Slugger Awards: Best Council of the year…

For years, despite their limited powers, councils were the only democratic representatives you could reasonably expect would retain their jobs from one election to the next. In two years time, 26 councils will be slimmed down to 11, and with it will come considerable responsibilities . The new responsibilities will require a new calibre of local politician.

So which of the local councils you know best have been taking on their responsibilities with imagination? Who listens to the local populace, and is seen to be effective in carrying forward their decisions effectively> And which have sought to involve the general public in policy consultations? And pay heed to them?With your nominations, please try to include:

1. Do they outreach to the public and ask them to participate in, and respond to council policymaking.?
2. What do councils do to make the role of local councillor an attractive one?
3. Tell us some of its biggest achievements/stories in the last 12 months?

You can make your nominations below. Be as expansive as you wish, so we can make the best pitch possible to both the reader and judges panels who may not be as familiar as you with your favoured candidate.

  • “In two years time, 26 councils will be slimmed down to 11”

    Might that be a definite maybe, Mick? There’s talk of an election to the current 26 this coming May as well as a delay in an announcement on RPA that is due this coming January. Perhaps Minister Poots can provide clarification.

  • Cynic

    Don’t hold your breath for any announcement, Nevin. RPA is a financial and political mess.

    Can we afford £200 million for a gerrymander?

  • Cynic, I’m told that Minister Poots stated to a local councillor that the January announcement might be made in March. But I’ll not be holding my breath – or my tongue 🙂

  • Sean Og

    Magherafelt. RPA is going ahead.

  • ratepayer

    I’d like to name Limavady. I want people to forget all the councillor stuff because as a ratepayer i have been impressed with the stuff they have done with the following

    community wardens
    environmental work on Benevenagh AONB, they really value and look after the environment here from the hills to the beaches
    the work they have done on antisocial behaviour since the diffs they were having last year with the arson attacks
    they are streaks ahead of the other councils in their new grouping in terms of recycling
    they run a really good programme in the rough areas of the town to help people living there
    the streets and roads of the whole borough are always imaculate
    they have done their best with the businesses that are here at a really difficult time
    theres barely a week goes by without some new grant or funds coming into the area, they just got a million quid from the lottery
    they have a really good website abd its kept well up to date

    and the most important thing they do is nearly always when you ring to speak to someone theres someone available to speak and come out to see you.

    I value my council even though it has its problems. I am not lookinfg forward to the whole council change because the services which are on my doorstep now might be miles away in 2 years time. I dont think they will be as responsive as the current council is. I know my views as a ratepayer might not match what you have asked in the questions above but i am happy to nominate them.

  • Drumlins Rock

    I’m beginning to think RPA might not be necessary or the right thing to do, so areas yes can be merged and make savings but most of us like our local councils and feel an attachment. Plus if the cost is 200 million to save 400 million over 20 years (or sometihng like that) you can be guarnteed it will cost more and save less, so i would guess break even is best to be hoped for!

  • Drumlins Rock

    oh forgot to add, Dungannon & South Tyrone is a great wee council, did the powersharing before just about any of the rest (yeah yeah i know it wasnt perfect) but it has continued quite balanced and serves the community well.

  • LGO

    Drumlin, an interesting and valid point. Councils here cost just under 5% of the public sector budget. It’s buttons. Even with new functions, that may only rise to around 7%.

    There are a few on here who just LOVE to put the boot into the public sector at the given signal. I moved into a fairly small council from the private sector for work about 4 years ago, and while I won’t stay in it forever, and find it frustrating, AND quite often only constrained by other parts of the public sector saying “you’re not allowed to do that”, I am constantly amazed by how much they can do with relatively little resources.

    Yeah there’s waste. But where isn’t there? As an outsider now on the inside I can say I have a lot of respect for *most* of my local government colleagues. You’ll miss them when they’re gone, folks.

  • Mick Fealty

    Good conversation guys.Just don’t forget to nominate. Nevin, Moyle?

  • DR

    LGO,
    I think I have fallen for the spin the councils are too small etc. etc. now that it has come to hardies I def dont want to see it disappear, maybe cluster some of the activities like the DPPs and reduce the number of chiefs, otherwise its not particulary broke.

    and Mick we cant forget about Moyle! even if I guarntee most people on the street have never heard of it lol.

  • Mick Fealty

    Three nominations here so far:

    Limavady…

    Dungannon South Tyrone…

    And Magherafelt (but without any cited reason)…

    Whilst it is great to get out of the Belfast bubble, we need good strong pitches to pay before the judges… come on, don’t hold back… and don’t be afraid to sing your own praises…

  • salem

    Vote for best Council for Slugger Awards – Down District Councils

    > They have one of the youngest and most glam youngest female SDLP
    > Councillors
    > Thet have engaged people in the redevelopment of Newcastle which
    > looks Fab, now officially best town in Ireland
    > They have done a lot to get Ardglass voted most improved village
    > They are reinventing Downpatrick

  • Sam Semple

    Armagh Council for appreciating and promoting its Architectural heritage, campaigning for the re-opening of the Ulster Canal and general regeneration success.

  • nm

    Belfast City Council for dedication to clean public toilets. As someone who goes to St George’s Market regularly, i have to commend the team of people who maintain the high standards despite the crowds.

    Actually, the council should get recognition for the great success of the market itself,which has grown into a fantastic market venue over the years as well as a quirky music venue – where else would you be able to buy apples from armagh and then listen to the Specials in a classic victorian market

  • ratepayerbelfast

    Belfast City Council for its outstanding Culture Night – there was a fantastic buzz on the streets, with lots of people who you wouldn’t normally see in the city centre on a friday night, a really relaxed atmosphere – we need days (and nights) like this

  • Mick Fealty

    We’re long on dispute here, and short on nominees and evidence… I’m compiling notes for tonight’s readers panel, but we’ll be checking this thread for further info this evening…