Headlines: September 16th, 1997

The work and funding of the Local Government Management Board are to come under scrutiny in a review due to start shortly. The review has been prompted by the changing local government scene and particularly by the launch of the Local Government Association in April.The LGMB provides services and support to all local authorities in England and Wales. It has a particular focus on management, personnel and governance issues. Its functions include conducting national pay negotiations, developing good practice on the environment, running examinations and qualifications and developing top managers. It is governed by a Board of elected members nominated by the LGA.

The review will focus on how current work might be delivered in the context of the creation of the LGA, and on the current methods of financing. The review should be led by a task group of senior members, supported by a senior officer group comprising officers from both the LGA and the LGMB. A project officer will be appointed to ensure the smooth running. There will be wide consultation with LGMB customers and other interested bodies. Recommendations and options for change will be reported to the policy and strategy committee of the LGA.

LGA chief executive Brian Briscoe said: “This review is a major piece of work and of great importance to local government. The LGMB has carried out some excellent work over the years and the purpose of this review is to see if that work, or aspects of it, can be done more effectively.”

LGMB chief executive Judith Hunt said: “We welcome the review. The LGMB and its staff are committed to provide the best possible service to local government. Our experience in promoting good practice and improving management effectiveness is complementary to the LGA’s policy and lobbying work. I hope that the review will result in an even more effective and efficient service to all our colleagues in local government.”

Work will be completed by the summer of 1998 so that the outcome can influence the Revenue Support Grant settlement for 1999-2000.