In a speech outlining Labour's second term vision of public services he said:
'Greater autonomy requires less red tape from the centre. Intervention in inverse proportion to success is our maxim, and achieving a better balance between central direction and local managerial autonomy is a fulcrum for reform.'
He dubbed his vision 'front line first' and said front-line management should be empowered.
'Once the resources are there, it is the local leaders who make the important difference,' he said.
But the speech spoke only of schools, universities and the health service, making no mention of local government.
Teachers and governors should get 90% of school funding, and primary care trusts should control 75% of NHS resources, Mr Blair said.