Letter: Local government structure debate

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The Independent Online
Sir: Robert Jones MP's personal attack on Sir John Banham (14 December) comes oddly from the chairman of a parliamentary select committee which only recently invited Sir John to give evidence to it.

Sir John is chairman of the independent Local Government Commission charged with the difficult task of reviewing local government structure in England. Many people believe the commission is doing a reasonable job and would do better still if it was allowed to get on with its work without a succession of strident off-stage noises and interventions to which Mr Jones has now added.

Maybe Mr Jones's anger with Sir John stems from his belief that the 'only logical solution' in his own area is that Dacorum district should be a unitary authority on its present boundaries. Such views have been rightly dismissed by Sir John's commission.

Mr Jones should now join in a constructive debate about whether the local government structure in Hertfordshire should be changed and, if so, what structure would be better than the present one.

Yours faithfully,

DENNIS PETTITT

Chairman

Association of County Councils

London, SW1

15 December

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