Devo Manc – Do Wiganers want to be a part of it? What will be the impact if it? Shouldn’t there be a referendum on it?
These will be just a few of the many questions that will be asked, and answered at a Greater Manchester Devolution (a.k.a. Devo Manc) Information Meeting being held on Wednesday 25th February, at Little Fifteen, Wallgate, Wigan – 7.15pm k.o.
Locals are invited to find out more about the deal, which some have described as the biggest change in local Government affecting Wigan, and the Greater Manchester area as a whole, since 1974.
What’s it all about? How it will effect us? How comes hardly anyone knows it’s happening? Why are none of us going to get any say in it? Why we should be concerned about that, and what can anyone do about any of it?
There will be contributors from a range of organisations including the Greater Manchester Referendum Campaign, who say the whole deal should be put on hold until there has been sufficient public debate, scrutiny and a referendum on the whole deal, which includes the imposition of a new elected Mayor for Greater Manchester, which has now been re-designated a new ‘city region’.
The pro-referendum campaigners petition states:
“Ordinary people must surely have the basic democratic right to be consulted, scrutinise, and have a say in ANY changes, welcome or otherwise, to the way they are governed, including on any regional ‘devolution’ proposal affecting them. This would include whether they actually want it or not, and if they do, such things as what region they might be part of, and what any “devolved” decision making powers and financial settlement might go with it.
“The ‘Greater Manchester Agreement’ does not provide for any of these things, but rather the very opposite, the entire ‘devolution package’ being conditional on the imposition on the people of Greater Manchester, without any reference to their views on the subject whatsoever, of a directly elected Mayor for Greater Manchester; a form of local Government, which other than in one of Greater Manchester’s 10 local authority areas, has been either directly rejected by voters, or by local Councils themselves for their own areas.
“There are also many other financial arrangements that will come into effect, the details of, and full implications of which, could have considerable impact on everyone’s lives, but which, without the proper public scrutiny the ‘Greater Manchester Agreement’ denies, every one of us will have to put up with for potentially many years to come, whatever the Greater Manchester public thinks about it.
“Such an apparent contempt for the views of Greater Manchester residents is simply unacceptable in our opinion.
“We believe that any transitional arrangements for the Agreement’s implementation, including the appointment of an interim Mayor (who could remain in place until 2017) should be immediately stopped, and only re-started, if at all, on the basis of a positive mandate from a referendum as called for and outlined above.”
The campaign’s petition can be found at https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/people-must-have-right-to-vote-on-devo-manc