Letter: Accountability for local government

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The Independent Online
Sir: You suggest in your editorial today ('Loosening the lead on councils', 13 April) that it is time political parties 'devised some imaginative yet realistic means of giving councils enough freedom to provide electors with real choices'.

The Liberal Democrats have always advocated devolution of power to regional local authorities, among other reasons because local councils are much more accountable to voters than government departments and quangos.

This accountability would be much enhanced by having proportional representation for local elections. I am not advocating this for political advantage as in 1986 and 1990 my party in Richmond upon Thames won over 90 per cent of the seats with 50 per cent of the votes. Yet locally, both Tory and Labour parties still support an electoral system which denies them fair representation on their local council. It's a funny old world.

Yours faithfully,


Leader of the Council

Richmond upon Thames,


13 April