From: Peter Lewis, Giles Street, Netherthong, Holmfirth.
THE council leaders of West Yorkshire’s local and combined authorities are quite right to be cautiously circumspect of the current Government’s pressures to accept regional devolution administered through an elected mayor (The Yorkshire Post, January 16).
Whatever’s one persuasions and affiliations, no one wants yet more layers of bureaucratic government administration. Who ‘pays’ or foots the bill?
Nor I’d caution “personalities” – perhaps even read self-styled minor “celebs”.
One’s only to look at recent London opposite political spectrum extremes, or Bristol’s experience and experiment for some reasons.
An obvious ploy to deflect (abdicate?) accountability and responsibility locally without actually letting go of their central power and authority.
Witness the current Minister of State for Small Business, Industry and Enterprise’s attempted delegations regarding Port Talbot’s steel crisis to the Welsh Assembly to have a premonition of what might be in store.
Like an overriding cohesive electrical power generation strategy (including a retained strategic ability to deep mine coal, I’d suggest), cohesive national infrastructures including air, road and rail etc, and their integration – e.g. adequate car parking at nodal hubs, defence – the list goes on – a viable steel manufacturing industry, capability and capacity, has to be of national interest and importance, creating and adding to UK plc’s collective common wealth (GDP).
At least equal in rank, I’d argue, to the necessity of bailing out the banks with billions of pounds of public, i.e. taxpayers’, money, centrally collected and administered.
One can see it now though: “So sorry the cost of rebuilding damaged bridges and installing adequate flood prevention measures has exceeded your allocated regional budget from central funding. Aren’t your business rate receipts sufficient?”
Your region, so your fault and “blame your local mayor next time you vote”.
Were it not true, it would be seen for the nonsense in muddled thinking that it appears to be.
Greater decentralisation is the answer, with less public sector administration, rather than self-fulfilling divisive devolution and more governors and governments.