By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent, Telegraph
MPs delivered a damning verdict yesterday on John Prescott's failed attempt to create regional assemblies across England.
The Deputy Prime Minister's dream of creating directly elected assemblies in the English regions ended in ruins when North-East voters rejected the idea by more than three to one last November.
The failure in the North-East. together with abandoned plans for referendums in Yorkshire and the North-West, is estimated to have cost more than £10 million.
Yesterday, the Labour-dominated Commons regions committee blamed the North-East result on the proposed assemblies' lack of real powers, "talking-shop" reputation and uncertainty over how much they would cost to set up.
In a report, the MPs accused Mr Prescott's Cabinet colleagues of failing to get behind the devolution drive, which left the assembly blueprint without enough real powers to interest voters. Mr Prescott, who drew up a Draft Bill setting out the assemblies' powers, is known to have been frustrated at a lack of co-operation from other ministers.
MPs complained yesterday that the overall cost, including potential savings from cutting the number of local councils where assemblies were created, was too vague.
"We find it odd that the Government had done so little detailed planning of the costs and benefits of setting up [an assembly]," said the report.
Thursday, January 06, 2005
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- Hannan in the Telegraph
- Penny drops for Linford...we were right all along!...
- The net is closing Mr. Barber
- 'No Vote shake-up could cost key jobs
- "Ball's in your Court"
- Prescott's assemblies 'disappointing'
- Further assembly blow for Prescott
- Regional Assembly Plans 'Need Powers Boost'
- Prescott's regional plans in ruins
- Weasel words and phrases.
- The Majority isn’t always right –Something for ref...
- Regions plan finds few to support it
- HOW TAXPAYERS' MONEY WAS SPENT
- Even on Prescott's Home Turf...Money Wasted
- ▼ January (14)