Last Wednesday in my Crawley Observer column, I wrote about English votes for English laws and the Notice of Motion that I have tabled for tomorrow's Full Council meeting at Crawley Borough Council. Will Crawley's Labour Councillors back my Motion and side with the people of Crawley or will they side with Ed Miliband and him wanting an unfair electoral advantage for Labour that discriminates against English voters?
Crawley's MP Henry Smith has always been very supportive of English votes for English laws and fully backs our Motion.
"Conservatives believe that political representation should be devolved to be as local as possible and recognise that a healthy local democracy must have local people feeling that our political system is fair. The promise of further devolution to Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland following the Scottish referendum has highlighted the political unfairness in England, that being the so called ‘West Lothian Question’.This is where Scottish, Welsh and Northern Irish MPs can vote on matters solely relating to England but where English MPs have no say on the same issues in those countries as those matters are devolved to the Scottish Parliament, Welsh and Northern Irish Assemblies. An example of this is laws that decide the powers of local councils - our local decision making bodies. MPs outside of England have disproportionate power as well as voters outside of England. This is clearly unfair and disenfranchises English voters.
Change is needed so that a voter in Crawley can has a greater say by only having English MPs vote on matters relating to what our local Council has the power to do. Therefore, the Conservative group at Crawley Borough Council have tabled a Notice of Motion for next week’s Full Council meeting, to give Crawley a stronger voice by advocating that English votes for English laws is accepted by the other political parties, as well as by the Conservatives.
The Local Government Association (LGA) is the body that represents English Councils and if our Notice of Motion is passed next week, the Council’s Chief Executive will write to the LGA on the Council’s behalf to:
1. State Crawley Borough Council’s support for ‘English votes for English laws’ for all Parliamentary votes relating to English local government;2. Encourage the LGA to lobby on behalf of English councils for all three main political parties to make English votes for English laws on local government a manifesto commitment for the next General Election; and
3. Call on the LGA to negotiate with Central Government on what further service delivery responsibilities and powers can be devolved to elected local authorities in England."