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29.06.12

‘Be pushy,’ Pickles urges local government

Communities secretary Eric Pickles called for local government leaders to act now to promote localism as he introduced new measures to increase their transparency.

Councils will now be required to declare all donations and payments they receive from trade unions, he announced in his keynote address at the Local Government Association conference inBirminghamyesterday.

He detailed the need to reduce data demands made on councils by government departments and highlighted the amount of money that will be saved through scrapping the Audit Commission.

Pickles added: “There is legitimate public concern that if councils are bankrolling trade union pilgrims, they have a right to know who is bankrolling their councillors.”                                                                                                            

He also announced that the department would soon publish a full package of city deals and urged local government leaders not to wait for instruction from central government on the implementation of localism.

Pickles said: “Localism relies on local people and local action, so be bold, be brave, be pushy. The next stage of localism demands that local government takes the lead and grabs power, so don’t wait for permission. If you do, it will almost certainly be too late. Push until we try to stop you, because local government remains the friend of progress.”

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