What makes a good local Councillor?

Over the coming weeks hundreds of people will be seeking a job with an interview panel of thousands asking questions about their ability to deal with local problems, create jobs and run local services. But, this year will be a little bit different as local councils take on a lot more powers. Speaking about the changes to local councils the Chief Executive of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, Derek McCallan, made the point that as a community we need …

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Can you see your tax dollars at work? Boosting accountability, efficiency and transparency the Louisville KY way

How accountable and how transparent should public bodies be? Whether council departments within local government, Executive departments or their arms length bodies, do you wish you could see how your money – your taxes and rates – were being spent? These organisations all produce annual reports and high level financial figures. Relatively few councils seem to publish any form of targets – other than perhaps recycling levels – and show regular progress towards or away from those figures. Progress reported …

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“It is the Executive’s responsibility to make the decision on the future of the reform programme for local government”

A “qualified yes” is how the BBC characterised NILGA’s response to the Northern Ireland Environment Minister’s question on funding the reform of local government – or, as NILGA President, Cllr John Mathews, put it, Poots’ “exit strategy”. But, having seen a copy of the letter containing NILGA’s response to the NI Environment Minister, it’s worth noting that they have made a number of pointed remarks about the NI Executive’s role. From the letter from NILGA President John Mathews As I have reiterated …

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