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LIB DEMS CALL FOR MORE PARISHES

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The Liberal Democrats have called for a huge expansion in town and parish councils to boost interest in local gover...
The Liberal Democrats have called for a huge expansion in town and parish councils to boost interest in local government.

In its response to the government's green paper on local democracy, the party's group on the Local Government Association repeatedly calls for the introduction of proportional representation to boost turnout and end 'one-party fiefdoms'.

The group also points to international research which appears to show a link between high electoral turnout and small local government units.

The response says: 'The electorate is more likely to get involved with local government the more local and relevant it is.

'We believe decision making should be devolved to the lowest possible level to involve the communities that are affected.

'We therefore propose that legislation is passed to enable town or parish councils to be set up right across the country, including London.'

Quoting 1989 figures, the group says average population size in British councils is almost 100 times that of French authorities and 50 times that of the former West Germany. Turnout in both those countries was significantly higher than in British local elections.

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