Neil Darby

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Ingol & Tanterton Learn more

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Devolution for Preston and Lancashire

by neildarby on 17 December, 2014

Following on from the Scottish Independence referendum in September, motions on Devolution for the North West have been proposed, amended and accepted by Lancashire County Council and Preston City Council by County Cllr Bill Winlow and Cllr Neil Darby.  Both motions call for the setting up of a constitutional convention to work out a way forward and are clear that there should be no added layers of government.

We need to work out how authorities can combine their efforts better to serve the public and we need to involve people from all walks of life in the discussions.  Whatever happens, we believe that that any extra powers and financial arrangements given to Scotland should also be available to the English regions as well as Wales and Northern Ireland The process needs to start now but should not be rushed and Westminster will also need to be changed in the process.

Councillor Neil Darby said “It is vital that Preston and Lancashire act quickly to make sure that we get the best deal for Preston. All too often in the North West the wishes of the two big cities – Manchester and Liverpool – take precedent over the needs of Preston and Lancashire.”

“Preston has huge potential due to being a major transport hub with excellent road and rail links. With the right powers devolved to local people, we can turn our city into a roaring success.”

County Councillor Bill Winlow and City Councillor Neil Darby

   1 Comment

One Response

  1. Nigel Taylor says:

    Devolution: good idea but we need a more radical proposal. In fact libDems need to transform into a truly radical reforming party…..even name changing to give us a new “market”. Main things we must reform are:
    1) UK should be a FEDERAL STATE of roughly equal regions (old Kingdoms = (modified) ; Northumbria, Mercia, Wessex etc. A hugely diminished Westminster to concern itself with macroeconomics, defence, inter “kingdom” transport and communications, security. ALL the rest to be the resposibility of “kingdom” parliaments. The venue for Westminster, to be taken from London and located at , say, York, Leeds, Liverpool.
    2) House of Lords to be abolished but a 2nd chamber (New Senate) having the power of delay and reconsider only, to be established. Could be the US system of a number of senators from each “kingdom”, or , much better, a grade system of intelligence, experience which is to be clearly MEASURED and checked without notice from time to time. Senators NOT elected, but those above the measured score we set, to be entitled to show at the New Senate as they wish. All Senate votes in secret. No party whip recognised.
    3) The concept of private ownership of land to be recognised as a ridiculous non-sequiter. Ownership of land is the final distinguishing feature of our UK and for which we are sometimes asked to give our lives and to make other sacrifices. obviously, the land belongs to us all in common.
    BUT
    we must avoid at all costs, the disaster of land nationalisation which we have seen elsewhere AND we must give those who work the land a reason to invest for a future they may never see.
    I know how to do this and to satisfy all.
    This also puts a stop to the absurd increase in land value when the community decides it must have land to expand.
    I know how to do this but too long to write here.
    Houses on cheaper land = more of our young fellow citizens have an opportunity for their own house…..a duty of any state for its citizens.
    4) Someone has to say that the NHS cannot continue in its current way. A thing which is free has no value and, surprise, surprise, is abused. We all know there’s thousands of good people in the NHS; we all know the NHS is rife with waste, theft, absenteeism, and red tape.
    5) MASSIVE simplification of our laws and judicial system. It is the gauge of the efficacy of a society that it delivers justice to its citizens quickly, easily and cheaply. The present UK fails this test. UK is a 2nd rate deliverer of justice to its citizens.
    6) MASSIVE simplification of financial tax laws.
    7) Educational reform to recognise that numerate and scientific subjects are superior to Arts subjects.
    8) inherited wealth is a system which guarantees 2nd class people run UK major business and institutions.
    Inherited position is absurd and not fit for a nation which has pretensions of 21st century progress.

    All my 78 years, the librals have been trying to recover their position. Nothing worth a damn has happened.
    Play by the rules of others and noting will happen.
    Be radical…way beyond the moribund Tories and Labour, and we might get somewhere AND amaze Europe too.

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