Book News: May 25th, 2006

This vision of local government published by the Local Government Association sets out proposals for removing power from Whitehall and putting it into the hands of local people, voluntary organisations and local councils. The objectives underlying the proposals are to improve public services and make better use of public money; improve the quality of life and economic performance of cities, towns and villages and to give people greater power and influence over their lives, their services and the future of the places where they live.The Association’s proposals include agreement between national and local government on a list of some thirty national outcomes which local government will take responsibility to deliver, with its Local Area Agreement partners. These will be backed by locally drawn targets and a new performance management regime, enabling the removal of national targets, performance indicators, specific grants, ring-fenced funding and financial bid systems.

A duty, rather than an enabling power, would be placed on councils to secure economic, social and environmental well-being. The next generation of Local Area Agreements would be developed in a way that would join together the totality of public services and resources in an area to deliver improved outcomes; better access; and efficiency savings. It is also proposed to strengthen neighbourhoods through devolution from councils, together with an enhanced role for local council members.

A summary of the document is available at:

The full document can be ordered email from: