Following our successful joint event with Sheffield City Council on proposed changes to Local Government, the Sheffield for Democracy Steering Group has drafted a response, included below.
We welcome comments and suggestions; in particular, we invite you to make your own representations. Please reply to firstname.lastname@example.org by Friday 5th October 2012.
1. We held a public meeting, jointly organised by ourselves and Sheffield City Council, attended by over 50 people; our response is informed by their opinions.
2. Our response overall is to recognise the significance of the proposals, described by some as a Magna Carta for Local Government. They would create a very different basis for the relation between national and local government, which would demand a change in perspective, attitude and culture. It would mean national politicians ceasing to feel they must act whenever there was a scandalous situation locally for which they would no longer be seen as responsible (Baby P case springs to mind).
3. We also recognise that the code contains not only statements of intent but also practical measures that would ensure the moving of power from central to local, including legal remedies.
4. On both counts, we welcome the proposals. The move to local choices, which will be different In different places, as suits the local environment and preferred ways of tackling issues, instead of a one-size–fits-all approach, seems eminently sensible and democratic. Concern has been expressed over the potential difficulties that could arise when a Local Authority has inadequate revenue or resources to meet its legal obligations.
Renaissance of Local Government?
Friday 22nd June 2012, 6.00pm – 7.45 pm at Town Hall, Sheffield
In collaboration with Sheffield City Council, Sheffield for Democracy is hosting an event to discuss proposals to strengthen the independence of local government.
The last fifty years have seen a growing centralisation of power in England with local government having less autonomy and becoming more and more local administration of central government policy.
The Westminster Select Committee on Political and Constitutional Reform has made some radical proposals which could change this and are consulting on them. This meeting is an opportunity to hear about these changes and their implications, and to discuss how they might improve our democracy.
- Clive Betts MP,
- Howard Sykes (Local Government Association and ex leader of Oldham Council), and
- Peter Facey (Director of Unlock Democracy) will help us explore the proposed changes.
Both Sheffield City Council and Sheffield for Democracy will be making (separate) submissions and this discussion will inform our thinking.
You are invited to attend. Entry is free, however places are limited.
To reserve a place, please contact Richard Cannon either by email via email@example.com.
Further information on the draft code for central and local government can be found at http://www.parliament.uk/
Sheffield for Democracy welcomes supporters of all political parties or none. We want to engage and encourage greater participation of the public in democracy at a local level in Sheffield and encourage young people to become more interested in politics by making them aware of how relevant it is to their lives.