Sunday, 9 September 2012

Are we over-governed?

Where I live we have a parish council, above that a borough (district) council and, at the top of the local government tree, a county council.  Then there is the Queen in Parliament and finally the albatross of Brussels.

Do we need them all?  One of the reasons plans were abandoned for elected regional assemblies was the public's perception that we could do quite nicely thank you without any more decision making bodies.

A few questions.

Do we need both district and county councils?

In some areas unitary authorities have been created.  They are mergers of district and county councils.  Why not extend unitary authorities to other areas?

Do we need an English parliament?

This is the 'West Lothian Question.  There are devolved governments in Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, so why not England?  It does seem barmy that an MP from a Scottish constituency can vote in the House of Commons on English health issues, but not on Scottish health issues as such matters are for the Scottish Parliament.

Why not abolish the second chamber?

Do we need a second chamber to 'revise' bills?  Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland do not have second chambers, nor do any local authorities.  What should be happening is that House of Commons select committees, the committee stage of bills etc are beefed up so that legislative proposals are subjected to rigorous analysis.

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