The idea was floated by former health secretary Alan Milburn in Progress magazine. He wrote that subsidiarity - passing power to the lowest possible level - will be at the heart of governance.
Labour believes it can give the party new momentum, and transform the political landscape in a way only Clement Attlee and Margaret Thatcher have managed in the past 60 years.
The idea is to empower individuals, families and communities, allowing people to fashion an active citizenship and make choices for themselves.
If the model is to be the governance of foundation hospitals, which saw controversial direct elections to boards replace local government involvement, their fears will be justified.
In his article, Mr Milburn said the notice would empower local communities: 'They could run services themselves, through a bigger role for voluntary and residents' groups.'