The controversial Localism Act is changing the face of local politics.
Councillors and local government officers have criticised the legislation that forces local authorities to hold referendums on excessive council tax increases and gives people the chance to “take over” the running of local services such as street lighting, youth centres and libraries.
The statute, which requires parish councillors to provide details of any land they own and give details of any shares held in a company that are worth more than one per cent of its value, has not been welcomed by Whitbourne Parish Council in Herefordshire whose clerk, Keith Butler, claims it could “criminalise” members.
Mr. Butler is reported as saying “These are voluntary people doing a job without pay or expenses, simply to make sure the community runs smoothly.
“They aren’t in it for an ego trip, to rip off huge sums of money or go on junkets to the Caribbean.”
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