Friday, 22 December 2017

Stupid regulation and dumb government - why Detroit isn't regenerating

This piece from Scott Beyer sums up the problem with local government's default approach to business regulation - banning stuff:
The city has begun reinforcing regulations that, because of bureaucratic disorganization, have long been ignored. Central to this is the Operation Compliance Initiative, which was passed in 2012 by then-Mayor Dave Bing to regulate Detroit’s 1,500 illegal unlicensed businesses. Most operate on extremely low profits and, like the Browns’ project, are often run out of homes. Part of a complex underground economy, they are usually in poor areas. They offer everything from auto parts and electrical equipment, to basic retail and in-house dining—but they all have failed to meet the permitting and licensing requirements mandated by the city and the state of Michigan.
My city of Bradford isn't a broken as Detroit but we're just as dumb - banning A-Boards, charging upwards from £500 to put some chairs on the pavement, stopping taxi firms collaborating to compete with ride-share apps, imposing onerous planning restrictions on security, enforcing use classes to prevent innovation, banning takeaway food anywhere near schools. I guess we're probably no more unfriendly to business innovators than most other cities but, frankly, many of those can get away with it. Bradford, like Detroit, is damaged by these overzealous regulators and dumb rules.



Anonymous said...

A tin-pot 'failed state' like Bradford Council has 90 councillors and 8.500 staff, all of whom need to justify their cosseted existence somehow. 'Make-work' schemes will do nicely, makes them all feel busy and worthwhile, racking up the pension as they go.

Thirty councillors would be more than enough, around one per postcode - then start a zero-base exercise on council staff.
First ask 'What are the minimum things we must do?' (Note the word 'must', there's no room for options or 'nice-to-haves') then ask 'What is the minimum staffing level to achieve that?'

That will produce a minimum functional workforce, with costs and Council Tax levels to suit. More importantly, it would also liberate businesses from the persistent and unproductive interference of council jobsworths, thus encouraging firms to set up and grow in Bradford.

Will it happen? No. Why not? There's 90 plus 8.500 vested-interest reasons why not.

The Industrial Revolution (and thus Bradford's glory days) happened because there was nothing stopping it - that couldn't happen now, those 90 + 8,500 wouldn't let it.

Timbotoo said...

Looks like it's time to drain the swamp in Bradford!

Anonymous said...

Off topic but something you might want to know about.