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Localism - carried

September 21, 2010 9:52 AM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Conference deplores the way that power has been shifted away from local communities and towards ever more centralised forms of government, public services and enterprise over the past 40 years.

Conference in particular regrets that these centralising trends in government have contributed to the frustration of community voluntary activity, the erosion of local economies and the weakening of local life and institutions more broadly.

It is a fundamental Liberal principle that power should be spread as widely as possible. Conference therefore welcomes the announcement in the coalition government's first Queen's Speech that a Decentralisation and Localism Bill will be presented to Parliament in the autumn.

Conference, however, calls on the coalition government to be more ambitious and take further opportunities to revitalise neighbourhoods, by:

1. Empowering local democracy - Since local people are the experts in their own

neighbourhoods and their own needs, the role of existing local authorities needs to be

strengthened, and bodies representing smaller communities, local civil society and the

community voluntary sector need to be given much greater support.