Headlines: October 18th, 2001

The Local Government White Paper is now expected to widen its original remit of addressing finance.Local Government Minister Nick Raynsford says it will give all councils the tools they need to deliver top quality services and provide strong and confident community leadership.

Despite legislation on local government in its first term, the Government clearly feels there is further work to do, not just in putting the finances of councils in order.

The measures being drafted into the White Paper include proposals for a better performance management framework, greater freedoms, flexibilities, and incentives for councils performing well, measures to tackle failure, and new ways of measurement that the public can use to see how well their council performs.

Mr Raynsford outlined the remit of the White Paper at the first of several sessions with council leaders which aim to consult on details before they are made final.

The original Green Paper, Modernising Local Government Finance, published last September is on the internet at: www.local.dtlr.gov.uk/greenpap.