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ACC CONF: MORE USE OF REFERENDUMS TO LEGITIMISE LOCAL GOVT

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No other democracy treated its local authorities as badly as Britain did, says Commission for Local Democracy chair...
No other democracy treated its local authorities as badly as Britain did, says Commission for Local Democracy chairman Simon Jenkins.

Addressing delegates at the Association of County Councils annual conference in Leicester last night, Mr Jenkins said everyone appeared to like what was happening in local government - except central government.

Mr Jenkins said the government appeared to be obsessed with centralisation of power.

Echoing comments made earlier in the day by Labour local government spokesman Frank Dobson, Mr Jenkins said too much decision making power was ending up in the hands of appointed quango.

Mr Jenkins urged the use of referendums to reintroduce 'legitimacy' to local government.

Local government should not be seen as a 'sub-contractor' for central government.

'If you go down that road you might as well not bother with elections.'

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