What did our readers have to say about their public servants?

MPs in the House of Commons.: Credit: PA Wire

MPs in the House of Commons.: Credit: PA Wire - Credit: PA

MPs still have work to do to restore the faith of the public some six years on from the expenses scandal.

The result of our survey into the cost of democracy

The result of our survey into the cost of democracy - Credit: Archant

That is the verdict of three-quarters of the 277 people who took part in our survey in the final day of our week-long series titled The Price of Democracy.

All this week we’ve been putting under scrutiny allowance and expense claims made by the region’s MPs, Euro MPs, representatives in the House of Lords and county and district councillors.

Of those who took part in our poll, 91% said it was important for MPs to release these details, with 61% saying what they claimed was a factor in deciding who to vote for.

Meanwhile, on the issue of Lords reform, 57% said they should have less power to make decisions and only 7% said more. Only 45% said they would be able to name one of their representatives in the European Parliament, although 69% felt decisions made there definitely did directly affect their lives. Three-quarters could name a county or district representative, but only 12% said they had cause to deal with their local council at least once a month.

The series has prompted much debate on our website and here are some of your views:

Rob44 The Olympic village had considerable accommodation and conference facilities. The accommodation should have been provided to MPs on a “take it or leave it” basis. The conference facilities could have accommodated government and the palace of Westminster could be refurbished over time for the taxpayers to admire and overseas visitors charged for visiting. Another missed opportunity.

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BG It’s not a job I would want. Totally 24/7, never having a minute to yourself. We have the predictable comments about how useless they are etc. Well, if they are doing such a bad job and you think you can do better, put yourself up for election and see how you get on.

Resident Smith We have quite a few UKIP MEPs but what difference have they made exactly? Hmm – none. In fact, what about the others too? Does the country as a whole need more than four MEPs? Green Ink Like it or not, the House of Lords does an enormous amount of valuable work and can come to well- thought-through decisions because they don’t have to worry about personal popularity which is the flaw of democracy. Having largely got rid of hereditary peers it’s about time the CofE bishops were shown the door, though. To retain religious bias in this influential authority is clearly wrong. Ingo Wagenknecht Scrap this expenditure. We do not need an unelected upper House; we need a fair proportional electoral system to keep our so-called representatives in check.

Suffolk Boy I’m all in favour of anything that drives quality and common sense through the decisions made in the Commons. However, it is the make- up of the Lords that I am, and I guess many others are, uncomfortable about. It has improved over the years, certainly, but still the old vestiges of the landowning grandees remain. It is time this institution was brought into the current world, with people chosen on talent and merit rather than who their parents happen to be. Ask any younger person what the House of Lords does and most won’t have a clue, or even be interested. Reform, and driving through relevance to today’s society, will be the only way to change that.

Suffolk Exile I would like to commend the author of the article for letting the subjects speak for themselves. A clearly written piece on a controversial topic. Some of the MPs come across as being rather defensive. Visit our stories on MPs, MEPs, Lords and councillors by clicking on the relevant links.

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