West Midlands NO!

Regional government: unelected, undemocratic, unaccountable and unwanted

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Press Release re: EU cash aid of £460m for region

Posted by wonkotsane on October 23, 2006

The following press release has been sent to local and national press today.

The West Midlands euroregion has been allocated £460m from a total EU grant of £6.4bn to the UK to improve skills and employment.

The cost of EU membership is estimated to be £873 for every man woman and child per year. There are 5.27m people living in the West Midlands euroregion. This puts a financial cost of EU membership for the West Midlands euroregion alone at £4.6bn. How generous of the EU to give us back some of our own money! The grant represents only 10% of the money that has been handed over to the EU from the West Midlands and is £73m short of an equal share of the money were the total amount to be divided equally amongst the 12 “regions” of the UK – Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and the 9 English euroregions.

Businesses and organisations wishing to bid for a share of this money – an average of just £87 per person living in the euroregion – will have to make their bids to the unelected, unaccountable regional quangos that distribute EU funding in England. These quango’s such as the West Midlands Regional Assembly, Advantage West Midlands and the West Midlands Regional Development Agency all operate in virtual secrecy, immune from the Freedom of Information Act and unaccountable to any voter. Their decisions will be made in secret by the unelected quangocrats who control hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers money in the West Midlands from their taxpayer-funded bases in Birmingham.

It is simply wrong for unelected, unaccountable and secretive regional quango’s to make these decisions. This money should be allocated through elected representitives at a local level, not through the unaccountable regional quango’s. Taxpayers have paid for this grant and it is only right that people elected by those same taxpayers should be the ones who decide how to spend it.

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