Nik Butler: We rarely see smart, involved or relevant election campaigns

How much of the council do we actually need and how much do we think we want?

I ask because there are days when I wonder if, when people complain about the various ‘things’ the council is not doing, we are fully aware of what there is that the council can be doing?

The list of services and features which make our society modern and civil extend beyond the remit of this simple article and stretch to the responsibilities of parish, district, county and upwards to Whitehall and parliament.

Without some level of experience and introduction to how modern life is managed and provided for through our taxes it is close to impossible to understand how we should react when those services are amended or outright removed.

So why is this relevant? Because in a few weeks’ time those of us who are registered upon the electoral role will have the opportunity to choose who will represent us at West Sussex County Council level.

If we are fortunate then we will have individuals who appreciate that they are being elected to represent the whole of their constituency and not simply those who voted for them or those in whom their political party deems worthy of support or representation.

There is an opportunity in the next few weeks for these representatives for county council positions to demonstrate their relevance by way of joining in the conversations online, here in the paper or possibly in the cafes of culture so consistently promoted by other councillors.

We should expect these candidates to provide more than a description as to why we should be voting for them.

We should demand clarification as to what their expected responsibilities, allowances, attendance and concerns will be in relation to representing West Sussex and Horsham District.

We should at the very least expect all of those areas to be discussed and yet it is very unlikely that we will see any mention of it.

Mostly such lack of imagination is due to the ‘advice’ given by campaign managers who rarely want to treat the public with any level of intelligence. We rarely see smart, involved or relevant campaigns.

In place we see literature explaining what others are doing wrong and how they have failed.

It is about time candidates at county and district levels removed their affiliation to party politics and replaced it with a commitment to the communities.