The local government establishment has reacted to proposals for democracy reform like hens which have noticed that the fox has started to dig a tunnel under their fence.
A closer look at how citizen-led democracy works in practice would help to allay concerns of local politicians.
Revolution is NOT being proposed. What has been suggested is that elements of direct democracy should be introduced, complementing the indirect (representative) democracy which we already have.
Electorates do NOT want to take over the running of ALL public affairs -- for that we appoint, by election, councillors and mayors.
We do want the job to be well done, which leads to a desire to have more say about government, planning etc. in the periods between elections -- this has been repeatedly confirmed in social surveys.
People do NOT want to be fobbed off with more petitions, consultations or "citizens' juries". They do want to be able to take back control of some issues, either by veto of council proposals or using the right to make proposals about policy.
The NLGN (New Local Government Network ) suggestion of "community proposal" instead of more democracy resembles a glorified petition (a right which we already have). The council is not obliged to act on the proposal and no ballot of the electorate must be held.
(Dr.) Michael Macpherson
I&R ~ GB Citizens' Initiative and Referendum
http://www.ipetitions.com/campaigns/i-and-r.gb sign up for reform
Dr. M J Macpherson - Guildford/UK/PSAMRA ~ INTEGRAL STUDIES
My understanding is that, under the Local Government act of 1972, any six members of the local electorate are entitled to call a Parish meeting to call for a local referendum. If then 10 people at that meeting support the proposal then the local authority is duty bound to carry out the Referendum.
(This makes the Tory proposals seem like a backward step for Democracy)
I, with five others, are on the verge of calling a referendum on a local planning issue. (Any practical advice would be appreciated if done soon).
Some attempts have been made to have local Referenda on the Lisbon EU treaty but I believe the high court has ruled that this isn't a local issue.
Re: costs, an anti-Lisbon treaty, pro- Referendum website has claimed that costs of such local Referenda average only about £400.
My only concern about 'my' proposed Referendum is that local people won't have the get-up-and-go to vote on a dark winter's night.
Dr. Robert Clipperton - Cheshire UK