Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Comment on Daniel Hannan, Telegraph Blogs:
Two cheers for the Localism Bill

Two cheers for the Localism Bill – Telegraph Blogs

"Localism" fits in with an earlier thread by Mr Hannan on the role of the police and the student riots. Britain does need accountable local government and constitutional reform.

What this observer thinks that the UK needs are real local governments, not 'authorities', with their own tax base. When people in a community of 50,000 - 75,000 elect their Council and Mayor who hire the local Police Chief and when every six to a dozen such units control a regional body, call it a County (pop. in the quarter to half a million range) with an elected Legislature, Governor and Chief Prosecutor, far more important than the Sheriff who can be appointed, and control over the schools and hospitals, then you will have the beginnings of federalism. The important thing is that local bodies must be supported by local taxes. In fact anyone who pays a local property tax should get to vote in local elections.

My vision would see the UK divided into about 50 such County units. For regional planning and cultural activities they could form regional groupings. If 10 were in Greater London then the others would approximate current local boundaries. What I would not do is create another layer of tax raising and spending government for these regions. Whitehall can then focus on International and national issues, and rooting out the inevitable cases of local corruption.

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