West Midlands NO!

Regional government: unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and unwanted

Archive for the ‘Other Regions’ Category

Posted by wonkotsane on November 17, 2006

The Campaign for an English Parliament brings us this story:

Kevan Jones MP (North Durham):

I supported regional government and a yes vote in the referendum, but the people of the north-east had their say and there is no role, either now or in future, for the unelected regional assembly. It should be done away with, and if the local government Bill can be used to do that, we should do it and replace the assembly with bodies that are accountable, such as the Association of North East Councils and the chamber of commerce. That would be more cost-effective and more representative than what we have now. We are spending almost £2 million a year on a talking shop that has little support outside those people who have the vested interest of sitting on the assembly.


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BBC regional government spin

Posted by wonkotsane on November 4, 2006

The BBC have carried out a poll in the North East euroregion on devolution and concluded that there is support for regional government because 69% want local control on issues such as transport.  The people questioned said they didn’t like unelected regional assemblies and only 20% of people think they do a worthwhile job.

The results of the survey do not indicate support for regional government.  The results say that the people of the North East want more control of local affairs.  The BBC doesn’t suggest that perhaps the desire to have more local control over transport is down to the fact that an MP elected in Scotland has control of England’s transport, something the people in the North East are particularly aware of and increasingly vocal about.

The answer to unaccountable central government is not regionalisation.  Regional government is not accountable, nor is it popular.  The British government is highly centralised as far as England is concerned but what people do not want is centralised regional government.  The euroregions, city regions and the new transnational regions aren’t local, they’re regional.  The West Midlands euroregion is a perfect example of how a single regional policy can’t be suitable for the whole region – it contains one of the largest urban sprawls in England at one extreme and the most rural county in England at the other.

It is clear that there is no real support for regional government in the North East or elsewhere in England which only leaves the question of why the BBC would choose to spin this story so outrageously to suggest that there is.  Could it be anything to do with the funding that the European Federation – the architects and chief supporters of the regions – give to the BBC to fund varied programming including news an education?

Posted in EU/Europe, Other Regions, Propaganda | 2 Comments »

Trans-national regional assemblies

Posted by wonkotsane on October 22, 2006

It is common knowledge that the current English regions were drawn up by the EU.  The reasons are many and varied but there are two main ones:

  1. Member states are easier to control from Brussels if they are divided up into smaller regions
  2. National identities are a barrier to a federal Europe so they are being replaced with regional identities

The EU has updated its regional agenda with “trans-national regions” – euroregions that cross national boundaries.  How this will impact on the existing regional assemblies and associated quango’s is a mystery but the Arc Manche Assembly, incorporating parts of the South-East of England and France, has already been formed using taxpayers money.

The new assembly is, of course, unelected and has a French chairman.  The Conservatives have condemned the transnational regions but the Tory-controlled West Sussex County Council is taking part in it and even hosted its conference less than a week ago.

Posted in EU/Europe, Other Regions | 3 Comments »

Calls for EMDA to be scrapped

Posted by wonkotsane on October 15, 2006

The leader of Broxtowe Council, Milan Radulovic, has called for the abolition of the unelected East Midlands Development Agency.

A spokesperson for EMDA said that it was a problem with accountability because the Agency answers directly to the British government and went on to claim that the Agency had saved or created over 8,000 jobs.  Mr Radulovic said he didn’t want the Agency to be legitimised, he wanted it abolished.

Why stop there though?  The Regional Development Agencies are only one of many regional quango’s that cost the taxpayer millions of pounds but answer directly to government ministers.  Slowly but surely, the regional house of cards is falling.

Posted in Other Regions | 1 Comment »