A group of more than 115 leading Liberal Democrat councillors has called on the Government to abandon its plans for elected police commissioners.
The group, which includes LGA Liberal Democrat leader, Cllr Richard Kemp, and Portsmouth City Council leader, Cllr Gerald Vernon-Jackson, have called on the Government to drop the idea and replace them with local police boards.
In a letter published today in The Times, the councillors said the recent controversies about phone hacking and tabloid journalists mean there is a need for'a clear separation between politicians and the police'.
Surely having the person in charge - the police commissioner - accountable to the public is an improvement to democracy? More liberal? Less likely to be corrupted?
Apparently Cllr Kemp and his pals want something else:
For this reason, we ask the Government to drop the proposal for elected police commissioners, and to replace them with police boards that will work with local government and provide the transparency that is so badly needed.'
And how this is more transparent than electing the police chief, I have no idea? It simply fiddles about with the current system of Police Authorities - unaccountable, distant bodies made up of appointed individuals.
But then the Liberal Democrats always struggled with the idea of being liberal and democratic, didn't they!