Councils are people too

Look at the size of my hand

Mitt Romney, a Republican candidate to become the next president of the United States has said, infamously, that ‘corporations are people too’ (a statement that has been magically lampooned in this campaign video).

If Mr Romney was British I wonder if he would also believe that ‘local authorities are people too’ and if so whether these “local authority people” would bear any resemblance to any other people we know?

On such a loose premise we present:

Birmingham Council as Sir Alex Ferguson

There are many councils but there is only one Birmingham Council and there are many managers but only one Sir Alex Ferguson. Striding like a giant amongst other local authorities Birmingham has a bigger budget than the European commission and a wider remit than almost any other local authority. Likewise, whereas Sir Alex Ferguson is just a football manager he is a manager who’s club has been in every major championship and who, if rumours are to be believed has a wider remit at his Manchester United than almost every other manager in the league.

Cornwall Council as Rick Stein

Whereas once there was a diversity of small local authorities in Cornwall it was viewed as more efficient for them all to be merged into one super unitary. I think Rick Stein would sympathise; I mean why have six fish restaurants when it is much better to have one unitary comprising of a restaurant, chip shop, hotel and bistro all in the same town.

Nottingham Council as Max Mosely

Neither the Nottingham council nor Mr Mosely take very kindly to someone else telling them to share more information about their activities than they want to.

The City of London as Mitt Romney

In a world where corporations are people the City of London is the ultimate Government. Although there are some local residents who are able to vote the City of London allows businesses to vote as well (there are many more businesses in the square mile than there are residents)

Vale of the White Horse as  Paris Hilton

Would you have heard of either of these had it not been for their name?

It’s good to have a cool name; but it is what you do with it that counts and the shared service with south Oxfordshire council has proven that the Vale has the potential of Miss Hilton; i.e. to be famous for a reason other than just their name.

Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea as Princess Michael of Kent

We all know that they have some royal blood in them (although would be pushed to remember exactly why they are ‘royal’) but can’t really make out a) why it has any relevance anymore and b) why they include it in their name is in such a clumsy way.

The Local Government Association as David Bernstein

The LGA has one major problem; it speaks for its members without actually having any control over them at all. It tries to act but with members who rarely agree on common actions.

If anyone in the world understands this it is David Bernstein; a man whose success hinges on the actions of the Premier League, the Football League, Trevor Brooking, the octogenarians of the FA Board and whoever happens to be in control of the England team and yet spends his life trying to control the uncontrollable.

Please feel free to add your own below.

Welovelocalgovernment is a blog written by UK local government officers. If you have a piece you’d like to submit or any comments you’d like to make please drop us a line at:

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