The subject this month is: How does local Government work?
I am delighted to welcome Councillor Jeremy Birch to answer our questions on how we manage local issues.
Jeremy was born and bred in Hastings and has been involved in local politics throughout his adult life. He is a member of the East Sussex County Council and is currently the leader of the Hastings Borough Council of which he has been a member for 18 years since 1995. If anybody can explain the intricacies and limitations of local government, he can.
He will be joining us for the second half of the evening from 8pm till 9pm, so I think we should limit ourselves to about 10 questions: Please give me your questions in advance so I can organise them.
For the first half of the evening and in preparation for the Q & A, I will prepare some basic information on what things are the responsibility of local government and what budgets are available to meet those obligations, and any other basic information that I can find.
My personal feeling is that England has one of the most centralised governments in Europe and that governments of all political persuasions have progressively reduced the level of local discretion and moved it to Westminster. That is why we all feel increasingly politically impotent or are reduced to single issue protesting.
Expect an interesting debate, as always…..