Keeping local government relevant and meaningful

Following the pandemic and the cost of living crisis, we need to recognise that social capital may be just as tired as some staff in local government, says Kathy O'Leary.

It's a good time to consider the theme of the recent Solace in the South conference, following the excitement of the local elections that some of us held this month in our roles as temporary custodians of the flame of democracy. It might help crystallise the thinking of my new administration.

Certainly, district councils are elected bodies with democratic legitimacy, and powerful advocates for our places and the people in them. But do our communities, and our elected representatives care about more than just the critical frontline services that Mo Baines of the Association for Public Service Excellence neatly described as ‘bins, bogs and burials'?

Popular articles by Kathy O'Leary


Get unlimited access to The MJ with a subscription, plus a weekly copy of The MJ magazine sent directly to you door and inbox.


Full website content includes additional, exclusive commentary and analysis on the issues affecting local government.


Already a subscriber?