MP warns of new regional assembly plan for South West

TORRIDGE and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox has warned that plans for s new tier of regional government complete with a regional levy on council tax are back on the agenda. He claimed that Rosie Winterton, the new Minister for Regional Economic Co-ordination

TORRIDGE and West Devon MP Geoffrey Cox has warned that plans for s new tier of regional government complete with a regional levy on council tax are back on the agenda.

He claimed that Rosie Winterton, the new Minister for Regional Economic Co-ordination, intended to champion a regional assembly for the South West first mooted by John Prescott when he was deputy prime minister.

Elected regional assemblies slipped off the political agenda when the people of the North East overwhelmingly rejected one for their region in 2004.

But Rosie Winterton, a recent keynote speech, said she had always been in favour of regional assemblies and promised that Labour would return to the idea.


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Under Labour's blueprint, regional assembles would need a new tier of regional politicians and regional elections paid for by a regional levy on council tax..

Mr Cox said: "It would appear that regional assemblies are now back from the dead under Labour. Gordon Brown won't listen to the verdict of the people who rejected a new tier of regional politicians and the regional council tax to pay for it.

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"I am glad that a new Conservative government will dismantle Labour's distant layers of regional bureaucracy and give power back to local communities.

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