Your browser is no longer supported

For the best possible experience using our website we recommend you upgrade to a newer version or another browser.

Your browser appears to have cookies disabled. For the best experience of this website, please enable cookies in your browser

We'll assume we have your consent to use cookies, for example so you won't need to log in each time you visit our site.
Learn more


  • Comment
The Local Government Association was expected to ask the government to 'put its money where its mouth is' on freedo...
The Local Government Association was expected to ask the government to 'put its money where its mouth is' on freedoms and flexibilities at a pivotal meeting with the central/local partnership.

The association's executive was yesterday due to consider a detailed strategy for persuading the government to give top councils radical freedoms, followed by a meeting with the central/local partnership.

Deputy prime minister John Prescott was scheduled to chair the meeting, and ministers from across Whitehall were expected to attend.

LGA chief executive Sir Brian Briscoe said: 'We will be saying to the government put your money where your mouth is. You said earned autonomy is your objective. Here's your chance to prove it. These authorities are by common consent able to manage their services very well. Give them a lot more freedoms and see if it produces better public services.'

He conceded there would be a struggle: 'Tony Blair talked about being bold. Well, this is bold.'

Before the proposals were due to go to the central/local partnership, however, the LGA executive needed to be convinced the freedoms would benefit all councils.

A paper to the executive argued: 'There is still no evidence the government is contemplating making significant and attractive freedoms available, even though more radical proposals are being floated for foundation hospitals and schools.'

The meeting followed chancellor Gordon Brown's promise of 'substantial extra freedoms' for high-performing councils.

He promised a 'dramatic reduction' in ring-fenced funding, plan requirements reduced to the 'absolute minimum' and inspection cut by around 50%.

  • Comment

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

Please remember that the submission of any material is governed by our Terms and Conditions and by submitting material you confirm your agreement to these Terms and Conditions.

Links may be included in your comments but HTML is not permitted.