LETTER: Blair's constitutional reform: devolution, mayors, people power

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The Independent Online
From Mr Stuart Etherington

Sir: Tony Blair's article "Power to the people must be our aim" (7 February), advocating constitutional reform, makes a powerful case for the devolution of power from politicians to people.

While research shows dissatisfaction by the public with established institutions, increasing numbers of people are engaging in volunteering and in voluntary projects. From working in community groups through to specialist work carried out by charities and voluntary organisations, effective people power is based on the notion that working together is beneficial to both oneself and one's community.

Given the importance that Mr Blair attaches to regionalisation, I hope consideration will be given to supporting the development of a regional infrastructure for voluntary organisations to develop the important contribution that the voluntary sector can play, both as a stakeholder and as an enabler.

Yours faithfully,

Stuart Etherington

Chief Executive

National Council for Voluntary Organisations

London, N1

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