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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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
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Comments 11
John Robertson

Whilst I am not opposed to givng local authorities as much power as they can handle what I am concerned about is oversight.  There must be a means for ensuring that Councils are acting within their delegated powers and are not performing an abuse of power by denying citizens there rights in order to make the administration of the Council easier. Currently this is performed by Goverment/ Civil service oversight and Judicial Review.  I see nor eason why that could not continue but I would...

Andrew Cullyer
by Andrew Cullyer
14 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 20
Andrew Cullyer

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 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
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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

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

National and devolved governments have separate support arrangements for their executive and non executive politicians.  In local government, however, the support streams for cabinet members and backbench councillors, including scrutiny, are crossed.  Officers work for the whole council and provide the same advice regardless of which councillors they are advising.  But why can't local government have the same separation between executive and non executive support arrangements? Mirroring...

Dave Mckenna
by Dave Mckenna
1 Votes
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Comments 11
Dave Mckenna

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

A lot of people think politics 'doesn't apply to them' as there's a perception that all big decisions are handled by Central Government. Byelaws are a great way to implement change at a local level - but we could do with a greater focus on them. This could help with issues such as anti-social behaviour, planning issues or trading hours.  For example, a street which has a particularly bad reputation for antisocial behaviour could have a curfew imposed. I think the public need to know...

Lucy Knighton
by Lucy Knighton
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 9
Lucy Knighton

  A duty to promote democratic understanding and participation would go some way to ensuring greater equality of influence by citizens. The previous Labour government introduced this duty, but civil servants interpreted it rather bureaucratically and it was never put into force so that the Coalition promptly repealed it.   This is another way of making politics more accessible and inclusive. Helena Kennedy’s Power Inquiry prosed “Democracy hubs” as independent local contact point...

Titus Alexander
by Titus Alexander
2 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
Titus Alexander
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