Overijssel councilors see their influence diminish. While the number of collaborations between municipalities is increasing, according to the politicians, only 12 percent think they have sufficient influence on this. This is apparent from research by I&O Research on behalf of the province. Nine out of ten councilors in Overijssel also find council work more difficult and experience increased work pressure.
Seven out of ten councilors see a ‘clear increase’ in cooperation between municipalities. Although they understand the importance of this, as a result they experience that as an individual councilor they have less to say. However, a vast majority of councilors (87 percent) believe that they do something have to crumble in the milk, but most do not think that is enough.
Partnerships look like a new layer of government, but there is no democratic process
Members of parliament are on average slightly more optimistic about this. But they are also critical, the research shows: “Collaborations resemble a new layer of government, but there is no democratic process,” says one of them.
There are countless areas in which municipalities work together. From tax collection, to waste processing (Twence), and from youth care (joint purchasing) to the GGD and Safety Regions.
One of the major partnerships between the province, water boards and municipalities is the Regional Energy Strategies. Agreements are made about sustainable energy generation, mainly with wind turbines and solar fields. Individual municipalities – whether they want to or not – are all expected to make a contribution.
More time, less contact
On average, councilors spend 16.7 hours a week on their council work. This corresponds to the national average, but is the highest number of hours since this trend survey was started in 2007. The Overijssel States members lose an average of almost 18 hours a week.
Due to the increased complexity of the work and the high workload, the people’s representatives have less and less contact with society. This is the case for no less than 62 percent of the States members, while 34 percent of the councilors indicate that they have less contact with society.