Letter: The counties aren't broke, so don't fix them

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The Independent Online
Sir: I read with amazement and concern your report ('Ministers decide to wipe out county councils', 22 November) - amazement both at the alleged decision and at the unnamed minister's statement - 'Nowhere have we received any indication from anyone that county councils must stay'. I am also concerned about the implications for the future of democratic local government and the level of our council tax if this is put into effect.

I am not opposed to change where it is needed and I do not suggest that our present local government system is perfect.

But who really believes that we need 'the biggest shake-up in local government since the Domesday Book'? The result of such shake- ups is disruption and expense. In some circumstances they may be needed, but not, surely, where the existing system is as successful and as well accepted as I believe is the case in most of the country.

Has the Government really heard no one speak in favour of the status quo? Our local papers in Hampshire seem increasingly full of letters opposing unnecessary change, a view shared, I believe, by some of our Conservative MPs. I cannot believe that this is the case only in Hampshire. Can the Government be listening?

Yours faithfully,

MALMESBURY

Greywell, Hampshire

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