The guidelines were put forward at a meeting at Downing Street between Prime Minister John Major and all the local authority associations from England, Wales and Scotland.
The guidelines say:
- The relationship between central and local government should be conducted in a spirit of partnership and co-operation.
The associations say for their part they will work in partnership with central government to promote good practice and improve the quality of services, as well as ensuring efficient response to government consultation.
Sir Jeremy Beecham, leading the local government representatives, said: 'These guidelines are a sensible step forward in improving relations between central and local government.
'We look forward to the guidelines being implemented by all government departments and local authorities, and trust the message of co-operation and early consultation will be taken seriously by both sides.'