Electoral reforms and devolved powers – changes we need to see from 2015

Many people are talking about the changes we need to our elections and elected institutions, from House of Lords reform to devolved region powers. Here I’ve set out my top 10 headline changes we should see that would lead more accountability, decentralisation of power from London and a fairer system which works for the people. They aren’t necessarily perfect and need more detail to make then work, but the are a starting point for what I want to see happen.

1. Created devolved regional Parliaments for English regions, with equivalent powers as the Scottish Parliament to decentralise power away from London.

2. Hold a referendum in some parts of the country to decide which region they fall in to, as some people may dispute which region the belong to.

3. Scrap the two tiers of local councils in the areas with two, moving powers to the remaining council or the regional Parliament.

4. Reduce the number of seats in Westminster by around a quarter to a third, to acknowledge the lower work load and reduced responsibility, with a similar reduction in the size of Government.

5. For devolved powers, eg education, the relevant central Government secretary would become a facilitator for cooperation and coordination across the regional Governments.

6. Set strict limits on the numbers of special advisers the Government can appoint, with lower limits on how much they can be paid and restrictions on the roll they play to ensure the power is kept with elected officials.

7. Scrap police and crime commissioner elections and change back to previous system.

8. Scrap hereditary peers and party political appointments to the Lord.

9. Have elected party political Lords from each region in a form of PR election and supplement with appointed ‘crossbench’ experts in various fields decided by an independent panel.

10. Introduce a right to recall elected officials if enough of the electorate call for it and hold a new election.

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