Thursday, 6 November 2014

foisting Mayors on reluctant Northern Cities is a disgrace

The ill considered foisting of a City regional mayor on a reluctant Manchester is not the way to reform the constitution. It is a London answer to the English question. Firstly it does not answer the Mid Lothian Question-why should MP's from constituencies with devolved administrations vote on English issues, it fact this botched proposal makes it worst- and secondly it blatantly ignores the wishes of Manchester people. We certainly DO NOT want this option foisted on us. Secondly the way to constitutional reform is from the bottom up. We, the people, will decide not the Whitehall and Westminster elite.

It is outrageous that the Tory Chancellor has ignored the wishes of the people. There was a referendum in Manchester and the voters said NO to a Mayor, then along comes a London based Conservative politician and foisted a Mayor on them. The powers offered are ones that should naturally rest with Local Government and do in almost every Western democracy. Imposing a Mayor shows a spectacular contempt for the wishes of the people. It is not health that all the power should be vested in one person.

We must not allow the same deception be visited on Southport. We do not want our services being run from Liverpool. Our key economic need is to improve communications to the North and the East. The road and rail links to Manchester and Preston are a disgrace. The action that needs to be taken to remedy those issues lies out side of the so called City Region.

John Pugh has a Bill before parliament at present that would allow local people to change the boundaries of local government districts. It is no secrets that Lib Dem have since the 1970’s argued that Sefton is not fit for purpose. Southport needs urgently to get back control over our own affairs. Rule from Bootle has seen our Libraries close and Lord Street go on to the ‘at risk’ register. Rule from Liverpool is not the local government change we need.

 

What has been announced is a tweeking of the powers of local government. The challenge of how the North should respond to the transfer of significant power from London to Scotland must be decided in the North. We do not want London politicians coming here telling us what to do. This grubby little deal transfers a minuscule amount of power and money-less than 2% of the money the government spends in the area. It is a London answer to the English question.

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