Letters: Votes that count

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The Independent Culture
Sir: The Government is rightly pursuing many measures to tackle the corruption and incompetence of a few local authorities but, by shelving the one measure that would open the decision-making process to the light of scrutiny, they are failing to tackle sleaze at source.

Furthermore, by creating local authority cabinets and elected mayors, the Government is asking councillors to make their main role that of holding an executive to account. But with one in five authorities effectively one-party states, without PR and a strong official opposition in council chambers, scrutiny will be toothless. Open and accountable government needs debate to be aired in public, and not just within the ruling party.

At a time when we have elections under a proportional system for the European and Scottish Parliaments and the National Assembly for Wales, and when a referendum on voting reform for the House of Commons is a government pledge, it is illogical to ignore PR for local government.

PAM GIDDY

Director, Charter 88

London N1

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