Letter: Howard to end an old custom

IT APPEARS that Michael Howard's proposal to involve lord-lieutenants in the selection of members of police authorities is still alive ('Heading for trouble', 20 February). It remains entirely unacceptable, and serves to demonstrate the Home Secretary's failure to understand the very traditions he is trying to subvert.

Apparently, there would be six regional committees on which two lord-lieutenants would serve, together with a 'headhunter'. This comes into immediate conflict with the established custom over the centuries whereby a lord-lieutenant is concerned only with events within his or her county.

What is more, choosing 12 out of some 48 will inevitably involve some sort of selection process. Who will allocate the fortunate, or unfortunate, dozen? Presumably Mr Howard himself, thereby further corrupting a questionable procedure from the start.