Select Committee on Office of the Deputy Prime Minister: Housing, Planning, Local Government and the Regions Written Evidence

Memorandum by Mr Richard Nixon (RG 04)

  I am given to understand that your Committee is examining the issues relating to regional government. Here is my submission.

  Firstly, "democracy" as defined in it's simplest form in my dictionary is expressed as "the will of the people". Regional government in any form has not been requested by "the people", and I am not aware that Government has such a mandate for the introduction of it. Unfortunately Government increasingly thinks that it has "carte blanche" to do anything it likes, and forgets that it is there to serve the people, and not the other way round. It is a strange situation that those who spend public money seem to be more important in their own eyes and rewarded accordingly (honours, salary, and pensions etc) than those who generate the money in the first place.

  Secondly, we already have more than enough in the way of legislation making bodies in the shape of Parish Councils, Town/City/District Councils, Parliament, and in more recent times the European Union. Not necessarily with the best of intentions they produce legislation, sometimes this even achieving the opposite of what is intended. There is such a thing as straws and camels backs, and eventually the camel says "enough" and gives up.

  Thirdly, the electorate of the North-East made it perfectly clear by nearly four votes to one in November 2004 that they did not want a regional assembly, yet Government still persists with it. As others have already stated, is there some part of the word "NO" that is not understood?

  Fourthly, this is yet another breach of the Contract between Government and the Electorate that has been in being for 30 years now. Who prosecutes Government for this?

  Summing up, regional government will be unable to achieve anything that cannot be done already, it is unnecessary and unwanted. Abandon it now.

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