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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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