Letter: What future for local councils?

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Sir: Andrew Rowe, MP, is exactly right (as in your editorial comment of 23 November) in reacting to the 'wipe out' of the county councils 'with a sinking heart' (Letters, 23 November).

The whole process of the local government review is a shambles and its proposals so far will create a more ludicrous system than anyone could have dreamt of at the start of the process.

Because the review body is doing its job conscientiously, it is not meeting the Government's unspoken agenda to clear out of the way local authorities it does not like.

Even worse than the unitary district authorities Josie Farrington derided in her letter (23 November) will be the likely agglomerations of districts into mini-counties lacking the community purpose of the present districts and also the historic and strategic identity of the shires.

The process of the review should be stopped now, and the future shape of local government properly thought through. I hope Andrew Rowe is prepared to tackle his front bench to stop the daftness now, as I have tried to tackle my front bench to the same end (so far without success).

Yours sincerely,


MP for Lancashire West (Lab)

House of Commons

London, SW1