A CAMPAIGNER who is pressing for a shake-up in local politics has welcomed Government moves to give councils more freedom to choose how they are run.

Colin Letchford, from Canvey, has almost 3,000 signatures on his petition calling for an elected mayor in Castle Point.

But last week the coalition Government announced councils would be free to change back to the committee system if they wished.

Mr Letchford, 62, of Maurice Road, Canvey, said: “If they let us go back to the committee system, I would prefer that to an elected mayor.

“A system which involves the whole council making decisions has got to be more democratic.”

Councils will have to wait for the announcement to become law before they can consider reverting to the committee system. The leader of Castle Point, Pam Challis, said the matter would be looked at when that happened.

But Dave Blackwell, leader of the opposition Canvey Island Independent Party, said a change could not come soon enough.

He said: “In Castle Point, we are desperate to put democracy back into the council. The leader and the cabinet should sit up and take note and bring back the very democratic committee system as soon as possible.”

Mr Letchford has been campaigning for a change to the current cabinet system which sees most decisions made by a group of eight councillors.

The cabinet system was introduced by the last Labour government after councils were forced to get rid of the old committee system in a bid to streamline decision making.