Enhancing localism and democracy
Britain has always valued human rights and ensured they are reflected within our values and institutions.
When the original Convention on Human Rights was written in 1950 it included the fundamental principles of a democratic nation at a time when very few existed. However, as we have seen in many recent judgements, the European Court of Human Rights (ECtHR) in Strasbourg has extended its remit by going into areas which have little to do with real human rights issues. It has pried more and more into matters that should be routine issues for national courts and parliaments to determine. read more »
It’s not often that I start columns by quoting nineteenth century German statesmen – partly because I don’t know of many things said by nineteenth century German statesmen – but Otto von Bismarck once described politics as “the art of the possible”.
What I think he meant is that, like in most areas of life, to achieve anything meaningful in politics you have to set challenging goals but you also need to have an idea of what can and what cannot be done. Those words came back to me during recent debates over Europe. read more »
Localism can help drive economic growth; but only if we are really serious about devolving economic and financial decision making. There are many things I disagree with in the Heseltine growth plan - far too much focus, for example, on structures – but where I do agree with him is in his recommendations in favour of a more radical, decentralisation of economic decision making. read more »
James has published his latest Annual Report, setting out some of the work that he has been doing on behalf of people in Halesowen & Rowley Regis, both in Parliament and here in the constituency.
There is a report on the Jobs & Apprenticeship Fair that James organised in July, as well as information about some of the work that he has been doing to boost skills in the area.
Inside, there are articles about some of the local organisations that James has been supporting to help deliver a better quality of life for people in Halesowen and Rowley Regis. read more »
In its first two years the government has pursued a localism agenda which culminated in the passing of the Localism Bill which became law the end of last year. This has been combined with other initiatives – reforming the planning system, establishing local enterprise partnerships, abolishing regional spatial strategies – to create a whole new localist tool set for local government and local communities. read more »
By the time this week’s paper comes out, we will be almost half way through the Olympics, and hopefully Team GB will have got the ball rolling with their elusive first gold medals.
I think that a lot of people have been surprised at quite how much they’re getting into the Games, cheering on athletes they hadn’t heard of in sports they hadn’t previously watched. read more »
As you may know, I voted against the Government’s proposals for an elected second parliamentary chamber to replace the House of Lords.
Voting against your Party is never an easy thing to do. People think that the pressure comes from threats from the Government Whips, but really the largest pressure is the psychological impact of going through a different voting lobby to your colleagues and voting against the rest of your “team” who you spend so much time working alongside. read more »
James has made a video, featuring clips from the Big Lottery Fund event that he organised for Halesowen & Rowley Regis community and voluntary groups. read more »
Local community and voluntary groups look set to bid for a share of the £40million that the Big Lottery Fund allocates to projects in the West Midlands every year.
Halesowen and Rowley Regis MP James Morris and the Big Lottery Fund held a Funding Day at the Hope Centre in Halesowen for groups to learn about what funding is available and how local organisations could improve their chances of being successful. read more »
MP James Morris has met with leading figures from voluntary and community organisations from across Sandwell to discuss the pressures facing them.
The event, organised by Sandwell Council of Voluntary Organisations, brought the MP face-to-face with people running local voluntary organisations, ranging from household names like the YMCA to less well-known organisations serving individual communities. read more »