a new movement, a local movement. A growing number of self-styled Independent Groups are working to overtake big political parties and lead their communities from a local level. This movement, as coined by the first Independent Group in Frome, is called Flatpack Democracy
I know FRAG will and do describe themselves as an Independent Group but they fail utterly in their actions. The way Frome Council is run, it's determined involvement of the residents to inform policy, and deciding spending priorities is a model of excellence. My challenge to the current Formby Parish Council is, change and change now, adopt the principles used by Frome and over and above all get the residents involved more and think less of exercising power and more about facilitating the citizens in civic activity.
To read the full article read: https://www.iwa.wales/click/2017/05/theory-flatpack-democracy/