Office of The Deputy Prime Minister Committee
The Balance of Power: Central and Local Government
HC 33-I, Sixth Report of Session 2008-09 - Volume I: Report, Together with Formal Minutes
- House of Commons - Communities and Local Government Committee
- TSO (The Stationery Office)
The balance of power between central and local government matters because it affects the responsibility and accountability for delivery of services and improvements to local people and communities.
Democracy is strengthened where local people:
understand what local government is responsible for, in terms of both policy and resources;
can hold to account local government for its performance; and
believe that local government can make a real difference.
Local authorities should have the freedom to shape the development of their communities and the scope to unlock the full potential of local innovation. Yet the predominant trend, particularly since the second world war, has been for central government to increase its powers and responsibilities at the expense of local government.
This report, 'The Balance of Power: Central and Local Government (HC 33-I)', looks at the current role of local government, assessing where it could be more proactive in making best use of existing structures. It also considers where change is required elsewhere - by central government and its agencies and by Parliament - to increase the scope for autonomous local government activity.
It considers the role of central government and the advantages to be gained, at both the local and the national levels, from adopting a 'minimalist' as opposed to a 'maximalist' role in relation to local government. It advocates further cultural change within central government to facilitate a decentralised balance of power structure.
The Committee also addresses the pressing need for reform of local government financial arrangements, with a view to enabling local government to raise more of its own money.
The accompanying 'The Balance of Power: Central and Local Government - Volume II: Oral and Written Evidence (HC 33-II)' (ISBN 9780215530318) is available to buy separately, please see below.
|Format||Paperback||Published||20 May 2009|
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