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'GOVERNMENT SHOULD LAY OFF LOCAL COUNCILS' - LOCAL GOVERNMENT SPOKESMAN

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Don Foster MP, Liberal Democrat local government spokesman, commenting on ...
Don Foster MP, Liberal Democrat local government spokesman, commenting on

government plans to turn around poorly-performing local councils published

today, said:

'What's new? We've heard it all before.

'Whitehall interference in local government activities has reached an all

time high under this centralising Labour government.

'Local councils have to produce over 70 plans for the benefit of central

government. An increasing amount of government funding for local councils is

ring-fenced. There is an ever-burgeoning inspection regime.

'Local councils are increasingly little more than the outpost of the central

government empire. If local councils are getting it wrong, the blame often

lies with ministers anyway.

'Many government departments are failing - does the deputy prime minister

have proposals to take them over too?

'It's time for the government to lay off local councils. Councils should be

allowed to raise more of the money they spend, with a corresponding

reduction in national income tax.

'Councils should be more accountable to the people they serve, and not to

John Prescott.'

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