proposals for English regional government announced today.
Lord Hanningfield, chairman of Localis said,
'The announcement today that English regional assemblies are to be created
shows the government is out of touch. Regional government in England is not
a high priority for the general public. The key issues are crime, health,
transport, education and the environment. People want trains that run on
time not more politicians and bureaucrats.
'The fact is that the cost of creating these new assemblies will run into
hundreds of millions of pounds. This money could be better used to fund
local councils properly so that they can get on with the job of delivering
high quality public services.
'These new regional assemblies do not represent a devolution of power but
will take powers away from local communities. Proper devolution will only
happen when central government actually cedes some of its powers. Today's
proposals are little more than a costly re-organisation of existing local
1. Localis is a think tank dedicated to local government. It seeks to
generate 'new thinking' and new ideas for local government to enhance local
democracy and improve the delivery of public services. Localis is
independent of any political party and works with government, academia, the
business and voluntary sectors.
2. Lord Hanningfield is vice vhairman of the LGA and the leader of Essex CC.