Headlines: February 4th, 1999

The People’s Panel strongly supports directly elected mayors and referenda on local issues. The Panel of 5000 people from across the UK is the first national cross sector research resource which gives feedback on the effectiveness of public services. This is the second wave of findings.

With the direct election of a mayor for London just over one year away, people are recognising the possibilities of changing the present system of local government. It is not known how many councillors are members of the Panel, but many are at the most lukewarm about such a change. This is partly because it is not clear what role councillors would play in a new structure. Provisions for elected mayors and for holding a referendum to decide on a change to the system are likely to be in the Draft Local Government Bill, promised for publication shortly.

The Panel was critical of care in the community and felt that the level of care given was below that needed.