Book News: October 5th, 2006

By Phil Hope MP, James Plaskitt MP, Bill Rammell MP, Gareth Thomas MP and Rosie Winterton MPThis pamphlet from the New Local Government Network, the independent think tank which seeks to transform public services, revitalise local political leadership and empower local communities, is part of a series of cross-party publications. It discusses how a localist approach to NHS reform, electoral reform, multiculturalism, regeneration and financial exclusion can reconnect Labour with the electorate and create dynamic and innovative new policies.

It argues that Government should look at the social as well as physical infrastructure of communities when regenerating areas, to ensure that new developments have access to safe streets and job and education opportunities. It describes how multiculturalism has contributed positively to British society but notes that “there are certain ‘bottom lines’ that we should be able to sign up to that convey something of what being a citizen in 21st Century Britain means”.

It also looks afresh at the possibility for future constitutional change, urging new ways to counteract citizen disengagement through electoral reform and advocating that the current first past the post system should be replaced by an Alternative Vote (AV) system, in which each voter ranks their candidate in order of preference.

The pamphlet is available from: