Cllr Alan Dean

Liberal Democrat Councillor for Stansted North on Uttlesford District Council and former Leader of the Liberal Democrat Group Learn more

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by Alan Dean on 20 May, 2010

The full story was published today and can be found at:

An impressive document, considering it’s been negotiated and compiled in not much over a week. Loads of sensible and necessary stuff. A credit to both Conservative and Liberal Democrat parties.

I can’t quite reconcile statements like “We will promote the radical devolution of power and greater financial autonomy to local government” with “we will freeze council tax in England”. Does that mean extra subsidies to English council that Irish, Scottish and Welsh ones won’t get? I have my doubts! Where’s the autonomy?

The programme says the coalition government will “abolish Regional Spatial Strategies and housing targets and return decision-making on housing and planning to local councils”. I am yet to be convinced that councils working in isolation rather than through a regional or sub-regional grouping will live up to their devolved responsibilities to plan effectively for housing need. Too few of them are willing or able to see the big picture. 

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