Local Government

Should Local Government have more powers? How do we ensure that they really represent the people?

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Housing, rubbish collection, schools, planning and libraries - just some of the things local government is responsible for. But who are your councillors? What do they do, who do they represent and what are their powers?

Local government is paid for using a combination of council tax and money from central government from national taxation. What should be in the constitution to ensure that they really represent the people? Should you have greater say about what your money is being spent on? And should local government have even more powers? In November 2014 the Chancellor George Osborne announced Greater Manchester will receive its own directly elected mayor with powers over transport, housing, planning and policing. Is this the way forward?

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  1. James Doran
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  The devolution discussion is currently dominated by party-political chicanery and vested interest. Most of the tinkering proposed by the major parties should be ignored and proper plans put in place for designing new options for governing the UK - or its constituent nations.   Governing a modern, stable polity is largely about collecting and re-distributing tax. In a rational, well-designed devolved regime, everyone can see that there is no magic money-tree and that the funding round...

Gareth Robson
by Gareth Robson
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 23
Gareth Robson

Participatory budgeting is the process whereby "citizens participate directly in budget formulation, decision-making, and monitoring of budget execution. It creates a channel for citizens to give voice to their budget priorities." Participatory budgeting has been utilised in countries throughout the world, with notable successes in Porto Alegre Brazil where is has been in use since the 1980s. Notable outcomes include more intelligent delivery / design of public services (based on the...

Cosimo Montagu
by Cosimo Montagu
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 15
Cosimo Montagu

Principle: Local authorities  have a duty of stewardship in perpetuity over their  financial, natural and cultural assets. Elected members are trustees of this duty for the period of their office.  Application in regulation/statute:  A local authority shall not dispose of  cultural assets including including buildings of architectural merit or historical importance,  libraries, archives, works of art etc. A local authority shall not dispose of or authorise the destruction of natural...

Edward Barrow
by Edward Barrow
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 18
Edward Barrow

Democratic elections to the City of London Corporation - end the practice of giving votes to City firms in elections to what is, in fact, a local council. The constitution should prevent local councils from such practices by adopting the following wording:   "Votes, in both general and local elections, can only be cast by human persons. No vote can be cast by a 'legal person' or 'corporate person', only by an individual in accordance with the rest of the constitution."

James Doran
by James Doran
15 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 24
James Doran

The constitution should establish a new tier of local democracy - neighbourhood assemblies would exist in each council ward and administer a percentage of council funds for the benefit of the area.

James Doran
by James Doran
6 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 27
James Doran

Enhanced powers for local and regional government in areas such as housing, energy, public services and business

BananaPlant
by BananaPlant
7 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
BananaPlant

Two ideas. (1) Urgently, the insurance-like role of the state doesn't fit local democracy. When you pay your car insurance you don't expect less service in a particular area because Mayer Rahman has decreed so. Insurance is a deal between people over decades, or an individual over decades, not between people who share a physical region for a period of five years. National Insurance should be the same I think. The UK is unusual in not having a clear national insurance fund, but the NHS,...

John Robertson
by John Robertson
3 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 11
John Robertson

We have access to BBC parliament although 'live access' is relatively restricted and 'partioned' to give a 'fair' representation of proceedings seemingly centres upon the strange proceeding relating to PM Q's.  At the very least, we can actually see the deliberations. Might not a way forward be that citizens might 'see' and be able to comment in real time in relation to local government? Increased use of information and communications technologies might feel that citizens have a more...

Gavin Russ
by Gavin Russ
8 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 15
Gavin Russ

If there is a vast disparity between votes cast and parties elected, there is a fault in the system. PR fixes this. I advocate specifically STV in wards of 4 5 or 6 members. The 3 and 4 member wards in use in Scotland under STV are insufficiently proportional and boundaries have been very artificial from this constraint and inflexibility. http://www.electoral-reform.org.uk/voting-systems/

Debra Storr
by Debra Storr
17 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 20
Debra Storr

VERSION 1: Interests which are exclusively of a local or provincial nature shall be determined by local or provincial councils, according to the principles laid down by the Constitution.   VERSION 2: Interests which are exclusively of a local or provincial nature shall be determined by local or provincial councils, according to the principles laid down by the Constitution.  In order to give effect to this provision, local or provincial councils shall have fund raising powers.  

ConstitutionUK
by ConstitutionUK
12 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 22
ConstitutionUK
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