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14.07.11

LGA urges ‘comprehensive’ devolution and public service reform

The Government’s plans for public services reform have been endorsed by new LGA chairman Sir Merrick Cockell.

He said: “Now ministers need to deliver on their commitment to let go and devolve services down to the local level. We urge government not to hold back.”

Sir Merrick, leader of Kensington & Chelsea Council, who last month won the race to succeed Baroness Margaret Eaton as chair of the LGA, has suggested he will be more enthusiastic in embracing the Conservative agenda, rather than seeking to be just a compromise voice for all in local government.

In response to the Open Public Services White Paper, he endorsed the thrust of the Government’s plans, saying: “Public services are more accountable, more efficient and more in tune with the needs and aspirations of local people when they are delivered locally.

“No department should consider itself above the need to break up the centralised power they have held over local areas.

“It is vital that the devolution of power from Whitehall down to town halls and communities is comprehensive and not tied up in red tape. Local government has a key role to play putting people in charge of the services they rely on.”

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