Why don't the Conservatives trust local democracy ?

According to reports today, the Conservatives, if elected to power this year, would stop local councils having the right to make planning decisions about new schools, with this power being taken by central government and a minister in London making decisions instead of locally elected councillors.

This harks back to the days of Thatcher when powers were routinely taken from councils and centralised in Westminster.

Whilst local councils might not always make the decisions that the government wants, local councillors are much more accountable than a Tory minister in London who may have a safe seat in a different part of the country and is therefore wholly unaccountable for the decisions he might be making about schools. Why should an MP for Surrey East be allowed to make planning decisions about things in Norwich ? This should be left to Norwich Councillors because at least the electorate have the ability to get rid of those councilors if they don't like the decisions they make.


Chris Black said...

Absolutely, Nic

Bert said...

Sadly Norwich people can't make the decision about the schools - Norfolk County take the Planning onto themselves so we have the stupid situation whereby cllrs with no contact with an area - may even live 60 miles away - decide the planning when there are perfectly able Planning committees etc on the districts - well that is what happened with Mile Cross, Bluebell etc.

Katie said...

Yes Bert - and we all know the city council can't take decisions to support new schools as it's against their ideology. For example they were consistently opposed the creation of the Open Academy.

Anonymous said...

And therein lies the hypocrisy Katie because they did support Earlham becoming CAN. I am urging unitary for each ward of Norwich City Council. As a resident of Thorpe Hamlet I think it is bizarre that a Councillor from faraway Eaton or Bowthorpe gets to vote on my services. Oh ... you think Thorpe is too small to be unitary? Well, can anyone else think of a small, badly run unit of government that thinks it can manage its own affairs?

Anonymous said...

I'm not sure Bert actually lives in Norfolk - otherwise he'd know that it's almost impossible to live 60 miles away from Norwich and still be in the County...Doh!

Bert said...

Try Wisbech to Norwich - Cllr Humphry round trip mileage = 122 miles - from a document about members allowances. It seems he did 771 miles in July 2009.

Not talking about all the new schools actually being built - with Labour Gov funding - fully supported City Academy Norwich by the way and got massive support from residents too.

The PLANNING decision needs to be made by the local planning committee, not taken into County planning. At least someone from Thorpe Hamlet (whatever their politics) can pop over to somewhere in the City, and check it over.

Anonymous said...

Erm...isn't Wisbech in CAMBRIDGESHIRE?? And that's 57 miles according to google maps. Clearly cllr bert doesn't get out much.

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