Tonbridge, Edenbridge & Malling Parliamentary Candidate Tom Tugendhat calls for a new debate on localism:
"The referendum in Scotland demonstrated in the clearest way possible that people across our nation recognise that Britain is better together. However the vote has raised questions about the future constitutional settlement in England, as well as Scotland. This is an issue that I care deeply about, and I want to hear your views on it too.
"I would like to see more powers returned to local people. Those closest to a problem are best placed to understand what the appropriate solution is. Whether it is about community hospitals, the rail network or our schools – local people should have more of a say than a civil servant in Whitehall. We pay our taxes to influence outcomes, and we ought to have the power to make a real difference.
"Local government is the cornerstone to our democracy. In Kent, the powers of local government have enabled us to defend our Grammar Schools and our agricultural heritage. This wouldn’t have taken place had it not been for localism.
"But there is more we can do and I want to hear what you think. Should we increase the powers of our local councils, or introduce wider, regional structures? Later in the year, I hope to hear from some of the UK’s leading experts on our new constitutional settlement, and hope you will be able to join me to debate the future of the United Kingdom."