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local government

Home rule

Commission members learn about the self-governance process

The Princeton Home Rule Charter Commission hosted a civics lesson session with City Attorney David Overcash who outlined each section of a home rule charter to members.

The commission was due to discuss the first three sections of a draft charter at its meeting on Wednesday, February 16, but postponed discussions until the next meeting due to Overcash’s detailed presentation. Commissioners also received the 2010 copy of a Texas Municipal League handbook to provide them with useful data throughout the process.

Overcash said his role is primarily advisory to the commission and he will advise them and answer any questions along the way, but he does not have the final say on what happens in the draft charter that will be presented to voters. He added that the city charter will always be subject to any state or federal law in the event of a conflict between them and a provision of the charter.

Any provision to the contrary would also be inapplicable, leaving the charter without bite on certain articles. Charters also provide a very general structure for city government, but generally become cumbersome if there are too many powers listed, Overcash said.

“Most charters, almost all of them, are written very broadly, giving as much discretion as they can to councils so that they can exercise the most local self-government powers,” Overcash said. “It’s rather than wielding as much power as the Texas Legislature allows, which is the general approach to law we’re taking right now.”

For the full story, see the February 24 issue of the Princeton Herald.

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Home rule

Census results could affect Carbondale’s bylaws and cut budget | News

CARBONDALE (WSIL)—When a city in Illinois reaches a population of more than 25,000 people, it is automatically listed for self-government.

Autonomy, in its most basic sense, can give a municipality more local control.

“If you are a self-governing municipality, you have powers in addition to those granted to you by the state government. If you are not a self-governing community, the only powers you have are those in the state statutes in the state legislature,” City Manager Gary Williams said.

The town of Carbondale has had an inland diet since 1967, but the 2020 census determined that the town’s population no longer met the requirement.

“Now that we’ve fallen below that threshold, we’re going to be required in November to ask a question about the November election, asking our voters if they want to retain self-rule,” Williams said.

The house rule offers a few advantages.

It requires licenses and inspections for rental homes, and 70% of homes in Carbondale are rentals.

It also gives the city taxing authority.

“In Carbondale, the town has used its local authority to further fund the town government from sales taxes and use taxes, as many people come from outside of Carbondale and spend money here. , and they kept the property tax very low,” Williams said.

However, home rule allows the city to implement taxes such as a 2.5% home rule tax, motor fuel above the state maximum, and a food and beverage tax.

“Just in the original taxes and not the additional fuel tax or other taxes that we use to fund our capital improvement projects, about $8.6 million out of a $25 million budget, so about one-third of our total revenue comes from original sales tax. In contrast, we generate just over $1 million in property taxes,” Williams said.

But city officials want voters to know that self-rule is nothing new.

“In Illinois there are hundreds of self-governing communities. Most of the communities here are self-governing and they were granted self-government through a referendum. Marion is a self-governing community, Carterville, Mount Vernon, Benton, West Frankfort, Murphysboro , Du Quoin, so it’s not a unique concept in terms of running local government,” Williams said.

The vote for home rule will be on the Carbondale ballot in November.

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Sovereignty

WATCH: Holness slaps Maroon self-government demands

In a rather angry and loud tone, Prime Minister Andrew Holness asserted that there is no other independent state in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government which was duly elected by the people to govern the country.

Responding to a question from a media representative at a Sunday morning press conference convened by his office to deal primarily with security issues, the Prime Minister practically touched on the issue of possible Maroon autonomy which has crept into the national debate over time. , especially since last year.

“Jamaica is a unitary sovereign state. There is no sovereign authority in Jamaica other than the Jamaican government. I want it to be absolutely clear! Any ! Holness thundered when asked if there is a conflict in a stated government position not to engage with or fund any initiative of a group that claims self-government status.

The question also cited that the Accompong Maroon had received permission from at least one Jamaican agency to hold a major event in the community recently, apparently at odds with the government’s position on the matter.

Holness’ response came after the leader of the maroons of Accompong, Chief Richard Currie, began and continues to peddle the argument that Accompong is sovereign territory and its inhabitants are collectively a sovereign people.

In addition, Currie argued that the lands of the wider Cockpit Country were also part of their “sovereign territory”.

But on Sunday, Holness made it clear that none of those talks about another sovereign homeland in Jamaica would be tolerated.

“…Under my direction, not an inch of Jamaica will be under any other sovereign authority,” he said with an even deeper voice.

A recent report indicated that Jamaican government ministries, departments and agencies have been urged not to engage with or fund secessionist maroons who claim Jamaican state sovereignty. The report cites a leaked Cabinet Office document.

“There shall be no endorsement or acquiescence to any language or suggestion regarding Indigenous sovereignty or rights, and no funds shall be made available to any person or entity claiming it,” the document said. , as it was broadcast in the media. report.

Responding to whether the government would reconsider its position, Holness became even more enraged by the speech, which he described as tantamount to the Jamaican state funding a group of people claiming to be part of another sovereign state in Jamaica.

“What you’re asking is that the Jamaican government fund (or) take taxpayers’ money and fund another government (inside Jamaica).

“It’s not another government that says it’s a local government, (formerly) a parish council, that falls under our constitution,” Holness explained.

” Are you crazy ? Truly ? Do you know what you are asking? asked an annoyed Holness in reference to the reporter who asked the question.

In an even more angry tone and language, Holness took what appeared to be a jab at the media house representative over the issue of funding another group of people who claim to be sovereigns.

“That’s how guerrilla wars happen and states fall apart! Wake up Jamaica! Don’t court madness and trouble! Wake up!

“People have died because of this, and you expect me to be here as Prime Minister and fund activities that could lead to the collapse of our state? Ever!” Holness said.

A celebratory event in the town of Accompong, St Elizabeth, organized by the Maroons, on Thursday night resulted in a shootout in which one man died and five other people, including two boys, were injured.

Reports suggested that police had issued a warning that Maroon celebrations should not take place as they violated the Disaster Risk Management Act (DRMA).

However, event organizers went ahead with Currie saying the event was a celebration of spiritual and traditional Maroon rituals.

Additionally, the media report mentioned above cited that the Office of Disaster Preparedness and Emergency Management (ODPEM) authorized the declaration of the event, at the request of the Minister of Culture, Olivia Grange. .

However, it is understood that ODPEN’s endorsement of the event may not have been communicated to the police.

Maroons and the government have been at odds of late over the so-called recognition of the former’s alleged sovereignty, particularly over Cockpit Country, where a bauxite company recently won permission to mine a defined section of these lands. .

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Self government

“Populist” promises: why cities need more autonomy

A few days ago, a researcher friend based in Chandigarh asked if there was a provision in the Local Bodies Acts to ensure that election candidates, candidates and parties, make achievable promises. And if they were to promise something beyond the scope and capacity of the municipality, can they be sued. How I wished we could apply such a law to our Prime Minister’s promise of Rs 15 lakh to every Indian’s bank account. Indeed, candidates should only promise what they can deliver.

The researcher friend echoed a former mayor of Chandigarh, who lost in the municipal elections recently held in the Union Territory. The mayor was likely referring to the Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) promising to replicate its “Delhi model” in Chandigarh. The AAP became the largest party, overtaking the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in the polls for the Chandigarh Municipal Corporation. Not only did some of the former BJP mayors lose despite the party’s high decibel campaign, but its defeat was more brutal since the UT is under Center control and its MP is also from the BJP.

The main promises of the AAP were to provide 20,000 liters of free water to all households every month, to clean the garbage from the Dadumajra landfill, to install CCTV cameras and to make wifi accessible throughout the city. These poll promises necessitate a debate on issues of urban governance.

The demands and slogans of the Chandigarh municipal elections, such as free water, free electricity and social housing, resonate and reinforce the concept of “democratization of surplus”. BR Ambedkar, the architect of the Indian constitution, spoke of “one person, one vote”. It should also mean “one man, one economic unit”, but these slogans are becoming more relevant due to widespread and vast inequality.

Cities have become centers of capital accumulation through expropriation, especially over the past four decades. Twin processes were at work. First, the state, which provided essential services to citizens, passed this agenda on to private capital. Services such as water supply, education, health care and even housing are now areas of expansion for private capital. According to one estimate, real estate is the primary driver of capital accumulation in some cities.

The other reason people have lost their ability to acquire or hold assets is the nature of capitalist production in cities. According to one estimate, most workers – nearly 94 percent – are engaged in the informal sector. This has drastically reduced the bargaining power of workers in the cities.

The city itself has become a center of capitalist accumulation. As several urban planners have pointed out, cities are the centers of surplus production and should therefore be seen as factories. The democratization of the surplus in these urban centers and the slogans related to this idea, such as free water and electricity, more health centers, are neither gifts nor populist ideas but linked to the class demand of the workers .

Even in Chandigarh, the middle class elite still voted for the BJP, while the poorer and marginalized sections voted for the AAP and Congress.

Such democratization of surplus in cities is taking place in different parts of the world.

In many cities, remunicipalisation is being implemented in service delivery. For example, in Barcelona, ​​progressive groups raised the slogan “Win ​​Barcelona” and, after winning the elections, worked to democratize the urban commons, especially in the digital realm. Similarly, in Montreal, there has been an attempt to shift the city’s mobility from elevated privately driven vehicles serving the interests of oil and automobile capital to mass transit.

Next comes the question of the role of local self-government. After more than a quarter century of the 74th amendment to the constitution, functions, officials and finances have not been transferred to local governments across the country except Kerala.

The universally transferred function is that of a garbage collector. We will even soon have the registration of births and deaths transmitted to the central government. The cities are more like annexes of the State or the Center. The demand for municipal cadres corresponding to the services of state cadres has not been implemented anywhere.

Cities are to be governed by the principle of democratic decentralization envisioned in the 74th Amendment. Urban planning, apart from other functions, must be conveyed to the city council, preparing plans through meetings of neighborhood committees and community participation. However, the reality is that citizens are removed from the decision-making process.

Third, the debate over candidate and political party pledges and their feasibility – pledges are made to break the inertia of the existing delivery system and according to the class of people a political party represents.

Architect Charles Correa, chairman of the first urban commission formed in 1986, felt that urban governance in India was in desperate need of accountability. He said that more and more cities around the world are run by political leaders directly elected by the people of that city. So they defend the interests of citizens, otherwise they will not be re-elected. Unfortunately, in India, we find that cities are run by Chief Ministers of State who are not elected by the citizens of the city and therefore completely unaware of the demands and demands of the city.

Therefore, accountability in elections should not just be limited to promises made in elections, but should be drawn into a broader canvas of ‘autonomy’ in cities. This should be done by ensuring not only wider participation of people, but by democratizing the whole process.

(The author is a former Deputy Mayor of Shimla)

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed above are those of the author. They do not necessarily reflect the views of DH.

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Self government

‘Panchayat Talks’ to raise awareness of local self-government

Will a local organization provide compensation for a stray dog ​​bite? Can a member of the panchayat work abroad after being elected to a local administrative body? What are the duties and responsibilities of a panchayat president? These questions seem simple to answer, but they are difficult to answer for many, including many members of local government bodies at three levels.

The Panchayat Talk Series, a comprehensive YouTube channel program to raise awareness about the three-tier local government system started by Wayanad District Panchayat member Junaid Kaippani of Vellamunda Division, focuses on answering questions from the public.

Although the Kerala Panchayati Raj Act was enacted in 1994, most members of the public are unaware of details such as the duties and responsibilities of a member of the local administrative body and the incentives provided by a grama panchayat to citizens, said Mr Kaippani, who is also the chairman of the district panchayat standing welfare committee. “I have provided such useful information in each of my two- to three-minute series to the public, including members of local bodies,” he said.

As many as 21,900 members of local administrative bodies are elected every five years in grama panchayats, block panchayats, municipalities and enterprises, but most of them lack a clear idea of ​​their duties and responsibilities. , did he declare. “When I was elected a year ago, I also faced such problems. Later, I learned that many elected officials faced such problems, and that inspired me to start the program,” Mr. Kaippani said.

A graduate in business and psychology, he said he attended a course on “decentralization and administration of local bodies” jointly offered by KILA and Sree Narayana Guru Open University for interested members of local government bodies, and it l helped launch the web series.

“I have gathered useful advice for the public after consulting books and court orders regarding issues that I would like to discuss in the episodes over the next few days,” Mr. Kaippani said, adding that the program, launched there. about nine months, was approaching 200 episodes. .

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Self government

Dispute between agriculture and local self-government departments over LIFE mission continues – KERALA – GENERAL

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between the Departments of Agriculture and Local Government over the vetting of new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing scheme, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department said agriculture department employees would show up for verification of new applications, the agriculture department maintained that it would not provide agricultural assistants for the process. of verification.

Earlier, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis began when the Department of Agriculture issued an order stating that it will not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the Chief Secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives from both departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was due to take place on Saturday, was postponed at the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, in a meeting held at the office of the CM without the knowledge of the officials of the Department of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that an ordinance will soon be issued in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and will force the agricultural helpers to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.

The Department of Agriculture alleges that panchayat employees have been excluded from the vetting requirement in about 80% of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if the agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and distribution of one crore of young fruit trees will come to a halt.

KEYWORDS:
KERALA,
LIFE MISSION,
DIRECTORATE OF AGRICULTURE,
DEPARTMENT OF LOCAL AUTONOMY

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Self government

Dispute between agriculture and local self-government services over LIFE The mission continues – KERALA – GENERAL

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: The dispute between agriculture and local self-government departments over verifying new applications for LIFE Mission, the government’s free housing program, continues to escalate. While the local self-government department has claimed that agriculture department employees will come forward for verification of new claims, the agriculture department has maintained that it will not provide farm assistants for the process. of verification.

Previously, the local self-government department issued an order deploying agricultural assistants to verify applications. However, the crisis started when the Agriculture Ministry issued an order stating that it would not provide farm assistants for non-farm purposes. With this, the draft list could not be released on December 1. Following this, the chief secretary called a meeting of senior officials and staff representatives of the two departments to resolve the issue. However, the meeting, which was scheduled to take place on Saturday, was postponed until the last minute. Meanwhile, on the same day, at a meeting held at the CM office without the knowledge of the officials of the Ministry of Agriculture, it was decided to carry out the verification with the help of agricultural assistants. The local self-government department hopes that a decree will be issued soon in this regard. This will invalidate the order issued earlier by the director of agriculture and force agricultural assistants to go for verification. In this case, officials of the Department of Agriculture can call a strike.

The Agriculture Department alleges that panchayat employees were excluded from the duty of verification in about 80 percent of panchayats. Employees informed the minister that if agricultural assistants are deployed for verification, activities such as crop damage assessment, crop insurance and the distribution of one crore of fruit plants will stop.

KEYWORDS:
KERALA,
LIFE MISSION,
AGRICULTURAL DEPARTMENT,
LOCAL AUTONOMOUS DEPARTMENT

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Sovereignty

Rada extends the law on the special procedure for local self-government in ORDLO for one year

The Verkhovna Rada has extended for one year, until December 31, 2022 inclusive, the law on a special procedure for local self-government in certain areas of the Donetsk and Luhansk regions.

A total of 314 and 317 deputies, respectively, voted for draft law No. 6342 amending article 1 of the law on special procedure for local self-government in certain districts of Donetsk and Luhansk regions in first reading and final reading.

“We have to take this decision so that the negotiation process, which is taking place within the trilateral contact group […] at the level of the Norman format, continue, ”said the head of the parliamentary committee on legal policy Andriy Kostin (faction Servant of the people) during the discussion of the bill.

He noted that this law is the basis of the negotiation process to achieve peace in the Donbass, “so that the territorial integrity of Ukraine is restored”.

As noted, the Law on a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO was adopted by the Verkhovna Rada in September 2014 and entered into force on October 18, 2014 for a period of three years. The document provides that a special procedure of local self-government in certain districts of Donbass comes into force only “after all the conditions set out in Article 10 of the law are fulfilled, in particular with regard to the withdrawal of all illegal armed groups, their military equipment, as well as militants and mercenaries from Ukrainian territory”.

In particular, Article 10 of this law (transitional provisions) establishes that a special procedure for local self-government is implemented exclusively by local self-government bodies, which will be elected in early elections.

This article also set out the conditions without which the elections to the ORDLO are impossible, among the conditions – the withdrawal of illegal armed formations and military equipment from Ukraine, guarantees of free expression of will, observation of the elections, including by representatives of international organisations, the prevention of unlawful interference in the electoral process, respect for the principles of political pluralism and freedom of agitation.

Subsequently, the Verkhovna Rada repeatedly extended the term of this law by one year. Thus, on October 4, 2018, the Ukrainian parliament supported the presidential legislative initiative, whereby a special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO will be introduced from the date of entry into force of the relevant law until as of December 31, 2019.

On December 15, 2020, the Ukrainian parliament extended the law on the special procedure for local self-government in the ORDLO until the end of 2021.

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Sovereignty

Application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Turkey

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe makes a monitoring visit to Turkey on 1 December to update its 2019 report on the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in this country.

The delegation led by the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilic (Slovenia, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE) will meet with the Minister of the Interior, Mr. Süleyman Soylu, and the mayor of Ankara, Mr. Mansur Yavaş, as well as with the Turkish delegation to the Congress.

The delegation will also meet representatives of Turkish political parties.

The updated report on the application of the Charter will be examined by the Congress at its next session in March 2022.

Turkey ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1992. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Photos of the visit

For more information: Monitoring committee

Contact:
Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
+33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
[email protected]

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Self government

Local Self-Government Forum in Ukraine: a key annual event

What is the agenda for democratic governance in Ukraine and other parts of Europe? What are the main achievements and challenges of the decentralization reform underway in Ukraine? What will be the constitutional amendments on decentralization and reform of state representation at sub-national levels?

These issues were addressed in the framework of the VI Forum on Local Self-Government in Ukraine, held on November 11-12, 2021. Other issues included: the right of association of local authorities; democratic governance in metropolitan areas; the development of mountain areas; protection of the rights of internally displaced persons.

The Local Self-Government Forum has been organized annually since 2017 to discuss the development of local self-government in Ukraine, including in conflict-affected regions (Donetsk and Luhansk). In 2021, the Center of Expertise for Good Governance, together with national partners, widened the target audience, and the Forum became a national level with the participation of local authorities from all over Ukraine.

The 2021 Forum brought together more than 750 participants from Ukraine via an online platform and 65 speakers. In addition, more than 1,100 viewers followed the broadcast live via social media, and National Broadcaster Radio posted 10 interviews with Forum speakers and guests.

In her video address, Ms Snežana Samardžić-Marković, Director General for Democracy, underlined that “… the good news is that you are not alone… at your request, the Council of Europe will continue to do its best. to support Ukraine in its efforts to improve democratic governance and respect for human rights and the rule of law.

The event was organized by the Center of Expertise for Good Governance through its program “Strengthening decentralization and reform of public administration in Ukraine” in cooperation with the Parliamentary Committee on State Building, Local Governance, Regional and Urban Development, Ukrainian Ministry of Community and Territory Development, Donetsk Oblast State Administration, Lviv Oblast State Administration and Luhansk Oblast State Administration.

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Self government

The Congress held debates on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia, as well as recovery from Covid-19, hate speech and fake news, territorial integration, opportunities for young people, relations with the diaspora and Roma integration

On the second day of the 41st session, Wednesday October 27, 2021, the Congress adopted reports on local self-government in Cyprus and North Macedonia. The report on Cyprus was presented by Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE) and Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD). The debate was followed by an exchange with the Cypriot Minister of the Interior Nicos Nouris. Zdenek Broz (Czech Republic, ECR) and Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) presented the report on North Macedonia, which was followed by a statement by the Deputy Minister of Local Self-Government of North Macedonia, Zoran Dimitrovsky, who also answered questions from the floor.

Members of Congress held a plenary debate on “Covid: the road to recovery?” “. The aim was to address the urgent issues facing European cities and regions: how can societies get out of the crisis when the health situation seems to be stabilizing in many European countries? OECD Deputy Secretary General Ulrik Vestergaard-Knudsen underlined the heterogeneity of the economic and social impact of the pandemic between regions. CEB-appointed Governor Carlo Monticelli underlined the role of local and regional authorities as “valuable allies when it comes to delivering high impact social investments to communities most in need”.

Local and regional elected representatives across Europe are faced with the rise of fake news and hate speech in recent years, especially on the Internet and social networks. As such, a thematic debate was organized by the Chamber of Local Authorities in order to determine the responses to be provided and the tools to be developed to meet the challenge of fake news and hate speech. The project will explore ways to detect these phenomena and possible legal and technical actions against them. At the opening of the exercise of the President of the Chamber of Local Authorities, Bernd Vöhringer, drew attention to the increase in hate speech and fake news on the Internet and the impact of these negative phenomena on the working environment for mayors and councilors.

In plenary, Hungary’s State Secretary for Security Policy Péter Sztaray underlined the key priorities of the Hungarian Presidency: artificial intelligence and digitization, protection of national minorities, environmental issues, l anti-Semitism and youth issues during his speech to Parliament Committee of Ministers.

On the same day, the Chamber of Regions debated interregional and cross-border cooperation for better territorial integration in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic. The Congress in particular called on member states to use Protocol No. 3 to the Madrid Convention, which constitutes a legal basis for transfrontier co-operation in Europe. Congress also called for special legal provisions for “cross-border communities” with legal status, to overcome obstacles created by different legal regimes on either side of the border, as well as to strengthen cross-border governance and “horizontal subsidiarity” through the transfer of skills and operational resources to cross-border communities.

The Chamber of Regions also discussed the challenges to expand vocational training and lifelong learning for young people at regional level, shared measures and best practices to address these issues, and considered additional measures. that the Congress wishes to undertake on this subject. This was achieved through a debate on lifelong education to ensure / secure lifelong employment prospects for the younger generations, a challenge for the regions.

Members of the Chamber deepened the role of relations with diaspora communities as a contribution to regional development and regional mechanisms to engage diasporas in order to promote commercial and cultural exchanges, attract foreign investment, facilitate technology and knowledge transfer, and to seize other socio-economic benefits of diaspora ties during its third debate on Wednesday morning.

At the opening of the session, the President of the Chamber of Regions, Harald Sonderegger, called for a re-decentralization of powers and resources to the regions and their better distribution with an improved system of multi-level governance. This is because during the Covid-19 crisis, many powers were recentralized to the national executive and many decisions were taken without proper consultations with regional authorities – despite the multi-level governance that s has proven to be more efficient and flexible in responding to the pandemic. , when it was used.

Also on the agenda is the Dosta! -Congress Prize awarded to municipalities in Portugal, Greece and the United Kingdom for initiatives aimed at integrating Roma and Travelers. The first place went to the Portuguese municipality of Torres Vedras, which has drawn up a unique plan strengthening cohesion between local communities and the Roma. The second place was awarded to the Greek municipality of Argostoli for the improvement of the living conditions of the Roma community, the conditions of school attendance of children, as well as for housing and health care support for the population. rom on the island of Kefalonia. British Salford won the 3rd prize for the implementation of an educational exhibition.

The Chamber of Local Authorities elected John Warmisham (UK, SOC / G / PD) and Oksana Derkach (Ukraine, EPP / CCE) respectively 6th and 7th Vice-President.

Videos of the proceedings: Plenary session | Chamber of Local Authorities | Chamber of Regions

*** 41st Congress Session ***

Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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Self government

The Congress will organize debates on local self-government in Spain and the Netherlands, as well as on migration, housing sharing platforms and the projects of young delegates

In his opening communication of the 41st session, on October 26, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek recalled the importance of the European Charter of Local Self-Government as an unprecedented international treaty, unique in the world and testifying to the importance that the Council of Europe and its member states attach to local self-government. At the same time, he underlined the impact of the cuts in the budget allocated to Congress to carry out its tasks. The Bureau of the Congress will continue its ongoing discussions aimed at strengthening the capacity of the Congress to implement its priorities.

At their plenary session on the same day, members adopted a report on the situation of local self-government in Spain, presented by Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC / V / DP) and David Eray (Switzerland, GILD), and a report on local self-government in the Netherlands, presented by Vladimir Prebilić, (Slovenia, SOC / G / PD).

The report on “Housing sharing platforms: challenges and opportunities for municipalities” was presented by Jelena Drenjanin (Sweden, EPP / CCE), rapporteur and chair of the Governance Committee. The Congress calls on local authorities to adopt a long-term vision of cohabitation practices which must be framed by flexible, simplified and accessible regulations, including various tools such as building permits, town planning, taxation and health and Security. standards.

The Congress also discussed the challenges of migration issues for cities and regions during a debate on “Migration: permanent challenges for cities and regions”, organized with the participation of Ambassador Drahoslav Štefánek, Special Representative of the Secretary General of the Council of Europe on migration and refugees, and Erini Dourou (Greece, SOC / G / PD), Congress rapporteur on migration issues. The debate highlighted the need for coordination between all levels of government, a clear and coherent legislative framework at European level and support from national governments and at European level to enable local and regional authorities to implement policies for the reception and integration of migrants and refugees.

Members of Congress also reviewed the field projects carried out by the 38 young delegates as part of the “Rejuvenating Politics” initiative that has been running for the past two years. Projects implemented in 2020 focused on youth participation during a pandemic with a particular focus on cross-cultural exchanges, mental health, community bonds and targeting fake news. The objective of the 2021 projects is to promote communication between youth workers and representatives of local communities.

*** 41st Congress Session ***

Agenda – Documents: ENG | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS
41st session webpage: live stream, photos, videos and useful links

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Sovereignty

Changes in planning methodology: impact on local self-government institutions in Kerala

Trends in the use of plan funds by local self-government institutions in Kerala from 2012-13 to 2020-2021 are analyzed. Changes to the participatory planning methodology in 2016 resulted in better use of funds after 2017-18.

Kerala will celebrate 25 years of decentralized planning in 2022. It launched the People’s Plan in 1997 by introducing a new approach to decentralized planning with the active participation of the population, especially women and the marginalized population, in the development of programs (Issac et al 1997; Mohanakumar 2002). The model plan was unique; it involved the participation of populations at all levels, from the identification of development problems to the implementation and monitoring of projects. The Kerala State Planning Board had allocated 35% to 40% of state plan funds to Local Self-Government Institutions (LSGI) for project implementation. This campaign also aimed to represent all the muffled voices of the numerically larger sections of the people (Bandyopadhyay 1997; Mohanakumar 2002).

However, the participatory plan was not free from criticism. Das (2000) and Kannan (2000) pointed out some problems in Kerala’s model plan as it was initiated without any proper devolution of powers and an adequate description of authority rules, both administrative and operational. Despite this, all the exercises for preparing the plans were transferred to the hands of people who had no experience in the planning process. Although 35-40% of funds were allocated to LSGIs, they were unable to spend the allocated amounts in the early years (1997-2000). But that did not prevent the state government from increasing the allocation of funds in the following years. In addition, the government never took any substantial steps to assess how much money was spent by local organizations.

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Self government

Kerala Local Self-Government Department relaxes earth excavation standards for house construction

From now on, the building permit will be sufficient to prepare the specific land for foundation work by earthworks or for leveling the land.

The Department of Local Self-Government has relaxed the standards for land extraction as part of house-building activities. The building permit will be sufficient to make the specific land ready for foundation work by excavating earth or for leveling the land.

In the case of those applying for mining transit passes, details should be submitted with the construction plan when applying for the permit to the respective local body. The applicant must submit the area of ​​the land to be leveled, the quantity of soil to be extracted for construction and the dimensioned plan and sectional drawing.

Local body officials who perform site inspections before approving the building permit should also assess the area of ​​land to be excavated as submitted with the construction plan.

Subdivisions of plots

The previous requirement for a development permit for such excavations has been removed. The development permit is now only applicable in cases where subdivisions are carried out. In such cases, the development permit must also be approved together with the permit and the building plan.

In cases where a mining pass is required, a copy of the building permit and plan must be sent to the district geologist within three days of the permit being approved. During inspections at the plinth level by the officials of the local body, it should be checked whether more earth excavation than indicated in the construction plan has been carried out, in which case this should be reported to the secretary of the local body.

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Self government

Without self-government, Indigenous Peoples Day does not honor the Wabanaki tribes of Maine

The Opinion BDN section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute writing or writing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on bangordailynews.com.

Clarissa Sabattis is leader of the Maliseet band in Houlton. Kirk Francis is the leader of the Penobscot Nation.

To celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day, you must first appreciate and respect Indigenous peoples. You must understand the importance of the inherent sovereignty which is the backbone of our heritage and our culture. You must trust us for the autonomy. The only real way to celebrate the indigenous people of Maine is to change the system that treats us differently from all other tribes in the country.

Due to a 40-year-old settlement called the Maine Indian Claims Settlement Act, the Wabanaki tribes of Maine generally have more restrictions on our rights than the 570 other federally recognized tribes across the country. The settlement resulted from a federal lawsuit, based on claims by the Passamaquoddy tribe and the Penobscot nation in the 1960s and 1970s that Maine illegally took two-thirds of state land from tribes in direct violation of federal law.

Finally, in 1980, the land claims of the Passamaquoddy Tribe, the Penobscot Nation and the Houlton Band of Maliseet Indians were settled amicably through a settlement agreement and state law. , the Maine Implementation Act. At the time, our tribes believed that we would be partners with the state and not be treated as wards of the state. Our tribes believed that we would be able to redeem the lands promised in the laws, build our tribal governments, and uplift our communities and economies.

The Federal Settlement Act states that any law passed by Congress for the benefit of Native tribes after 1980 does not apply in Maine if that law affects state jurisdiction, unless Congress specifically includes them. tribes of Maine. While the Wabanaki tribes are not specifically included, we do not benefit from them, unlike the other 570 tribes recognized by the federal government. Since 1980, there have been 151 beneficial laws for the Indian country. These laws cover the gamut from the protection of Wabanaki women against the epidemic of violence against indigenous women to the protection of the environment and access to safe drinking water.

Maine has interpreted state law, Maine’s implementing law, to place tribes under the control of the state. The intention of federal and state law was for tribes and state to work together and solve problems that the settlement law could not foresee. This is why the Maine Indian Tribal-State Commission was created. But unfortunately the commission did not play this role of intermediary between the State and the tribal sovereigns. So what happened instead?

For more than 40 years the tribes and the state have been in costly litigation. The state chose to keep paternalistic and aggressively defend the relics of its colonial power over the tribes. And what did it do? It has caused lasting damage to rural communities by interfering with the ability of tribes to provide basic government services, pursue economic development, and take advantage of the benefits and funding provided by federal law.

For example, the state’s treatment of tribes has encouraged foreign mining companies to target Maine due to the perceived lack of Indigenous rights.

Last July, Ron Little, CEO of Wolfden Resources, a Canadian mining company, said in an investor presentation, “there are no indigenous rights in the state of Maine” and that this lack of indigenous rights ” simplifies the authorization process ”.

In all other states, tribes have a seat at the table and can work with federal, state, and local government to create mutually beneficial results. In Maine we face a government that has consistently fought our efforts to protect the environment and we have it now. We shouldn’t have to fight foreign companies to protect our land and our drinking water. Yet this is what we must do because the state largely ignores the rights of the Wabanaki.

Our sovereignty, our right to self-determination, our ability to grow as a community ended in 1980 and the pain persists today. The tribes could not have foreseen the distress in which future generations would have to live because of the colonization law.

We were personally just children at the time. We are not here to debate the intentions of the people who sat around the table in 1980. We are here to say that now – more than a generation removed from the Settlement Act – the law needs to be modernized.

The Maine legislature has investigated and reviewed the Settlement Act and is about to approve a significant change that will put Maine tribes on an equal footing with tribes across the country. There is currently legislation, LD 1626, in Augusta that would remedy much of what afflicts the tribes of Maine.

LD 1626, if passed, will show that people understand, trust and appreciate the tribes of Maine. When this law is passed and hopefully signed by the governor, we can all truly celebrate Indigenous Peoples Day. Until the system is changed, Indigenous Peoples Day does not honor the Wabanaki tribes.

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Sovereignty

The Congress assesses the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Luxembourg

A Congress delegation, made up of rapporteurs Marjorie Crovetto (Monaco, NI) and Christine Chevalley (Switzerland, GILD), held remote meetings with local and national authorities in Luxembourg on October 6 and 7, 2021 to assess the implementation of the European Charter of Local Authorities. Autonomy in Luxembourg since previous monitoring report adopted by Congress in 2015.

The rapporteurs had an exchange of views on the latest developments in the field of local governance in Luxembourg with Taina Bofferding, Minister of the Interior; Fernand Etgen, President of the Chamber of Deputies; Dan Biancalana, Chairman of the Committee on Home Affairs and Gender Equality; Roger Linden, President of the Constitutional Court; and Claudia Monti, Mediator of the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg.

Remote meetings also took place with the mayors of Luxembourg City and the municipalities of Wiltz and Consdorf. The Congress delegation also met members of the Luxembourg national delegation to the Congress and representatives of the Union of Luxembourg Towns and Municipalities (SYVICOL).

Luxembourg ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1987. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the essential basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:
Stéphanie POIREL, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee
Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe

+33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84
[email protected]

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Home rule

The Lafayette City Council supports the Home Rule Charter Commission. What happens afterwards?

Lafayette City Council voted 4-1 on Tuesday to convene a self-government charter commission to propose changes to consolidated local government, but that doesn’t mean it will happen.

Council volunteer Protect the City Committee worked for months to review the structure of Lafayette’s consolidated government.

After a long series of public meetings, this committee produced a report recommending that Lafayette city and parish councils call a charter commission to offer some level of deconsolidation to voters in an election.

The city council welcomed the suggestion on Tuesday.

“You may or may not agree with questions about this, but we are here to make continuous efforts to improve our city of Lafayette,” Councilwoman Liz Hebert said. “Whether you agree with everything in this (report) or completely disagree with it, you can completely agree with it.”

A Home Rule Charter Commission would have a maximum of 18 months to develop a proposal to change Lafayette’s form of government. It would then be presented to voters in a parish-wide election.

Councilman Andy Naquin voted alone against convening a charter commission on Tuesday, calling the measure “premature.” He attempted to postpone the vote but failed to gain the necessary support from the rest of the council to do so.

Lafayette City Council President Liz Hebert speaks to voters during a town hall meeting on the City Protection Committee's recommendation to split the Lafayette Consolidated Government on Monday, June 14, 2021.

Naquin sought to delay the vote until the Lafayette Parish Council’s city-parish alignment commission, which was recently created in response to the city’s protection committee, completes its six-month study on consolidated government.

Councilor Glenn Lazard said he felt a delay was unjustified and would not change council’s support for the move.

“If we proceed tonight or wait a month, two months, three months, I don’t think the outcome will be any different,” Lazard said.

“That’s why I don’t see the point of delaying the inevitable.”

Lafayette City Council members Pat Lewis of District 1 and Glenn Lazard of District 5 held a series of town hall meetings to discuss a report by the city's protection committee aimed at deconsolidating the Lafayette government.  Wednesday June 16, 2021.

The city council vote calls for an 11-member commission, with one nomination each for five city council members and five parish council members, as well as one for mayor-president Josh Guillory.

But the city council’s supermajority support for calling a commission, which has been spurred by calls for greater autonomy and the city’s desire to elect its own mayor, alone won’t be enough to convene. a charter commission.

Instead, the Lafayette Parish Council must sign off on the city vote to accomplish anything. Members of the city council acknowledged that this was unlikely to happen.

The parish’s nine-member CPA commission, which is advisory only and not a charter commission, has not yet set a date for its first meeting.

The members of the committee are:

  • Parish Councilor Bryan Tabor (Whole Parish Council)
  • Councilor Nanette Cook (Wide Council)
  • Charles “Buddy” Schilling II (Parish Councilor Bryan Tabor)
  • Councilman Kevin Naquin (self-appointed)
  • Pastor and Business Owner Joseph Richard (Parish Councilor Josh Carlson)
  • Director of Publicity Paul Eason (Parish Councilor John Guilbeau)
  • Accountant Will Thiele (A.B. Rubin Parish Councilor)
  • Tim Breaux, Chairman of the Lafayette Republican Party (Mayor-Chairman Josh Guillory)
  • Former mayor of Scott Purvis Morrison (area mayors)

The composition of the CPA Commission includes the most frequent negotiators on the current councils, but lacks a strong political bent, aside from Guillory’s appointment of Breaux. This suggests that anti-deconsolidation members of the parish council may not be trying to block a possible charter commission, but rather delaying current calls to convene one.

Mayor-President Josh Guillory speaking before the removal of the Mouton statue.  After 99 years at the corner of Jefferson Street and Lee Avenue in downtown Lafayette, the statue of Confederate General Alfred Mouton is removed.  Saturday July 17, 2021.

The commission’s six-month schedule will likely slow the convening of any charter commission long enough to avoid local ballot changes in 2023, when Guillory and the two councils are re-elected.

But that doesn’t mean the end of the road for efforts to convene a short-term charter commission.

Two potential leads remain.

The first is outlined in state law, which provides residents of a local government with the ability to convene a self-government charter commission through a petition, which in Lafayette Parish must collect signatures from 10,000 registered voters.

This would require members of a charter commission to be elected by voters before starting work on proposing changes.

The second option would likely be an uphill battle in court that city council members said they hoped to avoid.

Councilor Nanette Cook in a meeting on Tuesday, May 18, 2021.

Councilwoman Nanette Cook, a supporter of the charter commission and the only city council member appointed to the parish council commission, said she hopes to make progress in finding a solution that serves the interests of the city and of the parish.

“I believe we can work with the parish on this. I appreciate that we now have an alignment committee, and the word ‘functional consolidation’, to me, has some merit that I think we need to look at as well,” Cook said.

“I look forward to working with them to see what we can do together to see what works best for both entities because, again, Lafayette is in the parish.”

Follow Andrew Capps on Twitter or email [email protected]

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Home rule

St. Lawrence County Lawmakers Introduce Resolution Supporting Ogdensburg Self-Government Bill | County of Saint-Laurent

OGDENSBURG – The St. Lawrence County Council of Legislators on Monday evening tabled a resolution in support of the city’s self-government law that would allow it to collect up to an additional 1% of sales tax revenue within city limits.

Lawmaker David W. Forsythe, R-Lisbon, proposed the resolution, which was tabled until the next council finance committee meeting on July 26. Lawmaker Joseph R. Lightfoot, R-Ogdensburg, moved the tabling of the resolution with a second from Lawmaker Harold A. Smithers II, R-Governor.

“It’s another one of those resolutions that come recently,” Lightfoot said before asking the board to table the resolution. “There is no great rush to do it.

“I think there could be unintended consequences,” he added. “I will vote against. “

Lawmaker Kevin D. Acres, R-Madrid, shared Mr Lightfoot’s point of view, adding: “I will not be supporting (the resolution) either.”

“Sadly, there does not appear to be an end in sight to the greed-destroying campaign led by Mr. Acres and Mr. Lightfoot and supported by the entire Democratic caucus of the county legislature,” City Manager Stephen wrote. P. Jellie in an email Wednesday. . “Truly these two men and their Democratic alliance think they know how to manage all the money better and their relentless quest to control all the money knows no boundaries.

“Mr. Acres, Mr. Lightfoot, combined with their masked allegiance to the Democratic caucus, continues to strongly oppose other key initiatives that will potentially save the city millions of dollars over the next 5 years, to fuel the city’s renaissance and to reinvent governments to run more efficiently, “Jellie continued.” These proposals for progressive initiatives call for streamlining the collection of property taxes and consolidating the police service. of the city with the county sheriff’s department, which is at odds with Mr. Acres and Mr. Lightfoot’s agenda to protect the past and isolate the county empire.

“The Town of Ogdensburg will continue to call on the Legislative Assembly of the County of St. Lawrence to empower the County Administrator, without restriction, to work proactively to serve the best interests of the Town of Taxpayers. Ogdensburg … Warning from Mayor Skelly regarding major cuts in city staff is no exaggeration if Mr. Acres and Mr. Lightfoot continue to prevent the city of Ogdensburg from fully achieving its independence to raise funds for the sales tax that originate from the city, and systematically block any initiative to reform local government to operate more efficiently, ”Mr. Jellie wrote.

Mr Forsythe said, while proposing the resolution, that in 2013, when the county called for a self-government law to collect an additional 1% of sales tax revenue, “the city supported us wholeheartedly “.

“I would just like to pay it back,” Mr Forsythe added.

In New York State – where the state constitution gives municipalities and counties the ability to pass laws to govern themselves “as they see fit” – what is known as a government bill. Autonomy can be presented to the state legislature so that municipalities or counties can self-govern. Autonomy legislation must first be passed by both houses of the Legislative Assembly before moving to the governor’s office for signature.

The minimum sales tax rate in New York is 7%, of which 4% goes to state and the remaining 3% goes to local government. But in 2013, St. Lawrence County passed a self-government law to collect an additional 1% of sales tax. Since then, the sales tax rate in the county has been 8%, including within city limits.

Now, eight years later, Ogdensburg introduced autonomy legislation in both houses of the Legislature – Senator Patricia A. Ritchie, R-Heuvelton, introduced the bill to the Senate and MP Mark C. Walczyk, R-Watertown, presented a version of the Assembly. of the same bill. The Ogdensburg Autonomy Bill, if passed, would have allowed them to collect up to an additional 1% of sales tax revenues within its borders.

Lawmaker James E. Reagan, R-Ogdensburg, echoed Mr Forsythe’s comments in support of the city’s efforts and reminded council that many fellow lawmakers “wanted the city of Ogdensburg to preempt, c ‘is what they do’.

“I think it’s very important that we support the city’s efforts in this self-reliance situation, because when our sales tax is renewed,” Reagan continued, “it will be important that we don’t have problem in the State Legislature where they say, “You have to work things out with the city.”

Ogdensburg’s autonomy legislation was introduced following stalled talks between city and county officials over the city’s collection of its own sales tax. The city and county had been back and forth for almost two years before the county council of lawmakers finally took down city officials earlier this year as they sought an extension of the current sharing formula. to further examine long-term options, including pre-emptying – the process by which a city collects its own sales tax.

The current sales tax formula requires Ogdensburg to collect 6.44% of the first 3% of the sales tax the County of St. Lawrence collects, as well as 6.44% of the last 1% the county collects. County takes 83.56% of the remaining 1%, while towns and villages get the remaining 10%. This is the deal the county did not extend earlier this year as the county council of lawmakers tried to get Ogdensburg to collect the same amount of sales tax as towns and villages, which is distributed according to the value of the property and the population.

But, since Ogdensburg is the only town in the county, it is therefore the only municipality empowered by the state to negotiate the sales tax allocation formula with the county.

But following numerous conversations with officials from the state’s tax and finance department, it was determined that Ogdensburg would not be able to pre-empt until March 1, 2022, as the city had to give notice of six months. This prompted county leaders earlier this month to agree to extend the current sales tax sharing agreement with the city until February 2022. The city and county also agreed to a split agreement. up to date for the last 1% of sales tax revenue, as did Ogdensburg’s autonomy legislation. not skip this session.

The updated sharing agreement for the last 1% of sales tax revenue, also starting March 1, 2022, will combine the 6.44% allocated to Ogdensburg with the 10% that goes to towns and villages. That total – 16.44% – will be shared with Ogdensburg, towns and villages in the county on a 50-50 formula of assessed land value and population, according to county administrator Ruth A. Doyle.

But if the city eventually gets its autonomy legislation to collect up to an additional 1% in sales tax, the distribution of the last 1% from the county to the city will cease.

Mr Jellie said the city plans to introduce the same autonomy legislation in the next legislative session.

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Self government

Local self-government in Armenia: positive developments but still room for improvement

Despite the positive developments of local self-government in Armenia, the powers of the municipalities have not been extended, their role in the provision of public services remains limited and local authorities do not have sufficient funds, says the monitoring report adopted today by the Council of Europe Congress local and regional authorities, which also provides recommendations to the Armenian government on improving the situation.

The report based on a country visit in May 2019 welcomes the fact that Armenia has ratified all the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It also welcomes the consolidation of communities and the government’s legislative initiatives in the area of ​​local referendums, public hearings and financial aid to municipalities.

Despite these good developments, the powers and duties of the municipalities have not been extended to enable them to manage a substantial part of public affairs under their own responsibility. Municipalities have a limited role in the provision of public services, which goes against the principle of subsidiarity.

In addition, there is no legally guaranteed consultation procedure between the State and the municipalities, the local authorities are not adequately involved in the decision-making process concerning their finances and the local authorities are not consulted on the modifications of their territorial limits.


Congress website

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Sovereignty

Local self-government in Azerbaijan: little improvement observed, limited powers and weak financial situation of municipalities need urgent attention

Despite some improvements in the work of the municipalities, major concerns remain about a number of factors hampering the development of self-government in Azerbaijan, such as the lack of real powers of municipalities, a statute of institutions of state and own financial resources, says the monitoring report of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, which also provides a number of urgent recommendations to the authorities.

The report prepared on the basis of a remote visit carried out in February this year, welcomes some improvements in Azerbaijan such as the ratification of Article 10.3 of the Charter which provides for the right to cooperate between municipalities and their counterparts. in other states (such cooperation, however, would require authorization from the Azerbaijani state authorities); improving the quality and transparency of the work of the municipalities; the use of delegation of functions to municipalities for the first time in 2020, and the increased representation of women and young people in municipal councils after the last municipal elections in 2019.

However, municipalities in Azerbaijan are not considered state institutions and are part of the overall public administration, but rather an expression of civil society, and their powers are not comprehensive and exclusive, the report says.


Local self-government in Azerbaijan: little improvement observed, limited powers and weak financial situation of municipalities need urgent attention

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Home rule

Ocean City is in real danger of losing its rights of autonomy to the state.

City Council Speaker Bob Barr, right, and Council Deputy Speaker Michael DeVlieger said the legislation would rob Ocean City and other communities of the centuries-old tradition of self-governance.

In 1917, the New Jersey Legislature saw the wisdom in passing the Home Rule Act, which allowed local governments to control their own future by granting them broad powers to enact laws and regulations that protected and promoted local interests. . The Home Rule Act is still the foundation of local self-government in New Jersey today. However, Senate Bill #S3926 and Assembly Bill #A5894 (these bills) threaten the very essence of Home Rule and place the future of our local coastal communities in the hands of a foreign entity, namely the Danish company called Orsted.

As written, these bills take away the ability of local governments to make decisions that they believe reflect the best interests of the community and replace them with a process that favors foreign investment. It eliminates good faith negotiations as a basis for local officials to negotiate effectively with Orsted. Instead, Orsted can refuse any reasonable resolution and simply take his case to the State Utilities Board. These bills clearly put Orsted in an advantageous negotiating position at the expense of municipalities.

The majority of Ocean City Council strongly opposes these bills because they seriously erode local government’s ability to make choices that represent what is best for their community and do not allow for good faith negotiations. with Orsted.

In addition, these bills will force local elected officials to make decisions before disclosure of all the facts. Federally mandated environmental impact statements or assessments for the pending offshore wind project won’t be completed until the first quarter of 2023, but those bills require local governments to make decisions about the project well ahead of the publication of these important documents. This is unfair, lacks transparency and goes against good public policy.

While the City of Ocean City Council understands the state’s desire to develop alternative energy sources to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, rushing to achieve this goal without due process, without full disclosure of the facts , without extensive public debate on the environmental impacts and circumvention of the autonomy law do not reflect a truly democratic process. All these bills accomplish is to short-circuit the ability of local officials, who know their community best, the ability to have meaningful input on issues that will significantly affect their communities for at least the next 25 coming years.

Coastal communities, like Ocean City, have tourism-based economies that make a major contribution to state coffers. However, maintaining the prosperity of Ocean City requires protecting the natural beauty of the coast and these bills do nothing to advance this important cause and, in fact, ignore the value of the coastal environment.

Attempts to micromanage Ocean City from Trenton in favor of foreign entities will not be tolerated. The majority of City Council strongly oppose these bills and will use every method at their disposal to defeat pending legislation, as we believe our fundamental principle of self-determination is at stake.

Ocean City Council Chairman Bob Barr and Vice Chairman Michael DeVlieger are asking you to make your voice heard. Join us to defend our local community. Tell your legislators in Trenton to protect our wildlife, our environment and our right to self-reliance.

Don’t let Big Government tell us what’s good for the health, safety and well-being of our community!

Please support our regional representatives who support us. Reach out to them and tell them how you feel.

Truly,

Bob Barr

Chair, Ocean City City Council

Mike DeVlieger

Vice President, Ocean City City Council

State of New Jersey – First District Legislators

Senator Michael Testa – Phone: 609-778-2012

MP Antwan McClellan – Phone: 609-778-2012

Assemblyman Erik Simonsen – Phone: 609-778-2012

Cape May County Board of Commissioners
Phone: 609-465-1065
Director Jerry Thornton – Email: [email protected]

Vice Director Leonard Desiderio – Email: [email protected]

Commissioner E. Marie Hayes – Email: [email protected]

Commissioner Will Morey – Email: [email protected]

Commissioner Jeffrey Pierson – Email: [email protected]

City of Ocean City, New Jersey – City Council

President Robert Barr: [email protected] / 609-703-0750

Vice President Michael DeVlieger: [email protected] / 609-231-8987

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Self government

Congress monitors the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in the UK

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in the United Kingdom from 21 to 23 June 2021.

The delegation was composed of the co-rapporteurs Vladimir Prebilič (Slovenia, SOC / G / PD) and Magnus Berntsson (Sweden, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in the UK to assess the implementation of the Charter. The previous monitoring report and recommendation on local and regional democracy in the UK were adopted in 2014. All meetings were held remotely due to the current health crisis.

The rapporteurs had an exchange of views on the latest developments in the field of local government in the UK with officials from the Department for Housing, Communities and Local Government as well as with the Chairman of the Housing Committee, communities and local governments of the British Parliament. Remote meetings were also scheduled with the Statutory Deputy Mayor of London and representatives of the Greater London Authority.

The delegation had also scheduled remote meetings with officials from the Scottish Department of Social Security and Local Government, the Welsh Parliament, the Assembly of Northern Ireland and the Office of the Secretary of State for Wales.

The Congress delegation met with members of the UK National Delegation to Congress, the Local Government Association (LGA), the Northern Ireland Local Government Association (NILGA), the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (COSLA), as well as members of Edinburgh. Belfast City Council and Mayor.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee at one of its forthcoming meetings.

The UK ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1998. Countries that have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stephanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities
Secretary of the monitoring committee
Telephone: +33 (0) 3 90 21 5184
e-mail: [email protected]

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Sovereignty

Local self-government in Armenia: positive developments but still room for improvement concerning the skills, consultation and financial resources of local authorities

Despite the positive development of local self-government in Armenia, the powers of municipalities have not been extended, their role in the provision of public services remains limited and local authorities do not have sufficient funds, according to the report. the follow-up report adopted today by the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe, which also provides recommendations to the Armenian government to improve the situation.

The report based on a country visit in May 2019 welcomes the fact that Armenia has ratified all the provisions of the European Charter of Local Self-Government. It also welcomes the consolidation of communities and the government’s legislative initiatives in the area of ​​local referendums, public hearings and financial aid to municipalities.

Despite these good developments, the powers and duties of the municipalities have not been extended to enable them to manage a substantial part of public affairs under their own responsibility. Municipalities have a limited role in the provision of public services, which goes against the principle of subsidiarity.

In addition, there is no legally guaranteed consultation procedure between the State and the municipalities, the local authorities are not adequately involved in the decision-making process concerning their finances and the local authorities are not consulted on the modifications of their territorial limits.

“We have been informed that during the recent merger process some local authorities and residents learned from the press about the mergers of their communities,” said Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE), one of the rapporteurs who presented the report, noting that efficiency and broad communication on territorial reform “was still lacking in Armenia”.

“For the reform to be successful, it is important to give incentives to the merged communities. They need more power and therefore money to execute them, ”stressed Helgesen.

Bryony Rudkin (UK, SOC / G / PD), the co-rapporteur, echoed this concern. “Local authorities continue to lack the financial resources to carry out their own tasks,” she said. “In addition, the State does not make the corresponding resources available to communities when it delegates powers. As a result, many small communities simply cannot cope with the delegated tasks or cannot provide good quality services ”.

Rudkin highlighted other issues, such as the poor working conditions of municipal workers in local government offices and unwarranted state interference in local tasks: administrative oversight of local government decisions goes beyond control of legality and various state authorities have overlapping supervisory powers.

The Congress recommended that the Armenian government accompany the delegation of tasks by providing corresponding financial resources and ensure that local communities have access to adequate financial resources on their own; further decentralize powers to increase the share of public affairs that are regulated and managed by local authorities and to guarantee in law the right of local authorities to be consulted on matters which concern them directly, recommends the Congress. In addition, the “own” competences of municipalities should be revised and clarified, state supervision limited to legality control and the working conditions of municipal employees improved.

The rapporteurs described as “welcome steps” the information on some new legislative initiatives prepared by the government in the field of local referendums, public hearings and financial assistance to municipalities. “We are convinced that all political changes and reform efforts have opened up new perspectives and opportunities for democratic transformation in Armenia to have a positive impact on local democracy and we look forward to continuing the already long-standing cooperation we have with them. Armenian authorities, ”concluded Bryony Rudkin. .

*** 40th Congress Session (second part) ***

File 40th Session – Agenda – Documents: FR | FRA | DEU | ITA | RUS – Videos and photos

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Home rule

RECOGNIZED VILLAGE LAWYER TO PROTECT HOUSE RULE

The legislative session in Tallahassee prompted various attempts to anticipate local decision-making on several fronts. With the help of the Florida League of Cities and local officials and attorneys, including Roget Bryan, those attempts were thwarted.

Prior to a June 2 meeting at Founders Park Community Center, Scott Dudley of the Florida League of Cities presented Islamorada attorney Bryan with the “Home Rule Hero” accolade for providing analysis and contributions throughout the 2021 session on bills with ramifications for local municipalities. The Florida League of Cities formed in 1922 to shape legislation and share ideas and experiences, and more than 400 cities and towns are members today.

Local autonomy allows a city to solve its community problems with local solutions and minimal or no interference from the state. Recipients of the Home Rule Hero award are local, elected and unelected officials.

With constant attempts to preempt domestic rule, Dudley said the Florida League of Cities is a resource in Tallahassee for championing the ability of local governments to make decisions that reflect the opinions and needs of citizens. Contributions from lawyers, like Bryan, help the League of Cities understand the impacts of legislation on a city.

“We can usually read the legislation and say, ‘We think that’s bad enough for cities,’ (but) we’ll appeal to city attorneys and managers,” Dudley said. “Roget is one during the legislative session when we had questions about the impact of a bill in a municipality; he intervened and let us know what the impacts would be in Islamorada.

Bryan has assisted the Florida League of Cities with several complicated bills, including the Bert Harris Act which provides procedures and remedies for property owners whose property is excessively burdened by local government legislation. The League of Cities has opposed changes that disregard individual property rights or create one-sided lawsuits that shift financial burdens to local taxpayers.

Dudley said Bryan was also helpful with vacation rental and home-based business issues, as well as other legislation being considered this year that “doesn’t help municipalities or citizens at all.”

“Roget helped us break it down and helped us understand what the impacts of certain particular legislation would be where the rubber meets the road,” Dudley said. “I am honored to be here to present Roget with a Home Rule Hero certificate.”

This is the third year in a row that Bryan has received the title of Home Rule Hero. Selected unanimously in 2013 by the Village Council to be the first in-house attorney, Bryan provides legal advice regarding the interpretation of the Village Code and Florida Statutes. He also represents the village in litigation, prepares and reviews contracts and agreements, and assists in drafting ordinances and resolutions.

After receiving this honor, Bryan said it was a privilege to champion not only Islamorada by Florida municipalities.

“I’m a big defender of home rule. I think it’s the most effective layer of government, it’s where the things that have the most impact on citizens matter the most and it’s where they are felt the most,” said he declared. “To be able to help protect our ability to make those decisions for ourselves is truly a privilege and an honor.”

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Spain

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in Spain, from 18 to 20 May 2021.

The delegation is made up of rapporteurs Bryony Rudkin (United Kingdom, SOC / G / PD) and David Eray (Switzerland, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities in Spain to assess the implementation of the charter. The previous monitoring report and the recommendation on local and regional democracy in Spain were adopted in 2013. All meetings were held at a distance due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the Spanish National Delegation to Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament, the Ombudsman, the Ministry of Territorial Policy and Public Administration, the Ministry of Finance, the Constitutional Court and the Court. accounts. They also met the mayors of Madrid, Ohanes and Valladolid.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee in autumn 2021.

Spain ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See also:

Interview with rapporteur David Eray

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Self government

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in North Macedonia

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the Charter in North Macedonia, from 20 to 21 April 2021.

The delegation, made up of the co-rapporteurs on local democracy, Harald Bergmann (Netherlands, GILD) and Zdeněk Brož (Czech Republic, ECR) met the authorities of North Macedonia at local and national levels to discuss the implementation of the Charter. The last report and recommendation on local democracy in the country was adopted in 2012. All meetings will be held remotely due to the current health crisis.

Meetings were held with the North Macedonian national delegation to the Congress, the Association of Local Self-Government Units of the Republic of North Macedonia, the Parliament, the Court of Auditors, the Ombudsman, the ministries of self-government Local and Finance and Constitutional Court. The co-rapporteurs also met the mayors of Skopje, Vinica and Centar Župa.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

North Macedonia ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1997. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

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Self government

Leendert Verbeek: “Respect for the European Charter of Local Self-Government is essential for the resilience and sustainability of local democracy”

Addressing the General Assembly of the Network of Associations of Local Authorities of South East Europe (NALAS), on April 13, 2021, Congress President Leendert Verbeek underlined the importance of the European Charter of local self-government to ensure the sustainability of local democracy and local self-government. -government. He also expressed concern about the negative impact of Covid-19 on human rights, local democracy and constitutional values. “The pandemic has worsened the so-called recurring problems in the application of the Charter. These include the lack of consultation, an inadequate distribution of powers and financial resources and excessive supervision, ”warned President Verbeek.

He called on the member states of the Council of Europe to support local communities in their fight against the pandemic without compromising local autonomy, which is essential for building democratic and sustainable societies. “It is our responsibility, as local and regional elected representatives, to be alongside our citizens, to preserve democracy and to create an environment conducive to the sustainable economic development of our cities and regions”, underlined the president. .

The General Assembly of NALAS was opened by the President of the Republic of Moldova, Maia Sandu, the President of the Congress of Local Authorities of Moldova, Tatiana Badan, and the Mayor of Chisinau and head of the Moldovan delegation to the Congress, Ion Ceban . They welcomed the cooperation with Congress, including the post-monitoring roadmap and the technical assistance provided for various projects.

President Verbeek underlined that the partnership between the Congress and NALAS plays a key role in the discussions on decentralization and local self-government in the South East European region. He also underlined the excellent cooperation with the Moldovan authorities and the importance of the post-monitoring roadmap to be signed with the authorities.

See also:

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Sovereignty

The Congress followed the implementation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Cyprus

A delegation from the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe followed the application of the European Charter of Local Self-Government in Cyprus from 29 to 30 March 2021.

The delegation was made up of the co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy in Cyprus, Marc Cools (Belgium, GILD) and Gunn Marit Helgesen (Norway, EPP / CCE). They held meetings with local and national authorities to assess developments concerning the application of the Charter since the last monitoring report and recommendation adopted in 2016. All meetings were held online due to the current health crisis.

The delegation met the national delegation of Cyprus to the Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the Parliament (House of Representatives), the Minister of the Interior, the Minister of Finance, the President of the Supreme Court, the Ombudsman and the Court of Auditors. They also had meetings with the mayors of Nicosia and Pegeia.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

Cyprus ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 1988. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel. : +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84,
E-mail: [email protected]

See the agenda here

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Self government

Scottish law incorporates the European Charter of Local Self-Government

The European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill was incorporated into Scottish law after Members of the Scottish Parliament (MSP) voted unanimously to approve it.

Introduced by Andy Wightman MSP, the bill aims to strengthen local government in Scotland, made up of 32 councils.

The European Charter of Local Self-Government was established in 1985 by the Council of Europe and sets out 10 principles to protect the basic powers of local authorities with regard to their political, administrative and financial independence, and was ratified by the UK in 1997.

The Council of Europe is an international organization which promotes democracy and protects human rights and the rule of law across the European continent and the UK is one of its 47 member states.

Mr. Wightman said that the incorporation of the European Charter of Local Self-Government The Bill in Scottish Law would allow the Charter to be directly relied on to settle matters in Scottish courts and would allow individuals and organizations to challenge the Scottish Government in the courts if its laws or rulings are inconsistent with the chart.

The bill also contains a section which places a general duty on the Scottish government to promote local government.

Commenting on Twitter, Mr Wightman said: ‘Delighted that my European Charter of Local Self-Government (Incorporation) (Scotland) bill is passed unanimously by the Scottish Parliament. Thanks to all the supporters. The culmination of decades of efforts by COSLA and others.

Chair of the Scottish Local Authorities Convention (COSLA) Councilor Alison Evison added: “I am absolutely delighted, it is a long-standing ambition of COSLA to see this charter incorporated into national law.
“This is a major achievement for local government and for communities.

“This means that the status and position of local government as a democratic representative of local communities will be strengthened by enshrining international legal rights in Scottish law.

“This in turn will strengthen the voice of our local communities and help achieve better results, the agreed results, with and for them.

“It will mean parity between government partners as we work together, for example on the national performance framework.

“The incorporation of the charter will formalize and integrate better partnership work and ensure that subsidiarity is a flaw in policymaking through the democratic system.

“Most importantly, it will help us achieve the lasting change around empowering communities that we seek.

“Finally, I would like to express our thanks to Andy Wightman MSP for bringing forward a private member’s bill on the charter, his role in bringing us here today cannot be overstated. “

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Sovereignty

Storey County is skeptical of smart city self-government

The rural county where a cryptocurrency firm wants to build a self-sustaining smart city voted Tuesday to oppose a key part of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s proposal to allow tech companies to create county-style governments.

The Storey County Commission voted 2-0 on a motion that included directing county staff to “oppose separatist government control and carve-up of Storey County,” drawing a line in the sand between government local and the governor on the innovation zones proposed by Sisolak. The third commissioner, Lance Gilman, was not present at the meeting.

According to the latest proposed bill, which has yet to be introduced, Innovation Zones would eventually separate from the local county in which they are located and become a separate, independent government body with the same authority as a county in Nevada, including the ability to impose and collect taxes, form school districts and courts of law, and provide government services.

“I find the self-government part to be a no-start,” Commissioner Clay Mitchell said at Tuesday’s meeting.

Sisolak said Blockchains LLC, the Jeffrey Berns-owned tech company that bought 67,000 acres in Storey County in 2018, was committed to building a smart city in northern Nevada that would run entirely on blockchain technology a once the legislation is approved.

Mitchell and Storey County Commission Chairman Jay Carmona Carmona both said they support the Blockchains LLC smart city concept being built in the county. But the county should have more of a say in how it goes and the town should remain part of Storey County, they added.

“Storey County is very capable of meeting the needs of Blockchains,” Carmona said.

One of the issues to be addressed is that the master plan does not allow residential development in the Tahoe-Reno Industrial Heartland, where the majority of Blockchains LLC’s land is located. The plan calls for 3,500 homes in Painted Rock, a smaller portion of the company’s land.

The Blockchains proposal, meanwhile, includes plans for 15,000 homes and more than 36,000 permanent residents.

Carmona said the lack of residential zoning inside the center is one of the biggest draws to attracting business, saying it helps reduce delays that would otherwise slow approvals for businesses.

Storey County Executive Austin Osborne called the separation aspect of the proposal unnecessary and said the Blockchains proposal fits into the county’s master plan for the area which was approved in 2016. without self-government and the construction of houses inside the industrial center.

Mitchell took issue with language in the current draft proposal which states that the traditional local government model is “insufficient on its own to provide the flexibility and resources needed to make the state a leader in attracting and retaining new new forms and types of enterprises and promote economic development”. in emerging technologies and innovative industries.

“I don’t believe that’s true. I don’t find that claim to be substantiated,” Mitchell said, noting that the county has been successful in attracting big tech companies like Tesla, Google and Switch to the Tahoe-Reno industrial hub. “Somehow these emerging technologies and innovative industries have found a way to work in our model.”

For Storey County, being called too slow or too restrictive for development is a rarity, Mitchell added.

“We often took the heat from being too flexible or going too fast,” Mitchell said.

Contact Capital Office Manager Colton Lochhead on [email protected]. To follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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Self government

Symbol of local autonomy, democracy and development, according to speaker Lok Sabha | Latest India News

Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development Lok Sabha chairman Om Birla said on Friday that it provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy.

The comments of the Lok Sabha chairman came during the inauguration of the awareness and familiarization program for local bodies of the northeastern states in Shillong.

“Local self-government is a symbol of both democracy and development. It provides a framework for the decentralization of democracy. It strengthens democracy at the local level through which citizens have the possibility of becoming part of the local self-government of their region, ”said the speaker.

“There are several provisions in our Constitution offering optimal opportunities for the development of all regions of the country. An Autonomous District Council for these states has been created in Schedule 6 of our Constitution, ”said Birla.

The primary objective of the creation of these Councils is to protect the rights of the tribal communities of the North East, to ensure them equal rights in the decision-making process and to ensure that their administration is carried out in accordance with their traditions and conventions, he mentioned.

“Mahatma Gandhi believed that the soul of India lives in the villages. He believed in rural self-reliance and the development of the nation (Rashtrodaya) through the development of villages (Gramodaya). He believed that every village should be The government is developing policies and plans to make this autonomy a nationwide phenomenon. But an autonomous India can only be possible if we are Vocal for Local, “he said.

Emphasizing the digital penetration in governance, he said that e-Panchyat has been introduced, which has brought about revolutionary changes in the functioning of local self-government.

It is our responsibility to make a collective effort to make democracy strong, transparent and accountable, he added.

Meghalaya Chief Minister Conrad Sangma, Speaker of the Legislative Assembly of Meghalaya Metbah Lyngdoh, Union Minister of State, Ministry of Industry and Food Processing, Rameshwar Teli and various MPs from the Northeast region also took part in the event.

The program was organized by the Parliamentary Research and Training Institute for Democracies (PRIDE), of the Lok Sabha Secretariat.

The theme of the program was “Panchayati Raj System / Autonomous District Council – Strengthening Decentralized Democracy”.

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Sovereignty

Congress monitors implementation of European Charter of Local Self-Government by Azerbaijan

A Congress delegation monitored Azerbaijan’s compliance with the European Charter of Local Self-Government from February 23 to 25, 2021.

Two co-rapporteurs on local and regional democracy in Azerbaijan, Bernd Vöhringer, Germany (L, PPE / CCE) and Stewart Dickson, UK (R, GILD) focused on developments since the last follow-up in 2012.

Due to the current health situation, the rapporteurs had online meetings with the national delegation of Azerbaijan to the Congress, the national associations of local and regional authorities, the chairman of the Parliamentary Committee on Regional Relations of the Assembly State, the Constitutional Court, the Court of Auditors and the Commissioner for Human Rights of Azerbaijan.

They also met with the Deputy Minister of Justice, the head of the Center for Work with Municipalities, Baku Executive Power and other local authorities.

The resulting report will be examined by the Monitoring Committee.

Azerbaijan ratified the European Charter of Local Self-Government in 2002. The countries which have ratified the Charter are bound by its provisions. The Charter requires the implementation of a minimum set of rights which constitute the fundamental basis of local self-government in Europe. The Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe ensures that these principles are respected in the 47 member states of the Council of Europe.

Contact:

Stéphanie POIREL, Congress of Local and Regional Authorities, Secretary of the Monitoring Committee, Tel: +33 (0) 3 90 21 51 84, email: [email protected]

Meetings program

Pictures:

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Home rule

Is it time for the county to adopt self-government?

Graphic by Amber McAlary / News-Register

What is the rule at home? Should Yamhill County consider a move in this direction?

Under self-government, local government retains all powers of self-governance, except for those specifically pre-empted by state or federal law. In the absence of a ban, it empowers local jurisdictions, both city and county, to act. It is essentially a form of local control that gives citizens more leverage in government operations.

Rick olson was elected to the Yamhill County Commissioners Council in 2016, after 36 years of public service with the Town of McMinnville. Along with the city, he served on the town planning commission, council and budget commission, then served as mayor for eight years. He has also served on the League of Oregon Cities Board of Directors, the McMinnville Area Chamber of Commerce, and the Yamhill County Parkway Committee. A McMinnville resident since 1957, he raised five children with his wife Candy. He worked for Oregon Mutual Insurance until his retirement in 2012.

Historically, counties were created and maintained as simple administrative districts to perform functions and duties on behalf of the sovereign. In England it was the Crown. In America, it meant colonial governors before independence and state governments after.

In addition to their role as agents of the state, counties are gradually taking on a secondary role as a unit of local government, providing services in response to the needs and preferences of their constituents.

However, both as state agents and units of local government, they continued to operate under legal interpretations, limiting their powers to those expressly granted by state law. As a result, counties were unable to act in response to local needs without the express permission of the legislature.

Efforts to free counties from state constraints date back to 1906, but were largely unsuccessful until a constitutional amendment on county autonomy was passed in 1958.

In Oregon, 27 counties, including Yamhill, remain under traditional restrictions today. They are known as common law counties.

The other nine – Benton, Clatsop, Hood River, Jackson, Josephine, Lane, Multnomah, Washington and Umatilla – have broken the yoke to become self-governing counties. And others have considered or are currently considering such a move.

The basic requirements of a home charger are specific to Article VI, Section 10 of the Oregon Constitution. At a minimum, he said, a county charter “must prescribe the organization of county government and must provide directly, or by its authority, for the number, election or appointment, qualifications, duration, remuneration, the powers and duties of such officers as the county deems necessary.

The process begins with the creation of a county charter committee, either through a resolution of the Council of Commissioners or through a citizens’ petition. The petition route sets the signature requirement at 4% of the local votes cast in the last election of a governor for a four-year term.

When the condition is met, the county council of commissioners appoints four members and the county legislative delegation appoints four more. These eight are content with a ninth.

The law prohibits the appointment of any local county commissioner or legislator, or anyone engaged in matters “incompatible with the conscientious exercise” of the committee’s functions.

The committee has two years to develop a charter to submit to voters. The county must provide him with free office space and either 1% per capita or $ 500 to help finance his expenses.

The committee is authorized to conduct interviews and continue investigations. He is required to hold at least one public hearing on the document he produces for scrutiny by voters.

The original vote on the charter and the votes on any amendment, revision or repeal must normally be submitted in a primary or biennial general election. However, under a 1977 Court of Appeal ruling (Brummel v. Clark, 31 or App 405), an amendment may be put to a vote in a special election if the county charter so permits.

As an alternative, a county charter can be prepared and submitted directly to voters via an initiative petition.

The charter fixes the number of auditors, their status and their remuneration. It can also decide on the number, status and salary structure of administrative officers or other officers and employees of the county.

In addition, it serves as a vehicle for handling intergovernmental relations and operations; ordinance, initiative and referendum procedures; personnel protections and procedures; questions of budgeting, expenditure and finance; the procedures for the transition to the new charter system; and various other matters. Some self-governing counties have taken a minimalist approach and others have filled their charters with many pages of detail.

This allows a county to structure its operation to best meet local needs and to make changes as circumstances change. They are not stuck with a fixed state mandate.

Given this degree of latitude, a local charter would give more autonomy to the citizens of Yamhill County in deciding how Yamhill County should be governed. This would allow them to decide:

Which officials should be appointed or elected, and which should serve on a paid or unpaid basis. How many commissioners should sit on the board of directors, whether chosen at general or by district; how they should be paid and how the board chair should be decided. What role should citizens have in the decision-making process.

Cities in Oregon have a great deal of autonomy in terms of autonomy, and a charter would put the county on an equal footing.

Along the way, this would allow the county to provide rural areas with services currently limited to urban areas, if voters consent – for example, establishing a lodging tax to support tourism or passing a tax measure to fund. replacement of the rural broadband Internet service bridge.

I encourage everyone to learn more about Home Rule and what it could or would mean for Yamhill County. If you would like more information, please do not hesitate to contact me at [email protected] or [email protected]

The people, not the politicians, must decide what form of government they want, who should lead it and how it should be administered.

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Home rule

Executive Branch | Home Rule Discourse Resurfaces in Champaign County | Columns

Recently, discussion has resurfaced regarding whether to acquire home-rule status for Champaign County. The autonomy designation gives the county government the maximum authority to make autonomous local decisions.

Counties without Home Rule only have the power to make decisions specifically authorized by state law; internal counties have the power to make any decision that is not specifically limited by state laws, including the most debated one – increasing tax authority.

The Illinois Compiled Statutes 55 ILCS 5 /, also known as the Illinois County Code, describes the many powers and duties that the state legislature has delegated to the county government as well as the mechanisms available to fund these activities.

As a unique case, Cook County is currently the only county in Illinois with self-governing authority specified in the county code. Other counties may opt for self-government through a local electoral referendum, although none have currently done so.

Many activities carried out by county governments are mandated by the offices of county elected officials. These duties include functions such as keeping records of real estate transactions, holding local elections and establishing a county courthouse.

The county may pursue many other activities considered optional, depending on the needs and wants of local residents, and for some of these, additional special taxes may be levied by local referendum (such as mental health council) or fees (such as animal control). It is the responsibility of the county council to approve a balanced annual budget to accomplish its tasks, whether or not the county has autonomy.

It is unlikely that a single county could (or would) perform all the activities permitted by the County Code. If possible, another entity, including a municipality, can fulfill this role sufficiently by creating another special tax district (with the approval of the voters) or through a private company.

In Champaign County, this includes such efforts as running a library, park, or hospital. If this is not a local priority, some permitted activities, such as a zoo, may not exist at all.

There are many fundraising strategies available to counties to increase revenues or reduce expenses to balance their budgets. Home Rule gives county councils the ability to assess additional types of taxes and fees not specifically mentioned in the County Code as available to county governments, thereby expanding their authority.

Resident approval for proposed future tax increases rests with voters when they decide to accept national government status, instead of individually voting on referendum questions for specific types of increases.

As an additional consideration, the County Code requires that a county executive can veto board actions in order to balance the wider discretion of the county council in an autonomous county.

In 2018, residents of Champaign County adopted this form of government, which creates the third branch of county government by separating the executive and legislative functions of a traditional council.

However, like the other county in Illinois with an executive (will), residents approved this change in the structure of local government without conferring local government status.

The basic question is to what extent the county board has autonomy to make tax decisions, and self-government is likely to be debated again whenever county budgets tighten.

Darlene Kloeppel is Champaign County’s first executive, elected in 2018. Got a topic you’d like her to cover? She takes requests to [email protected]

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Home rule

Progressives condemn conservative state attacks on autonomy

Union representatives, environmentalists, LGBTQ supporters and others gathered on Capitol Hill Thursday to condemn legislative attacks on autonomy that are killing progressive policies at the local level.

The pre-emptions are designed to overturn local government bans on single-use plastic and foam containers and so-called conversion therapy; protect trees and coral reefs; impose labor laws favorable to workers; and promote the safe use of firearms in local communities.

Representative Anna Eskamani, a Democrat from Orange County, called for a “repelathon” to reverse the wave of preemptive bills that “demonize local governments” and impose the will of the state over local objections .

“The harsh reality is that corporate interests, especially in this legislative process, have exploited preemption to maintain high profit margins,” Eskamani said, adding that the prescriptions concerned are designed to improve public health, fairness and security. “We need to restore autonomy and empower local voices to make local choices. “

Senator Gary Farmer, a Democrat from Broward, is sponsoring legislation to slow the pace of pre-emption bills by setting high bars for their passage.

Florida Integrity, a non-partisan political research group, released a report this month claiming that pre-emption of self-government has become endemic and most often suppresses policies adopted in democratic-leaning urban areas.

A few pre-emption bills that have achieved notoriety would overturn a Florida Keys ban on certain sunscreens containing oxybenzone and octinoxate that kill corals; revoke the prohibitions on the use of therapy for minors that purports to change a person’s sexual orientation; block bans on single-use plastics that pollute local waterways; and block local gun control ordinances.

Others would prevail over local regulation of rent stabilization, vacation rentals, tree pruning, telecommunications, and minimum wage and sick leave practices.

Representative Carlos Guillermo Smith, also a Democrat from Orange County, is co-sponsoring legislation to restore local control over sick leave and minimum wage orders. He said Florida conservatives were not in touch with everyday Floridians when it came to self-reliance. Representative Ben Diamond, a Democrat from Pinellas, added that they were betraying the GOP’s longstanding claim to favor a small government.

“We understand and we know, as do a qualified majority of Floridians who have been repeatedly questioned on this issue, that the government is most effective and most responsive where it is closest to the people, and that ‘ is in our cities and counties, ”says Smith.

“Their preemptions are so comprehensive and they mess up so many problems in local government, sometimes the sponsors of these preemptions themselves don’t even know what they are having an impact and what they are doing.”

“It goes against all those conservative principles that the government closest to the people serves the people best. We have to keep reminding people of this, ”said Diamond.

“A lot of these preemptive bills are driven by big industries and big vested interests that just don’t want to allow us to have effective local representation and local government, and we’re fed up with it. Our fellow citizens are fed up. It is time for the people who serve here to start listening to those on the front lines of these issues and trying to resolve them.

Deborah Foote, director of government affairs and policy for the Sierra Club of Florida, said lawmakers are also removing local will by placing the burden of all legal fees on a plaintiff who does not win, as in the case of a person local government that challenges a developer over land use and losses, or a local government that challenges the state to no avail.

“Citizens don’t have the deep pockets that businesses have, and municipalities can’t compete with state resources,” Foote said. “All of this affects our ability to fight climate change, urban sprawl and pollution that impact the quality of our water. “

The AFL-CIO, the American Heart Association, Equality Florida, Florida Immigrant Coalition, Florida Latina Advocacy Network, Local Progress, New Florida Majority, Organize Florida, Sierra Club, the International Union of Northern Workers also supported Thursday the anti-preemption group. America, Florida Local Unions 517, 630 and 1652, and SurfRiders Foundation.

Due to an editing error, a quote from Rep. Smith in the original story has been incorrectly attributed. It has been corrected.

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Home rule

New book examines black political power in pre-home rule DC

Photograph by Robert A. Landry.

In his new book, Capital of Democracy: Black Political Power in Washington, DC, 1960s-1970s, Lauren Pearlman examines the unique dynamic between local and federal power in the years leading up to the Home Rule Act of 1973. It was then that activists and leaders of the city’s predominantly black population fought against strict congressional oversight and helped DC residents elect their own mayor and representatives.

The House held DC’s first statehood hearing in 25 years last September, but the district still has a long way to go. In his book, which comes out next week, Pearlman, an assistant professor of history at the University of Florida, tells the story of DC’s struggle for democracy.

How did someone in Florida get interested in this?

I got a job at a civil rights law firm in DC [after college, nearly 15 years ago] and I moved to Columbia Heights on the 13th and to Harvard. And I would walk to work on 14th Street and U Street and walk by these dilapidated buildings or sites that hadn’t been rebuilt since the riots.

And that’s when I started to look at the city, just through my walks in the neighborhoods. You know, you could start to see the first signs of gentrification in Columbia Heights, and it made me wonder, “Well, what were those riots for?” I had only a superficial understanding of what happened after Martin Luther King [Jr.] was murdered in ’68. And so the question of what catalyzed the riots and inspired them, what kind of anger was running through the city, was the question I went to college to ponder more deeply. What I learned when I started to think more deeply about this issue is that you can’t tell the story of the riots without talking about government and without talking about self-determination and autonomy, and that this issue of autonomy was under all sorts of issues of civil rights and public order and urban development and renewal throughout the 20th century.

What was your research and writing process?

It started in high school [in 2009] and it started with my thesis work. And what I liked about this research is that my research took me everywhere. I used the George Washington University Special Collections, which houses the unprocessed records of the First Council just in boxes. You would just empty those boxes – well you didn’t because they wouldn’t let you do that [Laughs]. I handled them with care, but they were just in disorganized boxes that hadn’t been processed yet. And then, of course, the Martin Luther King jr. library also in DC, and there is only a treasure trove of DC documents related to activists and business and real estate groups there. And then to Austin, Texas, and Anaheim, California, where I watched the Lyndon Johnson papers and Richard Nixon papers and Department of Justice files and Attorney General files and things like that, because to understand DC’s history is to understand this local/national connection, because all the politics went through the channels federal as well as through local channels.

How would you describe the relationship at that time between the locals and the federal government?

You know, it’s so interesting because there are tensions in certain relationships – the mayor walter washingtonis with Richard Nixon were certainly tense, but there wasn’t much that people said outright about it, partly because if you were appointed to local government your job wasn’t secure and you could be replaced, which happened to some people on the City Council. And in a sense, too, what I discovered while writing this book is that even though the Johnson administration helped advance the issue of home rule by appointing a mayor and city council in 1967, it also really started to limit the settings. what they were able to do. And so, although it is hailed as a success, it also reduces the possibilities of autonomy in the future. And even what you see with some of Marion BarryThe campaign of the late 60s and early 70s is that it’s hard to mobilize people around the issue to vote when you have bills to pay or other issues that affect your life, or that you don’t have a job or that you live in public housing. And so, there were a lot of other issues that took precedence over the right to vote in people’s lives.

One thing that struck me about the book was that even though some black politicians and activists started to take power, there was still this struggle, even for people like Barry, who presented themselves as allies of the poorest black residents to effect change. these people.

Yeah, it’s really interesting, and it’s part of a lot of new postings about what those who were civil rights activists are doing now are part of the political machines. And you can see that in people who study Atlanta and Detroit and different cities where black mayors are appointed and city councils, they’re becoming more representative, but the voters they’re accountable to are often left out of the decision they’re making. Part of that, I think, in DC in particular, is that the white stakeholders that wielded a lot of power were really powerful, and so you see the decisions that they’re able to make [were] really hard to argue. But also development is a problem that most people who are in desktop support. It’s rare to see a politician go against decisions that will help the city benefit, and so when you look at a lot of the construction of a convention center or the development of Pennsylvania Avenue, those are decisions that politicians blacks supported them largely because the hope was that they would bring money to the city. A lot of these decisions were made about drug policy or methadone clinics or things like that with the expectation that they would solve real problems, but then have unintended consequences, like getting more people addicted drugs or things like that. But also, protection from crime is a universal issue, so some of the city council’s and the mayor’s decisions in terms of policing are because their black middle-class constituents also wanted more policing. ‘order. Now, the effects of that were oversurveillance of low-income black residents, but on the surface the idea behind it is a universal idea of ​​protection.

You talk about how elective office was kind of an alternative to activism and protest. Do you think it is possible to maintain a militant position in elected office?

Well, I think there are great examples today of people doing that. But at the time, being a black politician in power, as I show in my book, was a very difficult position to achieve anyway, so your options for radical change are really just precarious positions to take, d especially since home rule became law and you had to appease such a wide range of voters. So I think it’s a challenge. I think the system was not created to help radically change the office.

Did you learn anything that really surprised you during your research?

Yes I did it. I had no intention of writing a book that was so much about policing and police power, police brutality, criminalization and law and order. The body of literature on what we as scholars call prison studies, understanding the laws and policies that structure mass incarceration, simply did not exist when I began to do my research. There’s a group of academics who have done a really dynamic job of interrogating the prison system, but I didn’t really know it was going to be a story about it. And then when I started to do my research, I realized that the police were everywhere and criminalization was happening everywhere, and so that really became the core of the book, is that the use of power of policing to undermine radicalism and the use of law and order to excessively punish black citizens became a huge part of the book’s focus.

Near the end of the book, you address DC’s long fight for statehood. If this were to pass, do you think it would provide solutions to some of the issues raised in the book?

From criminal justice issues to living wages, these are all issues Congress has stepped in on [DC’s] own government could absolutely manage. But, you know, this push for a state is so crucial. To me, it’s disappointing that the state is happening, if and I hope it is happening, in a city that’s rapidly gentrifying, and not when there was a black majority that could have brought about change in the interest of residents who needed it at the time.

This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.

Editor

Nathan Diller has also written for DCist, Vulture and Bustle. On Twitter, his name is @nateclaydiller.

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Home rule

Some cities in the eastern metropolitan area could lose their home taxing and regulatory powers in 2020

BELLEVILLE – The slow but steady decline in Illinois’ population could jeopardize the self-governing status some cities in the Eastern Metropolitan area enjoy.

Self-government grants cities broad powers of taxation and regulation, making it easier to quickly resolve local problems and finance projects and services. Status is automatically granted to any city in Illinois with a population greater than 25,000. Cities can also gain autonomy by referendum, as Fairview Heights did.

“This gives them a wide opportunity to come up with innovative solutions without having to seek permission from the General Assembly,” said Maryam Judar, Executive Director of the Citizen Advocacy Center. “Without home rule, a municipality must work within its narrow authority. He needs the state’s permission if he seeks to work outside of this. “

The 2020 census could reveal population counts below the magic number for some local communities, including Collinsville and East St. Louis, and others in the state, such as Freeport and Harvey.

Flexibility and authority

Plastic bag fee lack at Glen Carbon in April because the community did not have Home Rule status. He did not have the legal power to create a new tax.

With autonomy, cities benefit from greater flexibility in finances as they can levy new taxes. They can also exercise power over construction, zoning, sanitation, civil unrest and many other aspects of local governance, according to Illinois Municipal League documents.

Collinsville and East St. Louis both had populations greater than 25,000 in the 2010 census, although current census estimates Pin up Collinsville at 24 676 and East St. Louis at 26 678. But a undercount could skew East St. Louis numbers.

Collinsville and East St. Louis city officials did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

Cities do not automatically lose home rule when they fall below 25,000 inhabitants, but they must ask their residents to vote if they wish to remain home rule with a specific question: “Should the entity stop d to be home rule? Said Judar.

“It’s a bit counterintuitive, because if you say ‘yes’ to the ceasefire issue, you don’t want autonomy,” she said. “If you say ‘no’ to the ceasefire issue, you want home control. “

Residents should not take this kind of referendum lightly because of the powers it grants to a municipal government, Judar said.

“Local government affects people more than any other form of government,” she said.

The Edwardsville case

This is not the first time that a community in the eastern metropolitan region has achieved autonomy and then fell below the threshold of 25,000 residents. Edwardsville got rule status at home after a special census in 2007 determined it met the threshold.

City lawmakers were interested in getting the special status because of the authority it gave a municipality, said Gary Niebur, mayor of Edwardsville at the time.

“It was seen as giving you more authority to run your city where you feel better for your residents,” he said.

In 2010, Edwardsville’s official population fell below 24,293, triggering a referendum. Niebur was not worried that the measure would fail, which had happened in other communities in the state.

“I felt good,” he says. “I felt we had proven that what we wanted to do with Home Rule was in the best interest of the whole community.”

He adds that the city was cautious in its use of autonomy and only focused on how the authorities believed it would benefit the community. For communities in the Eastern Metropolitan region that might face a similar referendum after the 2020 census, Niebur advises thinking about how the city has used self-government.

“Really list the things the city accomplished because it had control of the house,” he said. “A lot of these things should be positive.”

Eric Schmid covers Metro East for St. Louis Public Radio as part of the Journalism Fellowship Program Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project. Follow Eric on Twitter: @EricDSchmid

Send your questions and comments on this article to: [email protected]

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Independence activist

“They treat Hong Kong like parts of China”: independence activist Andy Chan condemns decision to censor talks

Independence activist Andy Chan said the Chinese Foreign Ministry’s attempt to block his speech at the Foreign Correspondents’ Club proved that Hong Kong’s attempt to ban his party was a “political incident” beyond the local government.

The Club will welcome Chan, chairman of the Hong Kong National Party, for a luncheon on August 14. Announced on July 30, the speech is titled “Hong Kong Nationalism: A Politically Incorrect Guide to Hong Kong Under Chinese Rule.” The party faces a ban, with authorities asking Chan to respond to a 900-page dossier by September 4.

A representative from the Chinese commissioner’s office in Hong Kong visited the FCC, urging it to reconsider its decision to host Chan.

Andy Chan Ho-tin. File photo: inmediahk.net.

“From top to bottom, it was planned by the Chinese government, the script was written,” Chan told HKFP.

See also: Explanation: How Hong Kong seeks to ban an independence party using existing national security laws

“This bold exercise of pressure on the FCC is a clear suppression of freedom of speech and the freedom to conduct interviews. They treat Hong Kong like parts of China, where information can be blocked. “

In a statement, the commissioner’s office said the independence forces have seriously violated the Chinese Constitution, the Basic Law and the laws of Hong Kong, and harmed the country’s national security and territorial sovereignty.

“We strongly support the government of the Hong Kong SAR to deal with the matter in accordance with the Basic Law and the laws of the Hong Kong SAR. We strongly oppose any attempt by outside forces to provide a platform for supporters of “Hong Kong independence” to spread their falsehoods, “he said.

Journalism and free expression NGOs criticized the decision.

“Such a move may result in self-censorship on the part of groups to avoid sensitive topics and speakers, as our annual report on freedom of expression points out. We support the FCC which stands by its principles, ”Shirley Yam of the Hong Kong Journalists Association told HKFP.

Cédric Alviani, director of Reporters Without Borders (RSF) East Asia, told HKFP that he denounced the attempted intimidation of the FCC, “a club which represents the very spirit of press freedom in Hong Kong” .

Foreign correspondents club. Photo: Government of Hong Kong.

“We urge Beijing to respect freedom of speech and freedom of the press, which are explicitly written in the basic law signed by China before the handover,” Alviani added.

Acting club president Victor Mallet confirmed that the Bureau made a statement to the FCC: “Our position is that we are a club which is a very strong defender of press freedom and freedom of expression. .

See also: “Enemy of the State” – National Party Founder Andy Chan Says Party “Unmasked” Hong Kong Political Reality

Police last month told the government there was a strong enough case in the interests of “national security, public safety, public order, protection of liberty and the rights of others”For the security secretary to ban the party, citing section 8 (1) (a) of the Companies Ordinance for the first time after the surrender.

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Home rule

Scotland is not so courageous in the push for autonomy

Schemes for Scottish autonomy date back to just after Gladstone’s introduction of his Irish Home Rule Bill. Indeed, they were then part of what was called the “home rule all round”, leaving the Parliament of Westminster to deal with imperial affairs. On several occasions, Scottish Home Rule bills have almost been passed by parliament. One of them did so in 1978, but was rejected by referendum in March 1979, on condition that 40% of the electorate voted in favor.

This story suggests that while the demand has been constant, or at least recurring, it has not been very deep or sustained very strongly. If this had been the case, it is inconceivable that home rule has not been achieved to date.

This shows the significant difference between Scottish and Irish history. Scotland has never been conquered or colonized. He entered into a union with England by a vote of his own parliament. The Scots saw themselves as equal partners in the British Empire. In the 19th century, the Scots were not a submerged people like the Irish, Poles or Czechs. On the contrary, they felt dominant.

This feeling faded in the 20th century. Early industrialization made Victorian Scotland confident and vibrant. As confidence faded as the old heavy industries struggled between the two world wars, the nationalism that had manifested by then was entrenched, romantic and backward-looking.

The response to industrial decline was to hold on even more to the British state, which had the resources to alleviate its effects and facilitate the transformation into a new economy – or, indeed, as many hoped, to support declining industries.

In addition, the experience of World War II reinforced the sense of British patriotism. It was Great Britain, not England or Scotland, that stood contra mundum. Significantly, the major air battles of 1941, although primarily fought in southern England, were unanimously referred to as the “Battle of Britain”.

For 20 years after the war, Britishness reigned almost unchallenged, despite the apparent success of the Covenant movement of the

1940s, which called for a vague measure of autonomy. The Labor Party was committed to socialism in one country and forgot its historic, albeit nominal, attachment to self-government.

It was not until the Wilson years of the 1960s that the decline of British power, and the apparent failure of British governments to stem the economic decline of Scotland from the more advantaged areas of the United Kingdom, gave a new impetus to nationalism.

It was the rise of the Scottish National Party in the feverish atmosphere of the 1970s that persuaded Labor to introduce a decentralization plan.

From the start, this was hampered by its internal contradiction. Devolution appealed to nationalist sentiment, but its apparent aim was to strengthen the Union by creating a better government of Scotland within the framework of the United Kingdom.

Decentralization could therefore only work if it stifled the nationalist sentiment which it also nourished, and because of which Labor had been brought back to its roots as national government.

The condition for decentralization was that there should be a strong SNP seeking independence; the condition for the proper functioning of any deconcentration project was for the SNP to lose its support.

Undoubtedly, the unpopularity of the Thatcher-Major government in Scotland made devolution more attractive. Although general policy was made by the Scots and administered by the Scots, it was nonetheless referred to as a ‘democratic deficit’.

There were claims that the very real and considerable administrative devolution that had taken place should be matched by political devolution in the form of a Scottish parliament.

After 1987, the Labor Party became involved, in part because of the natural frustration resulting from its inability to translate electoral support in Scotland into political power, and in part out of fears that in the absence of decentralization its support does seep into the SNP.

We are therefore now on the verge of voting for a Scottish Parliament along the lines proposed in the British Government’s White Paper.

Its areas of competence will be the parts of government already administratively devolved to the Scottish Office. If we approve it, it will also have modest taxing power and, because of its control over local governments, the power to change local government taxation.

The modesty of the project could, one might think, recommend it. Yet although the result is likely to be a nice majority in favor, there are still some trade unionists who view the project with suspicion and dismay.

They do this for four reasons. The first is simple. As the government presents its proposals as, in the words of Secretary of State Mr Donald Dewar, ‘a fair and just settlement for Scotland within the framework of the UK’, Labor has hailed nationalist support who see what is proposed not as a “settlement” but as a step in the process towards independence.

Clearly the two cannot be right. Therefore, many who are happy to identify as both Scottish and British are inevitably devoskeptics.

Second, the powers of tax variation, while modest, worry many businessmen. They fear that if Scotland becomes the most heavily taxed part of the UK, as seems likely, they will find themselves at a competitive disadvantage. Their doubts are shared by those who think this is all an expensive extravaganza that will only benefit professional politicians and create more jobs for the boys.

Third, some of us fear that one of the consequences is the diminishing Scottish influence, which is now considerable, within the UK. A semi-detached country is unlikely to play a full role in governing the whole. Scotland may become more withdrawn and parochial, as was Northern Ireland during Stormont’s time.

The government’s refusal to attempt any response to the West Lothian question, formulated 20 years ago by now veteran Labor MP for Linlithgow, Mr Tam Dalyell (then MP for West Lothian), who asks why Scottish MPs for Westminster should be able to vote on a range of English affairs, but English MPs should not vote on comparable Scottish affairs, is worrying. Ultimately, the only answer to this problem would be some form of federalism.

Finally, the proposed regime will create a fundamentally irresponsible parliament because, despite the modest power of tax variation, its income will depend on Westminster. He will have the pleasure of spending money as long as he does not incur the odiousness of snatching it from the people.

Writing recently on the problems of local government in the west of Scotland, Iain McWhiter (who favors decentralization) suggested that it was important to “restore the local tax base”.

Part of the problem, he said, was that local councils no longer collected the money they spent. “Nothing could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility. The balance should be restored, with more taxes levied locally and less levied centrally. Councils would then be accountable to their local electorate.”

He is absolutely right and yet we are being offered a so-called national parliament that will collect an even lower proportion of its income than the meanest and poorest local authorities currently do. Nothing, in its own words, could be better designed to undermine civic responsibility.

And that, even if one did not see in the proposals an institutionalization of the friction between London and Edinburgh, to the probable benefit of the SNP, this would be a sufficient reason to vote “no” on September 11th.

Allan Massie is a journalist and novelist who lives on the Scottish borders. He writes regularly for several publications, including the Scotsman and the Daily Telegraph. Her most recent novel, published last month, is Shadows of Empire.

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Home rule

Autonomy could have led peacefully to independence

Home Rule, already law, could have led this part of Ireland peacefully to the same totally independent position that Canada enjoys today, if it had not been derailed by the rebellion of 1916, its consequences and the result. of the 1918 elections.

Peaceful methods had already proved their worth. The landlord system had been overthrown. A national university had been created. The Irish language was increasingly recognized.

More importantly, the principle of Irish legislative independence had already won the Imperial Parliament, in September 1914, with the passage and signature by the King of the Home Rule Bill.

The point of principle was therefore already won, without striking a blow.

It is therefore difficult to say that the outbreak of a rebellion in 1916 and a war of independence from 1919 to 1921 were – one or the other – a “last resort”, which is a essential condition for a just war.

The only question open in 1914 was whether, or for how long, Antrim, Down, Armagh and Derry (and possibly up to Fermanagh and Tyrone who had narrow nationalist majorities) could have been excluded from autonomy. . The violence of 1916 made this problem more difficult to solve.

I believe that the self-government would not have ended up having jurisdiction over most of these counties. But, after all the murders and deaths of the 1916-1923 period and the 1921 Treaty, the Free State did not get jurisdiction over them anyway.

Under the autonomy formula, the excluded counties would have been under direct administration (not Stormont), which would have been better for the nationalist minority.

The Irish parliamentary party tried unsuccessfully to solve the Ulster problem during the period 1910-1918. The men of 1916 simply ignored it.

Exclusion

John Redmond Brian Murphy

The autonomous House of Commons, which would have emerged at the end of the Great War in 1919, would have been elected with a much larger electoral list than that applied in the general election of 1910. All adult men, and all women over 30 for the first time, would have had the right to vote. It would probably have favored those who seek a greater degree of independence.

I don’t think the UK would have denied an autonomous Ireland the powers it freely bestowed on dominions such as Canada and Australia under the Statute of Westminster of 1931. If so, the sufferings of the War of Independence were unnecessary. The proof is there.

In the British elections of 1918, Ireland’s dominion status was not only the policy of the Irish Party, led by John Dillon, but also the policies of the Asquith Liberals and, above all, of the British Labor Party. The policy of the Liberal / Conservative coalition government of Lloyd George was autonomy.

During the 1920s the British Labor Party came to power in Westminster and this would have been a first opportunity for the Irish Self-Government Administration in Dublin to push for, or beyond, dominion status.

Separation policy

Autonomy is said to have left the British forces on Irish territory. But the 1921 treaty did the same. He left the ports of Cork and Donegal to the British Army. But these ports were returned in 1938, thanks to peaceful negotiations on the eve of the Second World War. This suggests that unwanted limitations on local self-government could also have been negotiated peacefully.

If a nation is to learn anything from history, it must consider what might have happened if different historical choices had been made.

As a rule, compromise is good, killing is bad. Bargaining is better than coercion. The uncompromising Proclamation of 1916, with its emphasis on “dead generations” and “irrevocable rights,” took us down an unproductive path.

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