Why 'Devolution' Matters

Mortal Mindy's picture

Erm, because you don't get a say? It will undermine democracy. 

Hailed as a 'Devolution of Powers' from Westminster  each devoluted Region or Combined Authority will have a Mayor, who would be ultimately held accountable and responsible.   Why is one person to be a scapegoat for the decisions of many?

As an example, lets look at a South Yorkshire Combined Authortiy:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-south-yorkshire-34414584

"As part of the deal, a Sheffield City Region mayor will be elected in 2017.

The mayor will be responsible for transport budgets and strategic planning.

The agreement means the Sheffield City Region will also have access to a pot of government money - £30m a year over 30 years - enabling Sheffield to boost local growth and invest in local manufacturing and innovation.

The mayor will chair meetings for Sheffield City Region Combined Authority.

The city region is comprised of the nine local authority areas of Barnsley, Bassetlaw, Bolsover, Chesterfield, Derbyshire Dales, Doncaster, North East Derbyshire, Rotherham and Sheffield."

Whats wrong with that?   Almost a third of the population of that area will be unable to vote and elect the Mayor,  outline areas or those out on a limb will have no or very little say on what the Mayor's and his Devolted areas decisions.

Take the Leeds Diva Deal : (not the leash)

http://www.westyorks-ca.gov.uk/uploadedFiles/Content/News/Articles/WYCA%...

All sounds very positive, but take away the sound-bites of how much funding regions are to get and compare them with the 40%  CUTS imposed on Local Authorities: 

"Councils have had their government funding cut by 40% since 2010 and local government is certain to be in the firing line again when Osborne publishes his spending review in November. Departments where spending is unprotected, such as local government, have been told to prepare plans for cuts worth as much as 40% of budgets.

But the LGA fears the Treasury is not making allowance for the added costs local authorities already face. Councils in England and Wales spend more than £50bn a year, but a new LGA analysis estimates thatthey face extra, unfunded costs worth £9.9bn by 2019-20.

A figure of £3.6bn comes from what the LGA describes as “business as usual” costs: extra costs incurred through inflation and through factors such as demographic change, which mean care costs are rising because of the growing number of elderly people.

But the LGA says councils will face annual extra costs worth £6.3bn by the end of this parliament as a result of the impact of government policies for which local authorities have not been reimbursed.

One of the key ones relates to planning rules. In a bid to promote home ownership, the government has said that developers building starter homes for first-time buyers will be exempt from section 106 agreements, the rules which allow councils to impose a levy to fund affordable housing. The LGA says that this change alone could cost councils £3bn by the end of the decade."

The Big Ask : Carl Les of NYCC has concerns "North Yorkshire leader Carl Les told LGC he did not want the county to “lose” its three districts and said a Yorkshirewide combined authority would give the county a “home”. He acknowledged that devolution to such a large area was a “big ask” of government. A Yorkshire combined authority would cover a population of 5m. The letter said it would make “one of the largest economic powerhouses outside of London” contributing more than £90bn to the national economy every year."

Don't be fooled by Osborne's blushes as the Devo deals are being rushed through,  redder than Ed? Or over a barrel?

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/13893352.Over_a_barrel_on_devo...

"The Labour council chiefs are in a Catch 22. They don't want elected mayors and they certainly don't want to be party to the further public sector cuts which are on the way, but they also don't want to be left with nothing.

Instead of a devolution celebration, we, therefore, have a most unsatisfactory "deal or no deal" squabble. Mr Osborne talks of history being made and the "unstoppable momentum" of the Northern Powerhouse, while the council leaders insist that nothing is concrete yet.

They say the "deals" are no more than "proposed agreements" and will only be sealed if there is public support and "fair funding" for the region in November's Comprehensive Spending Review." source http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/features/13893352.Over_a_barrel_on_devo...

Public support?   Don't forget, devoluted areas cut across electoral boundaries - you may not get a say.

What has this to do with electoral Boundaries? Parliament is currently undergoing a Boundary Review : To cut MP's from 650 to 600.

http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2015/oct/19/jeremy-corbyn-seeks-to-h...

The 2018 Review

Had it been implemented, the 2013 Review would have made dramatic changes to many constituency boundaries.

Some argued that these would have been disruptive and administratively clumsy because constituency and local government would no longer have aligned in many areas.

Since the 2018 Review must be conducted under the same Rules, it is unlikely that these concerns can be addressed fully unless primary legislation is passed to change the Rules.

A particularly restrictive element of the existing Rules highlighted in a March 2015 Report of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee was the requirement that the size of the electorate in all constituencies (with four exceptions) be within 5% of the electoral quota.

The Committee recommended that this constraint be relaxed to 10%. It also reiterated its previous conclusion that the case for reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600 had not been made.

Given the time required to complete boundary reviews, any changes to the Rules would have to be a priority for the new Government if the October 2018 deadline is to be met.

£12.2 million
The expected annual savings resulting from reducing the number of MPs from 650 to 600.

Party Lines

  • Conservatives: implement the boundary reviews automatically once the commission reports in 2018
  • Liberal democrats: cancel the boundary review
  • UKIP: ensure constituencies across the country are of equal size

Unstoppable Momentum? 10% They reckon 10% of the population are unregistered to vote.

What has this got to do with us?  

Apart from the cuts to SBC, plans are being made to cut the number of local Borough Councillors.  Hurray some might say. Carl Les of NYCC is concerned that NYCC will be split and disbanded. Hurray some might say.

What about Whitby and Scarborough?

Hull City Council's leader expressed emphatically at the Labour Yorkshire Devolution debate that Hull (many thanks to Siemens) wanted to go it with Scunthorpe and Doncaster - the M62 route. He did not want to include the  East Riding.

I asked why nobody from Redcar was here? They are with the Northern Region. Oh. Are you sure? Yes. But Scarboorugh Whitby and Redcar are embarking on a multi-billion industry, how do we get Redcar in with us? We can't they are in with the North East Combined Authority.   Oh.  So where does that leave Whitby and Scarborough?  Out on a limb ... thats where.  Unless of course Whitby joins the Tees and North East and Scarborough & Bridlington and all those wonderful places in between go where?

As the debate continued John Prescott put his head in his hands.

Notes on FB "Ok head together, back from the LP's Devolution workshop ... they seem about as 'fragmented' about Devolution as the 'Tories' - Humberside want to be with South Yorkshire & mebbe Lincolnshire, but don't want to be with East Riding who want to be with North Yorkshire who don't want to be with West Yorkshire in case it splits NYCC (nowt wrong with that) South Yorkshire quite likes East Riding (sounds good) should be with North Yorkshire should be with a Greater Yorkshire, so John Prescott holds his head in he hands and bellows "We want a North, a devolution of the North, the North should not have to be run by the South' and everyone cheers.... I did say that we want Redcar & Teesport back but Hull was having none of that - now they got Siemens .... "We are Yorkshire's biggest Port' so I come back with . "If we had the Ridings back we could get Redcar back and they is a big port !!!" 

Gotta agree with Prescott, Osbourn's Devolution is a 'Divide and Conquer' strategy.  Nothing More & Nothing Less. 

I say, bring back the Ridings. But who gives a hoot. Over a barrel.

Erm, some people do : 

"I hope those of you who were able to join us in Wakefield on Saturday will agree that our “Big Devolution Debate” local government conference was a great event which gave people from across the region a voice on devolution.

This event was just the beginning of the consultation process on this hugely important issue that we, as your regional Labour Party team, are facilitating. The big debate on how Labour in Yorkshire and Humber should approach the process of negotiating powers being taken away from Westminster ministers and civil servants and put in the hands of local people needs to be as wide as possible.

So we want you to contribute.

What’s your view on devolution? Do you have views on the geography of potential settlements? Which public services, if any, should be included in deals?  What should it mean for governance structures? What should be the priorities for local government leaders for your own communities in their devolution negotiations?

You can email your submission by emailing: yhdevolution@labour.org.uk 

We will collate the submissions and will send them to Labour’s group leaders across our region and to members of the shadow cabinet.

Decisions taken now will have a huge impact on the future governance of Yorkshire and Humber – we want your views to help shape that process.

Equally, we’ll be providing a space online for Labour group leaders to share with you developments as the process continues, making sure this continues to be a two-way dialogue. We’ll send you an email with the link to this online space very soon.

Yorkshire and the Humber"

http://www.yorkshireandhumberlabour.org.uk/

'Get Stuck In'

Anyhow on a lighter night, here is one amazing young mans campaign to become a Mayor. http://itsyourbrisbane.com/

Ah yes, http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-34614556

Has Xi Jingpin gone yet ... did anyone check the inventory ... 

Bizzy.  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=34_aceJYyys

PS . Ask yourself one question, Punk?

Multiple Choice? Nope ...  'barking up the wrong tree' 

Tags: 

19 Comments

Mortal Mindy's picture

House of Cards ... Cruella de Vil

Northern Powerhouse Unknown to 66.666666666 ... %  ad infinitum.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-manchester-34787669

"In Yorkshire, council leaders have been unable to fully agree on how many mayor-led devolved regions there should be, which neighbours they should join up with or what powers they should have."

Surveys.

"The electrification of the railways, which is regarded as crucial to the success of the Northern Powerhouse, takes in major northern cities like Liverpool, Manchester, Leeds and York, yet there have been delays to the electrification of the line between Manchester and Leeds."

Erm, are they expecting  the National Grid to be powering up the trains? 

Ah yes surveys, that rather urgent one about tourism in Scarbados  at the Royal Hotel where they offered £30 cash to anyone available to attend ... 

Absolutely now't to do with this  ...  Greek to a Geek; 

http://www.thescarboroughnews.co.uk/news/local/tour-de-yorkshire-brings-...

"The research results have been calculated from a survey conducted by independent research agency GRASP, involving 1,500 respondents who answered questions in person and online. Data was analysedby Leeds Beckett University."

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/local-stories/welcome-to...

Oh darn it ...  http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/main-topics/general-news/latest-trav...

Yep, so who gives a  .... about surveys

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/14033486.Support_for_northern_devo...

Spot the Dog.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x0H03oexYnk

Stripes.

 

 

 

 

 

Benefitz Betty's picture

Only 64% ... Surveys

http://newsthump.com/2015/11/16/64-of-tories-dont-know-what-the-north-of...

"Two-thirds of the Conservative Party have either never heard of, or know nothing about the North of England, according to a new survey.

The survey found 44% had never heard of the region and 20% had heard of it but know nothing about it.

North of England: Key findings

  • 50% think that Middlesbrough is an administrative area created by J. R. R. Tolkien
  • 65% of young Conservatives (50-55 year-olds) think the M1 motorway starts in Brent and finishes in Luton.
  • 47% of over-55s think the Northern Powerhouse is a building situated in Watford where the unemployed are used to generate electricity.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne invented the North of England in 2010 with the intent of providing the poorest in society with a vitamin deficiency and a place to call home."

Mind those stairs.

Capt. 'Bob''s picture

Northern Powerhouse - Refusals

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/14378076.Two_more_North_East_counc...

"THE planned devolution deal for the North-East has been thrown into confusion after two more councils refused to sign up to the current Government proposal.

Durham County Council’s cabinet voted this morning against signing up immediately to the proposed deal, demanding to see further detail before pressing ahead."

"Deputy leader Cllr Alan Napier said “no-one of sane mind” would sign the devolution deal until they fully knew what was on offer."

Apparently, there is no choice ...

Benefitz Betty's picture

Cambo 'Exiled'

https://www.rt.com/uk/337459-cameron-banned-from-uk/

"More than 23,000 people have signed a petition to stop British Prime Minister David Cameron from re-entering the UK after his Easter holiday in Lanzarote, claiming he presents a “clear and present danger” to the country.

“David Cameron presents a clear and present danger to the short, medium and long term interests of the country. As such, the UK should institute a temporary ban on his return to Britain at the conclusion of his holiday in Lanzarote,” says the petition, which is addressed to Home Secretary Theresa May. 

At the time of publishing, the petition had received 23,067 signatures.

Many of the petition's signatories commented beneath the document, with supporter Michael Thorpe writing that “David Cameron is a bigger threat to the people of the United Kingdom than any terrorist organisation....”

"David Cameron has faced criticism for his decision to vacation in Lanzarote just weeks after appealing to the British public to spend their Easter holidays in the north of England, to help the region bounce back from recent flooding.

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron led the pack when it came to criticizing Cameron's holiday destination.

“The prime minister has jetted off already for a few days' relaxation in Spain...so while the prime minister ignores his own comments about visiting the North, what I am saying is that we are open for business and I urge people to come and visit and see some of the beautiful scenery in the country.

"But for everyone else the added bonus is that you seem guaranteed not to bump into him,” Farron said, as quoted by the Telegraph."

https://www.change.org/p/rt-hon-theresa-may-mp-ban-david-cameron-from-re...

Could be worse coulda gone to Boyalife ;-/ http://www.indiatimes.com/news/world/chinese-scientist-is-building-the-w...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3akPhOBNn7w

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbCM8vBWrdc

 

Captain Qahn's picture

'Global Nomads'

Scarborough devolution devolving into York, North Yorkshire, East Riding

http://www.businessinspiredgrowth.com/news/1159/

"...we are currently refreshing our Strategic Economic Plan. We are not expecting any major changes, just some tweaks ...

... to establish a pipeline of proposals for some really significant investments in agri-food and bio-renewables....

... the twin challenges of meeting global future food shortages and keeping the lights on...

We are a region, where our natural assets are providing major opportunities and we need to ensure the Government’s plans for the Northern Powerhouse reflect this...

... our economic future is rosy, and that we are well placed to help everyone in our patch benefit."

Ah, so ....  Lord Lieutenant Barry Dodds ...

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/urban-and-rural-areas-must-work-toge...

http://www.gsmgroup.co.uk/news/news-article/BarryDoddappointedasChairman...

Meanwhile: http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/business/14418811.North_East_Local_Ente...

 

Captain Qahn's picture

Sights for Sore Ayes

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36218893

"... Andy Burnham is considering standing to be mayor of Greater Manchester when the position is created in 2017.

A spokesman for the shadow home secretary says he has yet to decide whether to seek the role.

But Mr Burnham, MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester since 2001, will remain in the shadow cabinet even if he does run for mayor, the spokesman added.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell told Sky News it would be "a real loss to Parliament" if Mr Burnham did run.

Mr Burnham, a former health secretary, has twice made unsuccessful bids to be Labour leader - losing out to Ed Miliband in 2010 and to Jeremy Corbyn last year.

His spokesman said: "Approaches have been made to Andy Burnham to give consideration to this role.

"It is early days and no decision has been taken. Whatever the decision, he will continue to serve the leader of the party and stay in the shadow cabinet."

'Northern advocate'

Mr McDonnell said he understood why Mr Burnham was approached to run and why he would be tempted, but that he would like him to stay in the shadow cabinet.

"I can see why people in the North are approaching him because he is such a good advocate for the North and he has been a tremendous MP in Parliament," he said.

"If he goes, it would be a real loss to Parliament and a loss to the Labour Party as we go into government in 2020, but I can see why people are approaching him."

 

Benefitz Betty's picture

NE: "Dismantling A Council"

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/14560904._We_re_dismantling_a_coun...

"A 1,000 page document was released by Darlington Borough Council yesterday (Wednesday, June 15) detailing a “four year efficiency plan” that will impact every department overseen by the authority including social services, health, libraries, street cleaning, children's centres, Christmas lights and floral displays.

An ultimate decision to impose the multi-million pound savings package will be finalised this month despite widespread protests and opposition to the original proposals issued in February..."

http://www.theguardian.com/public-leaders-network/2016/jan/27/loss-libra...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7uMGH3kHhzM

Captain Qahn's picture

May & Northern Roots

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/after-powerhouse-betrayal-four-more-...

"powerhouse extended to rest of UK"

Wot if Jeremy Corbyn has his 'soft landing' :?

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-36960899

"Ministers should renationalise the Southern rail service, following weeks of disruption for passengers, Jeremy Corbyn has said.

The Labour leader said the "misery" that those travelling to London had faced made a "very good case" for a change of ownership.

Southern passengers have faced delays, cancellations and a reduced timetable amid staff shortages and strikes."

Erm, doesn't Southern Rail earn more than the rest of the UK rail network combined?

JC must be GASOPM.

"Brexit means Brexit" ... Hmmm ....  mebbe around the M25.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aNX_UCEzu7w

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/rhondda-tunnel-society-inve...

Great comment ;-00

http://www.walesonline.co.uk/news/local-news/latest-striking-pictures-ta...

 

Captain Qahn's picture

Golden Tickets ...

http://www.gazettelive.co.uk/news/teesside-news/new-345m-bypass-should-m...

"A bypass which should make life easier for people travelling to and from the Yorkshire Dales opens tomorrow.

The £34.5m Bedale bypass is designed to cut traffic flow through Bedale, Leeming Bar and Aiskew by half.

Currently, about 14,000 vehicles a day use the existing road, which causes considerable congestion in the village.

The bypass is about three miles long, running from Northallerton Road, on the eastern outskirts of Leeming Bar, to a new junction on the A684 near Bedale Golf Club. It crosses the A1(M) at approximately its midpoint, where it connects with the junction created as part of the Highways Agency’s A1 Dishforth to Barton upgrade.

Work began in February 2015 and has been finished about two months ahead of the anticipated completion in autumn this year. The bypass will be officially opened by Andrew Jones, Minister for Transport.

Mr Jones said: “The much-needed bypass will improve the community’s lives by cutting traffic, improving air quality and road safety. The tourist industry will also benefit as journey times to the beautiful Yorkshire Dales will be reduced.”

The project is expected to come in under budget. The Department for Transport has provided £29m, with North Yorkshire County Council funding the rest from its capital programme. The contractor was Wills Bros Ltd.

Brown tourism signs have been erected on the approaches to the roundabout at the Bedale end of the bypass to encourage tourists to visit Bedale.

A Roman villa uncovered during the scheme has been designated as an ancient monument."

http://www.thenorthernecho.co.uk/news/10989505.North_Yorkshire_family_ru...

pmsl 'Official Sod Turning Ceremony'

 

Captain Black's picture

Go Jauntly

Captain Black's picture

The Hull Express

http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/thousands-greet-the-queen-as-she-arr...

"One of the most high profile events of the year was Blade, in which a 250ft (75m) long wind turbine blade was installed in Queen Victoria Square. The Queen visited the new Siemens factory and its state-of-the-art production line, where it was built. She spent around half an hour in the factory and was given a tour of the production line and was shown a scheme aiming to encourage young people into engineering."

https://www.yorkshirecoastradio.com/news/local-news/2431385/st-catherine...

http://www.hulldailymail.co.uk/news/gallery/17-pictures-show-queen-absol...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q_XjlVrrU_A