A show of force
THE now inexorable drive for bigger is better , one size fits all and dragging power towards the centre has moved on apace since last month s column. The first event was the ludicrous deadline for police authorities to think again about volunteering f
THE now inexorable drive for "bigger is better", "one size fits all" and dragging power towards the centre has moved on apace since last month's column.
The first event was the ludicrous deadline for police authorities to think again about volunteering for the mergers.
Despite all the threats, hints and something that smelled suspiciously like bribery, the Cambridgeshire Police Authority resolved not to volunteer for Home Secretary Charles Clarke's merger of Cambridgeshire, Norfolk and Suffolk Constabularies.
Few police authorities did volunteer for Mr Clarke's Grand Design, the exception being Norfolk, who volunteered from day one for what Mr Clarke (their local MP) wanted.
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Suffolk and Cambridgeshire are actively opposed to the idea. Suffolk is talking seriously about taking Mr Clark to judicial review but I am urging against that for Cambridgeshire. A Government with a majority this size can make anything it likes legal; as it demonstrates with monotonous regularity.
The one advantage of not having volunteered is that it forces Mr Clarke to take the matter to Parliament for further debate and to allow another four months for what is laughingly called "consultation."
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That is where I believe our efforts should be concentrated - not in spending money on a judicial review but in letting our voices be heard through our MPs and our media outlets. It is also a much cheaper way of making what will probably be a futile gesture.