I enjoyed the session on council reporting, we got a good insight into how councils are made up, the various levels and what roles each type of council fill.
We learnt about the differences between County Councils, District, Borough and City Councils and Parish and Town Councils and what services they each provide like bin collection, council housing, libraries, homeless services and roads etc…
It was interesting to find out about day-to-day running and policy and decision makers.
We spoke about each major party having its own ‘Group’ including offices and employing admin staff and policy researchers which was a bit of an eye-opener.
We also learnt that approximately a third of the council is elected every year and there are no elections every fourth year.
With councillors being democratically accountable to residents of the city and their ward and the overriding duty of councillors being to the whole community it got me thinking about some of the quite elitest attitude sometimes displayed by councillors towards the electorate, particularly that shown by a particular councillor in Hull City Centre when confronted by a lady about the lack of compassion shown for the homeless some months ago.
As a journalist I did very much agree with what the lady was saying particularly given my previous experiences in life, as a journalist I would have liked to push the councillor about what had been said but I was there to do another job so I had to remain professional throughout.