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Why I’m supporting stronger local government20.01.2010 // by James Legge
James Legge (Countryside Alliance): The tendency to centralise government has had a negative impact on many communities.
Decisions which properly belong to local authorities, and the communities which elect them, have too often been taken far away from those affected.
Thankfully it is now recognised that in addressing the challenges which face communities, it is those communities themselves which are best placed to identify the solutions which meet local need and local priorities.
Communities are diverse and a one size fits all top down approach is doomed to failure. Only a genuine devolution of power to local councils, to parish level, will ensure a sustainable future for those communities.
People need greater flexibility to find and implement locally appropriate solutions and decide how local money is spent.
This is especially true of many rural communities which face a crisis of affordable housing, driving younger people out and leaving behind an increasingly elderly and isolated population.
This creates a vicious cycle of decline with the loss of local schools and services. It will only be halted and reversed if we trust people and give them the power and resources they need.
The Countryside Alliance is leading the drive to address this democratic deficit through concerted public action as an Ideas Champion for increasing the powers of local government in the POWER2010 campaign.
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