By Lawrence Pratchett, David Wilson
The transformation of neighborhood governance within the Eighties and Nineties has positioned the character and clients for neighborhood democracy in query. Drawing jointly unique examine via major teachers commissioned through the fee for neighborhood Democracy, this booklet provides in a full of life and available shape the clearest to be had photograph of the issues of participation, illustration and responsibility besetting neighborhood executive, their effects and attainable avenues for reform.
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Extra info for Local Democracy and Local Government
II. Hirst, P. (1995) 'Quangos and Democratic Government', Parliamentary Affairs, vol. 48, no. 2, p. 341. Young, K. (1994) 'Rethinking Accountability: An Issues Paper', QMC Public Policy Seminar (28 April 1994). Widdicombe, D. (1986) Report of the Committee of Inquiry into the Conduct of Local Authority Business, London: HMSO. Lynn, P. (1992) Public Perceptions of Local Government: Its Finances and Services, London: HMSO, p. 4. National Consumer Council (1995) Consumer Concerns 1995, London: National Consumer Council.
The Anne Phillips 27 election of people from ethnic minorities remains low and patchy, but the concentration of ethnic minority communities in particular urban localities has allowed some of these to achieve the minimum threshold for political presence. Similar patterns can be discerned in the number of councillors who hold manual jobs, for while both national and local assemblies are very much skewed towards those in professional employment, this is less strong at the local level. The cynic might remark that all this testifies only to the declining significance of local government, and that if more power were returned to the localities, this relative advantage would soon disappear.
Both aspects matter in achieving adequate representation, but they do not always work neatly in tandem. The preceding discussion suggests one avenue for improving democratic control, which is to introduce mechanisms to ensure that representatives are more clearly 'representative' of the society's constituent groups. I have noted that local government already has a better record on this than national government, but even so, there is a great deal more that could be done in this area. 8 The other most obvious avenues for improving the quality of democracy move beyond the sphere of representation to add in elements of direct democracy: the most self-evident being to increase the number of issues on which citizens are enabled to vote directly; and to make more use of the open meeting.