A letter from Mr Skellett (Con), also leader of Surrey CC, to local government minister Nick Raynsford proposes a five-year programme combining the systems.
The first year would see the Audit Commission carry out national studies, with reviews and audits carried out by councils over the next two years.
Lord Anthony Clarke of Hampstead will lead the inquiry. The former Camden councillor has an extensive background in the voluntary sector.
The Watford BC Conservative group has dropped plans for a legal challenge to the yes vote in the recent mayoral election (LGC, 27 July). It will focus on getting a Tory elected.
A new masters degree at De Montfort University is the first UK course to focus on what councils can do to reduce climate change. Suitable for council staff, it can be studied full or part time or by distance learning.