Saturday, 5 March 2016

Devolution, LEPs and second thoughts >>> "We can’t recommend getting on a bus when we don’t know what the fare is and we don’t know where it’s going."

There are all sorts of issues which have been raised around the proposed devolution deal for 'the Heart of the South West, aka Devon and Somerset:
Futures Forum: Economic freedom and political equality at the local level >>> or, the triumph of corporatism
Futures Forum: "Devolution could improve the lives of local people, yet the current debate pays little attention to how this could be achieved."
Futures Forum: Devolution: "Powerhouse or power failure?"
Futures Forum: Devolution as "the TTIP for the Shires"
Futures Forum: "Stop the devolution process" petition >>> "The so called Devolution process taking place in Devon and Somerset right now, is an totally undemocratic and possibly unlawful transfer of power from local authorities to a quango of unelected and unaccountable business people called the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership."
Futures Forum: "Local Enterprise Partnerships would appear to embody everything that is bereft of vision, imagination and indeed any of the kind of creativity and thinking that these times demand."

The East Devon Watch blog has raised and reported on all sorts of questions in the last couple of days:

"Where does this figure of 179,000 houses come from? Who is going to build them? Why do we need them? Who are the LEP to decide such matters?
"I find it all very disturbing. Devolution was supposed to be about local areas deciding on local matters, not the takeover of council services by corporate interest. I read recently that devolution meant “the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership for the Shires”, a reference to the proposed international agreement that many feel hands too much power to businesses. I fear that analysis is correct."
Disquiet over Devon and Somerset Devolution deal | East Devon Watch
Comment: Devolution should mean localism, not quangos | Plymouth Herald

What are the connections between the former East Devon Business Forum and the Heart of the South West Local Enterprise Partnership?
Tangled LEP webs … | East Devon Watch
RIP East Devon Business Forum Task and Finish Forum | East Devon Watch

How well-informed are Councillors of the devolution deal?
Devolution: the big sell | East Devon Watch
Devolution bid to boost prosperity in Devon and Somerset | Exeter Express and Echo

To what extent will the 'devolution revolution' result in 'higher productivity and better-paid jobs'?
"Business leaders have criticised the move as “dangerous” and likely to hike business rates and council tax bills to pay for the new responsibilities." 

Devolution: pennies drop, the backlash begins … | East Devon Watch
Devolution revolution sparks fears of tax and business rate rises | Plymouth Herald

Why has there been so little public consultation?
Listen to the Leader of Somerset County Council attempt to defend devolution! | East Devon Watch
Devolution in the South West - Jacqi Hodgson & John Osman -... - Clyp

How prominent is the LEP in the devolution deal?
Devolution deal partners … an upside down list | East Devon Watch
Devolution | Heart of South West Local Enterprise Partnership

To what extent are the PR departments of local authorities pitching their devolution deals using each other's material?
Devolution: Devon and Somerset to twin with Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire? | East Devon Watch
Devolution details published for the first time as Government urged to seal the deal - Nottingham City Council

How many local authorities are saying No thanks?
“Our concerns include how appropriate an elected mayor would be for an area as diverse as Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire, as well as the cost and impact the deal would have on the other authorities concerned.
“We simply don’t know in detail what the powers of an elected mayor or combined authority would be. We can’t recommend getting on a bus when we don’t know what the fare is and we don’t know where it’s going.”

One council has courage to pull out of Derby/Nottingham devolution deal | East Devon Watch
Local council pulls out of East Midlands devolution deal | Nottingham Post

Again: How well-informed are Councillors of devolution deals across the country?
“Greater Midlands” councils not told about their devolution deals | East Devon Watch
Special feature: Devolution remains a puzzle « Shropshire Star

How much new housing are the LEPs proposing for their areas?
An interesting LEP housing conundrum | East Devon Watch
Chancellor's nod could trigger Devolution revolution for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire
Devolution bid to deliver 77,000 new affordable homes in Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire - Lancashire Evening Post
Taking control | Analysis | Inside Housing

No doubt, more to come...

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