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The Tories - pulling the local wool over our eyes! PDF Print E-mail
Written by John Boardman   
Sunday, 26 January 2014 21:14

Recently, Peter Kenyon, the Secretary of Burnley Labour Party had a piece published on the Pendle Today web site. It was titled: “We are witnessing the destruction of democracy” http://www.pendletoday.co.uk/news/letters/we-are-witnessing-the-destruction-of-democracy-1-6371423?WT.mc_id=Outbrain_text&obref=obinsite

In this piece, Peter argues:

“Without any real sign of protest from the public, we are witnessing the destruction, at the hands of the Tories and aided by the Lib-Dems, of the foundation of democracy in this country.” He cites how local controls of important issues such as housing and education have been wrestled away from local councils.

Undeniably, what Peter is saying is true. However, how does this stack-up against the Coalition’s Localism agenda.

For a starting point I had a look at Wikipedia the free online encyclopedia
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Localism_(politics)

“Localism describes a range of political philosophies which prioritize the local. Generally, localism supports local production and consumption of goods, local control of government, and promotion of local history, local culture and local identity. Localism can be contrasted with regionalism and centralized government, with its opposite being found in the unitary state.”

To equip myself better to understand this apparent contradiction of the above explanation and Peter’s piece on the Pendle Today web site I searched online and found:

“A plain English guide to the Localism Act” https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/5959/1896534.pdf

The introduction by the Right Honourable Greg Clark MP, Minister of State for Decentralisation (I didn’t know we had one) states:

“For too long, central government has hoarded and concentrated power. Trying to improve people’s lives by imposing decisions, setting targets and demanding inspections from Whitehall simply doesn’t work. It creates bureaucracy. It leaves no room for adaptation to reflect local circumstances or innovation to deliver services more effectively and at lower cost. And it leaves people feeling ‘done to’ and imposed upon - the very opposite of the sense of participation and involvement on which a healthy democracy thrives.”

Quite clearly Peter is feeling ‘done to’ and imposed upon (me too).
Could someone explain to Peter and me, how, what we are experiencing is in complete contradiction to this ‘Localism Act’ and the butchery of local government finances under the stewardship of Eric Pickles, Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government and his cronies.

That reminds me, to make a note to myself, to dig out my copy of George Orwell’s ‘Animal Farm’ I think that it will make a more compelling guide to what is actually happening than the ‘Localism Act.’


 

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