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Sparks vows to fight ministers’ ‘meddlesome urges’

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The LGA’s incoming chair David Sparks (Lab) has used an LGC article to accuse successive governments of an abuse of power and argue for “radical devolution”.

Dudley MBC’s leader, who will next month become the first Labour chair of the LGA in a decade, writes: “For too long now governments on all sides of the political divide have been guilty of an abuse of power.

“National politicians become gripped by the meddlesome urge to interfere in the local matters people elect local politicians to deal with.”

Among his top priorities will be lobbying for all political parties to pledge devolution in their manifestos and proving that local government can tackle major national issues such as housebuilding, school places and unemployment.

Cllr Sparks also pledges to champion the “unsung heroes” of the local government workforce and “instigate a renaissance of careers in local government being valued and respected vocations”.

He was confirmed as the new LGA chair last week, after Labour’s gains in last month’s polls saw it become the organisation’s largest group.

-         For the full article, plus advice to Cllr Sparks from former LGA chair Lord Beecham, see Special Feature: LGA Leadership

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