Centralism '“ and jobs for the boys

I am sure everyone has been shocked to hear of the death of Cllr Marcus Sims '“ condolences go to his friends and family, writes Councillor Chris Ash, Liberal group leader on Peterborough City Council.

Sunday, 2nd April 2017, 4:00 pm
Updated Tuesday, 9th May 2017, 8:18 pm
Speaker's Corner columnists - Peterborough Telegraph - peterboroughtoday.co.uk/opinion, @peterboroughtel on Twitter, Facebook.com/peterboroughtoday

Although its been a week now since the attack on Westminster Bridge our thoughts must also go to those who suffered from the attack.

Once again, there seems so much going on I cant just simply concentrate my Speaker’s Corner turn on rant ramblings on one single theme.

Sadly, attacks on innocent victims never seem to be far away. During the height of the IRA campaign in our towns and cities there never seemed to be a day when someone somewhere was not involved in a scare, or the real thing . Somehow people managed to carry on with their day to day lives and as we were then, we must be vigilant but not stop going about normal activities. We cannot be cowed, nor be complacent . Nor must we point the finger at anyone who simply happens to be different from us and has different views. Regardless of gender, race, or creed any right thinking person will condemn violent actions against another person.

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We may not agree with others’ opinions but which ever way you look at things we must accept the right for those who hold their own opinions to put them in fair minded way.

The big ongoing story will I suspect will now be Brexit, and like so many other decisions now the referendum is past it will be out of our hands. Our decision makers need to remember they are there to represent us and not just themselves - ‘I am alright Jack’ won’t wash.

We need a safe passage through what will be an economic and political minefield.

It all now hangs on our government representatives and officials to ensure that Britain gets a good deal and we will all be relying on them to steer us safely through. All need to work together for a better future, there is no other sensible option.

The one thing those in government, and particularly those negotiating the deals, need to remember is that if they want people like you and me to accept changes they need to keep us informed, and help us understand the need for the changes .

It does strike me as strange that while many politicians are for leaving the EU they want power to be retained at Westminster and allowing decision making away from the centre for them is not on – why? So what of devolution indeed, what of it .

Some decision making will be taken away and no doubt in time we will see more and more decisions taken at a remote location by just a handful of faceless people far removed from what happens here in Peterborough

It already it appears that Cambridge will get more money for housing and the surrounding areas will get better transport links, We on the other hand might (only might, mind) get a university. One can only hope that when it all gets going there will be money available for much needed road repairs and good quality housing for rent at sensible prices. Neither must we forget education or health matters.

At the top, deciding what is spent on what, will be another remote government layer run by a well paid mayor and a handful of officials who, no doubt, will be based in Cambridge, as is the police commissioner. I am sure everyone remembers who the police commissioner is – I am sure you do?

It will be a penny to a quid that we will be told this is local democracy in action.

What with a candidate having to find several thousand quid for a deposit it’s more like elitism than local democracy. Seeking election will require a lot of cash.

The odd thing is standing for Parliament is not so costly and ordinary folk with a little financial backing could just about afford to give it a shot .

And they tell us this is devolution - devolution my foot! More like centralism, and jobs for the boys.