In the wake of the 2012 local elections and other recent developments, we can see that local democracy in England is in a perilous state. Voter apathy shows that. Simon Barrow looks at the issue in its wider context, and suggests that deep change is required that goes well beyond single-fix 'solutions'.
Personality politics, half-baked solutions and populist pretensions by tired political fixers are being used to disguise real, significant problems with local government, says Graeme Smith. He hopes that the shallow rhetoric of ‘people know best’ can suffer a similar fate to that of elected mayors, in favour of renewed democracy and a decent appreciation of expert knowledge in its proper place.
Sharing ideas at a local, regional and national level, and discussing how to respond to the threat of cuts, will not always be easy, says Savi Hensman. But it is vital if those who are poorest and most vulnerable are to be protected and a government-led agenda based on false premises appropriately resisted.