Divide and conquer has always been a good motto to follow. As a Hartlepool Councilor I do trend to focus on Hartlepool issues but as the UKIP National Campaign Director I also get to see quite close up what is going on in other parts of the UK. Without doubt there are many local issues that are being repeated all over the country. Refuse collection is a good example. Almost every local council is dealing with this issue on a local level but actually it is a national problem. I have already commented on this Blog about Lord Darzi and his review of health provision in the East Midlands and how his review there is a mirror of the Hartlepool Review. Another East Midlands which mirrors North East Concerns caught my eye recently, namely the regionalisation of fire and rescue centres. According to press reports the East Midlands control centre in Castle Donington is ready to "fire away" as the first of nine Regional Control Centres being established across the country. The new centre will co-ordinate the fire services across Leicestershire, Nottinghamshire, Derbyshire, Rutland, Northamptonshire and Lincolnshire. The Chairman of East Midlands Fire and Rescue Control Centre Ltd praises the new centre (well he would wouldn't he) as being able to "offer a new and critical resilience in fire and rescue emergency services". I'm not sure what that means but it sounds good.
I am all in favour of local decisions being made locally and I am against big brother centralising government (like the EU!) but we must guard against parochialism and becoming so focused on local issues that we miss the big picture. Health Reviews, Regionalisation of Fire and Rescue Services, local Education and schools provision all need to be seen in a wider context. Don't let the politicians pull people so far down into the weeds that they might be looking after their own tiny bit but letting the big picture be lost.