I have copied two chunks of text from wiki page of the Yes Prime Minister episode "Power to the People" One of the writers of Yes Minister did a column on the subject and suggested it should be tried in real life to end the power of the party machines in local government. The wiki page is here:
And if I ever find the article I will post it but it, its does exist I just am unable to find the bugger, below is the text from the relevant bit of plot from the episode:
Not for the first time, Jim Hacker is experiencing problems with local government. He bemoans the fact that councillors are elected by 25% of the population, who base their choice on the performance of the national government, and, once installed, spend four years on a "subsidised ego trip". During this time, the Prime Minister argues, everything they do is counterproductive and he gets the blame for it.
Hacker is in his upstairs flat in 10 Downing Street with his wife, Annie. He invites over Dorothy Wainwright, his political advisor, as he wishes to hear her views on local government. She counsels a scheme recently put forward by a Professor Marriott, which would give power back to the people by making town halls genuinely accountable. This involves making each councillor responsible for just 200 local residents, which would then lead to a large local council that would report to a smaller executive committee. Councillors would then be in close contact with those that voted for them — and would have to listen to their concerns. The PM is enthused and wishes to proceed with the plan, calling it "Hacker's Reform Bill".