Notts: County Council leader calls for more local powers for local issues

Will more power be devolved to councils like Bassetlaw when it comes to local issues?
Will more power be devolved to councils like Bassetlaw when it comes to local issues?

The Scottish independence referendum has brought the issue of devolution to other parts of the UK to the forefront.

Not before time, in my opinion.

We are currently one of the most centrally regulated countries in Europe.

And a huge amount of control over our lives is held by the Government in London.

It can’t be right that the significant power to make the really big decisions which affect us all are held almost exclusively by people who don’t know where Bassetlaw is – and don’t care.

The Scottish debate must surely make Whitehall realise that it’s time for local areas to be freed from Government-imposed restrictions .

The way forward is to have locally-elected, community-based people making the decisions which address local challenges and concerns.

This should be combined with the authority to raise revenue and with some law-making powers.

A shift to grassroots Government is also more democratic, because the lines of responsibility are so much clearer.

Local politicians are accountable and, if we make the wrong decisions, can and will be removed by the people we represent.

Devolving powers and funding exclusively to the handful of core cities, whilst ignoring the rest of us, will just not do.

The people that live in Worksop, Retford, Mansfield and Newark deserve the same powers, funding and opportunities as those living in Nottingham and Sheffield.

It’s time for the Government to seize the moment, loosen their grip and give local people greater control over their lives.