Sunday, 4 November 2012

Localism what's gone wrong

Already the search is on for excuses for the low turnout for Police and Crime Commisisoners elections. 

The obvious answer is that the Police and Crime Commisioners are a joke - they have no real powers.  At a basic level most people understand that their vote with make little difference to who is elected let alone what happens after they are elected.

The Conservatives made a big fuss about "localism" but fundamentally many Conservatives don't believe in localism at all - which is why is has fallen so flat.

Local Councils can't even put up Council Tax.  they are told by the Government that Coucnil Tax will be frozen. 

Local Government Cabinet Minister Eric Pickles over rules Councils on planning decisions and issues edicts on everything from waste collection to council magazines.

So here's an alternative - One way to get turn-out up is to give powers to Local Government. Powers and Revenue raising ability.
Triple Coucnil Tax and withdraw the same amount in Central Governmemnt funding.  People will wake up to how much their council spends and what a warped funding system Council Tax is.   Stop over ruling local Council Planning Decisions - let the wind farms and new houses go to the areas that want them.   Areas that decide not to have them will end up facing the problems of expensive housing and high eneregy bills.

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