Book News: July 13th, 2005

The report from the New Local Government Network calls on the local government
community to learn from the innovative work of leading councils, and embrace the
available opportunities for greater local devolution as a means of having a real
impact on the governance of local communities. The report is the outcome of an
ODPM supported field study into how Birmingham, Wakefield and West Sussex
councils are attempting to decentralise locally.

It considers in depth each authority’s attempts to develop new devolved
structures that reflect both national priorities and local circumstances and it
offers a series of practical recommendations for councils developing their own
localisation agenda. The report highlights the need to consider localisation
within a wider context of challenges, demands and motivations and to embed
localisation into the change and improvement agenda of the council.

It also identifies ways in which central government should support local
government through developing its neighbourhoods agenda in partnership with
councils and supporting councillors’ ‘community representative’ role by meeting
essential training and development needs.

‘Councils embracing localism: lessons in decentralisation from Birmingham,
Wakefield and West Sussex’ is available from York Publishing Services at 21.25
pounds Tel: 01904 431213. Fax: 01904 430868. E-mail: