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GOVERNMENT HAS KEPT PROMISES

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Local government minister Phil Woolas has insisted the government has made good on its devolution rhetoric by legis...
Local government minister Phil Woolas has insisted the government has made good on its devolution rhetoric by legislating for stronger councils.

The Local Government & Public Involvement in Health Bill, due to be published yesterday, is expected to build on the principles set out in the local government white paper to strengthen council leadership.

A briefing paper seen by LGC suggests the bill will contain few surprises, giving leaders more power and

permitting the creation of unitaries. It will also sanction elections of the whole council once every four years, the adoption of single member wards and the establishment of parishes.

Involvement in the NHS will increase with a new duty to make 'contractual arrangements' for health scrutiny.

Mr Woolas said: 'Some people might think there are things not in the bill that were in the white paper. But the bill takes forward the bits of the white paper that need legislation.'

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