Letter: Voter ennui

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The Independent Culture
Sir: Dave Sullivan (10 May) and other correspondents, while making valid points regarding the vagaries of our local electoral system, have ignored a vital aspect of the electorate's apparent disenchantment with local politicians and politics in general.

Successive governments of all political hues have gradually emasculated local government to the point where, provided their bins are emptied regularly, their planning applications approved, their children taken off their hands between 9 and 4, most people never give local government a second thought.

Last week my own party, the Liberal Democrats, took all five district council seats in the town where I live with about 17 per cent of those eligible to vote.

Such gimmicks as elected mayors will make no significant difference to turnouts. What might, beside the introduction of PR, would be for central government to return to local government some of the powers that it has taken away over the years.


North Hykeham, Lincoln