An 'action plan' on making quangos more accountable and open, published by ministers this week, acknowledges that many local authorities had asked for the power to quiz local quango bosses or to have representation on quango boards.
The paper says no decision on such issues will be taken until responses to the government's Modernising local government green papers have been evaluated.
But, like the green papers, it says: 'The government's present thinking is that local authority partnership arrangements [with quangos] should not be imposed.'
The plan notes that in the consultation period 'some local authorities start from the basis that elected representatives are seen as more accountable than appointed ones and that services which were previously the responsibility of local government should be returned'.
The steps already approved by ministers to make quangos more accountable include requiring them to hold annual open meetings and setting up a central quango internet site.