Even though David Cameron wants to see a police commissioner elected by the people in every police authority, he isn't sure whether places the size of Swindon should have an elected mayor.
At a one hour Cameron Direct one hour question and answer session at Greendown School on 11 July, he responded to a wide variety of concerns and issues, speaking without notes and with a smooth charm.
Even though he had used the word 'Swindon' in a seemingly disparaging tone on Radio 4s Test Match Special, whilst enjoying a few hours off watching the Lord's Test Match earlier in the day, he said he had to come to Swindon twice in a year because it was now a target town for the Tories, even though it has always returned Labour MPs when the Conservatives might be running the council. "Things are changing here and we can win the two Swindon seats. "We have two excellent candidates in Robert Buckland and Justin Tomlinson who are doing a good job taking our message out to the electorate."
In response to a question of what he would do if Labour deposed Gordon Brown and replaced him a new younger leader, Mr Cameron told the audience that he wasn't that bothered. "The important thing is that we get our party right and we project our message to the electorate. When I was elected leader it was clear that the Conservative Party had to change and then offer better policies to the people. I've always firmly believed that we have to get ourselves right and then project what we believe to the country. Let's not bother too much about what the others are doing about leadership issues. If the Conservative are getting things right, people will support us."
He thought that Gordon Brown might hang on for longer than the media expects and admitted that he's working hard to look after his own job. "Labour are less brutal than the Conservatives when it comes to its leaders. But I'm planning to buck the trend and am here for the long term."
When asked, following the success of Boris Johnson in London, whether he supported the idea of elected mayor in our places, he said big cities like Manchester and Newcastle should have elected mayors. "Elected mayors have shown that community involvement and participation in local politics rise. Look at Ray Mallon in Middlesborough (pictured in next story below) who has done great things.
"But an elected mayor might not be appropriate in town's like Swindon. The point is that no one system should be enforced upon an area and they are certainly not appropriate for rural areas.
"But in the end it's up to the people of a town to decide."
A survey of Swindon viewpoints is can be found at: www.talkswindon.org/index.php?board=152.0
But, his keeness for elected officials applies ot the police. In response to an earlier question, Mr Cameron had said he wants to see 'hard core' police commissioners elected into the position to determine policies to be pursued by the Chief Constable in each police authority.
He said that Police Community Support Officers had been a success across the country and were generally supported in the police service, but he criticised the target culture that determines the way police officers work. "We need to free officers of the burden of paperwork; every incident requires a form a foot long to complete. Discretion has disappeared; the way the police work is the nanny state at its worst."
His tough approach was not joined up in relation to education when he said headteachers had to have a greater control in schools. "If children are misbehaving then heads must have the power to act. If somebody is destroying the education of others in a class, then they have to be excluded and held to account for their disruption."
However he did not go on to say what should be done with out of order children and whether communities would be be plagued by bored kids.
In wide ranging answers, he covered questions on the need for more housing, changing the funding formula from central to local government, the need to preserve the United Kingdom, the Equitable Life scandal and the forthcoming Parliamentary Ombudsman report, giving a wider range of organisations and communities the chance to open and manage schools, keeping ASBOs and how he likes to end of a hard working day with a pint of good local bitter.
He said his government would not continue with ID cards and the national identity register and in response to a question about what to do about presenting the ancient stones at Stonehenge, after years of argument and controversy, he admitted that sometimes he is caught out and said he had no idea of what to say.
See what David Cameron has to say about ID cards at: