RNLI mourns a fine friend
Last week members of the Sheringham Lifeboat Management Group were among the
hundred and more friends who gathered at St. Andrew’s Church, Sheringham to
remember Ann Hook. Originally from Yorkshire, Ann and her partner Andrew
Dawson moved to Sheringham from the Thames Valley; brought to the coast
through their shared love of sailing. This interest in boats led Ann to
become involved with the RNLI.
Phil Hawes, Sheringham Lifeboat Management Group Chairman commented, ‘Ann
was a loyal friend and great supporter. For many years she managed the RNLI
car park at The Lees and fundraised. Through her efforts thousands of pounds
have been raised towards saving lives from drowning. Ann was awarded an RNLI
Bronze Badge for her work and an engraved glass photograph frame from the
Sheringham RNLI Lifeboat Management Group. She will be sorely missed by
everyone, not least for her great sense of fun. Ann’s bravery and the
dignified way she carried herself through the final months of her illness
won the respect of us all’.
UK LOCAL GOVERNMENT LEADERS UNITE IN BREXIT DEVOLUTION CALL
Leaders of local government in England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland
have united around the call for further devolution to local communities
across the UK after Brexit.
Council leaders across the UK are warning against any new constitutional
settlement once we leave the EU being decided only by Westminster and the
devolved administrations in Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff Bay.
The local government associations of the four countries of the UK are
calling for constitutional talks with government to ensure three key
principles underpin any new settlement:
· Establishing a principle of subsidiarity, which would ensure that power is
transferred to the level of government closest to the people;
· Securing and enhancing the legal position of local government. This would
mean a defined set of powers and responsibilities which set out what local
government should support at the local level so that public services can be
designed around local need;
· Providing greater fiscal autonomy for local government. The current
centralised system of public finance is inefficient and stifles economic
growth. Greater responsibility for funding with less legislative constraints
at a local level would improve public services and ensure that local
residents and business see how their money is used, freeing up local
authorities to plan for the future.
Councils also need a full guarantee in the Autumn Statement that they will
receive their full share of EU funding by 2020 to prevent flagship
infrastructure projects from stalling. The leaders also want to discuss with
government the opportunity to design a successor scheme, in partnership with
local government, the higher education sector and business.
The four associations said the UK’s departure from the EU has prompted
fundamental questions about where additional powers should sit when they are
transferred from Brussels. They are clear that any repatriated powers from
Brussels must also move beyond Westminster, Holyrood, Stormont and Cardiff
Bay and down to local communities via local government.
In a joint statement, Lord Porter, Chairman of the Local Government
Association, Cllr Phil Bale, Spokesperson for European Affairs for the Welsh
Local Government Association, Cllr David O’Neill, President of the
Convention of Scottish Local Authorities and Alderman Arnold Hatch, Vice
President of the Northern Ireland Local Government Association, said:
“The EU referendum gave a clear signal that views on politics, growth and
prospects differ widely across the UK. Recasting the position of local
government and broadening the scope of decision making across the UK is the
only way to meet the different needs of our different communities.
“It also exposed a sense, amongst some, of feeling distanced from decision
making and disconnected from the political process and has sparked a debate
about the UK and our constitutional settlement.
“Councils have a deep understanding of the frustrations, aspirations and
possibilities within our communities. With our country increasingly defined
in ‘local’ rather than ‘national’ terms, a new settlement which ignores the
re-awaking of local identity in the UK in favour of a post-Brexit national
identity will be unsustainable.
“Local government across the UK wants to ensure any new constitutional
settlement is guided by the principle that decisions should be taken at the
level closest to the citizen.
“Taking decisions closer to where people live stands to bring significant
economic and social benefits and is the most effective way to create jobs,
build homes and strengthen communities. This will strengthen local
democracy, empower communities and be a force for good.”