Calls for more power in local regions

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Wirral South MP Alison McGovern © Twitter/Alison McGovern

Wirral South MP Alison McGovern © Twitter/Alison McGovern

The proposed devolution shake-up of Scottish government following the ‘no’ vote at the independence referendum last week has sparked debate among many on the English side of the border, with calls for changes to local government elsewhere in the UK.

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson is among those demanding that further devolved powers be given to England’s regions.

Wirral South MP, Alison McGovern, has joined Anderson in urging that cities should be able to control more of their own spending and growth in the wake of the Scottish referendum.

MP McGovern, who spoke out on the issue at the Labour Party Conference in Manchester at the weekend, told JMU Journalism: “I think the referendum was a wake-up call that the way government works in this country needs to change.

“Greater power needs to go to city regions so that growth and investment can be used to have lasting positive effects for everyone, inclusive growth and more, better quality jobs for the people who desperately need them.”

The Labour MP feels there is now a clear disconnect between the people and parliament in the capital, adding: “The Westminster elite is why we have so much dissatisfaction with government right now. They gather and talk amongst themselves, not really acting as a voice for the people they represent.”

Ms McGovern told JMU Journalism that student issues also need to be addressed, heading into a general election next year. “We need to have a look at the university system again. The fees are far too high when we want people to go out and be qualified to get jobs, to help the economy move forward,” she said.

“Those who don’t want to go to university need apprenticeships and other programmes that are more readily available without sacrificing the quality and skills they can get.”

About Michael Glynn, JMU Journalism