The general election campaign has seen little or no focus on local government. The Labour party have scarcely referred to local government as Tony Blair is aware that his party's experience provokes mixed responses. Indications from Labour suggest that rather than the prospect of a revival of local autonomy, they will not favour financial and policy autonomy for local authorities.
The CIPFA/Times lecture will focus on the objectives which the Labour party has outlined for local government. The areas covered by the lecture will include: the commitment of New Labour to a strong version of fiscal centralism, for the purposes of tight spending control; the commitment to Scottish and Welsh devolution; the future role of local education authorities which is unspecified but central interest in the structure and finance of the schools let alone the discipline and curriculum can only intensify.