The situation for local authorities has become increasingly difficult as a result of the neo-liberal anti-social offensive of the rich which seeks to divert public funds from social programmes into various pay-the-rich schemes and the sell-off of public assets to private interests.
This agenda results in serious problems at the local level. Locally elected officials are put into a position of being told that there is no alternative to this agenda and they must implement it.
If they do not, they are warned, they risk running a deficit.
In this way locally elected officials are put under a great deal of pressure not to oppose the overall anti-social neo-liberal direction. Instead, they are to become its local agents.
This entails attacking the wages and working conditions of public workers who provide these vital services, and privatising public assets and services.
In doing so, already inadequate public funds are “freed up” to hand over to private business interests through contracting out and other arrangements.
How to intervene in the elections in a manner which favours the working people, rather than those who want to privatise and sell off public services is the issue.
More and more Governments are seeking to eliminate the ability of locally elected officials to have any real say-so over local affairs. Such power at the local level could act as a block or delay on the demands of the monopolies.