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Stadium: Hundreds protest against stadium plans


As I set out in an article for the Bucks Free Press in February, I am determined to create the right environment for a flourishing local democracy and a radical decentralisation of power.  Today, via The Bucks Free Press, we see local democracy in action: HUNDREDS of protesters marched through High Wycombe today with a clear message for council bosses – “say no to the stadium”. Campaigners turned out in their droves to make their voices heard ahead of Monday’s key decision on […]

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Bucks CC agrees £9.2m spending reductions in 2010/11 budget


 I have received the following press release from Buckinghamshire County Council, which illustrates the scale of the action needed to deal with the legacy of the last government: COUNTY AGREES £9.2m SPENDING REDUCTIONS IN 2010/11 BUDGET At a meeting unprecedented in Buckinghamshire County Council’s history, members today (Thursday 5 August) agreed a revised budget to achieve immediate in-year spending reductions of £9.2 million, to avoid spending £9m of taxpayers’ money that the council doesn’t have.  Increased spending pressures within some […]

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Protected: The bureaucratisation of elder care


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There is no excerpt because this is a protected post.

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Queen’s Speech: 15 Bills, but only 33 days left of Parliament – Times Online


The Queen’s Speech: 15 Bills, but only 33 days left of Parliament: Labour has today promised “guarantees not gambles” as it used the final Queen’s Speech to draw dividing lines with the Conservatives ahead of the general election. The Queen set out the Government’s legislative agenda for the 33 sitting days left until the last date for a general election, in a programme containing 13 Bills and two draft Bills. The measures include plans to reform the financial services industry, […]

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John Redwood MP » Waste not ,want not – the Hammersmith and Fulham way


In each of the last three years the Conservative group on Fulham and Hammersmith have cut their Council Tax by 3%. That means the tax is now down by almost 9% compared with their starting point. According to Labour this must lead to lower quality and less service. On the contrary, there are better services and a happier public. In 2006 the Council was average amongst London Boroughs in resident satisfaction. By 2009 they had leapt to 5th place. via […]

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It’s time to transfer power from the central state to local people


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This post has been brought forward from February and updated. Conservatives want to build a stronger, safer society where opportunity and power are spread much more widely and fairly. We believe communities are strongest when everyone has a free and fair say in the decisions that affect them. From local council services and planning decisions, to local policing priorities, people should have as much power and choice as possible. Under Labour, the rise of top-down central and regional government control […]

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Recommended reading: “Freedom for Public Services”


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The latest publication from the Centre for Policy Studies arrived today: “Freedom for Public Services” by William Mason and Jonathan McMahon. Better services at lower cost, and more fulfilling jobs for public servants, are quite possible. As ever, this CPS report is intelligent, brief, clear and insightful. The sheer scale of central regulation is shocking even as one who has begun to study the situation. Consider for example the list of regulators for the NHS: The Healthcare Commission Strategic Health […]

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The Seduction of Municipal Derivatives: JUST DON’T DO IT


Bloomberg just ran a story on municipalities entering into derivatives contracts to help finance budget deficits. I’ve seen this movie before about 15 years ago, and I can tell you how it ends: in tears. read more | digg story

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Local democracy


Talking with our local councillors, I have learned some of the realities of governing locally under Labour. At any moment, there are apparently tens of central government inspectors in any one of our counties’ local government organisations, checking up on the staff, trying to ensure uniform outcomes. And we wonder where the money goes… Labour simply do not know how to cut bureaucracy. A recent promise to reduce the district council’s performance indicator count from around a thousand to 198 […]

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