The first tier of Local Government

I was a member of the South East England Regional Assembly (SEERA) from 2002 – 2009 where I represented the faith communities across the region. I worked very closely with 38 of the 112 members including the three Town and Parish Council representatives. One of them remains a good friend and colleague, his name is Michael Chater and he is Chairman of the National Association of Local Councils (NALC). In a personal capacity Michael has kindly provided an endorsement of my candidacy which is reproduced below.

Along with myself, Michael was a regular contributor to the debates in SEERA and he usually began by explaining he represented the first tier of Local Government. This was a constant reminder to the members of the County Councils, Districts, Boroughs and Unitary Authorities that the largest number of Councils in the Country is made up almost exclusively of volunteers, that they are primarily independent of any political party and they are more local than any other tier of Government.

The Town and Parish Councils in Sussex work together through the good offices of the Sussex Association of Local Councils (SALC). I am a great supporter of SALC, although we do not agree on every decision, and I have made it clear to them that if I was elected I would like to meet with them on a regular basis, both formally and informally. This would parallel the regular meetings that they currently hold with the Chief Constable.

Michaels endorsement, given in an individual capacity

I have known Ian Chisnall over many years and have no hesitation in recommending him to carry out a position of responsibility in public service. His work in ‘Churches Together in Sussex’ has embodied his wide community concern and this was no more apparent than in the work he conducted during the decade of existence of the South East England Regional Assembly. He not only contributed to support the voluntary bodies but, as a strong and articulate voice on The Executive was recognized for his community advocacy and reflective cooperation with both the Voluntary Bodies and the Principal Authority Members within the Assembly. This was ultimately recognized by his election as a Deputy Chairman with wider responsibility as a voice in regional government matters covered by SEERA. His working relationship with colleagues and his political awareness was underpinned by his professional approach and integrity.

Ian is hard working , attentive to the issues raised by colleagues and whilst he is his own man he takes regard to public opinion. On the basis of my knowledge of his character, I am happy to endorse his candidacy.

Cllr Michael Chater OBE, FRSA is chairman of West Itchenor Parish Council