On the right track

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ALTHOUGH Westminster politicians are unlikely to win any popularity contest, this should not detract from the increased effectiveness of Parliament’s select committee system.

Not only have these all-party groups relished holding Ministers and powerbrokers to account, but some have become great arbiters of common sense.

Take Louise Ellman’s Transport Select Committee which has published a powerful report on cable thefts, its impact on an already fragile rail network – and steps that need to be taken to stop such crimes from taking place.

Each of its key findings will resonate with the public; namely individuals selling scrap metal having to provide proof of identification and the Government piloting a trial scheme that outlaws cash transactions.

Given that cable theft caused a staggering 35,000 rail services to be delayed or cancelled in 2010-11, it can only be hoped that the Department for Transport responds by accepting the Committee’s findings in full before even more daily routines are disrupted by this criminal scourge.