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IRRV CONFERENCE: LABOUR 'BELIEVES IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT' DELEGATES TOLD

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Local government is entering a period of great change, comparable to the 1980s, Tony Travers of the London School o...
Local government is entering a period of great change, comparable to the 1980s, Tony Travers of the London School of Economics told the IRRV annual conference in Blackpool today. But whereas Margaret Thatcher was anti-local government, prime minister Tony Blair and Labour do believe in local government, Mr Travers said, 'but they don't like it as it is today'.

So Labour's changes will mean that by 2010, local government will look very different, he suggested. He predicted there would be elected mayors in most cities in the UK, following the London model. The move to new executive arrangements for councils is one of the most profound changes to local government this century, he said.

Some parts of England would also have regional assemblies, but northern regions were more likely to opt for this than those in the south.

Local authorities would have a little more financial freedom, he forecast, and there would be new local taxes. 'Congestion charging and environmental taxes will be a major new source of income for local government', he said.
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