Constitutional change should never be rushed, says University academic

Alister Scott

As Scotland votes to stay in the UK after voters decisively rejected independence, a Birmingham City University academic has highlighted how troublesome the rush for constitutional change can be.

"The rush for constitutional change could result in poorly drafted legislation without adequate time for effective and up front conversations about the kind of reform that is wanted," said Alister Scott, Professor of Environmental and Spatial Planning at Birmingham City University.

"The current discussions in England appear to revolve around cities rather than regions and yet we forget the functionally defined regions that capture our nature, work, commuting and living patterns are much better building blocks for effective strategic planning.

"At present we do not have any strategic planning which leads to a rather chaotic situation. Local Enterprise Partnerships do not have these functions and more crucially are not accountable or functionally coherent for such purposes," added Professor Scott.

"The participation in the Scotland referendum was fantastic and it is important that we learn the lessons from what was a long timetable for debate and action. The impact of what David Cameron promised this morning will lead to a rushed top-down debate which will divide rather than unite and perversely may lead to bitter divisions across all the devolved countries and England. Let's pause for breath and do the job properly for the sake of the union and true devolved power."

Read David Cameron’s full statement.

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