The Commission for Local Democracy (CLD) was launched in November 1993 to inquire into the nature of local democracy in England and Wales and to consider its future development. As an independent commission it sought to incorporate a broad cross-section of interests. Hence, its membership comprised local politicians from the three major parties, local officials, consultants and some senior academic specialists. It undertook an 18-month programme of research which resulted in 16 separate research reports (as well as the Commission's own final report) and a major consultation exercise. As both a collection of contemporary perspectives on local democracy and as a comprehensive set of recommendations for reforming and enhancing the institutions of local democracy the CLD provides an important point of reference.