• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

To what extent have the Labour government's attempts to reform local government made it more democratic?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

To what extent have the Labour government's attempts to reform local government made it more democratic? When considering what makes something more democratic then something else, a firm understanding of the word democracy is needed. The Collins English Dictionary defines democracy as, "1. A government for the people or their elected representatives. 2. A political or social unit governed ultimately by all its members." Democracy come from the Greek words - damos meaning 'the people' and cratos meaning 'power' - in other words it means 'people power'. However there are many different systems of government that would claim to be 'democratic'. So what democracy means in context to the English government is a government for the people by the people. Recent reforms in Local governments by the Labour Party have made it much more democratic. ...read more.

Middle

The local governments should not be seen as subsidiaries of the national government and local implementers of national policies but councils should belong to local people but the government. This might have led people to believe that there is not point in voting in local elections because they are of no relevance. This can be seen by the extremely low turnout usually below 40%. But not because local government is getting more power through the reforms, people are starting to realise that the local issues are important. By people voting and expressing their views it is decreasing democratic deficit thus making it more democratic. Another reason why the local government will be more democratic is the councils and councillors will become more accessible. This will increase accountability because people will become more confident in their local issues. ...read more.

Conclusion

Before, local councillors were people who wanted to do it and were not paid for working but the were for travelling expenses. This meant that about 36 hours of free time were needed a week too sufficiently to the job. This meant that the only people who wanted to be councillors were white, middle class men who supported the Conservative Party. This was not very democratic because it is not a good representation of the community. But the reforms have made this a full time job and the councillors and mayor have to be directly elected. This means that all people can become a councillor; black, white, male, and female. This is much more democratic. Overall the new reforms have made local governments much more democratic because the biggest addition to it is that it involves greater public participation which is what democracy is all about; a government for the people by the people. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our GCSE Politics section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related GCSE Politics essays

  1. How successful were the Labour governments of 1924 and of 1929-31?

    most of the constructive advances in economic policy to the present day'. This failure was then enforced by MacDonald's decision to appoint himself in charge of unemployment policy when he did not have real plans or a policy to proceed with.

  2. The position of the New Labour government with Tony Blair ahead of that government.

    "Socialism developed as a critique and alternative to capitalism and its political expression, Conservatism" (Jones, 1998, p.97). Like Liberalism and Conservatism, socialism can be divided into two strands: reformist socialism (democratic socialism and social democracy) and revolutionary socialism (Marxism), which ideas differ from each other. Whereas revolutionary socialism (Marxism)

  1. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    the newly privatized utilities now able to streamline their activities by significantly reducing their workforces, causing unemployment to rise greatly. These new private monopolies were now more concerned in shareholder value than providing employment opportunities. During this period companies had to be flexible and able to shed workers to maintain profits for shareholders.

  2. To What Extent Is New Labour Really Old Conservative?

    Traditionally, Labour had strong Union links, so unemployment benefit, and relating issues were high on the political agenda of traditional Labour governments. Yet now there is a new approach. Unemployment benefit comes with conditions like after 6 months the claimant must accept any apprenticeship, training scheme placement, or work placement

  1. Civil Service Reform.

    costs, waste and efficiency because funding comes from what is commonly perceived to be a bottom-less public purse. Public spending under the post-war consensus was constantly rising and had to be paid for in high taxes which reduced individual incentives to work.

  2. To what extent does ministerial responsibility ensure accountability to the government?

    open to public in order to safeguard the government and country, as stated in the Radcliff Committee Report. However since it is not a legally binding rule, an ex-minister cannot be stopped from publishing a paper by the courts. This was apparent in AG v.

  1. To what extent was the 1867 Reform Act a turning point in parliamentary democracy ...

    who opposed reform would pass their own measure, and that it was in fact, a more far-reaching bill than the bill that they had rejected. An amendment was accepted (the 'Hodgkinson amendment', after the backbencher that put it forward), allowing compound ratepayers the vote in addition to all urban ratepaying

  2. Liberal Reforms.

    This attitude was that it was the fault of the workers themselves that they were poor, excluding all economic and social factors. Source B is quite useful because it tells us that poverty was seen as the individual's fault and the not the fault of society.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work