Our local council is:
Their website has a lot of information but you often have to dig deep to find it. Presented here are links and extracts from their site that may be useful. In this new age of transparency in local government it’s up to us residents to keep watch and make sure that we getting the information we need from our local council, and that they are acting in our best interests.
Transparency essentially means that it’s clear how our council tax is being spent, and that funds from central government are going in the right pots. We have a right to know all the details in terms of spending and budgets, hiding behind a brick wall of bureaucracy is no longer feasible. But often it may be the case that if we don’t ask they won’t tell, so we should do the asking!
Council officials are generally polite and helpful, contacting the right person might be a challenge but once you do they are usually happy to help. They are all ‘public servants’ after all, so if you find they are not serving you you can complain.
The latest press releases from the council can be read here (sourced from their own website):http://www.welhat.gov.uk/index.aspx
- A series of prosecutions to crack-down on irresponsible landlords in Welwyn Hatfield concluded this week with a total of £82,000 in fines imposed for fire safety offences.
- Plans for the borough's first ever purpose built council chamber took a big step forward last night (Wednesday, 18 November).
- Practical advice on staying safe and well during the winter months will be given at a special one-day Safer Together event organised by the Community Safety Partnership at Gracemead House, Hatfield on December 1.
- Over 50 local decision makers from the public, private and voluntary sectors gathered yesterday (Thursday, 12 November) to launch the borough's Economic Development Strategy.
- Paddington Bear will be bringing a touch of magic to Hatfield town centre on Saturday 21 November to switch on the Christmas lights.
Hatfield also has it’s own town council of course. Councillors are local residents and are keenly focussed on a smaller geographical area than WHBC. They have a small but well formed website and produce a nice newsletter. There have been several large redevelopment issues facing Hatfield for some years, the powers of any town council are quite limited, however having a group specifically focussed on matters on their own doorstep should be a very positive thing for inclusive and participatory development.