It's self-selection - not an election

PUBLISHED: 13:37 11 May 2007 | UPDATED: 22:47 28 May 2010

I WAS really looking forward to voting as we haven t had an election here for ages and I reckoned it was time the election cycle would give us our opportunity this year. But no, another chance to cast my vote has been taken from me because all councillors

I WAS really looking forward to voting as we haven't had an election here for ages and I reckoned it was time the election cycle would give us our opportunity this year.

But no, another chance to cast my vote has been taken from me because all councillors in the area where I live have been returned unopposed.

No wonder voters are apathetic. We had no indication that there were not going to be sufficient candidates here to trigger an election until it was too late make further nominations.

The people now in office can hardly be said to have a mandate to be our representatives as they are self-selected, not elected.

Why have no more people put themselves forward for election? Is it because the councils are wonderful as they are? This seems unlikely as most people's favourite grumbles are to do with the poor quality and insufficiencies of the public services.

I think it is more likely to be that most of us are "too busy" to want to take on the huge responsibilities thrust upon councillors.

Add to this the continuing restrictions by central government on the powers of local councils to raise their own income, and the subsequent impossibility for local politicians to be able to develop local initiatives for which they might gain the reward of becoming well known and there is no real incentive for individuals to put themselves forward.

I think this is tragic for our democracy, both at local level and national level.

Democracy disappears because too few of us are interested enough to stand for election to our local councils.

HILARY CHIVAL

Church Street

Whittlesey

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