The Spectator

Letters | 28 May 2015

Plus: Did anyone else have pension money kept back to pay for their funeral?

Why we don’t need mayors

Sir: There are a number of arguments against Steve Hilton’s call for more than 10,000 mayors (‘We need 10,000 mayors’, 23 May). One is that such an idea ruptures the whole tradition of British municipal administration, under which a system of elected councils is maintained to which executive officers are answerable. Another is that it may be doubted whether there is enough administrative talent available to exercise a substituent mayoral system effectively and efficiently. Politics will always get in the way, for one thing — a factor that our present system of councils takes into account.

Form is not so far encouraging, either. Mr Hilton might like to ‘jet’ over to mayoral Bristol and see a bad idea in action. If the present incumbent stands for re-election next year, he is likely to vanish in a puff of smoke like a pantomime demon. Most Bristolians rue the day they voted to have him.

Mr Cameron has had a number of rather dubious brainwaves over the years. Mayors are one of them (and police commissioners another).
Chris Harrie

What we do need

Sir: Mr Hilton wants more than 10,000 new mayors. The people would probably prefer 10,000 new teachers, nurses or policemen.
David Ashton
Sheringham, Norfolk

For freedom, not foxes

Sir: Rod Liddle has disappointed me with his latest article in The Spectator on the evils of fox hunting (23 May). He conveniently ignores the fact that the fox-hunting ban was not introduced primarily to protect the foxes but as a sop to the Labour left when Blair was feeling the heat. Even Blair has admitted since that it was a mistake. Rod also conveniently ignores the reports of urban foxes being on the increase.

I personally could not care less about fox hunting but I do care about freedom and I object to something which has been legal for centuries being declared illegal on the whim of a politician who, let us be frank, has not impressed us with his honesty.

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