A report published this week by the Local Government Management Network on local democracy in the US makes compelling reading for both council officers and politicians in the UK. It points to the high levels of citizen engagement in local government in the States as one way ahead. It raises some challenging issues for local government here. Little evidence was found in the USA to support the use of electoral turnout as a measure of public interest in councils. Councils in the US are run in a very open way by comparatively few elected councillors elected as community rather than political party representatives. This, the report claims, encourages people to engage with local government and stimulates public interest.The report can be obtained from the LGMN’s website at www.lgmn.org.uk.
Book News: October 11th, 2000