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Will direct elections to police boards threaten councils?

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We ask members of the LGC Viewpoints panel.

“Integrated partnerships have been established to deliver improvements. Where these partnerships are designed to be as inclusive as practicable, increasing the elected representation for one of them is unlikely to represent a fundamental change.”

Dr Sue LamminHead of environmental and community health, Huntingdonshire DC

“This is a long overdue opportunity to make the police more locally accountable. Directly elected police authorities should not be seen as rivals, but partners. Councils should welcome the further democratisation of public services.”

Will GodfreyChief executive, East Hampshire DC

“A reversal of the trend towards less local accountability is good. What is worrying is the trend towards amateur ‘celebrities’ who expect credit, or the blame, for professionals’ performance. The threat to councils comes from losing clarity around members’ role and inventing a populist celebrity circus.”

Steve BeardStrategic director, Blaby DC

“Anything that stimulates further public interest and engagement has got to be an opportunity. The threat currently continues to be public apathy.”

Michael BrymerHead of business development and street scene services, Hinckley & Bosworth BC

“Making the cops accountable via locally elected representatives is highly valued by citizens and local government in the US. Why wouldn’t it be so here?”

Matt CooneyChief executive, Solihull Community Housing

“Direct election to police authorities may or may not be a threat to councils. The effective management of locally delivered services requires accountability to the whole community. Councils may need to adapt, but are best placed to take on this role.”

David HillChief executive, Ashford BC

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