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Town hall blues

I have just spent four years as a local councillor, and I know that ordinary people do not want more power

Turnout at local elections hovers at around 35 per cent, dropping to 25 per cent in London: a shockingly low figure. Whitehall, think tanks and commissions are full of ideas about how to reinvigorate local democracy. But after four years as a councillor in Lambeth, it is clear to me that the protagonists in this debate remain frighteningly ignorant about the reality of local politics, and about what people want from their “local governors.”

All the parties and think tanks want to hand power back to citizens. Labour believes “local communities are just better at dealing with their own problems.…

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