Friday, 20 January 2017

The joys of Localism

Scotland is large scale proof that Localism works. As the Telegraph reports, Sturgeon is making an absolute cods of running the place; business rates through the roof, high income tax, dearth of investment and a failure to deliver the improvements in life quality that this all was promised to bring. And now she is being made dole monitor. Welfare spend is the latest bit of government to be devolved, and Nicola is wriggling like a drowning worm to find ways to distract the Scots from her new and unpopular rationing role. I suspect the canny Scots will kick Sturgeon out the next time they are let near the ballot box.

And so to Surrey County Council, which will ballot its citizens over a 15% rate rise to pay for old people's homes (not that they're called that any more - they're social care establishments or something). The vote may depend on how officious the Council has been in issuing parking tickets, nagging people about using the right bins or telling them not to smoke. The people of Surrey may well say no, and encourage the Council to lose even more staff. 

That these exhibitions of growing Localist importance are possible despite the dilettante Cameron rather than because of him is extraordinary. Cameron promised Localism in 2010 but delivered a change as insipid and homeopathic as the pre-referendum offer he brought back from Brussels. That man really was himself a useless streak. 

Still, more please. The closer we move to the Swiss model of devolved tax and spend the better, to the extent that central government commands barely a third of tax income to pay for essential and truly national agencies of the State. And the more that local politicians are held to account by local people the better - not Little Britain, but the hallmark of a great nation.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

The reality of the Swiss system of local civics is that improvements or additional services are applied through the use of citizen triggered direct democracy.

In Surrey, it is at the whim of the council that they are asking for 15% for this social care, something I might add that they already had taken our money for, but somehow forgotten to provide service for.

Also in Surrey, Croydon is 'consulting' citizens regarding the (inevitable) 20MPH speed limit...

Once that goes through, it might be time to resurrect another forgotten 'competence'...

Namely they are going to begin a consultation to see whether we object to employing a man to carry a red flag at walking pace to alert pedestrians that we are approaching.

right-writes

wiggiatlarge said...

Namely they are going to begin a consultation to see whether we object to employing a man to carry a red flag at walking pace to alert pedestrians that we are approaching.

I wouldn't worry, I live on a 20mph road, it is never enforced, totally ignored and considered a challenge by the nobs on two and four wheels to see how far over the limit they can go, from what little I have seen 70+ would be about right.

Poisonedchalice said...

"The people of Surrey may well say no, and encourage the Council to lose even more staff."

And there's the rub. The people of Surrey must resist this siren call. Surrey Council doesn't want this money to pay for elderly care; no it wants it to support one of the highest pay and expense packages of any council in Britain. The head of the council gets paid £215,000 per annum and his cohorts follow suit.

I hope the on-line newspaper "getSurrey.co.uk" garners huge support to tell Surrey Council to fuck right off and get on with the job of emptying the bins!

DeeDee99 said...

I lived in Surrey for 26 years until last summer. When Pickles was claiming that Cameron's Coalition Govt had frozen council tax, Surrey County Council and Guildford Borough Council increased Council tax by 1.9% every single year, just under the level which would trigger a referendum.

My house, a large ex-local authority semi in a village setting, attracted annual council tax of around £2600 a year - taken from my taxed income. I suspect council taxpayers in Surrey are sick to death of annual rate rises and will balk at an increase of this magnitude. They'll vote NO.

Dadad said...

All praise to Switzerland for their style of democracy; something we certainly don't have.

But we could, and it would be even better than theirs.

Go to; The Harrogate Agenda and sign up today !

anon 2 said...

Pa: Long live Harrogate (My Dad's home town)!!!!!

Raedwald --- this difficult reading for anyone who can't tolerate euro-claptrap!!!!

I grasped one smidgen: about the "social care establishments" which, by any other name, would Pong as Putrid. In simple and honest terms, they are Death Camps.

Regarding the cost of running those businesses --- In the final count: Post-modern* government demands the assets gained from the victims, and then it requires the right to re-distribute those proceeds.

BTW: Voters Beware! We must not let 'Harrogate' ("local government") devolve into the lowest function of the euSSR's overseer (UN).

_________
*franco-german/communist






















Dave_G said...


Rather than referendums on the costs of social care the people of Surrey (and elsewhere) should be balloted on their councillors pay ANNUALLY an their levels set according to their performance.

As has always been known, holding the purse strings is key to democracy.

Bob Doney said...

And herein lies the rub. Croydon may be postally in Surrey, but it is a London Borough and therefore nothing to do with Surrey CC. The bins are emptied by the Borough Councils, and are therefore nothing to do with Surrey CC. In our case we live in Surrey Heath, and the refuse collection is very efficient and the teams not jobsworthian or fascistic.
I'll wait to see what the CC offer is for social care. I am minded, as they say, to allow an increase, if only to alleviate bed-blocking in our superb local NHS hospital, which is under enormous strain at the moment.
More localism? Bring it on, but we need to know who and/or what we're voting for.

G. Tingey said...

Yes & No

Here, in an outer London Borough, the council have "consulted" - thenrigged the subsequent vote & imposed an unpopular policy. [ Only "Totally Against" votes were counted as "agin" - partially against & neutral were cointed as "for" - in case you were wondering ]
Most councillors KNOW it's unpopular, but the council's deputy Leader knows where all the bodies are buried & they can't get rid of him, or the policy.
Now what?
Localism can have its drawbacks as well, unfortunately.

DonaldJtrump said...

I wonder how much of this social care is going to non-native born residents? FOI someone?

Weekend Yachtsman said...

"I suspect the canny Scots will kick Sturgeon out the next time they are let near the ballot box"

Sorry Radders, but you are mistaken; you don't understand Scottish psychology.

Anti-English fanaticism rules all.

Wee Nicola will not lose; in fact there's a good chance of a complete 100% clean sweep for the SNP at the next general election - Brexit has increased the whining to fever pitch.