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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR - REVITALISING LOCAL DEMOCRACY

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We found Crispin Moor's letter on the number of councillors in a new unitary regime both interesting and encouragin...
We found Crispin Moor's letter on the number of councillors in a new unitary regime both interesting and encouraging in the Cheshire context (LGC, 14 May).

It is perhaps not so much a simple question of the total numbers of councillors, rather it is the number of high-quality councillors operating in a context in which they can be truly effective. In making its submissions to the Boundary Committee for England, Cheshire CC started from the fundamental belief there is no point at all in having yet another local government reorganisation, unless it produces something different and substantially better than the system we have now. Furthermore, any new system should hold out a real prospect of revitalising local democracy.

Cheshire believes the model of unitary local governance for shire areas, which it has put to the Boundary Committee, is truly radical and entirely fitted to people's needs in the 21st century. It is a single strategic unitary authority operating through 12-16 area committees and is made up exclusively of the members for that area with representatives from the town and parish councils.

This is a model that, once and for all, recognises where people's concerns are really focused - their immediate local community - yet it retains all the capacity, clout and economies of scale of the larger authority. It represents both value for money and is very much more local than the system we have now.

Ian Dunn

Director for regional affairs, Cheshire CC

Rob Elliot

Regional policy adviser, Cheshire CC

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