Quangos made the news again this week. They have been a hot topic ever since I can remember. Governments of every colour have promised to cut their numbers but, just like the Hydra, for every one that is cut down two more seem to grow in their place.
This time there seems to be a real determination to drive out waste and inefficiencies – even if it means getting rid of some high profile ones, like the National Audit Office, which have outgrown their original functions and become hugely expensive and bureaucratic.
Certainly the need to reduce them has never been stronger and many of the roles they fulfil are hardly frontline or often seem to overlap each other. Even the greatest lover of public spending would be hard pushed to explain why the National Lottery Commission – “Ensuring a fair Lottery for the nation” – and the Gambling Commission – “Keeping Gambling Fair & Safe For All” – need to be separate organizations. (Yes – they do all have slogans. I wonder how much they cost?)
Meanwhile, S4C – the Welsh Channel 4, which has an estimated audience of 63,000 people – receives funding of over £100 million from the Department of Culture to broadcast TV programmes solely in Welsh. Surely it is only right in these days of devolved government that if Welsh television is to be subsidised it should come from the Welsh government in Cardiff and not the taxpayers of Cannock Chase?
Because next week is my party conference it won’t be a week in Westminster but a week in Birmingham. I am proud that David Cameron will be making his first conference speech as Prime Minister in my home town. I intend to use conference to keep reminding everyone about how important the West Midlands is - and about how one small part of it is very important indeed.
Member since: 4th February 2011
I am a keen sportsman, and try and play rugby, tennis and football on a regular basis.I live in Cannock and London with my girlfriend.I am the MP for Cannock Chase following the largest swing from Labour...