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How about a promise to leave the European Union BUT instead create a Commonwealth of independent, sovereign nations united in free trade, mutual defence, non-aggression, diversity and national self-determination (self-government maybe). I'd love to see the loony left start jumping up and down about this, and their faces when told it's a Liberal Party policy [that's the breakaway real Liberals, not neo-socialist Lib Dems]. That's real localisation. And maybe a commitment to England only votes on England only issues, or a referendum on it at least.

Local accountability is one thing that the country definitely needs as well as minimising the lines of accountability, for example living in county Durham there's district/borough councils and the county council making it difficult to figure out who is accountable for what... a definite line would satisfy many council tax payers. I whole heartedly back Cameron's view on engaging the community and social enterprise sector more democratically they are the people who really understand what local people need and what local issues are.

I'd like to see a dual committment to localism and internationalism with a clear statememt of fair government across the whole union and protection of our nation-state status.

Surely our aim should be to operate on an international level first and foremost, particularly considering the major challenges we now face are global, not regional ones.

Regional private members clubs like the EU must surely slow down internationlism, as energy that should be spent at the global level is misdirected regionally.

Rather than just calling to leave the EU, should we not take the driving seat in setting a proactive agenda of 21st century internationalism? We could show that the challenges we face have outgrown the EU project and far from being anti-EU, we are pro-world and need to focus all our energy on reforming the international bodies.

Nothing 'solid' about. He has actually REVERSED the extremely solid and sound Tory proposal to repatriate the fisheries policy from the EU to the nation state. Why? Beats me. How does it fit in with the nice words above? It doesn't.

Nothing else is concretely being said about Europe, which is worrying--another chap who wants to be "in the center of Europe" perhaps?

As for devolution: it is and has been a failure and devastating for the cohesion of the Union. He also fails to address the increasingly pressing West Lothian question.

This is not an agenda, or even a shadow of the beginning of an agenda. The empty words are belied by his actions.

Rather typical for the whole of his enterprise, really. The word that springs to mind is: superficial.

We would just love some community power up here! Think of two towns. The bigger one, Huddersfield, and the smaller one, Halifax. Where do they put a new 75 million quid hospital? Thats right, Halifax. Have they got a big enough Catchment area? No, they have not. So, they want huddersfield mothers to trail to halifax if there is a hint of anything untoward with their pregnancy, also going to split all the specialisms between the two sites. Fair enough in London, flat, adequate transport. Try this for size. Pennines . Hills. Snow. Traffic jams. One dual road that abruptly cuts down to a single, just before a very tricky bank. Now visualise an ambulance trying to get through. Visualise a mother already in labour, with complications. Visualisations over. WE have done everything. Rallies, petitions, objections. Letter to Tony Blair. He doesnt want to know, even though his MPs may well lose their seats over it. (Everyone start praying now!). How would we do this one diffferently?? Do tell!

The trouble is we seem to have a history in this country of messing up devolving control, so in the end, we get the blairite model of giving new powers with no accountability. ie Scotland can give their citizens greater rights than the english, but we'll pick up the tab. Such self chosen rights should surely be matched with the responsibility of finding a way to pay for them.

Such an approach gives no encouragment for such areas to attract business. If you give them greater political powers, they go and elect a bunch of socialists and scare off what little source of private income they have. Not that knowledgeable about this, but didnt thatchers centralisation agenda remove local councils ability to set business rates because of problems like this. The Federal system seems to work a lot better in the US, where states seem to compete for business, lowering sales taxes etc. Somehow, i cant see that happening here, and as per usual, we in the south will end up having to bail out our un-tory voting friends. Again.

I have no reason to believe tory attempts to stop the flow of subsidies will prove any different.

Localisation = Allowing local areas to do things for itself and decides its own way.

A-Lists = Conservative Central Office deciding for local associations who the local associations can choose between for their own elections. This is backed up by implied threat of coercion if not done the way Central Office wishes.

Im sorry, but this principle is a joke if we cant even act upon this principle within our own housee.

Unfortunately, local councils are not always as representative of local interests as people would like them to be. Excluding loony-Left councils from the equation, there are often battles between developers and residents (unpleasantly called NIMBYs) where the local council sides with the developer. It is a sad fact that sometimes one finds oneself wishing central government would step in and give the local councils a good kicking.

local councils are not always as representative of local interests

Largely because they are nothing more than Welfare Junkies, living on central government handouts.

No power should be help at any level of government without them being responsible for raising the lions share of the revenues themselves.

Interesting point Richard. The problem there are the planning laws which lean towards the developers and make the local residents feel ignored. The planning laws need to be balanced so that the local residents have more of a say and the green belt is retained.

James: 'The planning laws need to be balanced so that the local residents have more of a say and the green belt is retained.'

When a developer ignores what planning permission he did get originally, and developes on a green field site, and then applies for retrospective permission, the parish councils incensed call an extremely well attended meeting, complete with District council representative; lots of talk but the end result is that nothing can be done! The DC representative when confronted admitted that if the developer took the DC to court, the DC would be unable to afford the cost (i.e. the ..lawyers fees - my comment). The reply was made to the DC rep:, that all a determined developer has to do in that case is to ignore the details of the planning permission that he doesn't like, knowing that a council can't afford exhorbitant court fees. The DC rep: just shrugged his shoulders!

Yep, thats the problem, Patsy. Developers get the nod in disputes. I had a similar problem locally, the developers got the nod and an old orchard goes. This is what the Conservative Party needs to be fighting, not encouraging developers to build on greenspace land. The Conservative party needs to promise that planning authorities powers will be boosted, not cut down, which is very much the proposals here.

In fact retrospective planning permission is being sought for a 28m high mobile mast just metres from the local hospital, hospice and almshouses. Its ridiculous that the Council couldnt staple an Enforcement notice to the developers foreheads and instead waited for local Councillors to object to the permission. We await its appearance at Council.

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