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75 people from around Staffordshire gave up their evening recently to tell the government and the county council their thoughts on the future of local government.

Michael Lyons, as part of his inquiry, had asked councils to find out what their communities think of local government funding and services. Staffordshire CC acted quickly to be one of the first to respond and organise its own consultation event.

The council's deputy leader John Taylor said: 'The turnout was fantastic and it was a very lively affair. It is not often that you get the chance to bring together members of the general public, representatives of our Youth Action Kouncil, district councils, partners, business representatives, councillors and school governors to focus on such a big issue.

'People are passionate about their local services and how they are funded. They also want to be heard. We are really pleased we could help them do this and are now working hard to make sure the government and other bodies listen to what was said. There were many diverse views which will all be passed on'.

During the evening, everyone had the chance to share their ideas. Seventeen year old Kayleigh Garbett from the Youth Action Kouncil said:

'It was a really good chance to pass on our ideas and thoughts. Many young people want to make a difference, particularly in shaping how local government may look in the future, so we were very keen to get our voices heard'.


1.On 20 July 2004, the deputy prime minister and the chancellor of the exchequer commissioned Sir Michael to undertake an independent inquiry to consider the case for changes to the present system of local government funding in England and make recommendations, including on the reform of council tax. On 20 September 2005, the government announced an extension to the inquiry's terms of reference to cover questions relating to the function of local government and its future role as well as how it is funded. For more information visit:

2.Kayleigh Garbett quoted in the press release is one of the 23 candidates standing to become members of the UK Youth Parliament in one of the four constituencies of Staffordshire, and competition is tight as there are only four member places and four deputies. For more information visit -

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