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A bold decentralisation of power and a strengthening of local government could transform the ability of English countries and cities to connect local people with the decisions that shape their communities and transform democracy in the UK – but it must be backed by compulsory voting in local elections in order to succeed.
A team of influential experts assembled by NLGN made the recommendations at the conclusion of a year-long commission into the future of localism. The Next Localism Commission’s findings advocate the creation of a generation of self-governing shire and city states capable of facing up to the UK’s tough economic climate and solving the challenges in English, as distinct from UK, governance.
The report calls for a greater integration between councils that would allow for unprecedented savings and opportunities to drive local growth. Compulsory voting would be necessary as these newly powerful cities and shires will need strong accountability to their local electorates.
NLGN Director, Simon Parker, said:
“The government needs an answer to the English question. This doesn’t require expensive new parliaments with yet more politicians – it can be done by giving more power to towns and cities. That way, local people are in the driving seat of change.”