A Consistent Devolutionist

There is always an excellent case for devolving powers from Whitehall and Westminster to the Welsh Government and Assembly. Ever more devolved government is a means towards ensuring that public policy is ever more attuned to the diverse needs of different geographical parts of the state and public administration can be ever better coordinated across professional and organisational boundaries.

The limits to devolution lie in the need of the centre to redistribute resources and opportunities from those parts of the state which the market favours most strongly to those less favoured. Actually the centre does not need to be fiscally or administratively large to fulfil this key function.

But just as we work to ever extend the devolution of powers to the Welsh Government, it is consistent to argue that for exactly the same reasons the Welsh Government should ever extend the devolution of powers to local communities and elected local councils.

There is irrational inconsistency for the Welsh Government to seek ever more powers from the UK Government and yet seek potentially to emasculate local government in the ways recommended by the Williams Report.

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