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To: The Chancellor of The Exchequer, Rt. Hon George Osborne & the leaders of Greater Manchester's ten local authorities

The people of Greater Manchester must have right to a say & vote on 'Devo Manc'

We call for the "Greater Manchester Agreement: devolution to the GMCA & Transition to a directly elected Mayor" and any other such future plans for 'devolution' affecting the people of the area, following a sufficient period of public debate, and scrutiny of the Agreement, to be put to a Greater Manchester wide REFERENDUM, BEFORE it, or any other future devolution proposal, is implemented.

Why is this important?

Ordinary people must surely have the basic democratic right to be consulted, scrutinise, and have a say in ANY changes, welcome or otherwise, to the way they are governed, including on any regional 'devolution' proposal affecting them. This would include whether they actually want it or not, and if they do, such things as what region they might be part of, and what any "devolved" decision making powers and financial settlement might go with it.

The 'Greater Manchester Agreement' does not provide for any of these things, but rather the very opposite, the entire 'devolution package' being conditional on the imposition on the people of Greater Manchester, without any reference to their views on the subject whatsoever, of a directly elected Mayor for Greater Manchester; a form of local Government, which other than in one of Greater Manchester's 10 local authority areas, has been either directly rejected by voters, or by local Councils themselves for their own areas.

There are also many other financial arrangements that will come into effect, the details of, and full implications of which, could have considerable impact on everyone's lives, but which, without the proper public scrutiny the 'Greater Manchester Agreement' denies, every one of us will have to put up with for potentially many years to come, whatever the Greater Manchester public thinks about it.

Such an apparent contempt for the views of Greater Manchester residents is simply unacceptable in our opinion.

We believe that any transitional arrangements for the Agreement's implementation, including the appointment of an interim Mayor (who could remain in place until 2017) should be immediately stopped, and only re-started, if at all, on the basis of a positive mandate from a referendum as called for and outlined above.

Greater Manchester

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2014-11-13 17:58:29 +0000

10 signatures reached