Author Archives: Gerald Vernon-Jackson

Opinion: Does the central and local government relationship need rewiring?

Wired Government smallerThe relationship between central and local government in the UK has always been strained. The UK is one of the most centralised democracies in Europe, and as we have no written constitution local government has no automatic right to exist or do anything. Everything is dependent on the decisions of ministers.

The new Government in 2010 did good things in reversing some of the things the last right-wing, authoritarian and centralising government had done. The huge inspection and reporting regime was abolished. Ring fencing of budgets was mainly done away with. The Localism Act was brought in that gave local government the power of local competence.

Posted in Local government, News and Op-eds | Tagged and | 6 Comments

Danny, Don and Nick stand up for Local Government in a way that Pickles never has

The Autumn Statement has announced no further cuts to local government in the next financial year, with a 2% cut the following year.

We’re grateful to Danny Alexander, Don Foster and Nick Clegg for stepping in and saying “no” to further cuts to local services over the next year – in a way we just haven’t seen from the DCLG Secretary of State, Eric Pickles.

Liberal Democrat Ministers have stopped an across-the-board cut of 1% to local government next year. That means up to £240m extra that will be in council budgets every year which will help fund youth services, streets, parks, …

Posted in Local government and News | Tagged , , and | 1 Comment

Opinion: Reflections on local and national power

Well, Autumn Conference in Liverpool was an interesting experience. Bumping into Ministers and asking them to sort out issues was strange. An odd aircraft carrier here, and regeneration scheme there. Who knows if these discussions had any effect, but at least we could ask the people who might make the decisions. Few of us now remember the last time this happened. The 1929 Liberal Assembly seems a long time ago now.

Being in coalition has this upside. To be able to influence decisions is what we stand for elections for. We think our ideas are better than those of the other …

Posted in Op-eds | Tagged | 3 Comments



Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Pettinger 18th Apr - 2:24am
    Sir Archibald Sinclair didn't speak of austerity, lowering taxes or marketisation, let alone four cornered Liberalism, but of employment for all and building the welfare...
  • User AvatarEddie Sammon 18th Apr - 1:58am
    Great post by Andrew Suffield. It is both practical and principled.
  • User AvatarA Social Liberal 18th Apr - 1:33am
    Thomas Unlike malc - I don't think it is a fair point at all. As an officer in the armed forces of a country in...
  • User AvatarAndrew Suffield 18th Apr - 1:27am
    Presumably those that find means testing acceptable will be looking forward to extending “pay or die” to these people in the not too distant future…...
  • User Avatarmalc 18th Apr - 1:06am
    Thomas Robinson: Fair point and one it's hard to argue with. Also the UK has military base's in Cyprus, Germany, Holland, Gibraltar, Norway etc. Perhaps...
  • User AvatarDavid Allen 18th Apr - 12:56am
    Here's Simon Jenkins's piece: http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/apr/16/janus-faced-george-osborne-defied-stereotype-triumphed