Friday, July 13

One England

The unelected regional assemblies across England are to be disbaned. These talking shops will at last cease to be a drain on the region’s taxpayers. In the North East of England the unelected assembly will probably be abolished next year.
Alistair Darling is expected to make the announcment the abolition of the eight regional assemblies that were set up by Labour in 1998 shortly after Tony Blair came to power. The Chancellor will disclose that some of their powers, such as housing and planning, will be transferred to unelected regional development agencies, which are responsible for economic strategy. Others, such as regeneration, may bedevolved to local councils. Regional assemblies, made up of councillors, business and union representatives, have responsibilities over transport, planning, housing and environment strategy across regions.
This is not to say we have seen the back of regionalisation of course. The English Regional Development Agencies accros the country all with over staffed structures will still be in place each spending hundreds of millions-per-year of taxpayers’ money. Although they will be accountable to local councils, who will now be responsible for planning. The English regions will also have their own Ministers, effectively making the unelected regional assemblies defunct. Of course, some would argue that they already were.
The Review of Sub-national (a horrible term) Economic Development and Regeneration is set to be published by HM Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government next week, and even those who resent the fact that the euro-regions are being retained must at least take some small heart from this step towards scrapping one of John Prescott’s most expensive and undemocratic legacies.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The tories do not seem to have an identifiable policy on regions. many tories sitting on ra's like the status it has given them.
Welcome to the Witangemot