This book provides an explanation of the inter-relationship between local government and political parties. It examines the differences between the political party outside the council and the political party group of councillors within the council. The book explores the impact of parties on council business, decision-making, policy development and local representation, and addresses two fundamental questions about local representative democracy - who s it that the councillor represents, and are councillors elected to govern or serve?
The book analyses democratic theory and its relevance to local politics, considering the role of political parties in local government. It looks at the dynamics of council chamber politics and approaches taken by the main parties towards local party politics, going on to examine the councillor's role in the local representative system. The conclusion suggests that for councils to become politically meaningful, they must radically change the way they conduct local politics and decision making.