Friday, September 11, 2009

Communities Together

That is the name of the project for which Stockton has been awarded several thousand pounds from a quango in order to try to involve more people in the Area Partnerships. At a meeting today I heard people getting very enthusiastic about the idea of encouraging more people to be involved by taking them round the area, showing them what's happened when money has been spent and how local people have influenced the spending and then asking them what they'd like to see in their area. All very laudable, but with budgets being cut left right and centre at present I'm not sure it's the best possible use of taxpayers' money. But who am I to question a government quango? Only an elected representative of a few thousand people, that's all.
The sad thing is that I don't think a change of party in charge at Westminster will deliver any better local democracy until we get proportional representation and a significant Lib Dem presence in government. Neither Conservatives nor Labour believe that local politicians can be trusted, so we will go on having quangos with "directors" getting expenses for doing jobs that councillors and council officers should be doing. Such is Britain at the moment.
A recent poll has shown that most people would support the idea of having a referendum on voting reform. What are Labour and the Tories afraid of? Could it be the people?

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