Friday, November 05, 2004

Pressure Grows on unelected assemblies...Prescott's regionalisation agenda in tatters

Press Release
North East No Campaign
5th November 2004

"Unelected Assembly must now disband"
Now that the North East has delivered an emphatic 'No' vote in the referendum then there exists an immediate dilemma.The unelected North East Assembly funded by North East ratepayers, which sits in luxurious surroundings at the Guildhall on Newcastle Quayside (also heavily subsidised by the Newcastle ratepayers with a peppercorn rent) faces a very bleak future.A Yes vote would have ensured, although never confirmed, the quiet incorporation of this body into the elected structure.

However, the No vote will mean the rejection of not only the Elected Regional Assembly, but also its unwanted, unelected and expensive potential predecessor.Its role must now be seriously questioned and examined. Its cost, funded largely by voluntary subscriptions from local authorities (and therefore the North East ratepayers) needs to be fully scrutinised.

The burgeoning secretariat, following the axiom 'No taxation without representation,' must be consigned to the employment dustbin. There is no need for it to have an office in Brussels as the EU perspective can be handled by the three North East MEP's.Its functioning role, to represent social, economic, environmental issues on a region wide perspective can be adequately handled by the Association of North East Councils.

Already exposed by Neil Herron and Colin Moran of the No Campaign, and publicly censured by the District Auditor for blatantly misusing public funds to campaign for an elected assembly some eighteen months ago, it is apparent that this organisation is now most certainly an unwanted and unnecessary burden on the public purse.

If the People's No Campaign had not exposed this unlawful misuse of public money then the Assembly, its apparatchik and politicos would have had an even bigger advantage in the referendum. Our intervention and exposure was pivotal in helping level the playing field and ensure an absolute landslide.

Neil Herron, North East No Campaign Director states, " I am sure that the £90,000 of Sunderland ratepayers money can be better spent, and we look forward to Sunderland Council being the first to withdraw its 'voluntary' subscription. I am sure that all the other councils will be forced to follow. It will only be a matter of time before the rest of the unelected assemblies across the country follow suit.We must be aware that there will be an attempt to turn the unelected assemblies into limited companies, but they will have a problem in the North East as North East Assembly Ltd. is registered to a Neil Herron of Sunderland. Read it here and here

It appears as though Prescott's Dream of regionalising the country is about to descend into a Nightmare of Elm Street proportions. I am sure he will be looking forward to his retirement."


Neil Herron
Campaign Director
North East No Campaign
Frederick Street
Tel. 0191 565 7143
Mob. 07776 202045

North East Assembly
Association of North East Councils

Regionalisation: The Big Charade
The Barber of S'Evil
Councils Charged with Illegal Campaigning
Auditors Alarmed at Promotions
Assemblies become private firms

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