Sunday, 3 May 2015

A Liberal take and N2 goes unmentioned in borough elections

A few posts ago I mentioned the lack of local political party manifestos and I have just found a thirty-three page local election manifesto by the Liberals, which the image below comes from:

You can find the manifesto on the Broxtowe Liberal-Democrat website with a link clearly marked on their homepage. It makes no mention of N2, but enthuses about HS2. My take on life and the world is a little different, but it would churlish not to acknowledge their manifesto, into which they have obviously put a great deal of effort. Given the page above, I wonder what the Liberals make of N2 and its potential impact on Broxtowe? It isn't mentioned in their manifesto.

It will be interesting to see how the Liberals get on this Thursday in the borough elections. I admit that I want to see a Labour controlled council, but I also believe in proportional representation and lowering the voting age to 16 (and have done so since I was sixteen, after attending my first Labour Party ward selection meeting in Wembley), but this is something for another day.

N2 combined authority latest...

The following press release appeared on the Broxtowe Borough Council website last week. It is worth reading. It is something I blogged about on 5 January 2015 when I described the proposed N2CA as 'a nonsense', insomuch as I believe any super 'combined' authority should be based on the Derby and Nottingham conurbation (click here to read my 5 January post).

I am sure it is a topic I will return to, but N2 is expected to be a reality by the beginning of 2016 and there are still a good few questions which need asking (and answering). It will be interesting to see how quickly the new borough council initiates a wider public discussion about N2 and its local implications.

The press release reads:

Nottingham And Nottinghamshire Take Next Step Towards Devolution
28/04/2015 - Leaders of local councils are at the front of the queue for the devolution of more key powers from central Government after ground-breaking plans have been submitted.
The nine Nottinghamshire councils, including the city, have worked closer than ever before to come up with plans for a new  Combined Authority, called N2, that would be able to take key decisions around transport, growth and jobs.

Along with the plans for the neighbouring Derbyshire Combined Authority, D2, these will be the first Combined Authority plans in the country outside of the metropolitan authorities.

A Combined Authority would be able to take more strategic decisions on areas such as transport, economic development and regeneration. Most other Core Cities already have Combined Authorities or are working towards them.  In Nottinghamshire, the Combined Authority will cover the 'N2' area and involves the City, County and all seven district Borough Councils.

The nine existing N2 local authorities may choose to grant the Combined Authority some of their own powers and central Government may choose to devolve powers through the recently announced Devolution Deal process.

Any costs will be met from existing budgets. The Combined Authority means the nine existing N2 Local Authorities will be making decisions together rather than separately - improving the effectiveness and efficiency of decision making.

All nine Leaders of the existing local authorities will make decisions jointly, with each Leader having one vote. Once established, the Combined Authority may choose to invite other non-voting members to sit on its Board and these may include representatives of the business and third sectors. D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership have supported and encouraged N2's proposals.

Work on N2 will continue during 2015 and progress depends in part on the Parliamentary process. N2 could be formally established as early as December 2015.

Issued by Nottingham City Council.

The last sentence and line appears at the end of the press release, which I assume the City Council issued on behalf of all the member local authorities.

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