Azara Blog: Shuffling the chairs on the deck of local government

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Date published: 2006/10/26

The BBC says:

English councils will get the power to bring in bylaws with fixed penalties without Whitehall approval under plans to increase local communities' powers.

The proposed shake-up would bring in more mayors and elected leaders, with police, health and education bosses to face greater scrutiny from the public.

Local inquiries on issues such as hospital closures and drug dealing could begin if there was public demand.

Communities Secretary Ruth Kelly said councils must be community "champions".
Ms Kelly told the Commons that 1,200 national targets and indicators for local government would be cut to 200 indicators and 35 targets.

More paper shuffling. This is great for civil servants (national and local) because someone has to do this paper shuffling. It's not clear it's such a great idea for the nation. Cambridge city council is run by the Lib Dems, and Cambridge county council is run by the Tories, and together they are no better than the national government at promoting the best interest of the citizens of Cambridge. If Cambridge had a directly elected mayor with some power it might help, but the local politicians are almost all opposed to this (they would be knocked down a peg or two).

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