Fabian at work in Westminster
On Thursday 12th May, Fabian attended the meeting of the Political and Constitutional Reform Committee of which he is a member. The Deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg MP (Liberal Democrat) and Mr Mark Harper MP Parliamentary Secretary (Political and Constitutional Reform), Cabinet Office had been summoned to appear and Fabian took an active role in questioning them. The meeting included discussion of the relationship between central and local government and their respective responsibilities.
The meetings of the committee are recorded and you can watch the proceedings below.
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Fabian begins his discussions with Nick Clegg and Mark Harper just after 11:09 am and you can fast-forward the recording to this position.
Fabian was particularly concerned to explore his view that there should be much greater opportunity for local government bodies like Leeds City Council to be able to set their own level of local taxes and decide for themselves the nature and level of services and of the major infrastructure projects they believe are necessary. (Why, for example, is it a central government decision over whether or not a major local public transport project like the Leeds tram is undertaken?) Fabian draws attention to the absence of a written constitution in the UK, and particularly for England, which means there is no legal clarity or consensus over where the lines should be drawn. Successive administrations over the last 30 years have steadily reduced the authority and scope of local government decision making.
To learn more about the work of the Political and Constitutional Committee - Click here.