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Commenting on the start of the ministerial soundings process and the publication of draft guidance to the boundary ...
Commenting on the start of the ministerial soundings process and the publication of draft guidance to the boundary committee on local government reviews*, George Morran, chair of the Campaign for the English Regions, said:

'We strongly welcome the start of the soundings process to assess the level of demand for holding referendums on whether to establish elected assemblies in the English regions. It is now up to people in the regions to decide whether they want to go in the first wave of regions to hold referendums before the next general election.'

'The government's consultation paper is not entirely clear about who will be actively consulted during this process. This should include trade unions and the voluntary sector, as well as business and existing elected representatives and organisations, and the general public. The government must also be open and honest about how it reaches the decision in March about which region should go first.'

'The deciding factor should be the level of support in the region for holding a referendum, not the resources of the boundary committee, as implied in the Regional Assemblies Bill and this consultation paper.'

'The link between establishing elected regional assemblies and wholly unitary local government confuses the issue about whether the regional agenda is devolving power from Whitehall or drawing up power from councils.'

For further comment and information please contact Andrew Holden, CFER Parliamentary Officer on 0779 901 8943 or Don Price, CFER National Campaign Officer on 0793 276 7814


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