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REVIEW COMMISSION SLATED

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The controversial Local Government Review was based on inadequate research and poor understanding of the relationsh...
The controversial Local Government Review was based on inadequate research and poor understanding of the relationship between local government structures and community identity, service effectiveness and cost, according to a report.

The study, The work of the Local Government Commission for England, published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, looks at the work of the Local Government Commission.

Central government departments other than the DoE played a small part in the review until its latter stages. The local authority associations on the other hand helped shape the process.

Researchers blame the management styles of the commission's first chairman, Sir John Banham, and chief executive Martin Easteal for some of the problems.

'They played a significant part in determining the conduct and outcome of the commission's work,' the report says.

In 1993, when the government speeded up the process, the commission was thrown off course 'largely by its own inability to respond adequately', researchers said. From mid-1993 to January 1994 there was a review of policy and procedure that revealed confusion and disarray.

'The work of the Local Government Commission for England' is published by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, price£9.95.

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