Headlines: October 29th, 1997

Commonwealth countries have many different models of local government, but the similarities between the models make it worthwhile to share ideas. It was a recognition of the similar features that resulted in the launch of the Commonwealth Local Government Forum in 1995. The UK has now joined the Forum and plans to play a full part in its activities by sharing the best practice of local authorities in local democracy and government.The Forum facilitates the exchange of experience among practitioners through sharing the practice of good governance with countries and institutions embarking on the path to democracy. It also seeks to strengthen the practice and institutions of local democracy.

Hilary Armstrong, the Local Government Minister said: “We support the value and worth of local government. Good local democracy matters because it promotes political stability and peaceful economic development. We have a common interest in reinvigorating local democracy: to nurture and protect the values of local democracy – to promote stability, to help create economic success, to build better communities providing opportunity, quality of life and social justice for all. There are no short cuts or one common model for success. Progress is uncertain and mistakes will be made. But as members of the same Commonwealth we have the advantage of being able to talk to one another and to exchange ideas as equals. I feel confident that will help us all to achieve our goals.”

PublicNet will carry news of the Forum and its activities.