The BBC has the article on its website – see link below:-
Well if you’ve stopped by this blog site previously you will probably know that I’m no fan of elected mayors of any type, indeed my view is that they are a backwards step not least because they concentrate powers in the hands of one person and this, together with the related City Regions, ends up with big cities being favoured to the detriment of surrounding towns. And no, of course more elected mayors are not the solution to the north – south divide.
We need serious devolution in England akin to the powers of the devolved nations of Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland because England is far too centralised and the issues of ‘the north’ are always looked at through the eyes of the Westminster-based elite and their officials.
For all bandwagon Burnham’s bluster last summer nothing useful came of it, he has no significant powers and he was ignored. Such will continue to the case until we have proper regional governance across England, preferably without elected mayors.
Another ridiculous outburst from the PM (see link to BBC article below) but there is within this issue a lost opportunity which Blair found himself unable to resolve.
What should have happened alongside the Scottish and indeed Welsh devolution was and indeed still is the need to set up regional governance in England. By just devolving powers to Scotland and Wales an unbalanced process of governance was set in train. The Tories have in their own way tried to redress this imbalance via their Metro Mayors and City Regions but this has, at least in my view, been pretty much an abject failure, apart that is from it turning Bandwagon Burnham the Manchester Metro Mayor into a Scouse hero.
No, the problem is the utter mess of devolution in England Mr Johnson; you’re looking, as usual, through the wrong end of your telescope.
Power should always be exercised at the lowest practical level of governance commensurate with it being efficient and democratically appropriate. You start with England’s network of Parish/Town Councils working your way up via Borough/Unitary Councils then Regional governance in my case (North West England) and then UK Governance. The object should be to exercise as few powers as possible at UK level. Defence, international relations, national budgets and obviously UK-wide issues come to mind. Everything else gets pushed down as low as possible so that governance is at the most appropriate level. It’s not rocket science for goodness sake……..