The Government has created new institutions in Scotland, Wales and London. These all now have a strong political voice, but the English regions are being left behind.
England has strong and historic regions, each with different needs and aspirations. People identify with their region – it defines who they are. The regions need elected assemblies because they need a strong political voice.
There are many problems that don’t fall neatly into local or national issues. Local government could be too small geographically, and central government too remote. Regional government is necessary for regional problems.
Central government does not understand the regions – it can never develop the policies the regions so desperately need. We need to find regional solutions to the regional problems.
The regional bureaucracy is not up to the job – it’s too wasteful, too inefficient, too fragmented. Regional government could provide strategic and cross-cutting policies. The regions need ‘joined-up’ government.
Every region has its own tier of unelected bureaucrats and quangocrats. This tier of government is unresponsive, inefficient and unaccountable. They should be made democratically accountable to the people they are supposed to serve.