Local democracy is broken just like national politics and for that matter the EU.
Speaking of which, they absolutely HATE referendums, because in those the PEOPLE have a direct say. They put great pressure on governments NOT to hold a referendum on the Lisbon Treaty because they KNEW what the results would be. When the occasional stupid government DID organise a referendum and of course got “the wrong result” then they had to do it AGAIN until they got it right (see Ireland – history of).
No, it isn’t working and we are being ripped off. Under our system, you either don’t bother to vote (what is the ludicrous participation rate in local elections?) or after you do the elected don’t ever bother to consult you again anyway.
Of course, even with more direct people-participation you couldn’t vote on EVERYTHING (we can – I hope – safely leave the decision on the number of paper clips to order up to the office manager), but at present we can vote on ALMOST NOTHING. except every x years and then it’s all party-machine and fairly meaningless – hence the low turnout (especially in local elections) – people do not feel involved or able to do anything personally about their communities.
This lunacy is why councils DO waste money on “Equal Opportunities Officers, Diversity Co-Ordinators, Lesbian Creche Supervisors, Islamic Resource Centre Managers and Transexual Eco-Advisors “ and so on. They do it BECAUSE THEY CAN GET AWAY WITH IT, just like FIFA in fact.
This won’t change until we have some kind of revolution; I don’t mean with violence, but in the way we organise decision-making.
As for the “cuts”, I’m sorry, but we have to live within our means. No ifs, no buts (NOT doing so would be FAR WORSE, as in fact this crisis proves – Brown having left this shambles means severe pain), and of course everyone has a case to make as to why THEIR pet project using public money should be spared.
Having said that, useless parasites with too much money should be stripped of more of it, starting with the bankers ……