LOCAL democracy is a wonderful thing, in principle; the little platoons trundling along to parish polls to decide on street lighting, bins and Ms Y's application to stick a conservatory on the back of her house. Practice can be something else. Big services such as scooling and child protection can never be entirely a local matter. So, while welcoming Bristol's efforts to stimulate local involvement, we have to register misgivings about using a plebiscite to decide a specific and detailed question of governance.
Leader, February 16