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KEEP THE SPIRIT OF THE HUNT BILL, LGIU TELLS MINISTERS

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Councils should be allowed to experiment with new ways of working despite the almost certain death of legislation t...
Councils should be allowed to experiment with new ways of working despite the almost certain death of legislation that would have given them the powers they need.

Although the Hunt Bill will make another appearance in parliament in July, Conservative opposition has effectively killed it off. The Local Government Information Unit is urging the government to ensure that the proposals regarding experimentation it has made in its consultation paper Modernising local democracy: local democracy and community leadership are put into practice.

The LGIU believes that councils should be able to develop their own

experiments appropriate to local conditions, for example by introducing cabinet style systems. The unit thinks it is important that experiments should lead to greater clarity about who is responsible for decisions, should make councils more accountable and provide for sharper scrutiny of the decision that councils take.

LGIU director Dennis Reed said: 'Lord Hunt's Bill provided an excellent opportunity to give councils new ways to respond to the needs of their communities. The onus is now on the government to ensure that the impetus generated by the Hunt Bill is not lost. Expectations have been raised and it is in the interest of local government and the communities it serves that proposals that had support from almost everyone in local government are carried forward as soon as possible'.

These issues and others have been addressed by the LGIU in its detailed response to the consultation paper which can be obtained from the LGIU ON 0171 608 1051.

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