Book News: February 28th, 2002

By David WalkerIn a new study of the vexed relationship between local and central government, David Walker assesses its dynamics. A pattern of intervention by the center established under the Conservatives was, if anything, strengthened under Labour, leading to complaints from councilors that their autonomy is being diminished and their role made incoherent. But in education and social services in particular, the thirst for uniform national standards is deep. So what is left for local decision makers? David Walker suggests that perhaps local authorities should content themselves with intrinsically local services, and leave social policy to central government and the variety of agencies it employs to provide services.

Published by The Joseph Rowntree Foundation. Price 6.0 pounds. Available from