Letter: Local democracy

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The Independent Culture
Sir: One result that no one can dispute from the local elections in England is that the turnout was woefully low. Local councillors cannot claim democratic legitimacy with turnouts as low as one in five. Such voter apathy can only lead to dislocation of local services from local people, and unrepresentative councillors.

The answer is radical reform of local democracy. We need proportional representation to break up the local one-party states and generate more local party activity. We need directly elected mayors, like the system we are establishing in Lewisham. We need more consultation and involvement from voters all year round, not just at election times.

DAVE SULLIVAN

Leader, Borough of Lewisham

London SE6

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