Democratic accountability

9 May 2008 by Karl Hallam

Cadence Network member Gordon Macnair gives a view following the recent elections. 'Democratic accountability may feel hollow to a local politician when, reading the national press, it is clear that the commentariat see local elections solely as referenda on national government. Maybe that, the fact that council tax pays only for some 15% of local expenditure, and the steady drain of local autonomy to the centre explain the dismal level of policy debate at local level.

'At least in London we have some sound bites of what Boris stands for - whether that is either deliverable or helpful to the metropolis or not. But elsewhere, the hustings have often been reduced to a the site of a slanging match, with rivals focusing at best on their managerial and technical record.

'The remedies are obvious, but hard to reach: reform of balance and sources of local finance; an increased autonomy for local government; and a more reasoning national press. Unlikely to see any of these in a Government staring into the abyss - but an agenda for a bold new administration?'

your comments

Brian Heatley
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Reply #1 on : Sat January 10, 2009, 12:58:25
Gordon

thanks for the card. I never respond because I've lost your contact details!

this may be an eccentric way to find you but it might work!

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