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LOCAL COUNCILS MUST BE AT THE HEART OF PUBLIC INTEREST COMPANIES

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Commenting on the launch of IPPR's report on public interest companies*, ...
Commenting on the launch of IPPR's report on public interest companies*,

Jeremy Beecham, chair of the Local Government Association, said:

'Public interest companies will only work if the governance and

accountability arrangements are right and joined up services are secured

locally. Accountability to users must not be confused with wider public

accountability as is happening with the government's proposals for

foundation hospitals. The best way to secure public accountability is

through democratically elected local councils.

The success of a wide range of innovative public services for which local

councils are accountable but not involved in the day-to-day management have

demonstrated the benefits of this model. Greenwich Leisure is an example of

an innovative staff led 'Leisure Trust' structured as an industrial and

provident society which manages 26 public leisure centres in partnership

with four London boroughs.

We want to see greater freedom and flexibility to meet local needs, but it

is vital that councils, accountable to every member of the local community,

are at the heart of new localism.'

NOTES:

1. The LGA is pressing for the deputy prime minister to use his powers under

section 16 of the Local Government Act 1999 to allow councils greater

freedoms to exercise functions through arms-length companies where this

benefits local people.

2. More information about Greenwich Leisure is available here.

SOCIAL ENTERPRISES LEAD THE WAY ON PUBLIC SERVICE

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