‘Devolution’ without democracy?
‘To most people “devolution” implies greater local involvement, local democratic power’, says the East Devon Alliance in a new Press Release (full text here), ‘but the process being followed for the “Heart of the South West” devolution bid has no democratic element at all:
- Input has been sought from the business community but neither the public nor elected Councillors have been consulted about either the process or on the content of the bid
- The information submitted so far has the logos of the Councils and implies endorsement by council members that has neither been explicitly sought or given
- The seven Nolan Principles have not been followed.’
EDA calls for the Heart of the South West devolution planning process to be more open and democratic, that both the public and elected representatives are regularly consulted, and that decisions involving the use of public funds (e.g. business rate revenue) to be made in public by accountable, elected representatives.