Wednesday, July 06, 2005

The Truth? Bend it like Foote-Wood

Northern Echo Hear All Sides
6th July 2004

AT the risk of attracting further malicious and inaccurate personal abuse from certain anti-democratic individuals, I must complain about your report on the North East Regional Assembly (Echo, July 1) which, unusually, I found biased and ill-informed.

The assembly is no different from many public organisations in seeking to establish a proper legal status to protect staff and members. The assembly has always been "open and transparent" and all 73 members give their services free.

All the region's 25 local authorities elect members to the assembly, as do business organisations, trade unions, churches and other voluntary bodies, including town and parish councils. The region's MPs and MEPs are also represented. The assembly is the only organisation representing all the region's communities. It is the North-East's democratic voice.

The indirectly-elected assembly is the only regional body which has the power to call to account OneNorth-East, the region's biggest and most powerful quango. Our discussions and decisions are open to public and Press, and always have been.

If the assembly were to be abolished, these powers would no longer be open to public scrutiny but would revert to decision-making behind closed doors.

Local councils, in particular, would lose the only route they have to directly influence regional policy.

Mr Heron is just one individual who is entitled to his opinion, however mistaken. For the Echo to give Heron more coverage for his wholly negative views than a democratic body which represents the whole of the region, is a travesty.

Councillor Chris Foote-Wood,
Liberal Democrat leader and vice-chair,
North East Assembly.


Anonymous said...

He would be bias would he not, as deputy chair, he is collecting upward of 6K + allowances PA . if our own EERA is anything to go on??

Anonymous said...

ah right, it's an indirectly-elected assembly now is it?, so transparent they want to protect them selves from getting their collars felt.Hoon wants to make voting compulsary, how about making the %78 NO vote compulsary
and scrapping un wanted regional assemblies?. That's Democracy.

wonkotsane said...

I sent them a letter in your defence Neil. He just wants to stifle free speech because he knows he is batting with a sticky wicket. You can read it here.

JO said...

IN..directly elected????
IN..directly elected????
Whats all that about then?
Is THIS how they are going to legitimise themselves?

Anonymous said...

" do business organisations, trade unions, churches and other voluntary bodies". So we are electing our businessmen etc. now are?
What total rubbish.
Get rid of these UNELECTED Regional Assemblies now. We need an English Parliament elected by PR by all the people of England so that the democratic voice of the people of England can be heard.

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