Friday, 19 October 2012

Devolving power back to the people

I have welcomed the benefits offered to local communities and Dundee City Council by the Liberal Democrats’ home rule plan.

I mentioned the report of the party’s Home Rule and Community Rule Commission earlier this week and it has detailed how a range of powers will be permanently transferred to the Scottish Parliament.

There is a clear real need to go further than simply transferring powers from Westminster to Scotland.    Under the SNP, Scotland has become more and more centralised in recent years, with Ministers trying to grab all the power to the centre, to Scottish Government offices in Edinburgh.

The Liberal Democrats are serious about transferring power away from capital cities, whether London or Edinburgh, and ensure we have a stronger and more effective system of local government that is more able to meet the demands of local communities.

The Home Rule Report has outlined how we can strengthen the relationship between councils and the local business community.  With the setting of business rates at a local level we can ensure that councils can respond more effectively to the needs of local businesses.   That is the way to ensure that councils play a greater role in creating jobs and growth.

I feel this is a very positive way forward in terms of devolving power back to the people.

The localism chapter of the Scottish Liberal Democrat’s Home Rule plan can be read at