One of the major criticisms of local governance is the amount of paperwork and bureaucracy present in local governance. Simplification and transparency are needed to transform local government into a truly proactive, citizen centred form of representation. Along with local government reform what also needs to take place is a transformation of leadership. For too long, local government has concentrated on managing, or trying to manage, and many have forgotten, or never learned, what leadership is. The objective of this research project is to examine the various leadership styles in local government and to further research the various models, approaches and theories of leadership to determine the most effective method of local governance and the style of leadership demonstrated by local government officials that most effectively define the vision for our parishes, councils and towns.
The UK is comprised of a diverse array of local forms of government. The first tier form of local government is Parish or Town Councils. These councils are selected via the normal democratic process of elections. The sizes of the councils vary greatly, ranging from small rural parishes with several hundred stakeholders to the largest urban parish with over 70,000 citizens (Newman, 2005, 10). In addition their authority varies depending on locale. In addition to parish or local councils there may be second tier council that provide local services to the community.
In the major urban areas on England there are a total of 36 metropolitan borough councils. The areas with these larger councils include: Greater Manchester, the West Midlands, Merseyside, South and West Yorkshire, and Tyen and Wear. The councillors for these larger councils are elected for four year terms. Additionally, elections are held yearly with one third of the seats being up for election yearly. Every fourth year there is no election. (How local, 2004, 3)
London itself is arranged in 32 separate Boroughs and, of course, the corporation of the city itself. The city also has the Greater London Authority as part of its local government framework. Additionally within England there are 34 County Councils which are the second tier of services provided as most of the areas also have the first tier councils. County councils as well have a four year term, although they differ in that all seat come up for re-election at the same time. (How local, 2004, 3)
In addition to the councils are Regional Chambers throughout the eight regions of England,