Brexit, Local Government and you

Many Brexit voters are desperate for something to change. The perception is that having tried everything, only shaking the foundation will now do.

Many low-waged or unemployed British citizens feel the pain of an unplanned influx of migrants apparently keeping wage inflation low, and seeming to have an impact on each existing citizen slice of the public services pie.

Even though we actually retain local sovereign UK powers to counteract these social problems, we sometimes choose not to exercise these sovereign powers.

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For example, inner-city councils have a strategy of de-emphasising employment areas and manufacturing, and associating town-centre regeneration solely with a commuter-consumer-focused food, drink and groceries offer.  The result is that there are fewer stepping-stone jobs, and fewer opportunities to progress gradually from low wages to career development and quality of life.

The Southwark Core Strategy actively discourages retail activity outside town centres. This keeps big business dominant and creates barriers to entry for independent entrepreneurs as visitor parking is removed and commercial uses eradicated in more affordable areas.  Fewer local goods and services, and less local employment result.

It can be argued that the Brexit tipping point vote is displacing energy which should be focused on building local employment hand-in-hand with local government.

However, the response from local politicians has been to lecture Brexiteers on the benefits of immigration, rather than acknowledging that there are issues with low wage inflation which are connected with local economies shaped by local planners, more than with evil employers scavenging for cheap labour.

A strange justice for pro-EU councils if we do Vote Leave, and it turns out that the tipping point was based on disaffection with social problems which we had all the resources and sovereignty to solve, at Local Government level.

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