Local Autonomy

One of Local Sovereignty’s core principles is that political power should be exercised as locally as possible. We do recognise, though, that some questions cannot be settled locally; an element of sovereignty has to be ceded to higher levels of government. A mature society must have a process for determining how different levels of government share power, establishing exactly what decisions need to be taken at a higher level, and ensuring that higher levels of government do no more than is appropriate. A central function of a political constitution, therefore, is to define that process.

We consider that local autonomy can only be entrenched and safeguarded through integration between different levels of representation, so that local representatives collectively have a formal voice at higher levels. faq

As a first step to achieving this, our policy  is to make members of the House of Lords accountable to elected local authorities. faq

This reform will serve a dual purpose in that it will both strengthen local autonomy and restore some integrity to the doctrine of parliamentary sovereignty. faq

The subsidiarity principle also demands that this kind of integration should be extended all the way down to the lowest level of government (e.g. parish councils should have collective representation at District Council level) and should also manifest in our supra-national relationships. (We therefore see Britain’s relationship with the EU as part of this broader question of how a mature society should be constituted and we believe that no decision on our membership of the EU should be taken until the broader question has been addressed. Brexit)

However, we don’t believe that the details of how that principle should be extended can be established at this point because downward integration is dependent on the decisions of local communities, who currently have no real experience of genuine autonomy. Our intention therefore is not to impose integration at lower levels but simply to introduce reforms ensuring that lower levels are able to insist on it, if they wish, through the processes outlined in our Spontaneous Democracy page.

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