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LONDON WELCOMES LOCAL GOVERNMENT MODERNISATION PROPOSALS

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The government's draft local government bill and consultation paper published yesterday (Local leadership, local ch...
The government's draft local government bill and consultation paper published yesterday (Local leadership, local choice) has been welcomed by the Association of London Government.

ALG chair Toby Harris said: 'The ALG is pleased to see the publication of the government's agenda to modernise local government.

'Many local authority structures in this country have remained largely unchanged since they were established in the last century and are simply not suited to today's needs.

'London councils have been leading the way in reviewing those outdated systems and consulting local residents on ways in which they can best meet their needs in the 21st century. The ALG would like to see early legislation to assist those councils who want to move ahead with new constitutions.

'The ethical framework promised by the bill is also welcomed by London councils. Indeed, many London boroughs have already set up standards committees to ensure that high standards of conduct are maintained in their authorities. The independent element of the new framework will allow for serious allegations of unethical conduct to be investigated properly, whilst preventing abuse of the system by trivial party political point scoring.

'The bill offers a unique opportunity to modernise local government systems and structures, introduce statutory codes of conduct for local authority members and officers, and encourage people to participate in important decisions about how their councils operate.'

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