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The final line-up: it's time to set the agenda

  • 1 Comment

Inspection, quangos and bureaucracy are among the top concerns that readers would like to see tackled by the next government, suggest early indications from the voting for LGC’s Localist Manifesto.

The project, supported by Vertex, is working to identify five pledges that readers would most like the political parties to include in their 2010 election manifestos. Readers have been invited to vote for their top five by 18 December.

So far half have voted for reducing inspection burdens and moving away from tick-box targets, while almost a third voted to include a pledge to “disband extraneous quangos” and a fifth called for the parties to reduce “inflexible bureaucracies that impose additional costs on cost-saving”.

Pledges to give managers more freedom, fold primary care trust commissioning into local authorities, introduce a general power of competence (as championed by LGC) and abandon the drive for more elected mayors have also proved popular.

There is still time to influence the final line-up. Voting is open until 5.30pm on 18 December: visit and click on “vote now”.

  • 1 Comment

Readers' comments (1)

  • Duncan Kerr

    Is it only me that find this voting pattern rather disappointing? In the very week of Copenhagen, during the deepest UK recession since the war and following a pre-budget report cataloguing unprecedented cuts in public funding, it would be a hard job to explain to an unemployed teenagers why reducing the inspection regime should be top of any political manifesto. It seems to me that there has been under-whelming public interest in the call to rally round the last (red or green) flag of CAA. The inspection tide has turned – this is what success looks like – it may not be perfect but there’s no gain in pushing at an open door.
    In hindsight it seems that inspections regimes are simply the shadow of investment. When money’s being pumped-in everyone watches the dials for success has many parents. Now that the money’s dried-up coincidentally the talk is of local accountability, for failure is an orphan. The problem we are left with is the behavioural imprint of a centralist regime which prevents us from seeing that the shackles are gone.
    Through no fault of our own we are entering incredibly challenging and difficult times. We desperately need leaders who can shape issues so people can understand why ignoring them is so dangerous and rising to them such an opportunity. It’s a time for manifestos to be confident, outward-looking and bold. If you want an analogy look to Martin Luther King or Mandela both had perfect justification to remain shackled to old perspectives and focus on the injustices they had suffered. A reasonable person would have also been pessimistic or cynical about the future. We remember them because they didn’t say “I have a fear”...or “I have a complaint about the government”. They envisioned a different future and were confident enough to deliver it. Surely that’s the sort of manifesto our teenagers want to hear.

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