'Real local democracy'

PUBLISHED: 10:39 10 September 2008 | UPDATED: 22:19 15 June 2010

In reply to Y Franks (Midweek Herald, August 27), I am happy to assure her that, as a lifelong Liberal Democrat, there is nothing for which I would sacrifice local democracy. It would be hard to argue that the artificial '70s construct, which is East Devo

In reply to Y Franks (Midweek Herald, August 27), I am happy to assure her that, as a lifelong Liberal Democrat, there is nothing for which I would sacrifice local democracy.It would be hard to argue that the artificial '70s construct, which is East Devon District Council, provides it. I am sure we could all write a book of decisions it has made on grounds of cost in the teeth of local democratic opposition. The wholesale closure of public toilets would doubtless be somewhere in chapter one.Indeed, the most exciting thing about the proposed unitary authority is the chance of some real local democracy in the shape of the area boards, giving a real say to local communities.Replacing two local authorities, with somewhat overlapping functions which are rarely clear to the communities they serve, with a single body is hardly a result of fifties management fashion. Rather it is common sense - which I would hope is eternal!As to the assumption that the authority would be LibDem controlled - all I can say is we are flattered. Though I accept Labour will not feature, surely the Conservatives will put up a fight?Maybe they are concerned they will find it hard to explain to voters why so much East Devon taxpayers' money is being spent trying to preserve their power base. I would certainly like to know myself.Dr Jon UnderwoodParliamentary SpokesmanTiverton and Honiton Liberal Democrats


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