Devolution - Caution over devolution

I would like to take issue with Coun Hill’s rebuke for Labour supporters over the closing of the libraries in the Rasen Mail two weeks ago.

While increased ‘local devolution’ was not mentioned in Coun Hill’s letter, the planned closure of the some of our district’s libraries – along with 30 day centres for those with special needs – are reasons why we should be very cautious over giving local councils more power.

Local devolution will give even greater capacity to those at the top of local government, yet they do not seem to manage the power they already have very well.

Coun Hill’s claim of victory over the ‘keep the libraries open’ campaign is hollow and extremely rude to all the thousands of campaign supporters across the county who do not support Labour.

If Labour supported the campaign to keep the libraries open, then good. The county council consulted but did not listen.

The library supporters’ second application for a judicial review timed out.

I suspect that, unlike Coun Hill who has a limitless public purse to spend on inquiries, the campaigners would have struggled to raise the necessary funding.

Personally, I would like to see an HMI for Local Government.

The present system of auditing local councils is not there to make sure they make sound decisions, nor is it there to rebuke councillors for attacking anyone who might not agree with them, but it should be.

Say no to local devolution.

Chris Darcel

by email