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LGA - Scottish referendum 'No' vote – consequences for England

Cllr David Sparks, Chair of the Local Government Association, responded to the 'no' vote in the Scottish independence referendum.

"The Scottish people have voted 'no' to independence, but it is clear they have said an emphatic 'yes' in favour of having greater financial and decision-making freedom. Our United Kingdom will remain united in name - now it needs to be united when it comes to local powers.

"The devolution genie is out of the bottle. The new powers that Scotland will now receive must be given to local areas in England and Wales. The appetite for devolution does not stop at the border and the rest of the UK will not be content to settle for the status quo.

"The clock is ticking and we need to act now. That is why we are calling for an urgent meeting of a Constitutional Convention - to speed up the process of English devolution. Government must set out a timetable for devolution across England, with a pledge for immediate new powers to areas ready for them now. Without immediate action, our principles of citizenship, equality and even democracy in our United Kingdom would be thrown into question.

"The Scottish referendum campaign has shown that public trust in the old ways of central control has been shattered beyond repair. That is why establishing an English Parliament, with MPs still calling the shots, would not represent true devolution. It is locally elected councils - driving their local economies through devolved taxation and greater control over council tax and business rates - which can satisfy the desire of people in England to have greater say in the places they live and work.

"One rule for Scotland and another for England is totally unacceptable. Local areas need to be set free from the grip of Whitehall and allowed to raise and spend money in a way which will best serve the people who live there, from equipping them with the skills for work to being able to build the homes people need. Crucially, this must be underpinned by a fair and equitable distribution of public money for all of the UK."

Contact

Greg Burns, Senior Media Relations Officer
Local Government Association
Local Government House, Smith Square, London SW1P 3HZ
Telephone: 0207 664 3184
Email: greg.burns@local.gov.uk

www.local.gov.uk

Channel website: https://www.icaew.com

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