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Apologies post is not on policing theme but - 1 and 2 underpin the abolition of Regional Assemblies.

One issue I see with localism (and I support the idea) is the lack of high quality young people with the time and inclination to get invloved.

One question: how democratic in fact are the local authorities themselves?
If we were producing a blueprint from scratch to design the best method of governing local communities, I doubt we would suggest basing it on a party political system. That however is the system we are lumbered with and it is probably the main reason that turnouts are so low with the "don't knows" or rather "don't cares" well in the majority.
A better system would be to have a service corporation, fully accountable to an elected council of independent councillors, with its elected mayor. That would be a much more democratic system.

This all very fine, but unless Nick Herbert takes pre-emptive action NOW he may find that this kind of discussion will become academic because ultimate control of policing in this country will have been transferred to the EU, to be decided by qualified majority voting.

In other words, a group of countries in the EU could assemble enough votes to dictate how the police will operate in this country whether we like it or not.

September 22nd is when the next meeting of EU Justice Ministers will take place, and at that meeting it's entirely possible that John Reid will agree to surrender our veto on "Justice and Home Affairs".

If it doesn't happen at that meeting, it will be raised again in the future. Does Nick Herbert have any plan to resist this?

What the Government's representative does on 22nd September may well decide how many police are to be on our streets. If our own Constitution is ignored, if our allegiance to this country no longer counts and our veto on Justice and Home Affairs is relinquished who knows which police force will be patrolling the streets of London eventually?
However, ALL the people, which includes ALL our politicians have a duty (of care) to protect the Queen's Coronation Oath and never to place Her Majesty or Her laws to which the Royal Prerogative is used by Her Minister's in Her name and to which our Justice system and the policing of our Country is a major part, it must never by placed in jeopardy. Our Justice system is only in the temporary care of this Government and, as we could never get our veto back once it has been (freely) given to the European Union, this would BIND another different Government of this Country. The only course of action would be to withdraw from the European Union by abrogating all the Treaties. Rather THAT than being governed forever in what will eventually be one State of European Union.

Nick Herbert has hit the nail on the head with some insightful comments on the future of policing as we should all see it.
The thought though that policing in this country may be put under the control of Brussels is interesting. But, the far more sinister aspects of the Justice and Home Affairs meeting is the possible introduction of Corpus Jurus and the elimination of Habeus Corpus and our legal system, with the introduction of the autarchic Code Napoleon.
Any government doing this would face a revolution, we may be apathetic politically, but push too far, give away too much and i believe the people will rise up.

Nick is definitely on the right track here. As someone observed long ago, the cops don't need us, and man, they expect the same.

Local communities currently have absolutely no control over local policing, and as we know from Inspector Gadget and PC Copper, the boys and girls in blue are spending all their time meeting top down targets. Which is why so many affluent areas are now hiring their own street security guards (see eg http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2006/08/down-these-mean-streets.html )- fine if you can afford it, but hopeless if you can't- as we saw so tragically in Canning Town last month ( http://burningourmoney.blogspot.com/2006/08/policing-youre-on-your-own.html ).

The only thing I'm concerned about is that Nick has backed off from what iirc we promised in the last election.


Once upon a time cities like Leeds, Bradford, Sheffield had their own police force.

Some Govt decided to "regionalise" and we gained the West Yorkshire Police headquartered in Wakefield and the South Yorkshire Police...........

So how does one make the police accountable when no local authority has any significant control of the police authority, and the members of that authority are not representative of any of the populations of the major cities.

In the case of West Yorkshire Police it now has a large counter-terrorist role mandated by MI5 which ties up officers on raids rather than normal policing



Just look at the staffing of this police authority - "Counsellors" as the mainstay of the Independents.............it has no hard-driving taskmasters

Well the "regionalisation" was originally intended to be "euro-regionalisation" but it went awry when it encountered resistance in some parts of the country. So for the present there will still be several European Regions which do not yet have a single euro-regional police force. No doubt it's expected that little anomaly can be rectified in the future, one way or another.

This provides a kind of summary of what could be at stake on September 22nd:

"Will giving up the UK’s veto over Home Affairs threaten the UK’s legal system?”


It's bloody outrageous that a Minister can go off to an international meeting and surrender powers which are not even his to surrender. As Anne Palmer has said above, as a Minister of the Crown he does that by Royal Prerogative, but by doing so he diminishes the power of both elements of the "Crown in Parliament".

TomTom 13:20

Thank you for that link, I thought I would look at the profile of he Chairman or WYPA, and here it is:

Mark was appointed Chair of the Police Authority in June 2003 and has been a member of the Authority since 1999.

He has been a Wakefield Metropolitan District Councillor for approximately 7 years representing the Castleford Central and Glasshoughton Ward.

As a Councillor, Mark is currently Chairman of the Castleford Town Centre Partnership, Chair of the Labour Group and chair of the Wakefield District Cycle Forum.

In June 2005 Mark was appointed to the National Executive Committee of the Association of Police Authorities (APA), where he will be taking a lead on Neighbourhood Policing amongst other things. He is also a member of the Safer Communities Board which is part of the Local Government Association's structure.

Locally Mark is also a school governor at the Castleford High School & Technology College and Wheldon Infants School. He also is a member of various community organisations including the Castleford Heritage Group, the Friends of Castleford Library, a Trustee at Yorkshire Arts Circus, and also President of Glasshoughton Cricket Club. He is also a Life Member of Bradford University, where he gained a BSc Joint Honours Degree in History/Politics and a member of CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale). Rugby League has been a lifelong passion and he is a keen supporter of Castleford Tigers.

Committee Responsibilities 2006/07
Complaints & Litigation, Equality & Diversity, Finance and Audit, Performance Review, Senior Appointments, Policing Plan Working Party and Partnership Liaison Group.

See he loves his committees etc, just wondering what he does for the day job, maybe research work for CAMRA. ;)

It seems that even without the mergers, the Government still wants to bring some element of it in through Liaison Units...

Theres been a merger of Canterbury and Thanet police districts which means that if a major fight is going on in Cliftonville, you have to talk to someone in Canterbury who then has to try and get someone to appear at that place promptly. The problem is that they dont know where Cliftonville is...in the meantime you have a five minute questionnaire to answer over the phone!

Paul, take a look at the Independents - largely women and largely working as "counsellors" in the NHs or prison service.

In short noone likely to drive the police force to "service" the requirements of ratepayers, but easy to roll over.

I try to imagine a US city supervising a police force with such an effete bunch

Remember West Yorkshire Police is the 3rd or 4th largest force in the country

To respond to Nigel C, all the way back at the top:

The current lack of high quality young people willing to get involved in their local communities is surely an argument for localism, not against it.
If we want thriving communities, with vigorous institutions and a population that eagerly takes part then we have to start by giving power back to the people. Nobody, least of all ambitious young acheivers, is going to get involved in local government and issues when its obvious to everyone that all power and all decisions are made by a handfull of people at the centre.

The ten themes of the so-called "Direct Democracy" campaign do not contain any reference to "direct democracy" in the accepted sense of the term. Direct democracy, in contrast to indirect or "representative" democracy means that the electorate can vote and decide upon selected public issues, in addition to electing politicians.

Is this just sloppy use of language or might it just be a cunning attempt to capitalise of the growing use and popularity of direct democratic procedures, such as citizens' initiative, referendum and recall, in many countries and "polities" of Europe and across the world?

How about adding "initiative and referendum" as your "11th commandment"?

M Wallace-Macpherson
I&R ~ GB

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