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Unlock Democracy welcomes cross-party report to end England’s role as the “Cinderella State”

Following the publication of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s report on local government, the Director of Unlock Democracy Peter Facey said:

“We strongly welcome this report and its overarching call for local government to be given more autonomy and fiscal powers.

“Despite the government’s steps towards localism, Whitehall continues to have the whip hand, with local authorities bound by hundreds of rules and regulations.  In common with his predecessors, the current Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government continues to harangue and micromanage councils in areas such as how they should organise bin collection.

“In terms of fiscal powers, this government has effectively centralised control, forcing local authorities to hold referendums if they fail to meet a spending target imposed by Whitehall whilst rejecting any other form of consultative power which might meaningfully put power in the hands of local people.

“The Committee is correct to say that not only should local government be given more powers but those powers should be protected in some way and not subject to the whims of central government. Unlock Democracy believes that the best way to guarantee this is through a written constitution.

“This report is an excellent starting point for a conversation we need to have across England about what powers people believe their local authorities should have.  With devolution continuing to evolve for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, England needs to stop being the Cinderella State.”

More details of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee’s report can be found here: http://www.parliament.uk/business/committees/committees-a-z/commons-select/political-and-constitutional-reform-committee/

 

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