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
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Recent Comments

  • User AvatarPaul Walter 23rd Nov - 6:09pm
    Thanks all for your lively comments!
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 23rd Nov - 6:06pm
    @Toby you're right, but there are a few things to bear in mind. Some local parties are pretty much beyond help and/or actually put people...
  • User AvatarJonathan Brown 23rd Nov - 5:56pm
    @Nick and Mark - this is exactly what I'm getting at. A drag and drop menu would be much easier than what we had. If...
  • User AvatarJosh Townsley 23rd Nov - 5:35pm
    Without meaning to stray further off topic.. My Mum used to prefer being called 'girl' (in a nice way of course). My apologies anyway!
  • User AvatarTsar Nicolas 23rd Nov - 5:34pm
    @Josh Townsley No need to apologise - I wasn't being serious, just flagging up the eternal ability to be offended these days.
  • User AvatarRichard Dean 23rd Nov - 5:32pm
    Funnily enough, there a quite a few women who rather like being called "girls", in a nice way of course.