COMMONS

Government positive on rebalancing central/ local powers

13 May 2013

"The slow but steady movement towards greater local autonomy took another careful but certain step forward this week," said the Chair of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee, Graham Allen MP.

He welcomed the Government’s response to the Committee’s report on The prospects for codifying the relationship between central and local government.

He said

"I could not agree more with the Government’s strong language in their response to the Committee’s findings, when they said: ‘Reforming one of the most centralised countries in the western world requires an ongoing commitment of political will and attention.  The prize at stake is a fundamental change in the relationship between citizens and the State.’ 

I am delighted that the Government has responded positively to the Committee’s report on rebalancing the relationship between central and local government.  I was pleased that the Government agrees with the Committee on the ‘clear benefits’ that would be achieved by moving power away from Whitehall and Westminster, including ‘stronger local democracy, innovation and local growth.’"

He added

"The Committee’s report was the result of a two-year inquiry and a wide-ranging consultation with representatives of local government and academic experts.  The report called for more autonomy and fiscal powers for local government in England.  It argued that the devolution of power to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has been successful and there is no apparent reason why England is not capable of using similar powers.

The publication of the Committee’s report was not the end of the process, as this response demonstrates: it was the start of a conversation with Government about the best way forward.  I look forward to continuing the dialogue with all parties in the months to come in order to see in their respective 2015 Manifestos clear commitments to achieving greater independence for local government—a long-term prize that is definitely worth working towards."

Image: iStockphoto

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