We need to give English regions representation. I want to give the East of England a real voice.Right. The East of England already has the East of England Regional Assembly, or EERA, which I happen to sit on. Now, this is nothing like Scottish and Welsh devolution as the members are either Councillors, or simply appointed. The appointees have the balance of power, ensuring that the body lacks any democratic legitimacy, and the EERA doesn't even have any proper rules of debate or voting procedures. So, things go through on a show of hands without named votes. This means unelected members deciding things for the people of the East of England without having to take any responsibility, because no-one knows who actually voted for anything, just the numbers. Not surprisingly, EERA has less credibility than most village fete committees and it, and similar bodies for the rest of England, have not quelled the groundswell of dissatisfaction over the democratic deficit between Scotland and England, where Scottish MPs can decide English policy but not vice versa. Brown's answer, apparently, is to sideline the assemblies and bring in ministers for the regions. Frankly, the idea that this represents a re-balancing of the constitution is laughable. Until a government actually grips this issue then the call for English votes for English laws will continue to resonate.
Thursday, July 05, 2007
More Regional Government for England
Now there are to be ministers for the English Regions. Ours is Barbara Follet, who said:
Posted by Steve Horgan at 5:47:00 pm