Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Local government reform

Yesterdays mixed up Tory proposals beg more questions than they answer. If we are to elected 'executive' Mayors foisted on the big Cities with extra powers what will happen to the areas around about where these new powers do not apply.
If a Liverpool Mayor has the powers enjoyed by Boris s/he will have a real day to day impact on the citizens of Sefton who will have not had a chance to vote. We have already seen Boris trying to 'take over' rail services which originate outside of his city boundary. Would a Liverpool Mayor with the responsibility for transport take over the Merseyside Transport board-as is the case in London. Will he chair the police Authority as in London, if so what is the role of the proposed elected police commissioners and so it goes on

Maybe the answer lies in something the Tory bigwig Eric Pickles said about grouping councils and PCT's together under one hugely powerful Chief Executive. Have the Tories dropped that one or tried to forget they said it? In reality that proposal was creating a sub-regional local government structure that the Tories now seem to oppose?!