B69: Strengthening Local Democracy Consultation

26th August 2009.

The consultation paper on strengthening local democracy is the latest publication of the Labour Government’s twelve year tenure. This Bulletin provides a critical assessment on the consultation.

The consultation paper sets out a series of proposed reforms for the devolution of power which will give local authorities: greater power to scrutinise and oversee spending by partners and other organisations on addressing local issues; the ability to reduce levels of performance scrutiny from central government; the opportunity to explore the role of local government in tackling climate change and specifically in meeting UK carbon budgets; and the power to ensure sub-regional working is fully accountable to local residents. However, for CLES questions remain:

  1. Do these proposed reforms truly represent the greatest transfer of power to the local level as the consultation paper bills?
  2. Are the proposed reforms for local democratic renewal actually anything new or is this just more policy rhetoric?
  3. Are the proposals actually true factors of or real devolution?
  4. Are these actually powers that local government want?