TEST Valley borough councillors are controlled by a Cabinet governance model, which is the result of an imposition by an earlier Government.

This mode of operandi fails to promote democracy and indeed I have witnessed a ‘democratic deficit’ with a low level of transparency in decision making at the council.

Residents are being denied access to major decisions, whether it be through the three-minute ‘dictator-style’ ruling for conversing at the limited public meetings or a realisation that this Cabinet structure serves to implement central Government diktats, for example the National Planning Policy Framework.

Only UKIP, with its policy of not whipping its councillors, has a truly democratic structure for local councillors. UKIP also wishes to see referendums at local level.

I challenge Test Valley borough councillors to return to a committee governance. This change is happening elsewhere in the UK, including the county councils of Norfolk, Cambridgeshire and Nottinghamshire.

I further challenge the current councillors of TVBC to really implement localism by addressing the concerns voiced by residents on large-scale housing in the area, infrastructure deficiencies, pressures on our primary care services and education, alongside a host of other policy areas.

SANDRA JAMES, UKIP PPC for Romsey and Southampton North.