Big city mayors want more freedom from central government

The mayors of the four big cities that make up the Randstad urban belt want more freedom from central government to carry out the growing number of tasks being made their responsibility.

Eberhard van der Laan (Amsterdam), Jozias van Artsen (The Hague), Ahmed Aboutaleb (Rotterdam) and Aleid Wolfsen (Utrecht) write in Tuesday’s Volkskrant that they are being impeded in solving youth unemployment and the stagnating housing market by ‘rules, conditions and protocols’ which ‘stifle’ their room for manoeuvre.
Over the past few years, councils have been given an increasing responsibility for areas such as work, healthcare and housing. But, say the mayors, they must be given the space to change systems where necessary without having to justify themselves to parliament.
It is not a question of more money, say the mayors, but of more responsibility to solve the problems in their cities which they know better than MPs.
‘The government must realise that central control does not work,’ they write.
Mayors in charge rather than MPs? Have your say in the comment box below.

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