WHAT is happening to our local democracy? The so called ‘consultations’ over cuts to bus services have been scheduled to take place over the Christmas and New Year period when schools and libraries are closed and local community groups are less likely to have meetings.

Furthermore, it seems to be assumed that everyone has access to an online questionnaire. People who do not have a computer or who live in rural areas with little or no broadband are in danger of being excluded.

Slashing bus provision, youth services and care for the elderly affects the whole social fabric of our communities, as well as the local economy. If those who are most vulnerable to the effects of cuts are finding it difficult to make their voices heard, who is going to speak up on their behalf?