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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  2. Debra Storr
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  3. JimF
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  4. Malcolm Ramsay
    653 pts
  5. ConstitutionUK
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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

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

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

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

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

One of the biggest problems with local councils (at all levels) at present is that their finances, and therefore their freedom to decide what services to provide, are tightly controlled by central government. One result of this is that most people of ability find serving on their local council too frustrating, and electors see them as a waste of time so tend not to vote. To solve this councils must be freed to decide their own budgets - that will certainly wake up the voters, and enable...

JimF
by JimF
9 Votes
Voting closed
Comments 8
JimF
by
JimF

  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

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

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

  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
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