Devolution should be bottom up not top down

It sounds like a fundamentally simple thing to say, but devolution  needs to come from the grass roots up. We've seen during the course of the coalition government, various devolution packages here and there but the whole system is fundamentally flawed as central government has decided which areas should get devolution and what they should get. 

Here in Cornwall there is a clear appetite for devolution and an apparent unwillingness for central government to address these issues. Despite, or perhaps because of this Cornwall Council drew up a 'Case for Cornwall' asking for it as an authority to have more powers. Although this was done by local councillors not once and people could feed in to that process via elected members. It itself was not a bottom up approach. There is a lot of talk from politicians about giving power back to communities, surely the starting point would be to ask those communities first. Devolution needs to be about more than structures and institutions and needs to address the people first and foremost. The alternative is replicating the distant, large and cumbersome Westminster model in miniature.

Harry Blain Apr 11, 2015

We can discuss how to phrase this particular idea, which I think is rightly quite popular. 
E.g. "The principle of devolution within the United Kingdom will be driven by and based on the popular will of the people. Changes to the distribution of power among nations and regions must be subjected to public scrutiny. If a new governing body is to be established or an existing body abolished, it must be approved through a referendum reflecting the wishes of the people concerned. Devolution is not just about structures and institutions, but the basic principle of making government more responsive to and connected with citizens and communities". Thoughts? This is also a way of integrating my referendum proposal https://constitutionuk.com/category/2851#/post/96786 (Please tag more if possible)

Michael Ward Apr 11, 2015

I posted a similar idea to this about localism which could also be incorporated. https://constitutionuk.com/category/2851?forP...56#/post/100056 . My proposed refinement is  "Devolution of power within the United Kingdom is based on the principles of subsidiarity and localism." Perhaps this could form part of the opening clause of this idea followed by the referendum proposal? eg "Devolution of power within the United Kingdom is based on the principles of subsidiarity and localism. Therefore any changes to existing any devolution settlement must be approved by way of a local (and/or national?) referendum. Devolution is not just about structures and institutions but about making government more responsive to and connected with citizens and communities".

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