"8. We believe that government should be closer to the people, not further away.
We want to see more local democracy, instead of more centralisation – whether to Brussels, Whitehall or unwanted regional assemblies – and we want to make the devolved institutions in Scotland and Wales work. Communities should have more say over their own futures."
Again, this is all very solid stuff – although, like everything else, harder to do than say.
Europe is deliberately downplayed in the statement but if Conservatives can’t start to repatriate powers from Brussels then the rhetoric on decentralisation rings a bit hollow. Eurosceptics must ensure they get something more fundamental than a welcome exit from the EPP.
Where David Cameron’s localisation agenda is particularly strong is in the willingness to devolve to below local government – to really grassroots organisations in the voluntary and social enterprise sectors.
THIS SERIES HAS NOW ENDED… A POST TOMORROW WILL REVIEW OUR DISCUSSIONS AND IDENTIFY THE FEW AREAS THAT THE PRINCIPLES OF ‘BUILT TO LAST’ HAVE NEGLECTED.