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George Morran: Why Regional Government?

 

George Morran, LWM’s vice-chairman, writes:

George Morran -1Devolution for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland has brought greater proximity and therefore ownership of decision-making to those communities.

Increasingly different approaches to public policy have developed, reflecting local circumstances and aspirations, rather than Westminster and Whitehall’s one approach fits all – in particular the interests of those in London and the south east.

In Europe a federal system of government has underpinned economic and political vitality for decades as it has in North America and elsewhere.

There is widespread agreement that economic and political decision-making is far too centralised and incapable of leading and supporting moves to more localised and sustainable economies.

Reform is urgently needed, but the power brokers at Westminster, Whitehall and our existing large Local Authorities are tied into defending their positions and resisting change. That is why we need community action.

 

Regional Government for England has to be part of wider constitutional reform:

 

  • the downsizing and refocusing of Westminster and Whitehall;
  • the establishment of an inclusive sub national government in England based on democratic local community and regional government,
  • working as an equal partner with a reformed Westminster and Whitehall and existing devolved administrations elsewhere in the UK

 

George Morran has had extensive experience in local and regional affairs, being Director of the West Midlands Regional Forum of Local Authorities (1991-98), Assistant Chief Executive Dudley Metropolitan Borough Council and currently consultant specialising in regional governance, Vice-chair of Localise West Midlands, research associate at Aston University’s Business School and project director of the West Midlands Constitutional Convention 

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forum of regions 13 header

 

June 6th, 2013, news of the  Second Forum of Regions, Lyon, Rhône Alpes, France:

REGIONS: ACTORS FOR CHANGE:

The Organization of Regions United FOGAR (ORU – FOGAR) and UCLG, The Global Network of Cities, Local and Regional Governments in conjunction with the Rhône Alpes, invited regional representatives of the world to gather in Lyon. The Forum’s theme was: “Regions – actors for change; a recognition of the richness of diversity for an economic and innovative development”.

It highlighted the importance of regional governments in raising the voice of the people through the exchange of experiences on the role of regions in a sustainable development perspective.