• 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...


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.


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.


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?

    The final failure was to dismiss Mosley's radical alternative. It would have been unlikely for a government to simply accept such a radical proposal, but Labour failed by simply not even considering parts of it, but rejecting it. As AJP Taylor said about the programme - '...offered a blueprint for

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

    there would have been no channel for communication to the top in many cases. Indeed, it should not be omitted that parties, concerned with their own political survival at this time above all, (there was yet to be a radical-dominated government)

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

    Whenever an issue is brought up that has hard evidence concerning Ministerial knowledge, the minister would usually blame it upon his officials and answers to Parliament with the fact that the individual responsible will be disciplined. One political convention is that when a public servant makes a serious mistake, he remains 'faceless' to the public eye.

  2. Is New Labour a Conservative Party?

    It hardly has a presence in the great cities and no parliamentary seats in Scotland or Wales. On almost every test of public opinion since 1992, the party has barely risen above the 30 per cent share of the vote.

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

    eroded the self-reliance she so prized, and less efficient than private provision" (Jones, 1998, p.96). Even if the welfare state remained largely intact during Thtacher's first two terms, as universal and free provision and flat rate benefits still remained, she did not extend it.

  2. How successful was the 1945-51 labour government.

    Unlike the NHS, it was not free for all, the amount of money given to an individual, depended upon his/her employment history and how much they had contributed to social security. This however was only the beginning of a major plan, and in 1948, the Assistance Act aimed to help those who fell through the national insurance net.

  1. How significant is the influence which pressure groups have on government? Is there any ...

    Political culture also dictates how likely the group will be to attract membership i.e. if no one joins; no one will take it seriously. Institutional culture is a key factor.

  2. Electoral Reform

    legislation like the poll tax can be pushed through parliament even though it is unpopular with the public. Those against electoral reform would argue that if PR was used it would produce unstable coalition governments again without a mandate to govern due to them being coalitions.

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