Letter: County and district councils keep each other in check

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The Independent Online
Sir: Peter Rodgers (letter, 25 April) reinforces my worries about the quality of thinking that lies behind the pressure for 'single-tier' authorities. Under any restructuring, as the Town Clerk of Hatfield (letter, 22 April) and Professor Maddick (letter, 25 April) have pointed out, there will remain several tiers of local and regional government or administration.

I have not met anyone, other than Peter Rodgers, who supposes county councils to be 'mighty and powerful'; but does he not understand that, to take an example I know something about, if efficient county education services are dispersed - and they are efficient - under any government it would be absurd to establish a range of new ones? It would be good sense, not simply the arbitrary use of power, to abolish LEAs altogether. And why not the metropolitan education authorities at the same time?

Local government agencies may not be able to prevent their own demolition; the puzzle is why any should be so nave as to hasten the process.

Yours faithfully,

PETER NEWSAM

Director

Institute of Education

London, WC1

25 April

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