Regionalism and elected Mayors have mainly been ignored by we the people. It bores us, we think it’s about jobs for the boys and girls.
So much so that the politicians have stopped asking us, save through bland and ill organised consultations. So useless that recently a judge agreed there were shortcomings with the way Chesterfield residents were consulted about the Sheffield City Region deal. https://goo.gl/jbzKG2
An article here in Rothpol some months before the Judge’s ruling showed how poor consultation had been throughout the proposed City Region. The same judgement could apply to every town, to every Council…but only Derbyshire bothered taking the matter to Court.
In September 2015 Rotherham Council Leader Chris Read signed us up for the Sheffield City Region and a new Mayor. In democratic style, the opinions of the people were sought 3 months later.
In the form of an online questionnaire; completed by only 245 people out of an election population of circa 1,200,000. A paper summarising the results didn’t even say whether a majority were for or against it, but without irony noted how few young people responded.
Were the politicians contrite at their failure to deliver a decent consultation process, and apologise when the Judge pointed it out? No, of course not https://goo.gl/49nRmP
S0 why do local Labour Politicians want the City Region? For them, once they chuck out any remaining political principles about colluding with Tories in the demise of public services, it’s a no brainer
* More jobs and better career paths for them.
* With a likely low turnout, a probable victory when such have been in short supply of late for Labour.
Why does the Tory Government want Regions?
*It’s a long term project to enable cuts in to Council services. By devolving decision making, they also devolve responsibility. Meaning when they the Government cut budgets they can pass on blame for service reductions on these new regional bodies, run by Labour.
Ignore the offers of loads of extra cash from the Tories, that cheque is still to be written and for every £1 given I think £3 will be taken away.
So what’s in it for us, the public?
*The thing we always wanted for Christmas, another tier of local Government.
* A Mayor, to add to the Labour Police and Crime Commissioner (PCC) who has made such a difference to the daily lives of……er, his chums. Remember the PCC controversially appointing Sioned-Mair Richards, wife of his election agent Howard Knight, to a £31,000 job in his team? https://goo.gl/BRK6p0
In Rotherham Labour have stopped even trying to sell the City Region idea to the public, we are irrelevant.
Councillors, take note Chris Read, don’t even bother speaking to their party members on the issue.
Ironically many would like to see some regionalisation of government, there are things that could be better commissioned, planned and delivered by cooperation between Councils. We could also reduce the number of Ward Councillors, to help meet the costs.
However, there is no unified plan here, no vision for delivering better services…just another tier of government and some shabby motivations.