West Midlands NO!

Regional government: unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and unwanted

Archive for August, 2006

Shropshire Star: City Region is a blatant affront to democracy

Posted by wonkotsane on August 13, 2006

City Region is a blatant affront to democracy
 
Since the West Midlands City Region was announced, the Shropshire Star may as well be an extension of Telford & Wrekin Council’s propaganda department.
On August 4 the Star published what I assume was a barely edited press release saying the West Midlands City Region (which doesn’t exist yet) has been given £5m to fight unemployment.

I am prepared to assume this poor reporting is down to the fact that the City Region proposal is veiled in secrecy.

No matter how many “benefits” Telford & Wrekin Council, the Regional Assembly or the other local authorities involved quote, the fact remains that yet another unelected regional government, paid for by the taxpayer, is an affront to democracy,

Far too many decisions are already taken at regional level by unelected bureaucrats appointed to do the bidding of the British government and the EU.

MPs oppose an elected English Parliament on the basis it is “another layer of government”. But why do they never seem to have the same problem with the huge unelected regional bureaucracy foisted on the English people against their will?

I don’t want Telford & Wrekin Council to give away powers and responsibilities to an unelected regional government in Birmingham.

And why is the council refusing to hold public consultation or a referendum to let the public decide?

And Keith Austin would support the City Region — he would get a seat on its ruling cabinet if it went ahead.

The City Region will mean more bureaucracy and red tape and see democracy moved further away from people. “Benefits” must be paid for by somebody and this will mean higher taxes and more cost-cutting.

Speak to your councillor and MP and demand they press for a referendum. Nobody has been elected on a manifesto of turning Telford into a suburb of Birmingham.

Stuart Parr, Telford

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£5m grant awarded to non-existent City Region

Posted by wonkotsane on August 5, 2006

The West Midlands City Region propoganda offensive took a giant leap forward yesterday with the following article in the Shropshire Star.  The propoganda office at Telford & Wrekin Council have got it all in this piece of propoganda – disabled people, poor people, unemployed people, they’ll all benefit from being told what to do by unelected quangocrats in Birmingham.  This money is a bribe – how can the British government give money to a quango that doesn’t even exist?  Why can’t this money be channelled into Telford anyway?  Why do we have to comply with Labour Party policy in order to get funding which we obviously need?

Slice of £5m set to aid borough people By Deborah CollinsPeople in Telford could benefit from a slice of £5 million aimed at boosting employment in disadvantaged areas across the region.

The West Midlands city region, which includes Telford, is to benefit from money granted as the result of a successful bid to help increase levels of employment and improve people’s skills. The cash, from central government, will tackle unemployment, social exclusion and child poverty across the region, A share of the money, to be distributed through a city strategy, will be used in Donnington and Malinslee to help people with special physical or learning needs get access to employment.

Staff from the Learning and Skills Council and JobCentre Plus will be working with employers to improve employment rates.

Successes

Leader of Telford & Wrekin Council Keith Austin welcomed the news.

“It underlines the fact that our commitment to being part of the wider city region community is already bringing real benefits to help people in Telford,” he said.

“I am sure that this will be the first of many successes from our partnership working with other local authorities and I am pleased that, locally, disadvantaged people will be among the first to be helped.”

Richard Webb, corporate director for adult social care said the cash would bring real benefits.

“The city strategy is about putting excluded people at the heart of our ambitions for a dynamic city region,” said Mr Webb.

“Finding and keeping a job is vital for everyone’s self esteem, health and well-being.

“This successful bid and our joint working with the primary care trust means that we are well placed to help people with disabilities and long term illness to either get back into work or to take the first step into a real job”.

The West Midlands City Region includes eight local authority areas across Birmingham, the Black Country, Telford, Solihull and Conventry.

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The English Regions

Posted by wonkotsane on August 2, 2006

John at the England Project vents on the English Regions.

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