Councillors in Crisis: The Public and Private Worlds of by Jacqueline Barron

By Jacqueline Barron

An exploration of the hyperlink among the private and non-private worlds of neighborhood politicians utilizing fabric from enormous quantities of hours of personal interviews with political activists and their companions. The booklet issues itself with the person on the centre of this obstacle - the councillor.

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Extra info for Councillors in Crisis: The Public and Private Worlds of Local Councillors

Sample text

This concentration in densely populated urban areas is- as Gyford (1984) points outnot at all surprising, given the ease of access from one's place of employment to serving as a councillor on a neighbouring authority. In some of these authorities, also, the proportion of younger women has grown much faster than in others. These changes are related, since a high proportion of women work as teachers or other local government employees. Nevertheless, there is no authority on which the proportion of women even approaches that within the population as a whole.

Firstly there were those (a minority) who cited family reasons, such as the age of their children or their partner's refusal to countenance it. Secondly, and often related to family-centred reasons, were reasons relating to lack of time, or the need to give up other activities if they were to take on additional commitments. Thirdly, there were those who 52 Councillors in Crisis criticised the councillor role, or certain aspects of it, and did not like the necessity of representing a particular party and toeing the party line.

In view of this, we decided to ask political activists (councillors, candidates and non-candidates) a series of deliberately open-ended questions regarding their decision to stand- or not- for their local council. We received a wide variety of responses, of which the following are examples: I'm not the sort of person to be able to sit back if I don't agree with what's going on. I can't just sit back and do nothing, I have to become involved. Carlisle asked me if I would stand for selection. I didn't think I was ready.

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