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MANDARINS MUST CONSULT, SAYS LGA

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The Local Government Association has criticised Whitehall for ignoring councils when drawing up regulations. ...
The Local Government Association has criticised Whitehall for ignoring councils when drawing up regulations.

The Cabinet Office's Better Regulation Task Force published a report this week which says councils are not being consulted when new regulations are being made.

LGA public protection chair John Ryan said: 'This confirms what many in local government already knew. The civil service often pays little or no attention to the practical experience of those working on the ground.'

Cabinet Office minister Jack Cunningham is to publish milestones and success criteria this summer to monitor progress on modernising government.

The move follows the publication of the Modernising government white paper. Local Government Association chairman Sir Jeremy Beecham sat on the cabinet sub-committee which drafted it (LGC, 1 April).

A project board is being set up to steer work across Whitehall departments. Dr Cunningham will closely follow the drive to remove unnecessary regulations.

'The Better Regulation Task Force will spearhead work on removing unnecessary regulation. Where new regulations are being considered, regulatory impact assessments must be prepared by departments, and the Cabinet Office consulted before decisions are taken,' Dr Cunningham said.

Immediate work on the government's programme includes departmental peer reviews to ensure principles are being put into practice. Other projects looking at accountability and incentives and best practice in policy making are to report in the summer.

Dr Cunningham said the government was committed to the 'best supplier' approach and would be looking hard at which services the government should provide itself, which would be better off in the private sector or should be done in partnership.

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