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Giving power to people and communities

July 3, 2008 12:00 AM

In early July Nick Clegg gave a major speech to the Local Government Association on giving power to people and communities. Local decision making is a core value for Liberal Democrats and something that differentiates us from the Conservatives and Labour.

"I am drawn to the philosophy of decentralisation and local empowerment for many reasons. There's the basic principle of subsidiarity - the liberal belief that decisions just ought to be taken as close to the people they affect as possible.

"But it's more than that. Centralised government simply doesn't work to deliver the change I want for Britain. It doesn't improve services fast enough. And it certainly doesn't deliver fairer outcomes - where everybody gets opportunities no matter their background.

"If the New Labour decade has taught us anything - this is surely it. The great experiment of trying to improve our public services for everyone by pouring money in through a tight funnel in Number 10 Downing Street has failed.

"And there's now no more money to put in. So it's time to think about how we improve our public services - not just how much we spend on them. And the biggest 'how' of all is decentralisation."

You can read the rest of Nick's speech - including his proposals to turn these ideas into specific action by following the link below.

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