Reorganising local government – it’s cover for the Brussels regional scheme

Today in the House we will debate the government’s Local Government and Public Involvement in Health Bill.

Despite??this long winded and apparently democratic title, we discover the Secretary of State wants powers allowing her to decide whether Counties and Districts should survive or whether they should be abolished. The costs of compulsory reorganisation would, of course, fall on the hard pressed Council taxpayers. She wants to design a Balkanised England suitable for Brussels to run.

What we want instead is a bill which abolishes all the unelected regional government in England, and gives the powers of regional government to elected Councils??where there needs to be any government involvement, and abolishes them where there doesn’t. We want a bill which gives local communities more say over the important planning issues that this government increasingly settles in the centre by overrriding local wishes. We want a bill which gives more scope to Councils to make their own decisions, and to keep the tax bills down where that is the wish of local electors.

Instead we have more top down bossiness. The government still thinks it knows best. It still rides roughshod over the wishes of the North East, who decisively voted down regional government, but still labour under an unelected version of it.The government refuses to give the rest of us referenda on regional government, knowing how strongly we feel against it.

Why is this government so pig headed in wanting to implement the EU regional scheme, and in the meantime, so keen to force communities to do things they don’t want to do through the dictats of Whitehall and the regions? Why won’t they give local communities more say over how much building there should be, and how they run local services?

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  1. Ken Adams
    Posted January 22, 2007 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    There is lot of information regarding the EU interest and involvement in the regionalisation process, but can anyone point me to any information on EU involvement in the sub regional process.

    In my area we are having a vote on the formation of a unitary council, many of those councillors supporting the move are also members of the Regional Authority I cannot belive this is just chance.

  2. Bill
    Posted January 22, 2007 at 10:28 pm | Permalink

    Important thing is John, can you defeat the bill?

  3. Allan Andrews
    Posted January 23, 2007 at 1:31 pm | Permalink

    "Why won't they give local communities more say over how much building there should be, and how they run local services?"

    Because we are dealing with an arrogant Government that has lost direction and continues to push through the regional agenda, which means more taxpayers money being spent by unelected bureaucrats and key decisions taken by people who are not accountable to the local electorate.

    It's hard to believe that all this is happening despite the fact that undemocratic Regional Assemblies were overwhelmingly rejected by the electorate in Mr Prescott's own backyard.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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