Responding to the Liberal Democrat consultation on ‘Power for people and communities’

  • A general two-tier framework of regions and principal local authorities based on a principle of federalism where power comes from the bottom up, not the top down.
  • Outside the major metropolitan areas, principal local authorities would combine the current powers of counties and districts and each would cover a population of approximately 300–500,000 people, but there’d be a major national exercise beforehand to work out which are the best areas for them based on identity, economy and existing infrastructure.
  • The same exercise would recommend which local authorities should be grouped together into regions, but with the possibility of shifting those boundaries during an initial implementation. Regional authorities would be focused on wide area infrastructure and economy, but also providing services like police, fire, health, education etc with accountability for these services directly through the regional governments.
  • Regions and local governments would be responsible for determining their own way of working and the systems they would use for accountability, elections etc subject to oversight by some form of local democracy commission. There would also be systems for power within these authorities to be handed down to local communities as those communities require.
  • Metropolitan areas would operate on a similar system, similar to the way London operates now — an upper level equal to the regional authorities, and principal authorities beneath that, though size of those authorities could be larger than outside the metro areas if necessary.
  • Regional and local authorities would have the power to raise taxes to fund their work as they see fit, with central government providing a range of different tax options they can use, not mandating any particular format. Central government’s main role in this system is to monitor and ensure fairness (especially during transition to a new system) and to co-ordinate a regional policy that redistributes across the nation. It should seek to bring regions together to implement major national projects as well as having its wider federal responsibilities.

--

--

--

Former academic and politician, working out what comes next. https://linktr.ee/nickbarlow Support: https://medium.com/@nick-barlow/membership

Love podcasts or audiobooks? Learn on the go with our new app.

Recommended from Medium

Is this the best Labour can do?

Cambridge Analytica, African Elections and Western Double Standards

Post-Quarantine Urbanism of China: It’s All About Human Conditions

Seven years on, mothers of APS martyrs say their wounds are still fresh

Seven years on, mothers of APS martyrs say their wounds are still fresh

China “Cross-Strait Radio” updated information

China

Jon Rogers — candidate for chair

Kerala’s fight against COVID-19

NBC-PNG installs new AM transmitter

NBC-PNG installs new AM transmitter

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store
Nick Barlow

Nick Barlow

Former academic and politician, working out what comes next. https://linktr.ee/nickbarlow Support: https://medium.com/@nick-barlow/membership

More from Medium

Art in end times

On the Dangers of Standardization

4/7/2022

What if no one ever had to make impossible decisions?