SIGN UP

Local Government In England - 40 Years Of Decline.

Avatar Image
sevenOP | 14:52 Tue 20th Apr 2021 | Society & Culture
21 Answers
Since 1980-2020 in the UK we have had 13 years Labour rule and 27 years of Conservative rule, which resulted in “Over the past 40 years, local government in England has been repeatedly reformed, reshaped and hollowed out. In this way, we have walked backwards into increasing centralisation of our practices of politics, policy-making and democracy."

Key findings from a new Report:
From the late 1970s onwards, there has been a considerable shift away from the model of the ‘sovereign council’ towards a more disempowered local government.

Local government reform in England has been a persistent feature over the past forty years. The ‘tools of central control’ adopted by Whitehall to achieve this have changed under different administrations, but the direction of travel has been clear and consistent, with more and more powers being chipped away from local authorities.

This erosion of local autonomy has been enacted through the more frequent resort to law courts and legalisation of central-local relations, but has also often come ‘in disguise’. The use of secondary legislation has spiralled, allowing the centre to extend further its hold on local government through the backdoor.

The financial autonomy that local government enjoyed in the past has come under increased top-down constraints. Local government is bearing the brunt of severe cuts, which it is legally obliged to implement. While imposed by the centre, it is left to local government to deal with the impacts of cuts on communities.

Local government services have been hollowed out through the increased use of outsourcing, and now local authorities have to operate within a complex, expanding web of partnerships that dilute accountability.

Reforms to leadership models within councils were meant to improve accountability. Instead, they have created new divides, and the role of the councillor has been increasingly ‘managerialised’ and ‘depoliticised’. This is generating a growing democratic deficit.

This process of centralisation on steroids has been possible because central-local relations have progressively swayed towards one side. It is central government that has allowed, and often directed, the erosion of local democracy. Over the years, a new form of central-local relations has emerged: one which is undermining previously held assumptions about local government’s role in the political system and its invaluable role in building a healthy democracy. It needs urgent reform.

https://unlockdemocracy.org.uk/s/Local-Government-in-England-40-Years-of-Decline.pdf

Answers

1 to 20 of 21rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Best Answer

No best answer has yet been selected by sevenOP. Once a best answer has been selected, it will be shown here.

For more on marking an answer as the "Best Answer", please visit our FAQ.
Thanks for the update. Its probably been going like this for a lot more than 40 years
You seem concerned at the number of reforms and conclude it needs....urgent reform
Question Author
A further 'irony' (and 'full disclosure') bobbinwales, is my only previous words in this thread are "Since 1980-2020 in the UK we have had 13 years Labour rule and 27 years of Conservative rule, which resulted in".
The others are from the Link I cited.
I am only concerned with genuine 'democracy'.
there is no need for local authority at all, just get a management team in to empty the bins, save a kin fortune, end of.
Is emptying the bins the only thing a local authority is responsible for?
It sounds like the fund raising arm of 'Anarchists Lives Matter' to me:
'We’re challenging the status quo, and that means taking well-funded opponents of change. Help power the movement for a democratic society by donating today. Every pound makes a difference to challenging threats to our democracy and campaigning for the new political system we urgently need.'
From their 'Frequently asked questions',
'Unlock Democracy was formed in 2007 out of a merger between Charter 88 and the New Politics Network. The New Politics Network was the legal successor to the Democratic Left, which in turn was the legal successor to the Communist Party of Great Britain (CPGB).'
Too many tiers of government. And the political class just go on to create more - city mayors / police supremos whatever the flip they are called! Just jobs for the boys & BOY what jobs - 6 figure salaries and handsome pensions. Stuff the lot of em.
Yes, we don't need local democracy. Let Boris take charge of it all. What a bunch of plonkers you are! Strong Central government is what we need. Who does everything else we rely on?
And deep in the yearly report and accounts for 2020:
'Extinction Rebellion
Unlock Democracy staff members joined Extinction Rebellion activists in autumn 2019 to promote the Demand Democracy campaign.'

Tut, tut, tut...
//Is emptying the bins the only thing a local authority is responsible for?//

No. But it's the only thing it should be responsible for. And come to think of it, that does not need the oversight of an "authority."
Question Author
Atheist: "Yes, we don't need local democracy. Let Boris take charge of it all. What a bunch of plonkers you are! Strong Central government is what we need." (;- (;-

And 'democratic deficit' jags, and more like the Chinese Communist Party central control?
Yes, we want 'sovereignty' ... but centralized ONLY.
sevenOP, I think Atheist was being a little sarcastic with his proposal there.
I think you must ask yourself “What is local democracy for?”

As an example, the country has a national education policy and it is paid for (as are all the things local government administers) largely out of central taxation. Why, then, should education in say, Hartlepool, be administered any differently to that in Hitchin? The aim is to educate children to an agreed national standard. Why do local politicians have to become involved in that process? Why dole out a “budget” to that authority with which they must supply their education services? Why not keep the budget centrally and dole it out as required?

Local Authorities are rarely successful in the services they provide. My local authority (Tory controlled) is abysmal. It was briefly controlled by the LibDems a few years ago. It was equally abysmal. Many years back I lived in a Labour controlled area. You’ve guessed it – it was abysmal. The Authorities simply get in the way of the people trying to provide a decent service – be they private contractors or directly controlled.

It makes no difference to me who is in charge at my Town Hall. I just need the services for which I pay considerable sums (my largest monthly outgoing is my Council Tax) provided as efficiently as possible. I don’t need a local politician’s involvement. An executive, operating under the aegis of central government, will do just as well.

Tell me what value your local politicians add to the services you and your fellow Good Burghers receive.
The problem with Central Government Control is they only fund those areas which vote for them. We see this in the North-South divide where the SE gets far more Government support than say Liverpool or Glasgow.

This of course exposes Democracy's major flaw - 52% of the people exploit the other 48% to their detriment.
it's said that at any given moment the French Education Minister knows exactly what is being taught in every room in every school in the land. I dare say the same is true in North Korea. Is this actually what the British want? Could be, I don't know.
//We see this in the North-South divide where the SE gets far more Government support than say Liverpool or Glasgow.//

Do we?

https://commonslibrary.parliament.uk/research-briefings/sn04033/

"In 2019-20, public spending per person in the UK as a whole was £9,895. In England, it was £9,604 (3% below the UK average)."

By comparison:

Scotland: £11,566 (17% above the UK average) [6 Tory MPs out of 48]

Wales: £10,929 (10% above the UK average) [14 Tory MPs out of 40]

Northern Ireland £11,987 (21% above the UK average). [0 Tory MPs out of 18]

The North West is the third highest recipient of per capita government funding at £10,204 [32 Tory MPs out of 75]

The highest per capita spend in the English regions is London at £10,835 [21 Tory MPs out of 73]

The second lowest per capita spend in the English regions is the South East at £8,919 [73 Tory MPs out of 83]
you can rid these ridiculous Mayors of their incredible powers, they aren't needed and cost the taxpayer dear in the longer term.
//Is this actually what the British want? Could be, I don't know.//

It would be better than Gavin Williamson not having the first clue what is being taught (which is probably nearer the truth).
Question Author
jno, (; (: I gathered that.

New Judge: "Tell me what value your local politicians add to the services you and your fellow Good Burghers receive."

Burghers were the rich or colonists and/or generally unelected.
Local councillors have some skin in the game and can be kicked out LOCALLY.

NJ @16:03 Fri 23rd Apr 2021 , when did "Scotland, Wales, N.I., Wales, London, the South East" become 'Local' as relevant to Local Councils and similar geographically limit areas ?

1 to 20 of 21rss feed

1 2 Next Last

Do you know the answer?

Local Government In England - 40 Years Of Decline.

Answer Question >>

Related Questions

Sorry, we can't find any related questions. Try using the search bar at the top of the page to search for some keywords, or choose a topic and submit your own question.