Local majority loses its power

9th October 1998 at 01:00
I see that the proposal in the "fair funding" consultation paper for "majority voting" has gone.

This proposal represented a welcome, and indeed overdue, recognition that the collective wish of a local education community, arrived at by consensus, could determine, and enforce, mutual obligations in the common interest.

It appears that Government policy has been genetically modified and that fair funding itself has gone grant-maintained.

There is to be no such thing as a local education "good" which, no matter how overwhelming the majority in its favour, cannot be disaggregated to destruction.

On all sides of Government we are told that local communities are to be empowered; that they must make their own decisions; that they must seek their own salvation in collective responsibility, whether by devolution, in local partnerships of otherwise. But words and the deeds do not match; subsidiarity still stops at Westminster.

It seems that there is only one majority vote - that at Westminster- which binds all communities, irrespective of their needs or wishes, from the Thames to the Tees and from Pimlico to Peterlee.

Keith Mitchell. Director of education. County Hall. Durham

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