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Power to the parishes is a great move

WITHOUT doubt the most, and some would say 'only', sensible idea to come from central government has been the Local Government White Paper handing over sweeping new powers to parish councils.

WITHOUT doubt the most, and some would say 'only', sensible idea to come from central government has been the Local Government White Paper handing over sweeping new powers to parish councils.

From antisocial behaviour to fly tipping, Britain's oldest form of democratic government will be able to mete out justice. Hallelujah!

The bill will cut the long-winded legal process enforced by local magistrates (wherever they are) in favour of fast-track justice giving local residents more control of their community. Who better to know the problems and perpetrators than local people?

In small-town America, where police chiefs answer directly to the electorate, residents don't express the same level of dissatisfaction British people feel with the justice system. Local police chiefs incapable of dealing with community problems don't last long.

I don't know if this White Paper will lead us down that road but it's a step in the right direction. Parish councils have their ear to the ground; most councillors reside in the parish they serve.

They live with the problems and, most importantly, are in tune with local opinion. I'd rather trust the judgement of my parish council on local issues than some committee sitting in Chester.

It's the lack of action in dealing with local problems that has led residents to despair. Small though it may be, this move will swing the balance of power towards local justice.

I'm sure our parish councils will use it wisely.

  • THE views on this page are those of Vic Barlow and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Express.
 
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