Letter: Local democracy

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Sir Jeremy Beecham calls for non-domestic rates to be returned to local control and claims that greater financial autonomy for local authorities is necessary to increase democracy ("Missing voters to be lured with polling booths in supermarkets", 10 February).

The fact is that, in 1989, when responsibility for setting the business rate was still with local government, businesses in inner London contributed three times more to local authority coffers than did domestic ratepayers - voters. This model of local democracy is not one we should be seeking to restore.

SIMON SPERRYN

London Chamber of Commerce and Industry

London EC4

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