Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Local autocracy

I heard Caroline Spelman, Shadow Secretary for Communities and Local Government, speak at lunchtime today. As usual, she was excellent. She said the White Paper on local government contains a clause which has the power to direct councils to merge into Unitary Authorities. She thinks this will undermine local government and believes these decisions should be made by local referenda. She cited the example of Shropshire which bid for unitary status to the disgust of one of its districts, Shrewsbury. Shrewsbury held a referendum and 70% of the voters wanted to keep Shrewsbury Council. She also mentioned that a new rating system has been introduced in Northern Ireland which is causing considerable anguish: people will pay rates at 0.69% of the value of their property. In some cases, people's rates bills will go up 400%.

2 Comments:

Blogger King Lear said...

How to stop the housing price spiral in one easy lesson. These people understand so little of economics and civil liberties that we will almost certainly have not poll tax riots ( gosh I bet there are lots of people who would like that back now)but council tax riots.

11:12 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

'Whisperer' - To coin the American phrase 'Get with the program'....

I grew up in West Wales. They merged the three counties of Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire into the county of Dyfed.

And it remained like that for 12 years or so. And then they had another re-organisation to come up with a far more effective structure. They were going to come up with 3 new counties..

[I feel like Rolf Harris - Can you guess what it is yet.?]

They were going to be, Carmarthenshire, Pembrokeshire and Cardiganshire. To give the illusion of a fresh start they now call the latter 'Ceredigion', its Welsh name. You may think Shropshire are being silly - but Shrewsbury will once again revert to independence and a lot of people will have been gainfully employed with the restructures...

11:15 am  

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