At present the debate on the local government review has dominated the news and people are understandably unclear about how this fits in with regional assemblies. People are unable to distinguish between the two stories and don't understand the two issues are actually linked.
The Crewe and Nantwich Chronicle (11/2/04) reported that Cheshire CC chief executive Jeremy Taylor said 'there are increasing indications that both the government and the Boundary Committee feel there is an appetite for change regardless of the regional issue. A no vote may delay reorganisation but may not put it off forever.'
The deputy prime minister has said that there will be no change to local government if people vote NO. Unison is urging the government and the Boundary Committee to dispel these rumours and get on with informing people about regional government and its implications for local government. Up to now the information campaign on regional assemblies has been poor and the public deserve better.
A Unison spokesperson said: 'Local people shouldn't make a decision based on rumour and fait accompli instead of hard fact. The whole point of holding a referendum is for people to decide based on fact and honesty from government. It is little wonder that people are apathetic to politics if government has already decided what it wants to do before the outcome of t he referendum.'
To make it clear local people need to know the following. They will have 2 questions,
1. Do you want a regional assembly? YES OR NO
2. In the event of a YES vote what form of local government would you prefer?
Option 1, 2, or 3