Headlines: June 9th, 2010

The LGA Group, representing local councils, has offered a deal to the Coalition Government that would radically transform public services and save some £22.5 over five years. The deal would involve local government taking full responsibility for delivering more with less and it would include some long standing aims of the LGA such as devolution of power to councils and a reduced burden of inspection.

The Group argues that the Total Place pilots have shown that much waste and unnecessary bureaucracy comes from multiple public bodies trying to achieve the same goal, leading to inefficiency and duplication without improving the lives of local people. The Government’s commitment to a review of local government finance provides the opportunity to introduce place based area budgets. These would allow Parliament to decide how national tax revenue is spent whilst at the same time ensuring that local decisions are made on what services are commissioned locally, and from where.

The Group also calls for a streamlined inspection structure that would include peer reviews at least every three years.

A comprehensive central-local agreement could set out how these savings can be delivered. The agreement would be backed up by a pledge that councils will deliver.