Written evidence submitted by Christine Taylor (EDE 47)
Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee
The evolution of devolution: English devolution inquiry
I am a resident of North Derbyshire and wish to state that this is not a good move for local democracy. I agree that changes are required but I am very unhappy with the process being undertaken here. There is a lack of transparency and a lack of a consultation process with the people and residents of the area. We are told this is a vision for Derbyshire, but I can't find any evidence of what that 'vision' is. The deal being presented here looks like a 'fait accompli' and no alternatives are given.
This deal isn't local with 100miles between Glossop in the North and Lutterworth in the South. I live in the North where my local links, transport, hospitals etc are with Sheffield and Manchester and not Derby, Leicester and Nottingham. I have lived here in the Pennines for 20 years and the issues are very different from the rest of the more pastoral south of the proposed region, especially in winter! Getting to any of the three cities in the new unitary authority, should I have a need to go, would require at least 2 changes by train and who knows how long by bus. I visit Sheffield normally three times a week and we have good bus and train links. I have had my breast cancer treatment successfully carried out in Weston park Hospital Sheffield, so feel more connected with the South Yorkshire area.
If you wish to make changes then look at where people live and how they live their lives in that place. Where they go for work, health and leisure and not archaic boundaries that suit a need for a few councillors to gain more power for themselves. Cynically this looks to me, like a deal set up by a group of mates in the south of the area to take away my voice, as our views would be too 'small' to be heard in a big unitary body.