Stopping the downward spiral

Mike Bennett reviews a new book that captures the degradation of ethics in public life and sets out ways to restore high standards – but is local government listening, he asks.

Before becoming a deputy High Court judge and principal of an Oxford College, John Bowers KC would have been known to many in local government as a senior barrister and Designated Independent Person.

Bowers played an important role in mediating serious and infamous spats between council leaders and chief executives. Not least among these was the 2003 Lincolnshire case where the chief executive fell foul of his leader for blowing the whistle about the latter artificially diverting a road so that it did not cut across his land.

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