Posted by: davidjmarlow | 08/06/2013

Is the coalition’s approach to local growth more pointless than the Central African Republic?

I accidentally watched an early evening quiz show – “Pointless” – recently. In this, contestants have to consider how many of a 100 person panel given 100 seconds to answer a question will answer that question correctly. The objective of the game is to find a correct answer which none of the 100 people on the panel have identified. So, apparently, on a question to name countries beginning with C – no one identified Central African Republic (CAR), making this a winning answer. Similarly,  noone identified CAR’s capital city – Bangui – in capital cities beginning with B; nor CAR as an african  ‘country with five or more borders’ or which has had ‘an elected female leader’. This run of undelivered winning answers has led a quiz show trivia web site to declare CAR the most pointless country in the world.

All of which stimulated me to consider how many undelivered policies of the coalition might score winning pointless responses in a similarly constructed survey with economic development and regeneration aficionados.

Please can you help me test this premise by responding to the survey below? I am giving readers 100 hours to affirm that the coalition has tangibly and consistently delivered on six of its policy pronouncements below. If you think the statement is accurate and is being delivered, just give it a tick (√), score it ‘1’, and, if you have the time and inclination, explain why you have reached that conclusion. If you believe the coalition has failed to deliver, give it a cross (X) or score it zero.

There is a seventh bonus question where you can state which coalition policy and priority has scored the least points in your opinion and why. For the best answer to the seventh question I shall be happy to donate £50 to the regeneration charity or cause of the respondent’s choice.

Good luck, and dependent on the results of this experiment I might do a further ‘pointless’ blog in my Regeneration and Renewal economic development slot over the summer holidays ‘silly season’.

So – which of these coalition policies/priorities is more pointless than the CAR?

1. David Cameron on ‘community budgets’: ” In [the] pilot areas we gave unprecedented power to people who run public services locally like councillors, police officers and health workers. We asked [them] to come together to decide the priorities for their community – and then let them spend a joint budget as they saw fit”

▪   Yes    ____     ▪    No   _____

▪   Comments_______________________________________________________

2. Nick Clegg on ‘rebalancing’: ” we need to rebalance our economy away from its overreliance on London and the South East…..and by 2015, as a result of our reforms, every part of Britain will feel more empowered than in 2010″

▪   Yes    ____     ▪    No   _____

▪   Comments_______________________________________________________

3. Eric Pickles on ‘localism’: Our flagship Localism Act….marks the biggest shift in power since Victorian age – reversing 100 years of creeping centralisation and restoring a gaping local democratic deficit”

▪   Yes    ____     ▪    No   _____

▪   Comments_______________________________________________________

4. Vince Cable on ‘Regional Growth Fund’ (RGF): “The Regional Growth Fund is playing a pivotal role in supporting British manufacturing and helping to rebalance the economy by creating jobs and stimulating private investment.”

▪   Yes    ____     ▪    No   _____

▪   Comments_______________________________________________________

5. Greg Clark on ‘city deals’: “City deals represent a fundamental shift in the way Whitehall works, the presumption being that powers should be handed down wherever cities make a convincing case.”

▪   Yes    ____     ▪    No   _____

▪   Comments_______________________________________________________

Bonus question: Which coalition policy and priority has scored the least points in your opinion and why?

The survey will close 100 hours after posting at midday today – i.e. 1600 on Wednesday 12 2013

Good luck……..!

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