Shadow local government spokeswoman Hilary Armstrong said today:
'I very much hope that this government will seriously consider the findings of the report and respond thoughtfully to the criticism, the analysis and the recommendations within the report. Such a response would clearly be an extremely welcome sign of a new maturity and a new way of thinking by this government.
'The report rightly highlights the centralisation of power that has occurred over the last 17 years and the imbalance in power that exists between the centre and the locality. Labour understands the importance of local government being treated with respect and recognises the significance of local government's position in relation tot he state and the people.
Ms Armstrong was addressing a public management forum of the Strategic Planning Society on the subject of relations between central and local government: co-operation or tug of war?