This piece is from prior to the Scottish referendum result, although let’s face it that result was never in doubt despite the tedious incessant media hype of recent weeks.
Graham Allen MP, chairman of the House of Commons political and constitutional reform committee, has said that English regions should get the power to spend the tax collected from local residents in the wake of further Scottish devolution. He said that devolution should not just be for Scotland if it is to be credible. Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, he said: “Devolution isn’t just for Scotland. This week I’d like to see Miliband, Clegg and Cameron issue a statement saying very clearly that we are in favour of both union and devolution, and perhaps to be credible, it can’t apply only to Scotland, it must also find a way to apply to England, Wales and Northern Ireland.”
The Guardian ran this piece
Some people take a long time to catch on, don’t they. For what it is worth Mr Allen Liberals have been championing this cause for generations, it’s Tories and Socialists who have been keen to hold tight to the reigns of power in Westminster!
Hilary Benn, the Shadow Local Government Secretary, has said a Labour Government would give councils more freedom but austerity would continue.
The fact that Labour now seems very keen on the long-held Liberal policy of devolving power from Whitehall is often spoken off these days but the fascinating words here are that ‘austerity would continue’. A common sense remark of course but its not the message that Labour delivers locally, indeed if you believed Labour’s local utterances you would think that the election of a Labour government would end austerity and reverse all the cuts in public expenditure. Saying one thing nationally but quite another at a local level.
Labour must trust [its own] local leaders
A group Labour council leaders, including Cllr Lib Peck of Lambeth Council, Cllr Jim McMahon of Oldham Council and Cllr Sharon Taylor of Stevenage BC, have written in the Guardian recently that the Labour party needs to trust its local leaders. The leaders urge the Labour party to share power and work with them to deliver the future that communities want.
This is very much linked to the potential devolution of power from Westminster. The problem is that Labour does not trust its own local leaders and has not done for many years.
Take a look at the posting via the link above. Iain, lays out the issues very well indeed. It makes you wonder why we in the north of England have accepted being governed so poorly and so remotely (from London) for so long. He makes the Liberal cause of devolution, campaigned for over many generations, seem even more important today than ever before.
A poll by Survation has found that most voters want to see more powers devolved regionally and locally across England. Some 65% said “too much of England is run from London”, while 70% believed “London receives preferential treatment over most other parts of the UK”.
Another clear pointer to what we Liberals have been banging on about for years and which other parties pay lip service to, Sadly, the Coalition talks about this far more than it delivers it.
My posting of 17th April comments on Labour’s flawed devolution proposals.
With thanks to the LGiU
Baroness Jo Valentine, chief executive of London First, has said that devolution would improve Yorkshire’s [and by implication all the other regions of England] economic prospects and that English cities should have more powers to set their own spending priorities.
Yorkshire Post, Business, Page: 1 – With thanks to the LGiU for digging this out.
Yes I know, it has been Liberal and Lib Dem policy for years but the way it has been gone about is the problem under the current and indeed previous Governments. Take Merseyside where the new Combined Authority in no way represents the travel to work area of Liverpool. Oddly though Greater Manchester has always been just about right despite long held arguments over where Derbyshire’s High Peak should sit i.e. in Greater Manchester as opposed to it being outside.