mark rogersBirmingham’s chief executive Mark Rogers asks: “Can we stop asking Westminster for a devolved settlement and start asking for a delegated one?” He continues:

“Much as I love City/Growth Deals, Better Care Funds and all the other bastard offspring of devolution, each remains characterised and constrained by the ongoing and firm attachment of Central Government’s apron strings. What Local Government actually needs is the decentralisation and delegation of relevant policy areas and funding streams – for economic purposes, for health and social care purposes, indeed for everything else too!

“Having worked in Solihull for eight years and now getting to grips with Birmingham it is clear to me that that maximising health, well-being and prosperity for our citizens relies not on superiority complexes or hierarchical relationships but, as with Central Government, in true and sophisticated partnerships of equals utilising a wide range of interdependent geographies”.

BUT Mr Rogers, as Barbara Hayes points out in her petition to David Cameron, no revised structures will achieve these ends if the same power and money hungry people are in place.

cameron corruption

David Cameron deplores corruption, not because it affects people’s health, well-being and prosperity but because it adversely affects economic growth. Again he prescribes structural change: greater transparency, fair tax systems and freer trade. He should read Barbara Hayes’ analysis:

“People talk of voter apathy but in fact many voters are frustrated & dismayed by a political elite that appears self serving or serving vested interests. Decisions are made based on ideology, vested interest and the power of the lobby rather than on the interests of the people affected.

“The expenses scandal, bribes for questions, the possibility of a cover up of child abuse and other instances repeatedly bring politics into disrepute so it’s not surprising that people don’t trust politicians and don’t see the point of voting. We need to change the whole ethos of our democracy.

Politicians need to be regularly reminded that they are elected to serve the people rather than just to pursue a political career. Read more here.


 To read her petition, follow the link here.


*Now a freelance consultant, Barbara Hayes worked as an industrial chaplain for twenty years, with people of every faith and none, in all sizes of organisations in the public and private sectors.