Would you like to see government powers devolved?
Should government ministers have less of a say on what happens in Kirklees?
It was a hot topic at last night’s Kirklees Full Council and members voted for a change in how public services are delivered.
Councillors agreed to adopt a Local Government Association report dubbed Rewiring Public Services which they say will “rejuvenating democracy”.
They noted that devolution has brought decisions about tax and spending closer to voters in Scotland and Wales.
And they say the same should happen in England to.
Ideas included giving people a “meaningful vote” on local tax and spending issues with a local treasury in every authority.
The policy also calls for a reduction in Whitehall silos with the merger of six government departments and an England Office created.
They also want greater control over financial distribution and a reduction in minister’s powers over local decision making.
Clr Mehboob Khan described it as a “radical overhaul of public services”.
Clr Robert Light, leader of the Conservatives, said it was one of the most important LGA reports as it “challenges the relationship between central government and local government and how local government operates as well”.
Clr David Ridgway, Lib Dem, asked for more detail about how it would work. He said: “This is a massive opportunity for local government re-assert itself.
“But it (the report) fails to tell us how it will be implemented. A local treasury is a good idea, but how will that be managed? Will it be council, Combined Authority, City Region and how will it be administered: democratically or controlled by local council leaders?”
Labour’s Clr Molly Walton said that she didn’t think government would ever let go of the strings, adding that MPs who were former council leaders were the most controlling.
Clr Andrew Cooper said he would “buy into the idea” but said: “This is something that every party nationally needs accept and for it to become national party policy ahead of the next general election for it to work.”
Full Council voted to adopt the LGA’s proposal.