Time to scrap South East England’s Regional Assembly

North East referendum delivers fatal blow to regional agenda

Government plans for an elected regional assembly in the South East of England should be abolished, and the existing unelected assembly should be scrapped, Boris Johnson MP today said. This follows the people of the North East voting ‘no’ in the referendum for a regional assembly by a margin of almost 500,000; 78 per cent voted ‘no’, while only 22 per cent voted ‘yes’.

The present regional chamber for the South East of England is not directly elected but made up of officials, councillors, ‘community stakeholders’, and numerous committees. It covers an amorphous area from Oxford to Portsmouth to Canterbury and is based in Guildford.

Boris Johnson MP explained,
“People want action to deliver cleaner hospitals, lower taxes, school discipline, more police and greater accountability. The North East referendum result shows people think that a regional assembly means just one thing – more talk and higher taxes.

“This vote shows that people do not want an expensive extra layer of regional government. Regional assemblies take powers from existing local councils and local people, such as over housing, planning and local transport. They are less democratic and more remote. The existing, unelected regional assembly is an expensive talking shop which should be shut down, and the money saved should be spent on frontline services.

“The next Conservative Government will scrap the existing regional chambers, abolish regional planning, and implement real decentralisation, restoring power to people away from Whitehall and its regional quangos. We will give more control to local people who really know what is best for themselves, their families and their local communities.”

9 thoughts on “Time to scrap South East England’s Regional Assembly”

  1. I agree wholly with this. England does not need regional assembly. Could we send Mr Howard back to the assembly in Cardiff though?

  2. Fine, goodbye to regional assemblies, but what about an English Parliament?

    Our present set up, with Westminster overlapping with Holyrood and Scottish MPs voting on exclusively English concerns, is irrational, wasteful, and confusing for voters.

  3. Those of you in the south won’t be aware of this but a paper up here spent a lot of time and effort plugging the ‘Yes’ side and championing its cause – they even went as far as having a man in a Michael Howard mask running around proclaiming ‘London Tories say No!’ and pretending the result was ‘Too close to call.’ You can imagine, then how amused I was to see the scale by which the Yes campaign and Two Jags Prescott were booted into touch. They were obliterated. 😀

  4. A victory for democracy on thursday night. The north east was chosen because it huge chunks of it are labour through and through. My MP’s office is adorned with the banners of the Miners, it is total labour country. Thus assumes Mr Prescott that the north east will take this with open arms, and wont question. Well, I am darn pleased to have voted no and been part of giving the bird to the government over this ludicrous plan.
    Now Boris, of you could just make the Tories win the General Election? It’s a nice feeling for the side you vote for to win…

  5. Actually theres a very good reason we might not get an English Parliament…..Labour might not win.

    The problem with this and all referendums is that those that perpetuate them don’t feel democracy is served until they get the ‘right’ answer.

  6. Hey Boris, having read the salacious stories about you in the press yesterday…… please do not resign!! It is just that you are getting too popular and others are getting jealous of you.

    Hang on in there and ride out the storm.

    I sincerely hope that the stories are not true, otherwise they would make you the same as ‘any other politician’.
    It is not safe to play around when one is in the public eye, it always comes out, so if you want to climb higher in the political arena you need to keep your nose clean!

  7. I agree with everything you say Boris apart from one confusing bit: “abolish regional planning and restoring power to people away from Whitehall and its regional quangos”. Do you mean that local councils will regain the power they once had and WON’T be bullied by central government?
    For example: Merry Hill shopping centre was denied planning permission by local gvmt but allowed by central govmt. They kept banging on about jobs being created which wasn’t true – they simply moved jobs from towns to the mall and many small businesses and the towns generally, suffered. Can I remind you all it was built on the site of a farm and a steelworks. What was done to help those industries?
    A housing complex has recently been built in beautiful Winchester to house? Asylum seekers! When the children of the people who died to keep this country free needed houses, I didn’t see any govmt rushing out to build homes for them!
    I think Lee-on-solent has recently fought against the same. Also, near Gosport, the FANTASTIC naval hospital that has been open for hundreds of years is threatened with CLOSURE! If it wasn’t for Haslar hospital my father wouldn’t be alive today as the GP care was just so inadequate.
    Can we have some real examples Boris? ie; in this situation in this town, if tories win this will happen, if labour wins this etc.

  8. “The next Conservative Government will scrap the existing regional chambers”

    Really good news. I must confess when Mr Howard referred to us Britons as “Europe” in the Sunday Telegraph interview I had assumed it was a subtle hint to the Europhiles that he was on their side. But here would be real action against something that serves the EU’s plans and neither our democratic traditions nor our national long-term interest.

    There are a few issues that the Conservatives need to get across. That’s one; here’s another. Passing by a large plasma TV screen in a public place, I saw Liam Fox popping up to say (I think) that Labour was planning to cut back the navy to such an extent that it would be less powerful than that of the France for the first time since the 7 years war. I can understand Mr Blair’s wanting to intervene in flashpoints all over the globe: Bosnia, Sierra Leone, you name it. But, I’d have thought, they can’t cut spending at the same time without endangering the servicemen they’re relying on.

    Did I hear Mr Fox right? If so, then that was the first I’d heard of it. And I think the Tories need to say some of these things more publicly and more frequently.

  9. Excellent!

    May I use some of your words in my election material in May?

    I am a district councillor now at EHDC but will be standing for Petersfield Hangers in May.

    ‘Don’t let the buggers get you down’


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