Power lies in the authority to make or influence a decision. Right now, when it comes to what happens in a ward, not only are our elected Councillors, but everyone in the community, is left almost entirely out of the decision-making process. But if we’re honest, this suits those in power just fine, even if it results in spending on projects and services which are not what we actually need.
If we are going to take back control from politicians and political parties in our communities then over the long term we must ensure that Council delegates decision making powers down as close as possible to the people who are affected.
We may not be able to change how decisions are made in Council straight away, but we can elect an ordinary resident from a community platform to change the decision making culture in our own ward right now. We need a culture where our Councilors debate and formulate policy in full view of the public, making decisions through deliberation, consensus and holding meaningful votes.