Instead of localism, let’s have better councils

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From: John G Davies, Alma Terrace, East Morton, Keighley.

GP Taylor’s dream of localism (Yorkshire Post, October 17) harks back to a golden era when people were kinder and more helpful; a simplistic world that only ever existed in our imaginations.

More importantly, it ignores the complexity of the modern world.

For example, why should any 18 year old be encouraged to go to university for four years, with all the expense that involves, to study to be a librarian, when the job could be done by Darby and Joan, helping to keep their local library open by stamping books and stacking shelves?

The council would avoid much expense by using volunteers like them and, while we are at it, we could close down the librarianship department of the university, saving the Government money.

More importantly, he talks of the “wishes of the people” and “giving each of us real power”. This was the approach that Mussolini used in the 1920s; his wish was to impose nostalgic middle-class Roman values upon the entire population.

Instead of “localism” involving ad hoc arrangements, surely he should be thinking in terms of better and more effective local government.

Local government, though, appears to be anathema to Conservatives, which is why it was emasculated by Margaret Thatcher.

And as for lots of referenda; so when I object to paying more council tax, I trigger a referendum; the cost of which will come out of the council tax thereby leaving less money in the kitty for essential services.

If you object to paying more council tax, why not simply vote for councillors who oppose the increase? Isn’t that how democracy is supposed to work?

I am afraid that GP Taylor’s dream isn’t just nostalgic nonsense; it is potentially dangerous and disruptive nonsense.