Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let the People Have Their Say

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Let the People Have Their Say

Article excerpt

Never ask a question to which you do not know the answer. The way some tell it, that's a lesson lawyers learn early doors.

One suspects that politicians, on the other hand, might prefer not to ask questions of the electorate that could prompt answers they would rather not hear.

It would be grossly unfair, however, if that were to be the case in the debate over the way local government is delivered in Northumberland and Durham.

There is meant to be consultation, or at least that's what the Government insists it wants. And so councils, regional agencies and quangos, they get asked for sure.

But not the voters, not those who will pay the price, in cash and services, for a shake-up that no one can say for certain they either support or reject, and whose real purpose many struggle to understand.

The vacuum of knowledge is not yet enough to persuade Jim Wright, a member of Northumberland County Council's Labour executive, to support a bout of questioning on the proposed reorganisation, though. …

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