No logic to police merger

SIR – Grant Shapps is right to resist a possible merger between the Herts and Beds police forces.

The usual claims are made for increased efficiency, despite the initial huge cost, but this just the standard ‘merger mantra’.

In practice the costs are achieved in full or more while the efficiencies never seem to emerge.

What usually results is an ever more top heavy organisation increasingly remote and impenetrable to the people whom it is supposed to serve.

As Mr Shapps suggests, there may be benefits in merging some of their internal services, but at the point of delivery to the public it is de-mergers we need.

A local police team that knows the community and local issues must surely be more effective than a vast bureaucracy in some distant centre.

It is no surprise that plans of this kind usually win the support of this Labour Government whose addiction to centralism has already led to numerous top-heavy, insensitive, expensive and often unworkable schemes (East of England Plan, NHS computer system, etc).

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As an example of ‘localism’, consider how effectively we are represented by Grant Shapps who lives, and is regularly out and about, in the constituency.

Rather better than his predecessor who lived elsewhere and was rarely seen in Welwyn Hatfield – unless an election was looming.

Paul Telco,

Address supplied.