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Localism Watch Resources – October 2014

Localism Watch resources, October 2014 - including the aftermath of the indyref...

Laird Ryan
7 October 2014

A trawl of the latest online news, comment, advice and information

The Bigger Picture

“We are seeing a return to nationalism, regionalism and even localism. Globalisation is in retreat, whether it is in terms of trade, labour migration, efforts to Balkanise the internet, growing restrictions on cross-border banking and the imposition of capital controls that segment markets.” William Buiter, Chief Economist of Citigroup, speaks up for what he describes as ‘virtuous globalisation’. Here at Localism Watch, we call it for what it is: naked exploitation. Interestingly, Buiter wasn’t addressing an expense-account audience at a UK venue, but from the safe distance of Thailand, to a reporter at the Bangkok Post. His unabashed appraisal of macroeconomics is a systematic exposé of what lies behind the thin veneer of commitment to localism and local democracy that neoliberal regimes officially profess. 29.09.2014

Senior public servants tell how difficult it is to solve the localism equation

Localism and planning policies to control developments. David Thompson discusses localism with Royal Town Planning Institute chief executive Trudi Elliott and Institute of Economic Affairs director general Mark Littlewood. A rather good presentation of the localism debate in a nutshell. BBC Daily Politics 25.02.2014

Interview with Helen Edwards, recently appointed Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Department for Communities and Local Government. Her responsibilities include implementing the Localism Act. She suggests that localism isn’t about handing more powers to local councils, but making them more accountable. Civil Service World 23.09.2014

The IndyRef and its Aftermath: an Opportunity or Threat for True Localism?

Polly Toynbee: Scotland’s referendum has spurred a dash for devo – but localism is no panacea. She says that “England is so grotesquely unequal that more devolution could be a disaster for deprived regions” The Guardian 16.09.2014

Co-operation is key as referendum offers new opportunities: a view from the editor of Local Government Chronicle 25.09.2014

Tony Travers, the Director of the LSE London research institute, writes in the Local Government Chronicle on why he considers that Whitehall will resist English devolution LGC 24.09.2014

Frank McKenna argues why the North ‘needs Devo-Met’. But where does that leave the communities that lie beyond the core cities’ orbit? Another case of ‘trickle-down’ localism? Bdaily 25.09.2014

Radical planner and ex-RTPI president Cliff Hague makes the case for ‘territorial cohesion’ in the UK following the referendum result. Planning Resource 22.09.2014

Chris Auckland of Conservative Home argues why ‘regionalism won’t work’ He argues against the imposition of ‘soulless’ hierarchical structures. 26.09.2014

Anthony Hilton: We May be on the High Road to Localism Evening Standard 09.09.2014

David Hodge Which Party Dares Deny the English Localism? Local Government Chronicle 25.09.2014

Jonathan Meades Will No-one Stop the March of Localism? A typically nuanced and ironical treatment. The Independent 21.09.2014

What does the IndyRef mean for the future of localism? A selection of perspectives from across the UK

One Way or Another, Change is Coming Shetland News 29.09.2014

An Assembly for Cornwall is what localism is all about Western Morning News 30.09.2014

But – William Hague scuppers hope for Cornish devolution 29.09.2014

Is devolution the future for Yorkshire? Includes videos with senior local politicians Harrogate Advertiser 27.09.2014

Is a combined Humber Authority the answer to local governance? Hull Daily Mail 27.09.2014

Should Cambridge become a unitary authority? Cambridge News 27.09.2014

Now is the time to give councils more power Spalding Today 26.09.2014

Referendum has Local Echoes Leamington Spa Courier 30.09.2014

Epsom should hold referendum on whether or not to join London Surrey Comet 30.09.2014

Discontent in ‘sidelined’ Tory heartlands: the leader of Kent CC speaks out against Cameron’s moves to empower cities, “There is far too much micro-management in Whitehall by a government that talks about localism but can’t let go.” Local Government Chronicle 25.09.2014

Localism and Tax-Raising Powers

Boris Johnson argues for ‘Urban Devo Max’ in the Manifesto edition of Crossbow magazine. He means that London and England’s cartel ‘core cities’ should get an even bigger slice of the national cake than they already receive. Boris’s modest proposal “ought to be so narcoleptically uncontroversial as to become the settled wisdom of everyone who believes in localism and devolution and trusting people to run their lives.” His words, not ours. 14.09.2014

Jonathan Portes ‘A Mansion Tax won’t fix the UK’s dysfunctional property market’ The Guardian 29.09.2014

Let Councils Keep Half of Local Tax Take, Minister Suggests Public Finance 30.09.2014

Pickles Pledges New City Deals Before Election Local Government Chronicle 29.09.2014

Lambeth politicians set out vision for co-production – some good, some bad, some just wrong Brixton Buzz 29.09.2014

Neighbourhood Plans

‘Neighbourhood Plan weight is increasing’: a ‘copy and paste’ phrase used in government decision letters to override inspector’s recommendations. Planning magazine 26.09.2014

Conflict between East Staffs Council and Rolleston Neighbourhood Forum over differing views on future housing development Burton Mail 22.09 2014

Billesdon Neighbourhood Plan (Leicestershire) approved Harborough Mail 28.09.2014

Consultations begin on Woodbridge Neighbourhood Plan (Suffolk Coastal) East Anglian Daily Times 29.09.2014

Hooky Neighbourhood Plan (Cherwell, Oxfordshire) out to consultation Banbury Guardian 30.09.2014

Launch of Ripon Neighbourhood Plan (N Yorks) Ripon Gazette 26.09.2014

Bryning-with-Warton Neighbourhood Plan (Fylde, Lancs) seeks to halt tide of local housing approvals Lytham St Annes Express 24.09.2014

Neighbourhood Plan in Malmesbury (Wilts) approaches referendum stage Gazette and Herald 25.09.2014

Three neighbourhoods in Broxtowe (Notts) given permission to prepare neighbourhood plans Eastwood and Kimberley Advertiser 23.09.2014 

Council Newsletters: Valuable Local Resources or Town Hall Pravdas?

Irony of ironies: Conservative-led Medway Council falls foul of Localism Act measures against ‘Town Hall Pravdas’ Kent Online 28.09.2014

And a similar case, where the government have issued LB Waltham Forest with a final warning about flouting the law on council newssheets E London and W Essex Guardian series 29.09.2014

And it’s not just those two. Mayorwatch website reports that a total of eight London Boroughs are being taken to task 29.09.2014

Here’s the overview in Local Government Chronicle: of 11 English Town Hall Pravdas being targeted, 3 are Tory-led. 29.09.2014

Community Rights

Historic Building in Halesowen (Dudley) saved through designation as a Community Asset Express and Star 26.09.2014

Threatened Rose and Crown Pub, Stoke Poges (Bucks), declared a community asset Buckinghamshire Advertiser 25.09 2014

Attempt to save historic Archway Pub, Islington, as an Asset of Community Value, from proposed redevelopment for flats Islington Tribune 26.09.2014

Right to Build Order at former dairy in Totnes (Devon) Western Morning News 27.09.2014 

The Trade Union Congress calls for the Localism Act to be used in the press industry in the same way as councils can determine community assets, to prevent publishers closing local newspapers and give a six-month window to prospective purchasers. Hold The Front Page 11.09.2014

RenewableUK’s chief executive comments on Eric Pickles calling in large numbers of windfarm applications to be decided by himself: “His guiding principle seems to be localism – as long as you do what I say.” Planning Magazine 25.09.2014

And finally . . . no menu of localism would be complete without a side-order of Pickles

Conservative St Albans Councillor resigns, claiming Eric Pickles’ decision to approve a large rail freight terminal is to “ignore localism” Herts Advertiser 24.09.2014

“High-handed Pickles is undermining local democracy” Letter to the Yorkshire Post, explaining why its writer will not be attending a dinner in Bradford with the Secretary of State 24.09.2014

Sign the petition: save our Freedom of Information

The UK government is running a secretive unit inside Michael Gove’s Cabinet Office that’s accused of ‘blacklisting’ journalists and hiding ‘sensitive’ information from the public. Experts say they’re breaking the law – and it’s an assault on our right to know what our government is doing.

We’re not going to let it stand. We’re launching a legal battle – but we also need a huge public outcry, showing that thousands back our call for transparency. Will you add your name?

Who is bankrolling Britain's democracy? Which groups shape the stories we see in the press; which voices are silenced, and why? Sign up here to find out.

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