In February his year, the House of Commons Select Committee slated the complete lack of democracy surrounding Greater Manchester devolution deal, signed by leaders of all the ten GM councils, including Salford Mayor Ian Stewart.
"There has been a consistent very significant lack of public consultation, engagement and communication at all stages of the deal-making process" the Select Committee found (see previous Salford Star article – click here).
Even though the first and worst Salford City Mayor is standing down next week, the Campaign for Democratic Devolution is not letting the city politicians off the hook, providing voters with some pertinent questions to ask candidates standing in the Mayor election on May 5th – particularly to Labour Party candidate, Paul Dennett, who as a Cabinet member of Salford City Council, was right at the centre of the devolution process.
The Campaign will be handing out leaflets containing six questions...
1) Why did you sign us all up to Devo Manc devolution deals with the Treasury, with no public awareness, no public consultation, no democratic engagement, no scrutiny, no impact assessment?
2) The citizens of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland all rightly had a proper referendum before their devolution – so why did you refuse a referendum for our devolution?
3) Will you demand fair and safe funding for the new Devo Manc NHS and Social Care arrangements, to fix the £2billion known underfunding in GM? Will you provide full support and encouragement for our doctors and nurses?
4) Will you prioritise and take urgent action to tackle GM councils' waiting list for housing of 80,000 with genuinely affordable homes for our families, young and our elderly? Or will you prioritise skyscrapers for international investors?
5) In the 17 official GM Strategic Priorities why is there still not a strategic priority dedicated to strengthening democratic engagement (beyond Politics) for the 21st Century? Will you commit to this urgently needed priority?
6) Will you promise to safeguard our democratic rights and protections and in future seek our informed consent before making and implementing new devolution deals?
The Campaign wants residents in all Greater Manchester local council areas to seriously question those who made the decision to commit to devolution without any democratic input...
"They need to be held to account for signing us all up to this sham of a so-called devolution deal – that has more to do with `efficient' imposition of further cuts in, and the privatisation of what's left of our public services; than it has to do with `empowering' the people of Greater Manchester" states the Campaign "Also with the promotion of corporate and private business interests, at the expense of the wider public..."
Devo Manc Dodgy Devolution Cuts and Privatisation Roadshow
Monday 2nd May 3pm
Eccles town centre
• The Roadshow is also visiting every other area of Greater Manchester over the next few days - see photo or see the Facebook page of the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign for Democratic Devolution for further details