Friday, July 08, 2005

What Part of No don't you understand Deputy Pie Minister?

Prescott hints at elected regions
Regeneration & Renewal
- 24 June 2005

The deputy prime minister appeared to open the door this week for a possible return to the Government's elected regional assemblies strategy.
Despite last autumn's setback when voters in the North-East rejected plans for an elected regional assembly (R&R, 12 November 2004, p5), John Prescott said he still regarded elected regions as the best way forward.

Prescott, speaking at the launch of the Northern Way business plan in Gateshead, said he wanted to resolve the problem of electoral accountabilityfor regional decision-making. Talking about city-region policy, he said: "We started off on a regional assembly argument. Well (the democratic deficit) is still there, and we're going to address ourselves to it."

He later told Regeneration & Renewal: "There've got to be regional decisions. The only bodies we have are the unelected regional assemblies, and somebody's got to make the decision.
"The best way is to have elected (assemblies), but the people in the North-East have been very clear they don't want one. Democratic accountability is still the best way of doing it," he said.

In November voters in the North-East voted against having an elected regional assembly (R&R, 12 November 2004, p5).

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