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RENDEL WELCOMES LORDS REPORT

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Liberal Democrat local government spokesman David Rendel has given a warm welcome to the report of the Lords select...
Liberal Democrat local government spokesman David Rendel has given a warm welcome to the report of the Lords select committee on relations between local and central government.

'Although the report is not as radical as we would like it to be in some respects, there is very little amongst the recommendations with which we would not wholeheartedly agree,' he said.

'I am particularly pleased to see that the committee has recommended the government to sign the Council of Europe's Charter of Local Self Government. This will greatly strengthen local government after years in which its powers have been gradually whittled away.'

'Experimenting with new voting arrangements, returning non-domestic rates to local authorities and the simplification of SSAs are all recommendations which would greatly improve what we have now.'

'I am delighted by the recommendation to abolish capping. I would also advocate the total removal of the compulsory nature of compulsory competitive tendering (where the report merely recommends a review). However, we recognise that this more radical reform would need to be accompanied by the greater accountability which a fair votes system of election would bring.'

'The recommendations are backed by all major parties and thus are an effective challenge to the existing systems in local government. It will be interesting to see what Tony Blair makes of the report in his address to the Local Government Association on Tuesday the 24th of July.'

'This report makes an excellent start along the path which local government needs to tread.'

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