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SOCIAL CHALLENGES FACING LABOUR OUTLINED

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The issues and challenges facing the Labour government's social policymakers are outlined in an eight-page special ...
The issues and challenges facing the Labour government's social policymakers are outlined in an eight-page special in The Guardian's society section (p2).

Commentators on housing, local government, social services, the voluntary sector, environment, transport and cities look at the scene facing new ministers and the likely direction the government will take on crucial issues.

Tony Travers, director of the Greater London Group at the London School of Economics, argues that Labour, which took a pro-local government stance during the Tory terms, has a chance to prove its commitment to pluralism and decentralisation.

The new government could see more power handed to local authorities, but council leaders are not expecting instant salvation under Labour.

The government's first steps should be to remove expenditure capping (the opportunity to do this will come when the revenue support grant is announced), and announce how capital receipts will be released.

A consultative paper giving the government timetable on other reforms should be published - including changes to the business rate, regeneration and replacing CCT.

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